tsunami propagation animation

March 11th, 2011 | Uncategorized

I haven’t been able to wrap my mind around scope of the earthquake/tsunami that hit Japan 16 hours ago. But this NOAA model helps.

62 Responses to “tsunami propagation animation”

  1. Alex K says:

    I lived there thirty-five years ago: Waiting for friends to report in now…

  2. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Alex K (#1), et alia

    Check out Google’s person finder service for the Japanese earthquake:


  3. hairball_of_hope says:

    (… continued info, ducking the >= 2 URL spam monster …)

    Also check out the Google resources page for the Japan earthquake and tsunami:


  4. Kate L says:

    This morning, I was awake at 3 am High Plains time in North America due to my back-induced insomnia, so I turned on the television to see what episode of what Law & Order show was on. That’s when I first learned of the Japan earthquake and tsunami. I never thought that current events would prove to be a continuing part of teaching intro. geology, but in my classes this morning and afternoon, it was.

  5. Alex K says:

    @2 / H_o_H: Thanks. No unhappy surprises so far, and several “Heiki – daizyoubu desu!” e-mails.

    All the YouTube newsclips with undubbed voiceovers… oh, I’m old, and I’ve forgotten so much. Sentence structure, no problem; but my vocabulary in Japanese is GONE. Another door swung closed.

  6. ksbel6 says:

    Wow, that is intense.

  7. Kate L says:

    Boron and iodine (my chemist father always pronounced the latter element “io-dean”) have been in the news lately, because of the nuclear reactors in the Japanese quake zone. Boron has the property of absorbing neutrons that might otherwise cause the uranium in the reactors to keep on splitting and generating heat that might, without the cooling systems in operation, burst the containment vessels. Introducing boron into the reactors “scrams” them, shutting the nuclear fission reactions down like the Patron Saint of the Environment waving her magic wand over the reactor core. Meanwhile, iodine tablets are being given out to the people nearest the reactors, in the event that the reactors do burst their containment vessels and release their radioactive contents. One of by-products of the fission of uranium is a radioactive form of iodine, otherwise an essential trace nutrient. To keep people’s metabolisms from ingesting any radioactive iodine, providing large amounts of non-radioactive iodine will prevent the body from wanting to take in any more.

    Jerry Seinfeld once joked about a NYC cab driver whose name plate included “the chemical symbol for boron”. Actually, the chemical symbol for boron is a capital “B”. Also, you’ve guessed it, Smallville has a functioning nucear reactor on campus, located even closer to my home than the replacement for the Plum Island biowarfare lab will be. One unusual feature of the Smallville reactor is that its reactor core is plainly visible to visitors at the bottom of its pool of cooling water, even when it is in operation. Verily, I have been to the top of the reactor, and I have seen its fissioning core! The uranium rods were surrounded by an eery blue glow, called Cherenkov radiation, caused by electrons given off by the energetic reactions starting out traveling faster than the speed of light in the water surrounding the reactor core. Light only attains its maximum velocity in the vacuum of space.

  8. Kate L says:

    I’ve just come back from the Smallville city commissioner candidate’s debate. One of the questions was about repeal of the recent addition of LGBT to the city human rights ordinance. With none of the current city commissioners running for re-election, we need at least two of the new commissioners to vote against repeal to keep LGBT as a protected class here in Smallville. One of the current candidates, the archtypical professor in tweed, was on the right side from the start. One of the remaining candidates surprised, when the local banker stood up and said that, originally, he would have voted for repeal. However, during the course of his campaign for city commission, so many local residents have told him about so many instances of discrimination against LGBT’s in Smallville that he now wants to keep the amended ordinance as it is. Did he say this to get votes? Unlkely. It may end up costing him votes.

    Meanwhile, the sinister Smallville religious right (owner-operator of at least two of the other Smallville city commission candidates) is moving ahead with its still-secret repeal petition. Stay tuned!

  9. Kate L says:

    Reuters is reporting a second “hydrogen explosion” at the earthquake-damaged Japenese nuclear reactors. In this case, the name refers to the fact that the great heat of the reactor cores actually split the molecules of cooling water into their component hydrogen and oxygen atoms. When the hydrogen and oxygen recombined into water in an energetic chemical reaction, the reactors (at least one, possibly two) blew up. But the hydrogen explosions themselves are chemical explosions, not hydrogen nuclear fusion explosions.

