yeah i saw that too kari, ugh
yeah i saw that too kari, ugh
I smile because I have no idea what's going on
Images of disaster in Japan lend visual power - Yahoo! News
NEW YORK – Sometimes it's a fast-moving ooze: A street becomes a stream, grows into a river and then a raging mountain of moving debris. Sometimes, it's a wet curtain of water crashing over a shoreline, tossing trees, ships and cars casually aside as a child would a stack of Legos.
Until a week ago, a tsunami was one of the most mysterious of natural events, its devastating power usually evident only in the aftermath. Yet from the first moments the earth started to shudder on March 11, Japan's tsunami was one of the most recorded disasters ever to be captured on film, lending a visual power to story-telling unmatched since the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks almost a decade ago.
Quake footage was available almost instantly: Office workers running outside as building chunks slam to the ground; skyscrapers swaying like evergreens in a windstorm; pictures falling off walls; store stock spilling to the floor. One man kept recording as his living room seemed to fall apart around him. His camera caught his shaky steps as he finally rushed outside.
But as dramatic as the earthquake images were, the tsunami video — some of it live — was breathtaking. A handful of tourists captured the Indonesian tsunami in 2004, but there was much less variety and inferior film quality. Technology — particularly cell-phone cameras — was not what it has become today.
Japan, too, is unique — a nation that not only produces electronics but also focuses on technology, camera phones, handheld video and digital cameras. And it may also be the most well-wired country for recording such disasters. With its geologic history, seismic monitors and robotic cameras are mounted throughout the archipelago.
Japanese news crews quickly took to the streets and skies after the earthquake, leaving them well-positioned to capture the tsunami.
At times, they were too well-positioned: A video that surfaced late last week showed a local news crew abandoning a car with the tsunami approaching and rushing into a building as water began swirling around their feet.
What, though, do these images do? Do they change how we perceive the event? Do more higher-quality images of catastrophe make it seem more real or more movielike? Will we remember the 2011 Japan tsunami differently than its calamitous predecessors because we saw so much of it so quickly?
In the days that followed the earthquake, CNN producers constantly monitored social media sites to find newly posted material, and dozens of Japanese citizens sent footage directly to CNN, said Parisa Khosravi, senior vice president for CNN news-gathering worldwide.
"In this case, it certainly captured images that no one expected to see," she said. The story gave CNN its best ratings since President Barack Obama's inauguration in 2009, the Nielsen Co. said.
Viewers couldn't get enough — even those who were personally touched by it.
"I tried, but couldn't stop watching," said Maisararam from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, who lost her husband and three daughters in Indonesia's 2004 tsunami. "It was exactly the same, except they have this horrible footage, events unfolding right before your eyes."
One particularly arresting video showed water and debris rapidly rising as a group of people struggled to make it up a path to higher ground; CNN stopped rolling the shot — the fate of the crew unknown. In another instance, men who had raced to the top of a parking garage kept recording the tsunami even as one openly wondered whether he would survive or not.
The wealth of visual material stood in contrast to events at the earthquake-damaged Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear complex where six reactor units have had fires, explosions or partial meltdowns. As the water receded and attention turned to the crippled nuclear plant, the story became one of those events that television is poorly equipped to tell.
Images are elusive. Except for a handful of aerial shots, the drama at the plant has largely been seen in fuzzy video taken from many miles away. Occasionally, water is dumped on damaged nuclear reactors from the air, yet it's so difficult to see that it must be highlighted by editors in the pictures.
Evacuation zones have also led American TV networks to pull many of their teams out of the immediate area for safety reasons over radiation poisoning.
But no one knows what is really happening at the plant, or what will happen, and how much radiation is being exposed to how many people. That leads to less-than-illuminating reports, such as Lester Holt revealing on the "Today" show that his shoes tested positive for radiation.
Other than lost footwear, what did the incident really teach us?
Television frequently returned to old-fashioned and visually dull habits out of necessity, bringing a succession of experts before cameras to report the nuclear threat.
The uncertain aspects of the story quickly led to on-air debates over whether television was "hyping" the nuclear danger. NBC's "Nightly News" pointed a finger at the media in a report that minimized any danger to the United States. Fox News Channel's Shepard Smith labeled "sad and pathetic" Americans who bought anti-radiation pills in large numbers.
Yet his own network showed this headline Friday: "Growing Concern Over Radiation Plume Drifting Over Western United States."
