Tears for Japan

I wanted to take this post to express my deepest and most sincere horror at the Japan quake last Friday and its far-reaching aftermath. I have friends there and have thankfully heard from them and they are OK. I am still worried about the nuclear plants but that seems to be stabilized at least from the little I can find about it from over here. I am continually drawn back to the pictures and videos on the web and find it incredible that they are not coming from a bad apocalyptic movie like 2012 or something. I was supposed to be in Japan in 5 weeks and will of course postpone until the situation stabilizes there.

I have long been a big fan of Japan and have had the opportunity to go there for work 5 times. I explored Tokyo and once got as far as Kyoto on a weekend. It is an amazing country. I have read many classic Japanese authors and books (Genji, Nastume Soseki, Kobo Abe, and many others) and modern ones as well (Tanizaki, Haruki Murakami, Yukio Mishima, etc). Japanese history also fascinates me. I wish that I had studied (or had now the time to do so) and learn the written language and the spoken one as well but I think that it is a bit too late for that now. In any case, I find it a culture so deep and rich and yet strange and different. It is hard to not get swept away…

I have been in two minor earthquakes. Once in Taipei at 2PM, the epicenter was several hundred kilometers away but the building (we were on the 15th floor if I recall) swung a good 30 cm back and forth for about a minute. It took me a few seconds to realize really what was happening. And then as quickly as it started it was over. I believe it was a 5.2 or something. No damage in the city. The second one was at about 4am this time in Tokyo. I was woken from my 29th floor hotel room in Shinjuku by the fire alarm and felt a numb pounding. I learned that there are up-down kinds of quakes and side-to-side ones and this was of the former variety. It was relatively small (I think it was a 4.6 or something) and there was again no damage around. I also recall being in San Francisco about 18 months after the quake there that sandwiched the Oakland Freeway and destroyed the Embarcadero Freeway. But all of these pale in comparison to the disaster last Friday…

So, I’ll come back to the U2 vs Radiohead post tomorrow. For tonight, I wanted to observe a pseudo moment of silence as I send my hopes and (albeit atheist) prayers over to the land of the Rising Sun who have suffered so much, so many times and yet have always risen again. This time will be no different.

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About mfinocchiaro

IT Architecture Guru for large PLM software company but dabbling in Web 2.0 and other stuff.
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