    Years ago, the Moo U student campus newspaper published a story on my father and his graduate students investigating hydrogen chemical bonding. The student reporter meant to write, “The hydrogen bonding by Dr. L and his students is known all over the country”. That sentence was actually published as, “The hydrogen bombing of Dr. L and his students is known all over the county”. I’d imagine that it would have been!

  10. Anna in Albuquerque says:

    NOAA is one of my favorite websites. Lots of cool stuff for us weather nerds.

  11. Kate L says:

    We received 4 inches of snow overnight, judging from the depth of snow on my carport roof, but it is melting, now. I can remember back in the early 60’s, when my brother Johnnie would collect snow from that very same carport roof to measure levels of radioactive fallout from open-air nuclear tests in Nevada, hundreds of miles to our west*. Some of our brothers dedicated themselves to their music in their youth. Mine measured radioactive fallout in the snow on our carport roof. It’s a funny old world!

    Oh, btw, the hydrogen gas explosions in the Japanese nuclear reactors were caused by vented hydrogen gas from the reactors, exploding the top of the building containing the reactors. This explains why the Japanese authorities are saying the reactor vessels themselves are still intact. I learned that this morning, when my clock radio started playing NPR news at the top of the hour. NPR got that story right when other news sources missed this critical info; NPR also was careful to call them hydrogen gas explosions. I’ll miss NPR, after the Republicans carry through on their threat to destroy it.

  12. NLC says:

    KateL#11: Concerning “science reporting” in the news:

    A friend who is planning a trip out west mentioned that the folks at Yellowstone are getting cancellations from visitors worried that last week’s earthquake might trigger an eruption in the Yellowstone super-volcano.

  13. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    AB thanks for posting the NOAA link. It is hard to imagine the breadth of such an event. I saw a story in the San Francisco papers about people surfing the tsunami. Any suggestions for places to donate?

  14. Ian says:

    @Therry: The Red Cross are accepting donations here in Britain. Might be worth checking the American Red Cross website?

    I love this blog – I always wondered what use iodine was in a fallout and now I know. I also knew that boron was involved but not why.

  15. Kate L says:

    You’re welcome, Ian! 🙂 I love this blog, too! The first lesbian community that I’ve ever belonged to! NLC (#12) No worries about Yellowstone… the aftershocks triggered by the Japan earthquake should be localized at the plate tectonic boundary just east of Japan, where part of the Pacific is subducting beneath Asia. Yellowstone actually is not at a plate tectonic boundary at all, being an exception to the rule that most earthquakes and volcanoes happen at plate tectonic boundaries. Instead, a rising column of very hot rocks called a mantle plume is beneath Yellowstone, and it has produced a series of volcanic calderas as the North American plate moves over it. The Yellowstone caldera is just the latest of the series. The Hawaiian Islands are also not near a plate tectonic boundary, and the islands are thought to have been produced by more gentle volcanic eruptions as the Pacific Plates has moved over another mantle plume. The Hawaiian mantle plume is beneath the Big Island of Hawaii, right now.

    Btw, my brother, Johnnie, reported on the radioactive fallout he found in the snow on our carport roof for a high school science fair project. There were big, upward spkes in fallout following every atmospheric test in Nevada. So, his behaviour was somewhat less idiosyncratic than it may have seemed at first glance. I should add, however, that Johnnie and our sister were not beyond being less than perfect siblings. In 1967, knowing that I was a fan of the original Star Trek, my brother and sister (both older than me) talked me into letting them put Vulcan-style make-up and cardboard pointed ears on me. They then threw me out the back door, and locked the door! Just as my father and a childhood friend of his drove into the driveway! I jumped off the back porch, and ran away. When my father introduced his friend to my brother and sister, our visitor asked my father, “Don’t you have another child?”. My sister laughed and said that I was hiding.

    That happened in 1967. I’ll let you know when I’m over the trauma!

  16. Andrew B says:

    This blog post from Felix Salmon makes a couple of interesting and to my mind telling points about donating money “for” the victims of the earthquake. Take a look and see what you think.

    I just previewed this and realized it looks exactly like a piece of spam, trying to direct readers to another web site based on vague expressions of approval! Well, if it goes in the trap Mentor will no doubt extract it soon enough. I don’t want to summarize Salmon’s points because they’re not too lengthy and I won’t improve on the expression.

