Friday, December 31, 2004


The force of nature. Posted by Hello


A special thanks to the people of Britain who at one point were donating 1 million dollars a hour on special aid relief hotlines. To date, right at a 100 million dollars has already come from the British people. I promise never to crack jokes about the food or weather again.

Also, the people of Sweden whose country of nine million people has over 1500 missing still, a special thank you for the 90 million dollars they've already put into the system. The Germans, Spanish, French among others over that 50 million level.

Thursday, December 30, 2004


The good news is four friends unaccounted for in the disaster have turned up although friend's of theirs weren't so lucky. Still got one out there somewhere.


How nice of Jr. (Bush) to break himself away from his vacation after four days and finally acknowledge there was a momentous natural disaster impacting millions of people. He talks about forming a coalition (a scary thought considering his track record in that area) but there's already a coalition of groups on the ground. He's behind the curve on that one.

How nice of Jr. to pledge as much money for relief as Britain, Germany and Spain. All countries quite smaller and more limited in economic terms. You know if the U.S. pledged 1 dollar for every citizen, there'd be 270 million more bucks in the till. Actually, a nice gesture would be cancel the fancy inauguration parties being planned where donors are plopping down 100,000 plus for a ticket and spend the money on relief. Cancel the big military style theme and send the troops to help in the stricken areas. It certainly would go a long way in reversing the image being created now.

Wednesday, December 29, 2004


A father and his child. Posted by Hello


From the Chicago Tribune we learn that the earthquake changed the Earth's rotation:

Incredibly, the magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck off Sumatra on Sunday morning caused a vertical displacement of so much material that the rotation period of the Earth has been permanently altered. By a tiny but measurable amount, the Earth is now rotating more quickly on its axis, and the 24-hour day is now one ten-thousandth second shorter.That's the result of calculations based on preliminary data made by Oak Park astronomer Dr. Leslie M. Golden. It's analogous to the increase in rotational speed that a twirling ice skater experiences when he or she draws in their arms. It is estimated that during the Sumatran quake, a block of material roughly 600 miles in length and 100 miles in width fell 30 feet closer to the Earth's axis of rotation. The planet has responded by rotating more rapidly, albeit ever so slightly, and our 24-hour days are now one ten-thousandth second shorter.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004


I could say how great it is of tiny Netherlands to pledge 1/3 as much money as the U.S. did to relief efforts in Asia. Per capita, several countries are putting us to shame. I guess it is easier to spend 200 billion blowing up Iraq than to do something productive with our money. Is 14 million really the best we could do???

I could say how I'm glad the opposition gave Moscow a collective ulcer by winning the Ukrainian election. I could say how that now the Sunni political parties have pulled out, those January elections in Iraq have become a joke. I could say how ironic it is that the Shiites targeted in today's hit blamed the remanents of the old regime while living in Tariq Aziz's (the ex-foreign minister) house where the bombing took place.

Instead, all I think about is 50,000 plus dead from a Tsunami that didn't stop until it hit Africa. The force it must've had to move an entire island 100 feet and create a 1000 kilometer long crack in the ocean bottom. The images of all those bodies drifting lifeless out to sea that we know will never be recovered. The survivors shifting through corpses several rows deep to look for loved ones. The mass graves being dug to bury the dead. Children drinking contaminated water while relief workers land to sacrifice themselves for others. Then I think about the fuss made over how Wall Street is glad consumer shopping met it's target this weekend and I wonder if anyone else sees something wrong with this picture?

Monday, December 27, 2004


The earthquake and tsunami which struck Indonesia was so powerful that the entire island of Sumatra, where the earthquake epicenter was near, moved 100 feet to the southwest. All I can say is wow....


Over 16,000 people are dead (a figure that could easily double), millions homeless, and countless others are recovering from the impact of a 9.0 earthquake in Indonesia which triggered a 500 mph tsunami. Disease will surely breakout in the aftermath and only add to the deadly toll. Our official response has been slow and reluctant in coming and the media here has given most of their attention to normally camera deprived weather people trying to explain what a Tsunami is. How we can't give one of the greatest natural disasters of our lifetime 110% of our attention is beyond me. While individually we can't be there in person to assist with the rescue efforts, we can still give to organizations like CARE, the International Red Cross, Doctors Without Borders, and Save The Children who'll be left with the responsibility to pick up the pieces in the coming months. I hope each of us will do our part.