Saturday, February 26, 2011

Christchurch Earthquake

I haven't said anything about this yet. There are so many geobloggers that know much more about the details of this event than I, and more about seismology generally, and who have been doing an excellent job of informing me and others of what happened and continues to unfold in the aftermath, that I haven't felt I had anything to add. However, while I have seen The Big Picture's photo spread linked in a number of places, I don't think I've seen anyone else link to Alan Taylor's new project, In Focus. There are two sets of photos from the quake there, Monday's Earthquake in New Zealand, and yesterday's New Zealand Earthquake: Search, Rescue and Repair.

Taylor created and edited the Boston Globe's Big Picture feature for about two years before leaving for this new project for The Atlantic about the end of last year. The Globe has decided to continue the Big Picture with its own photo editors, and I have been quite pleased to see no noticeable loss of quality without Taylor's leadership. However, I don't have the feeling that others have realized that In Focus has arrived as another regular source of extraordinarily fine photography- and Taylor has a track record of following breaking news in the earth sciences very well, and of recognizing the beauty of photos of the natural world when there is no other pressing news to cover. So if you're a fan of The Big Picture, consider this an alert for another site that you will almost certainly enjoy.

As I mentioned, there have been many, many posts in the geoblogosphere on this topic; not only would it be pretty dull for me to list all of them (both for me and for readers), but futile as well: more posts have been going up daily. I think the single best piece I've read- for me at least- was Dave Petley's "On the causes of the high levels of loss in the Christchurch earthquake." Last September's quake was significantly stronger than the recent one. Why, then, was the destruction and death toll so much higher for the weaker of the two quakes?

Finally, while I have no interest in trivializing this terrible disaster, I have seen this picture in a number of places. Yes, in a way, it's pretty funny. But in a deeper sense, I think it's a wonderful illustration of human resilience. It's an ill wind indeed that blows nobody some good. (Bits and Pieces)Best wishes to our Kiwi friends.


Blancmange, Living on the Ceiling:

Public Image, Ltd, Order of Death:

Divinyls, Science Fiction:

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Not At All

funny pictures history - "If you're happy and you know it, clap your hands!"
see more Historic LOL. This is in no way intended as a metaphor for the rich and powerful of the 21st century. They don't destroy infrastructure, crush the little people, wield overwhelming might, and ignore the reality that their behavior is ultimately self-destructive while enjoying every moment of the ride. And they don't breathe fire either.