  17. NLC says:

    Right; this was offered primarily for your amusement. I probably should have made it clearer that my reference to “science reporting” was dripping with irony.

    (Perhaps another way of viewing this is that an earthquake on the scale of the Japan event is a once-to-a-few times-per-century event. On the other hand it has been some 600,000 yrs since the last time the Yellowstone super-volcano erupted. There doesn’t seem to be any real sense of one triggering the other.

    Of course the real irony here is that the last[?] time Yellowstone blew it left six inches of ash in Texas. If it went again again, disruption of travel plan would be the least of these folks worries. (Although, probably not for very long…))

  18. Andrew B says:

    NLC, 17: “If it went again again” — now that is an effective use of redundancy.

  19. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Andrew B (#16)

    Salmon’s right about the money. His closing remarks about the inanity of “Socks for Japan” struck a resonant chord with me.

    Other equally stupid collections…

    Anyone remember the warehouses of human hair collected to somehow make oil-absorbing booms in the wake of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster?

    The mountains of bottled water and workboots collected for the World Trade Center rescue and recovery personnel?

    Around 1999, I recall Ernestine Schlant, wife of Democratic Presidential candidate Bill Bradley, being castigated for suggesting that packing up used clothes and other bulky items for (whatever the disaster du jour was, I forget now, perhaps it was the perennial Haiti?), was a waste of time and resources.

    A voice of common sense amid a crisis, and she was vilified for it. So great is our need to feel as if we are doing something that it matters not whether what we are doing is helpful. What seemingly matters is that whatever we are doing is making us feel better, or perhaps feel a bit less guilty for not having undergone whatever disaster befell others.

    Aid organizations and NGOs need money in a disaster, not piles of random stuff that require transportation, sortation, and logistics to distribute.

    Some aid organizations and NGOs use the latest disaster as a marketing tool to gather funds, and rarely have they been held to account for the funds being used as earmarked. That changed with the 9/11/01 attacks in the US; the American Red Cross solicited money specifically tied to the attacks and then used some of the money for their blood services program.

    Bill O’Reilly of Fox News made a stink about this in the ensuing years (it was always the practice at the ARC and other NGOs to use money as they saw fit, not as earmarked), and the ARC head resigned when O’Reilly grandstanded about this issue. I doubt O’Reilly would have made the stink had GOP stalwart Elizabeth Dole been heading up the ARC at the time (Dole headed the ARC from 1991-1999).

    It’s not as if the ARC blood services program is throwing money down the drain, or that folks who donated while motivated by 9/11/01 were asking for their money back. It was just another ratings ploy by the Faux News crew.

    Kudos to Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) for not accepting earmarked funds, and for explaining why they don’t accept them.

    On another note…

    I’ve been watching the financials since the earthquake/tsunami/nuclear meltdowns started, and I’ve noted how little markets and stocks outside Japan have been affected, beyond the predictable (GE, manufacturer of reactor #1, took a hit) and the moronic (Coach Leatherware took a 5% hit today, supposedly because Japanese won’t be buying leather handbags).

    There will be a big price tag on these disasters, and although a wealthy country such as Japan (the world’s #3 economy) will be streched to cover the losses, it didn’t really roil the markets.

    I suspect had these events occurred in China, markets would be reacting more strongly. Japan doesn’t really produce as many goods for export as China. Japan exports some high-end electronic components, but more typically they design them in Japan and produce them in lower-wage countries.

    No doubt actuaries somewhere are calculating the value of a Japanese life, for the inevitable insurance claims and lawsuits. The sad reality is that the values the actuaries calculate for lives depends upon the randomness of the universe as to where that person was born and lived, to what parentage, in which class/caste, and how much s/he could have earned had s/he lived.

    (… goes back to wondering what a life is worth …)

  20. hairball_of_hope says:

    I want to clarify one thing about donating STUFF vs. MONEY… sometimes STUFF is what’s needed, so long as the logistics aren’t tortuous.

    Case in point, Andi’s description of the Boulder Free Store set up in the aftermath of the Labor Day fire that took her home and those of 168 others:


    What makes this situation unique is that the logistics of transporting/storing/distributing the donated goods were not challenging, the items were not dumped in the middle of chaos, unbidden, with no thought as to how to distribute them.