But radiation is not a television event; it is, for the most part, something you cannot see — ambiguous, invisible, diffuse.
There was nothing ambiguous about the tsunami footage. In an era of unremitting visuals, it was imagery like none other — another example, in a time of technological change, of how we can watch the world unfold, even in its saddest, most frightening moments.
I sure as hell wouldn't be filming that. I'd be running the other direction.
Did you know that an anagram for "Conscious Uncoupling" is "Iconic Uncool Pus Guns"? - MohandasKGanja
Oh geez that was scary. It's so weird to see how the landscape has radically changed where the Tsunami hit land. Huge chunks of land are now gone.
Meryl doesn't even try anymore. She just calls Lanvin and asks for curtains with a belt.~Bitter
Can we interest you in Leann Rimes? She has a nice little cadre of fans you'd probably enjoy.~ Pecan Pie
The car keeps climbing and climbing and driving and driving until they're nowhere near the ocean and there's still debris. The two story concrete building tipped on a 45 degree angle at 20 meters up was jaw dropping.
"I feel like the red carpet question 'who are you wearing?' has Texas Chainsaw undertones." -- Richard Ayoade
Theres alot of problems with the nuclear reactors as well.Workers flee Japan nuclear plant as smoke rises
AP/Mark BakerA fishing boat sits amongst debris of houses and cars in Natori, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan. More photos »
Play Video AP – Miracle quake survivor relieved to be rescued
- Slideshow:Japan hit by huge earthquake, tsunami
- Play Video Video:Rebuilding work underway in devastated Japan AFP
AP – Recovery team members and a search dog work in an devastated area in Sendai, northern Japan, Monday, …
By ERIC TALMADGE and MARI YAMAGUCHI, Associated Press Eric Talmadge And Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press – 1 hr 51 mins ago
FUKUSHIMA, Japan – Gray smoke rose from two reactor units Monday, temporarily stalling critical work to reconnect power lines and restore cooling systems to stabilize Japan's radiation-leaking nuclear complex.
Workers are racing to bring the nuclear plant under control, but the process is proceeding in fits and starts, stalled by incidents like the smoke and by the need to work methodically to make sure wiring, pumps and other machinery can be safely switched on.
"Our crisis is still going on. Our crisis is with the nuclear plants. We are doing everything we can to bring this to an end," Gov. Yuhei Sato of Fukushima prefecture, where the plant is located, told the more than 1,000 people moved away from the plant into a gymnasium. "Don't give up. We know you are suffering."
"Please get us out of here," yelled Harunobu Suzuki, a 63-year-old truck driver.
What caused the smoke to billow first from Unit 3 at the Fukushima Dai-ichi plant and later from Unit 2 is under investigation, nuclear safety agency officials said. Still, in the days since the March 11 earthquake and tsunami wrecked the plant's cooling systems, both reactors have overheated and seen explosions. Workers were evacuated from the area to buildings nearby, though radiation levels remained steady, the officials said.
Problems set off by the disasters have ranged far beyond the devastated northeast coast and the wrecked nuclear plant, handing the government what it has called Japan's worst crisis since World War II. Rebuilding the ruined northeast coast may cost as much as $235 billion. Police estimate the death toll will surpass 18,000.
Traces of radiation are tainting vegetables and some water supplies, although in amounts the government and health experts say do not pose a risk to human health in the short-term. China, Japan's biggest trading partner, ordered testing of Japanese food imports for radiation contamination.
"Please do not overreact, and act calmly," said Chief Cabinet spokesman Yukio Edano in the government's latest appeal to ease public concerns. "Even if you eat contaminated vegetables several times, it will not harm your health at all."
Edano said Fukushima's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., would compensate farmers affected by bans on the sale of raw milk, spinach and canola.
The troubles at Fukushima have in some ways overshadowed the natural catastrophe, threatening a wider disaster if the plant spews more concentrated forms of radiation than it has so far.
Click image to see photos of quake, tsunami damageThe nuclear safety agency and Tokyo Electric reported significant progress over the weekend and Monday. Electrical teams, having finished connecting three of the plant's six units, worked to connect the rest by Tuesday, the utility said.
Reuters/Tokyo Electric Power Co.
