Tsunamis and the news

By now I am sure most of you have heard about the devastating earthquake in Asia. The power of nature always amazes me. The sad thing is that the people of the region never really expected anything like that. Many of the areas hit hard had plenty of time to react but not much was done. If you never expect a massive earthquake there, why bother prepare tsunami warnings? India now has plans to install warning devices. Too bad it had to come to something like this for that to happen.

Tsunamis are an amazing force of nature. The speeds and power that is released is quite terrific. I hope everyone prays for those in the region that are affected by this devastating event.

I also suggest checking out a few blogs to get information about what is going on over there rather than the normal media. There have been numerous bloggers from the region talking about this and are worth checking out. The Command Post has lots of good information with other links. Rajanar is from the area and has some interesting commentary. This Blog is dedicated to getting information about relief, how to support, and current news about and by the people affected. If you check one place out, head there. As usual, Tim Blair has lots of good information and insight as well as many links.

I don’t really like watching the news because of its disjointed nature. I have made a few comments about that in other places and when talking about Neil Postman’s “Amusing Ourselves to Death”. News is usually completely de-contextualized and usually has very little meaning to those watching it. The “Now This” mentality is not one I appreciate. One thing I appreciate about blogs is that they are written by real people, usually somewhat involved with the situation or have special interest in what they are talking about. News casters seem to be more interested in the sensational side of the story, not the actual content. Bloggers pick the topics to talk about because they care about them. The problem that car arise is validity of the content. Although with such issues as rathergate, we should also worry about that issue with the MSM (main stream media). Many respectable bloggers will offer cross references and links to their sources and will try to offer unbiased information along with biased commentary (I do say try, because it doesn’t always work). It seems that the MSM tries will often only have a mixture of the two: biased commentary that is presented as unbiased information. In short, check out multiple sources of information; don’t just rely on the MSM.

As an example of why I dislike tv news I offer a slight rant. I was watching one of our local stations (can’t remember which one) and one of the newscasters offered us something along the lines of this: “See how the tsunami has affected tourists from our area later in the broadcast.” I can’t remember the exact way this was said, but that is the gist of it. This tells me a few things: firstly news is completely sensationalistic and secondly they don’t really care about people. 24,000 people have just died and we are supposed to be worried about travel problems for people in our area? I don’t even know those people from “my area” and even if I did, I still would not be concerned for delayed travels. Ok, rant over.

I know this has been somewhat of a ramble, I apologize for that. Please pray for those in Asia and for those helping to get things fixed up.


Interesting animation from NOAA over here. (requires quicktime)

Some very disturbing video can be downloaded from here. (right click and select “save as”)

Another animation can be found here.

(H/t to PunditGuy)

Also, if you want to help out, check out the Tsunami Help Blog (which I linked to earlier, but it really has massive amouts of information and points to places to help out.)

I would also like to point to World Vision as a good charity to donate to.

If you want to help out the red cross you can do that directly through Amazon here.

I don’t know if this is true or not, I apologize if it isn’t. If it is, CNN has something to deal with. I found thos on this guy’s blog.

This morning on CNN, the anchor lady was talking to the weatherman, and for some reason she showed him the cover of the New York Times, which has a picture of a mother weeping over the bodies of her dead children. The weatherman said, “Hmm, oh my. They probably couldn’t swim very well.”

I am sure he was taken off guard, but still, how moronic and insensitive.

The “stingy” US government’s aid contribution as of 12/29: $35 Million and 2 Naval Groups as well as “much more”.

Amount France has offered: about $135,000 US (although to be fair, some are reporting that it could be around $20 Mill US)

Amount Germany has offered: about $2.7 Million US

Amout Amazon users have donated as of 12/29 and 1:45 PST: $2.55 Million. $3.8 Million as of 1:00 am 12/30. $5.38 Mill as of 12:15 PM 12/30.

Scrappleface readers have also given over $3000, just from that site!

Stingy, indeed.

People from all over the world have been donating huge amounts of money. It has been a very heart warming thing to see. Government keep on adding on more funds and resources, people are giving of their time and money. That truly is the Christmas spirit.

This article shows that the American people have (as of 12/29) already donated $18 Million of their own funds. Well done.

Google has set up a page for relief help, check it out.

I have set up a page of satellite pictures from DigitalGlobe, check it out.

[UPDATE VIII: The original post and comments are no longer available. :( Sorry!]

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