    Most of what Andi describes in her experiences of giving, however, are donations of time and love. (I can’t link to additional posts, lest this end up in >= 2 URL spam limbo.) The cleaning crew that volunteered to clean her cottage. Friends and strangers who dropped off food. People who did and said the right things (hopefully in the equilibrium of the universe they counterbalanced the folks who said and did the wrong things).

    As I’ve read Andi’s posts and some of the stories of others who were affected by the fire, I realized that in group trauma such as an earthquake, a wildfire, a tsunami, a war, there is a different response and reaction than to an individual tragedy, such as a car accident, a crime, etc.

    The response and reaction from the community are different, and no doubt there are major differences for the victims as well.

    I’m not sure how to articulate this, I’m sure Andi would have the best perspective on this.

    I wonder how an unrelated tragedy on the other side of the planet affects folks like Andi who are so raw, so exhausted, and just trying to get their lives back together?

    (… goes back to wondering if PTSD ever ends …)

  21. Anna in Albuquerque says:

    A great link for more information on the earthquake – http://www.iris.edu/hq/retm. Animations and using it as a teachable moment.

  22. Kate L says:

    Anna in Albuquerque (#21) Thanks! I’ll be teaching about earthquakes in my Geology 100 classes in a few weeks, and as you were posting this link, I was searching for the the IRIS (Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology) cumulative moment magnitude chart of earthquakes between 1905 and 2005. I couldn’t remember the site name or the key words to bring up the chart… your link helped me find it easily. IRIS has already reported that the Japanese earthquake has just been upgraded to a magnitude 9.0 earthquake from its earlier 8.9 rating. However, their chart of the largest earthquakes of the past century will still need to be upgraded to include this newest sad addition

  23. Lurk-A-Lot says:

    @Andrew B #16

    Thanks for the article.

    Some of the points he covers had already occurred to me, ie: Japan is wealthy, so money isn’t the primary issue; anyway, how would money pouring in be put to use? And, wouldn’t it be better to donate to MSF, and The Red Cross – groups which can use the financial support to fund the necessary people power that would be of use?

    One thing that I had not thought of is how earmarking funds “hobbles” relief agencies from helping poverty stricken areas with ongoing problems.

  24. Alex K says:

    We have offered to write letters of guaranty (“We vouch that the person to whom we open our house will not become a burden upon the United Kingdom”) for Japanese who, our friends say, are afraid, desperately afraid, and want to leave — not just to re-locate from Tokyo to Hokkaido, Nagoya, Fukuoka, but to be away from Japan, where the power blanks out and the houses tremble and no one can tell if the Government is lying about how much radiation is spilling into the air, the water, and there is no such thing, not any more, as a night’s untroubled sleep.

    Letters of guaranty might have secured visas for Europe’s Jews seventy years ago. Perhaps today they can convince a clerk at a British Embassy desk — transposed to the Osaka consulate, to be sure — to issue a few Japanese families their laissez-passer away from the fear that I imagine ruling there.

    We have a sofa that opens out, we are rich, we can share. But admitting that to ourselves is scary. Because it means, really, that we MUST share.

  25. Andi says:

    HoH, thank you for your insightful comments, and thanks to Alex for saying, “we MUST share.” It is one thing to philosophize about the effectiveness of time vs. money vs. stuff following a tragedy. What really matters is that we do SOMETHING. Send a dollar. Send a pair of socks. Open your home if you can. Even the smallest gift can be so precious.

    After my house burned down and I lost everything six months ago, I came back from a horrible hot day of digging through the rubble to find a meal that someone left on my porch. There was no note – to this day I don’t know who left it. It was beautifully arranged on a plastic tray, the kind you’d normally throw in the recycling without thinking. I was so touched I cried; such kindness from strangers. And I remember saying to my friend Sandy, “Look, I have a plastic tray!’ We found nothing in the rubble of the house, but I had a plastic tray. One of my few possessions.

    A few days ago I finally broke down and went to try to find some more clothes (when you have literally nothing and have to replace everything, shopping is an overwhelming task) and when the woman at Coldwater Creek learned I was a fire survivor, she took 25% off the order for me, without my asking. She wanted to help; she did what was in front of her.

    When I look at the pictures of earthquake and tsunami survivors, standing looking at the rubble of their homes, my first thought is still, “Oh God, they lost everything. I can’t imagine how they feel…” And then I realize I know exactly how they feel, I realize that that’s ME in that picture. My personal disaster is a small one compared to Japan, but as I say in my blog, this is not a Pain Contest. I will always be someone who has lost everything – twice, in fact. And I am continually amazed by the kindness, the generosity, the compulsion we have as humans to help each other.