Once done, however, pumps and other equipment have to be checked — and the reactors cleared of dangerous gas — before the power can be restored. For instance, a motorized pump to inject water into Unit 2's overheated reactor and spent fuel storage pool needs to be replaced, said Hidehiko Nishiyama, an official at the Nuclear and Industrial Safety Agency, or NISA.
The crisis has brought renewed scrutiny to Tokyo Electric, a wealthy, politically influential utility that has been accused in the past of safety violations. Days before the disaster, a NISA report criticized Tokyo Electric for failing to inspect crucial equipment related to cooling systems at Fukushima, though agency officials refused Monday to draw a link between the inspection lapses and the breakdown of cooling systems after the tsunami.
Radioactive iodine, which breaks down after a week, has been the most widespread contaminant found, but so have traces of cesium, which lasts decades and may cause cancer.
That cesium was likely generated when nuclear fuel rods partially melted last week, NISA's Nishiyama said, and is an indication of potential harm to the environment and how badly damaged some of the reactors are.
Early Monday, the Health Ministry advised Iitate, a village of 6,000 people about 30 kilometers (19 miles) northwest of the plant, not to drink tap water due to elevated levels of iodine. Ministry spokesman Takayuki Matsuda said iodine three times the normal level was detected there — about one twenty-sixth of the level of a chest X-ray in one liter of water.
The World Bank said in a report Monday that Japan may need five years to rebuild from the disasters, which caused up to $235 billion in damage, saying the cost to private insurers will be up to $33 billion and that the government will spend $12 billion on reconstruction in the current national budget and much more later.
Growing concerns about radiation add to the chain of disasters Japan has struggled with since the 9.0-magnitude quake. The resulting tsunami ravaged the northeastern coast. All told, police estimates show more than about 18,400 died. More than 15,000 deaths are likely in Miyagi, the prefecture that took the full impact of the wave, said a police spokesman.
"It is very distressing as we recover more bodies day by day," said Hitoshi Sugawara, the spokesman.
Police in other parts of the disaster area declined to provide estimates, but confirmed about 3,400 deaths. Nationwide, official figures show the disasters killed more than 8,600 people, and leaving more than 13,200 missing, but those two lists may have some overlap.
The disasters have displaced another 452,000, who are in shelters.
In an example of the tsunami's force, the wave swept a collapsed house out of a devastated neighborhood in the city of Ishinomaki and deposited it near a river about 100 meters (yards) away. A 16-year-old boy and his grandmother who were trapped inside survived and were rescued Sunday when the boy, Jin Abe, was finally able to crawl out of the smashed home and get the attention of a police patrol. Abe told Japanese broadcaster NHK on Monday from his hospital bed: "I'm so relieved to be rescued."
He and his 80-year-old grandmother, Sumi Abe, were wedged under debris in the kitchen of their smashed two-story home and ate snacks and drank water from the nearby refrigerator as they lay trapped in the debris.
Yamaguchi and Associated Press writers Shino Yuasa, Mayami Saito and Elaine Kurtenbach reported from Tokyo.
Source: Workers flee Japan nuclear plant as smoke rises - Yahoo! News
World Blog - Family mourns American teacher's death in Japan
The body of Taylor Anderson, left, a 24-year-old teacher, has been found in Japan, her family says. She was last seen in Ishinomaki, Japan, on March 11 after the earthquake.
An American family was in mourning Monday after learning that their daughter and sibling, a teacher and lifelong student of Japanese culture, had been found dead in Japan –- the first known American victim of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami.
Taylor Anderson, a 24-year-old from Richmond, Va., had lived in Japan since August 2008. She was last seen after the powerful earthquake struck Japan on March 11, riding her bike away from the school where she taught after helping to get her students home.
“It is with deep regret that we inform you that earlier this morning we received a call from the U.S. Embassy in Japan that they had found our beloved Taylor's body,” the Anderson family wrote in a statement. “We would like to thank all those (whose) prayers and support have carried us through this crisis. Please continue to pray for all who remain missing and for the people of Japan.”
Anderson’s family, who had mounted a long-distance search for Anderson, could not immediately be reached for comment.
But a Facebook poster, who gave his name as Ramon Badcock, said he met Anderson in Japan and will remember her positive spirit.
"She was of a rare breed of people, always happy and positive, kind and generous, with a smile that seemed to go on forever," he wrote in an email to msnbc.com. "I will mourn, but more importantly I will celebrate her life, for it was a beautiful life and I know she would prefer that."
