BlogAid: Support the Asia Relief Effort

I don’t have any advertisement on my weblog so it doesn’t earn me any revenue whatsoever. But if it did, I would pledge my blog earnings to BlogAid. If you generate any revenue from your weblog, you might want to consider pledging. It’s for a good cause.
Alternately, nature.com’s Earthquake disaster: how to help explains who is doing what to help, and how you can donate. No blog required.

Nature.com on the South Asia Earthquake

Devastating quake redraws map. This nature.com article explains how the earthquake has moved some islands by several metres only within minutes and why the wave created by it was able to wash up areas as far as 5 kilometres inland.

And of course, Indonesian tsunami-monitoring system lacked basic equipment. If you’d lived in Indonesia all your life, that kind of thing wouldn’t surprise you. You just couldn’t help but thinking that someone must have corrupted/manipulated the money allocated by the government to pay for the fricking phone line. We’re bitter that way.

A Picture Speaks 1,000 Words

Images of Tsunami Sites by DigitalGlobe show the aerial views of Banda Aceh, Indonesia and Kalutara, Sri Lanka before and after the disaster struck.

Thirst and grief stalk Indonesia. Photographs from Banda Aceh, Indonesia by Reuters AlertNet show the devastating state of Banda Aceh after the disaster.

IRIS Seismic Monitor has a map and a list of earthquakes happening worldwide in the last 30 days of magnitude >= 4. Our blue planet seems restless.

Everything Is Wrong

Tsunami death toll jumps over 120,000. Aid pours into Asia, not reaching tsunami victims. Tsunami waters raise landmine fears in Sri Lanka. Everything seems to have gone wrong in this world.

I keep thinking about how the survivors must feel. I know how it feels to lose a family member (my mother died last year after being sick for almost a year). Losing the whole family to an unexpected natural disaster, not knowing that the last day that you spent with them was the last day ever, must feel a million times worse. Thousands of children must have become orphaned by now. Orphaned and homeless and starving to death.

I’m blogging this to keep sane, to try to make sense of all this. I don’t think it works, though.

A Call for Help

I’m sure you have all heard about the South Asia earthquake and tsunamis. I’m not going to say anything about it since no word could do it justice. The least I can do is ask you to make a donation towards the relief funds if you have some money to spare. You can do it online through the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (donate), Oxfam (donate), or Save the Children (donate) (more aid groups accepting donations for victims). Please. To say that they need your help badly is an understatement.
In case you’re wondering, my family is fine. They live on Java island, next to the badly affected Sumatra. There have been reports of unusually high tidal waves in the south coast of Java but thankfully no tsunami. That’s all I can say about it.

Always Take the Weather

Ever since I witnessed the Northern Lights a.k.a. Aurora Borealis on November 7 (which was the most amazing thing, ever), I’ve become slightly obsessed with SpaceWeather.com. I have to check this site at least once a day.
One night, after the November 7 Aurora sighting, the boy had to reluctantly drive me out of town just because the site said that there was a big possibility for Aurora sighting that night and I practically begged him to go look for the Aurora with me. We ended up standing around in the cold, in the dark, in the middle of nowhere for about half an hour just to see nothing but the stars and the blinking lights coming from airplanes.
I don’t think I would ever beg the boy to look for the Aurora with me ever again, but I still do check SpaceWeather.com daily for my daily dose of astronomy-related news. Besides, not everyone has ever witnessed the Northern Lights. I should count myself lucky.