    I agree with Alex. I lost everything, but I am rich. I can share. Hey, I have a plastic tray and a dollar. Who knows, that might help.

    Socks, money, emails of encouragement to folks in Japan – just do it. Do it now. You never know how important that small gift might be.

    And I don’t know if PTSD ever ends. We had another wildfire here in Boulder the other day, and as the smoke billowed up from the mountain, I thought, Oh My God, will this ever end? Is there no safe place in the world? And then I looked at my dog Nellie, who wagged and curled up in my lap with a deep sigh of contentment. For her there is no fire, no tragedy, just Now. Thank the stars for our furry little therapists.

    Thanks for listening, and thanks for all the kindness and love from the DTWOF community. I feel it every day.

  26. Joe Code says:

    This is an awesome video and by “awesome” I don’t mean wonderful; I mean something that inspires awe. In this case awe at the destructive power of mother nature:

    This Is the Scariest First-Person Video of the Japan Tsunami Yet

  27. Kate L says:

    Alex K (#24) I’ve been wondering myself if the other countries of the world may need to accept refugees from the continuing disaster in Japan. If it comes to that, we should. Both on humanitarian grounds, and because those countries that accept refugees have always been the better off for them being there. My own country, the United States, is example A in this regard.

  28. mustardandwine says:

    re andi @25

    A few years ago my dear friend was in a serious plane crash with her husband. The couple, to everyone’s incredible surprise and relief, survived. Of all the chaotic incidents around those first terrible weeks the one that stands out the most for me is the woman from the mobile phone company who, when told what had happened, put 2,000 free minutes on the account to cover all the extra phone calls from that month.

    It’s easy to think otherwise but really, people actually give a shit.

  29. Kate L says:

    And, speaking of a high-tech headline from the future, here is a relentlessly-upbeat Moo U press release about how the replacement for the Plum Island Biowarfare Facility (being built less than a mile from my home) will provide a one-of-a-kind opportunity for student researchers! I’ll bet.

  30. Kate L says:

    Anymore, they don’t even hide the fact that the new, local facility at Moo U will be the replacement for Plum Island.

  31. ksbel6 says:

    @26 The noise is always what gets me. The creaky and scraping of metal. Yuck.

  32. Ian says:

    @ksbel6(31): Actually, it’s the noise that really brought it home to me. While we were watching water wash across the land from a plane or helicopter it seemed too enormous, less real. When I watched the down-to-earth home videos of the water coming and coming and roaring and the scrapes and bangs of buildings being torn from foundations, and the constant clattering of breaking glass, it made it real for me.

  33. Renee S. says:

    My friend Toko posted this, saying, “Tiny but huge ‘journals’ from Japan. Please read if you have the time.”


  34. Kate L says:

    Joe Code (#26), All

    The three scariest parts of the video for me were (first) seeing the driver of the dark sedan at the start of the video recognize that they were in extreme danger, turning around and driving away off-screen. We don’t know the fate of the driver and any passengers in the sedan. Second was seeing the white microbus be carried along by the tsunami, and being able to see that there was a driver inside that vehicle, also. And, finally, just how the tsunami went on and On and ON.

  35. ksbel6 says:

    I so like this fella…
    ” Click and Clack must go!

  36. Feminista says:

    #36. Weiner has a great sense of humor,too rare in these kind of hearings. “And remember,don’t drive like my brother.”

  37. Kate L says:

    One-half of Click & Clack is a physicist! I’m surprised that Congressman Weiner didn’t mention this, too, because the Republicans really don’t trust science, given their opinion about evolution and global warming…

  38. Kate L says:

    I slept through the recent lunar eclipse, although the nighttime sky over metropolitan Smallville was totally clear, and provided a spectacular view (which I would have seen, had I just been awake). 27 years ago, I moved away from New Orleans just before a partial solar eclipse rolled over the Big Easy. I just assumed that on the appointed day, the clouds would be out in force over that humid, subtropical city. They were not. Tourists at the ’84 World’s Fair in New Orleans ooed and aawed at the sight of the eclipse on national television, as I watched from Smallville. And, last night, we received cold, cold, rain and lots of it during the “SuperMoon”, the closest full Moon to Earth since 1993. Maybe I’m not Janeway material, after all! Anybody catch the SuperMoon?