Until Monday's announcement, none of the estimated 50,000-plus Americans living in or visiting Japan when the quake hit had been confirmed killed. The U.S. State Department said it was seeking further information regarding the death.
Most of Taylor’s friends and colleagues in the JET Programme (the Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme), stayed at their schools overnight after the quake, but not Taylor, said her sister, Julia Anderson.
“Taylor helped in the evacuation of the students onto the athletic field, waited for parents to pick up the students and whoever was leftover went to higher ground. Taylor decided to go back to her apartment, but by her bike, and so we know she left her school and that’s the last we know,” Anderson said late last week.
“Shortly thereafter, the tsunami warning sirens started to sound," her father, Andy, a 53-year-old real estate developer, said last week. “She probably had 10, 15 minutes of bike riding before the water hit.”
Taylor, who was living in Ishinomaki in Miyagi prefecture, started learning Japanese when she was in middle school, and eventually minored in Asian Studies at college. When she left for Japan, the departure was emotional but the family was proud of her.
“She was living the life that she always wanted and she was getting to know a culture she was always fascinated with,” Julia said last week. “Her students loved her.”
Its always so sad to think of all those sweet people in an individual fashion, that they each had a life behind and ahead of them. *hugs* to all of their families. Such a terrible tragedy
There will be times you might leap before you look
There'll be times you'll like the cover and that's precisely why you'll love the book
Do it anyway
it was such a horrible way to die too
i had seen that teachers parents on the news, but hadn't heard if they found her until i read that article. so sad
Basic rule of Gossip Rocks: Don't be a dick.Tati
Lighten Up Francis WCG
I am from the American CIA and I have a radio in my head. I am going to kill you.
"I feel like the red carpet question 'who are you wearing?' has Texas Chainsaw undertones." -- Richard Ayoade
Badass of the Week.
On the afternoon of Friday, March 11th, Hideaki Akaiwa was at his job, dully trudging out the final bitter minutes of his work week in his office just outside the port city of Ishinomaki in Japan's Miyagi Prefecture. What this guy's day job actually is, I honestly have no idea, but based on the extremely limited information I have on the guy I can only presume that his daily nine-to-five routine probably falls somewhere between the motorcycle chase scenes from the movie Akira and John Rambo's antics in the book version of First Blood on the ridiculousness/badassitude scale. But that's only speculation.
The one thing we know for certain is that Akaiwa was at work on the 11th, when suddenly, right as he was in the middle of jumping over a giant Gatling-gun-armed robot while riding on a rocket-powered jetbike he'd MacGuyvered together out of vines, tree branches, and a couple thumbtacks, something terrible happened – an earthquake. And not just any earthquake – a mega fucking brain-busting insane earthquake the likes of which the island of Japan had never had the misfortune of experiencing before. The ground shook, buildings crumbled, lights smashed apart, and the entire population of the country froze in fear as fault line below Japan rumbled for a ridiculous two-plus minutes.
But, amazingly, an 8.9 magnitude earthquake wasn't the worst thing to happen to the town Ishinomaki on that horrible day. No, that was afterwards, when the tremors from the earthquake churned up a raging tsunami that took a bustling city of 162,000 people and suddenly turned it into little more than a ten-foot-deep lake.
This is not Ishinomaki, but it is still completely fucking terrifying.
For reference, here's a NASA satellite comparison of the city before and after the tsunami. Needless to say, poor Hideaki Akaiwa, concerned for his family, rushed out of his office in time to see his city completely submerged under an obscene ten feet of water that buried everything from houses to businesses. He ran to the high water mark and stared helplessly into the sprawling lake that once used to be his home.
But it gets even worse. Hideaki's wife of twenty years was still buried inside the lake somewhere. She hadn't gotten out. She wasn't answering her phone. The water was still rising, the sun was setting, cars and shit were swooshing past on a river of sea water, and and rescue workers told him there was nothing that could be done – the only thing left was to sit back, wait for the military to arrive, and hope that they can get in there and rescue the survivors before it's too late. With 10,000 citizens of Ishinomaki still missing and unaccounted for, the odds weren't great that Hideaki would ever see his wife again.
For most of us regular folks, this is the sort of shit that would make us throw up our hands, swear loudly, and resign ourselves to a lifetime of hopeless misery.
But Hideaki Akaiwa isn't a regular guy. He's a fucking insane badass, and he wasn't going to sit back and just let his wife die alone, freezing to death in a miserable water-filled tomb. He was going after her. No matter what.