  39. hairball_of_hope says:

    @Kate L (#38)

    Yup, it was a beautiful clear night here in the Big Apple. I turned out the lights and let the silvery blueish moonlight stream in through the windows. Gorgeous. Should be more of the same tonight.

    (… goes back to singing…. “When the moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that’s amore” …)

  40. Kate L says:

    I revisited a Babylon 5 sound clip site for the first time this millenium (literally), in order to try to locate a clip or a quote from Ambassador Londo Mollari on the foolishness of fighting a war on three fronts at once. Doesn’t quite seem like science fiction, now! But I did find this totally unrelated exchange between Londo and his aide, Vir, that pretty much sums up my life, right now:

    Londo: “I feel like I am being nibbled to death by… what are those Earth creatures? They have long bills, feathers?”
    Vir: “Cats?”
    Londo: “Yes! Cats! I feel like I am being nibbled to death by cats!”

  41. Kate L says:

    Continuing to look inward to my own small life in Smallville: last night’s near-SuperMoon was mainly obscured by clouds, until it became completely obscured by clouds. Cats! Nibbling cats!

  42. Kate L says:

    Oh, celestial events and random weather, why must you mock me so? On the other hand, Sammy Hagar claims that he was abducted by aliens. No, not folks from Toronto. Space aliens! So, I’m better off than he was!

  43. ksbel6 says:

    Hey, be nice to folks from Toronto. That is my retirement destination. 11 more school years!

  44. Kate L says:

    ksbel6. I agree! Being taken away to Toronto would be cool! Bright lights, big city!

  45. Acilius says:

    Toronto is a wonderful place. For many reasons, most important of which is of course the Corktown Ukulele Jam:

  46. ksbel6 says:

    @Toronto: I have my fingers crossed for a teaching position at their GLBT high school.

  47. Kate L says:

    Take me to Toronto with you, ksbel6! 🙂

    Meanwhile, back at the Melody Ranch, I was just reading the Sunday edition of the Smallville Clarion-Ledger at the local public library. OK, the newspaper is actually called the Manhattan Mercury, but’s that’s almost as funny a name. Anyway, my point (and I do have one) is that the newspaper ran a story by the Associated Press out of Topeka that carried the headline, “Legislature Drafts Plan to Lure People to Kansas”. Don’t listen to them, people! It’s a trap!! Soylent green is people! ! ! Well, maybe that last part isn’t accurate, but you get the idea.

  48. hairball_of_hope says:

    Elizabeth Taylor has died.

    In the dark early days of the AIDS epidemic, she rose above the noxious fray and brought light, money, and attention to the disease, those living with and dying of it, and to the researchers who investigated it.

    Every movement has insiders and outsiders, radicals on the outside and those who provoke change from within. All are necessary for social and justice change. The internecine battles between them are used by the opposition to divide and conquer them. Elizabeth Taylor figured out how to turn the tables on the opposition, and succeeded.

    Taylor used her inside position to directly lobby the GOP and Reaganistas for attention and money on AIDS, and exploited her media magnetism to raise funds and attention for the American Foundation for AIDS Research (which she helped found). She never wavered in her support and dedication to the cause, long after the ubiquitous AIDS red ribbons made way for the blizzard of colored ribbon causes-du-jour.

    Peace to her and her family.

    (… says goodnight to violet eyes …)

  49. Kate L says:

    Republican Michigan Governor Rick Snyder is set to sign a bill that will allow him to declare a state of economic emergency, dissolve elected local city governments in Michigan and replace them with appointed managers to be appointed by Governor Rick Snyder. These emergency managers would be empowered to sell municipal assets, including public schools and water works. Opponents have threatened to sue Governor Snyder over the section of the federal Constitution that “guarantees to the People of the Several States a republican form of government”. So far, the only person in the 235-year-history of the United States to be successfully sued under this part of the U.S. Constitution was Snyder’s colleague, fellow Republican (and former U.S. Senator), Governor Sam Brownback of Kansas. In 1986, Brownback became secretary of agriculture here in his home state of Kansas. Brownback was neither appointed by the governor or voted into ofice by the people of the state. Instead, the state constitution called upon private industry to appoint the secretary. It is interesting that Republicans talk a good game about popular rule, until they see some gain by avoiding it.

  50. Renee S. says:

    @Kate L. Re: Snyder. He signed it on March 16th. Was at a huge protest on that day. My sign is in the middle–“We are people, not property!”


  51. Kate L says:

    Renee S (#50) I’m so sorry to hear that it has already become law. My only question now is, will this be a “permanent state of emergency”, like in all those third-world dictatorships?

  52. ksbel6 says:

    This is some fun news for Douglas Adams fans!

    Doctor Who by Douglas Adams

  53. Kate L says:

    My two -no, three- favs: Doctor Who, Tom Baker’s verson of Doctor Who, and Douglas Adams! Well done, ksbel6, and “thanks for all the fish”*! 🙂

    * – According to Douglas Adams, this was the last message sent by the dolphins to humanity when the dolphins left Earth en masse. As the most intelligent species on Earth, the dolphins knew something we didn’t!

  54. Kate L says:

    Well, my four favs, counting Romana! She was a time lord from Galafrey, as well, and when Tom Baker left the show, reports are that he wanted the actress that played Romana to be the Fifth Doctor (Baker himself was the Fourth). The BBC didn’t go for no gender bending, unfortunately.

  55. bean says:

    off topic, but of interest to this blog:

    Paint and Pixel Festival
    Western New England’s finest comic artists book illustrators and cartoonists
    April 16
    Northampton, MA


  56. Kate L says:

    I just returned from advance voting for the April 5th Smallville city election. I voted for the two city commission candidates (you can vote for up to three) who have promised not to repeal the local human rights amendment as local right-wing churches are demanding the city commission do. On my way out of the county courthouse, I saw not one but two likely women geologists heading in to vote. They had determined looks on their beautiful faces! Stay tuned for election results!

  57. Dr. Empirical says:

    Great news everyone!

    I’ve been reunited with my Lesbian Crush!

    We were very close back in school days, but ended up in distant cities. I lost track of her a few years ago when we both changed jobs and email addresses at roughly the same time. Recently I was walking through a crowded big-city train station at rush hour and felt a hand at my elbow. We had time to exchange contact info and have a short chat before catching our trains. Since then, we’ve been catching up via email.

    Well into its second decade, my crush on her continues unabated.

  58. Kate L says:

    Oh, good for you, Dr. Empirical!

    I was watching that nice, young Dr. Maddow’s program on the television machine last night, when she mentioned that Vermont was instituting a single-payer, government-run helath care system. Although Republicans in the U.S. are always telling us that this is what led to the chaos, upheaval and zombie attacks in, say, Canada, I do believe that the hardy Vermontaineers will benefit from this! Also included was a clp of Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders encouraging the process of socialized machine onward. Senator Sanders looks very much like my late father, and, like Sanders, my late father would happily tell anyone who would listern that he hoped the U.S. would start a system of socialized medicine. This was a rather unusual thing for a father in 1960’s Kansas to be telling people. Anyway, whenever I see Senator Sanders talk about single-payer health care, I think, “Daddy!”.

  59. Alex K says:

    No one from Japan has asked for shelter — follow-up — at least to date. But the contacts with the Japanese Embassy have been… humbling. And affirming.

    We are no one special and we are offering nothing special: Do as ye would be done by. That’s all.

  60. Ginjoint says:

    So does she know about this crush, Dr. E?

    And Kate, if I didn’t love where I live so damn much (despite the cost & corruption), I’d move to Vermont. It seems the only sane state in the entire union.

  61. Dr. Empirical says:

    Ginjoint: She knows but doesn’t take it seriously. Neither do I, really.

    I get to her city once a year or so, and we usually have dinner. The days of road-tripping together, and sleeping in each others beds when one of us was too drunk to make it home, are long over. Besides, I think her girlfriend would object.

  62. Therry and St. Jerome says:

    Completely off topic, but does the fact that AB hasn’t posted for three weeks make anybody else think the deadline is past and she is scrambling? Book’s due out in June, you know. Tick tock!

    [AB will answer for herself as she feels appropriate of course. But while I’m certainly not privy to any “insider information”, I’ve sent AB a couple of admin-ish e-mails over the last month or so, and the sense I get it is that, yes, she has been very busy recently –and, it would appear quite productive (all of which I’ve taken as excellent news)…

    …but folks in Maine, CT, and eastern Mass who can’t wait may be interested in checking the “Events” link above for opportunities for AB-sighting around the middle of April. –Mentor]