How the fuck Hideaki Akaiwa got a hold of a wetsuit and a set of SCUBA gear is one of the great mysteries of the world. I'm roughly twenty hours into Fallout 3 and I'm lucky to come across a fucking vacuum cleaner in that godforsaken post-apocalyptic wasteland, yet this guy is in the middle of a real-life earth-shaking mecha-disaster and he's coming up with oxygen tanks, waterproof suits, and rebreather systems seemingly out of thin air. I guess when you're a truly unstoppable badass, you, by definition, don't let anything stand in your way. You make shit happen, all the time, no matter what.
Regardless of how he came across this equipment (borrowing, stealing, buying, beating up a Yakuza SCUBA diving demolitions expert, etc.) Hideaki threw on his underwater survival gear, rushed into the goddamned tsunami, and dove beneath the rushing waves, determined to rescue his wife or die trying. I'm not exactly sure whether or not the dude even knew how to operate SCUBA equipment, but according to one version of his story he met his wife while he was surfing (which is awesome, by the way), so it doesn't seem like that much of a stretch to say that he already had a little experience SCUBA diving under a more controlled situation. Of course, even if this dude didn't know how to work the gear I'm certain that wouldn't have stopped him either – Hideaki wasn't going to let a pair of soul-crushing natural disasters deter him from doing awesome shit and saving his family. He dove down into the water, completely submerged in the freezing cold, pitch black rushing current on all sides, and started swimming through the underwater ruins of his former hometown.
Surrounded by incredible hazards on all sides, ranging from obscene currents capable of dislodging houses from their moorings, sharp twisted metal that could easily have punctured his oxygen line (at best) or impaled him (at worst), and with giant fucking cars careening through the water like toys, he pressed on. Past broken glass, past destroyed houses, past downed power lines arcing with electrical current, through undertow that could have dragged him out to sea never to be heard from again, he searched.
Hideaki maintained his composure and navigated his way through the submerged city, finally tracking down his old house. He quickly swam through to find his totally-freaked-out wife, alone and stranded on the upper level of their house, barely keeping her head above water. He grabbed her tight, and presumably sharing his rebreather with her, dragged her out of the wreckage to safety. She survived.
Dramatization of the rescue.
But Hideaki Akaiwa still wasn't done yet.
Now, I'm sure you're wondering what the fuck is more intense than commandeering a wet suit, face-punching a tsunami and dragging your wife of two decades out of the flooded wreckage of your home, but, no shit, it gets even better. You see, Hideaki's mother also lived in Ishinomaki, and she was still unaccounted for. I think you all know where this is going.
First, Hideaki searched around the evacuation shelters and other areas, looking for his mom among the ragtag groups of survivors who had been lucky enough to flee to higher ground. She might have escaped, and he needed to find her. Now. He ran through the city like some post-apocalyptic action hero, desperately trying to track her down, but when a couple of days went by without any sign of her, he knew what he had to do. The water had only receded a few inches by this point, the rescue teams weren't working quickly enough for his tastes, and Hideaki Akaiwa fucking once again took matters into his own hands – rushing back into the waterlogged city looking for his mom.
These are not ideal SCUBA diving conditions.
So, once again Hideaki navigated his way through the Atlantean city, picking his way through crumbling wreckage, splintered wood, and shredded metal to find his elderly mother. After another grueling trek, he tracked her down on the upper levels of a house – she'd been stranded there for four days, and would almost certainly have died without the timely aid of her son. He brought her to safety somehow as well, as you might expect at this point.
Now, while most people would have been content in the knowledge that their family was safe, Hideaki Akaiwa isn't the sort of badass who's going to hang up his flippers and quit just because he'd taken care of his own personal shit – this guy made an oath to keep going back into the wreckage on his own to find people and help them to safety. Today this 43 year-old Japanese badass rides out every single day, multiple times a day, riding around on a bicycle with his legs wrapped in plastic to keep himself dry. His only equipment – a pocketknife, a canteen, a flashlight, a change of clothes, and a badass set of aviator sunglasses – packed into a trusty trio of backpacks, he rides out in search of people needing rescue, a modern-day, real-life action hero.
Badass of the Week: Hideaki Akaiwa
"I feel like the red carpet question 'who are you wearing?' has Texas Chainsaw undertones." -- Richard Ayoade
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