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[links] Link salad enjoys Orlando - Lakeshore — LiveJournal
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Jay Lake
Date: 2011-03-18 06:04
Subject: [links] Link salad enjoys Orlando
Security: Public
Tags:japan, language, links, personal, photos, politics, science
Icy moon and distant rings — A stunning closeup of Saturn's moon Enceladus.

An unusual shot of the XB-35

Japan Takes Extraordinary Measures to Cool Nuclear PlantU.S. officials also warn that the situation may be worse than official reports suggest. Lead shielded helicopters?

Pawlenty's linguistic "southern strategy"? — Uh huh.

?otD: Egrets or herons?



3/18/2011
Writing time yesterday: 2.0 hours (2,800 words on Sunspin, minor revisions)
Body movement: 50 minutes of meadow walking
Hours slept: 5.5 hours (solid)
Weight: n/a
Currently reading: A Bard's Eye View, ed. Michael A. Ventrella; Honeyed Words by J.A. Pitts

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Jim Hetley
User: jhetley
Date: 2011-03-18 13:07 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Herons.
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cathshaffer
User: cathshaffer
Date: 2011-03-18 13:41 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Don't you know that radiation can distort the very fabric of reality, turning a horrible nuclear disaster into a minor inconvenience?
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cathshaffer
User: cathshaffer
Date: 2011-03-18 13:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
And actually, I think that article is citing incorrect radiation info. It was reported that radiation levels were so high above the reactor that the lead-shielded helicopters could not hover, even for the 10 seconds or so it would take to dump the water in a straight line. That is why they took the sort of crop dusting approach that scattered the water over a wide area.
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Jay Lake: signs-hot
User: jaylake
Date: 2011-03-18 13:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:signs-hot
Not to mention that radiation apparently obscures the profound human costs of a major natural disaster...
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cathshaffer
User: cathshaffer
Date: 2011-03-18 13:45 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
What do you mean by that?
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Steve: Hal 9000 (2001)
User: anton_p_nym
Date: 2011-03-18 13:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Hal 9000 (2001)
Number of people known dead from the tsunami: 6900+
Number of people known dead from the radiation leak: 0

However, the press is too busy wanking to its own disaster porn and old copies of The China Syndrome to cover the real crisis.

-- Steve works for a health advisory service in Ontario, and has heard callers asking about iodine tablets here. Dammit, friggin' fearmongers...
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cathshaffer
User: cathshaffer
Date: 2011-03-18 14:31 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Hi, Steve. The top story on Google news right now is:

"Japan's death toll climbs to nearly 7000"

The second story is about the moment of silence held for victims of the earthquake/tsunami exactly one week ago. It's not until four stories down that there's an update about Fukushima.

The situation there is really pretty dire, and getting worse. Remember that the definition of "news" is not what's important, but "what's new?" It is not a lack of caring for people to be asking what is going on with the plant, or what new developments there are in the disaster response overall. There is no lack of care and concern for the victims of the disaster.

Also, iodine tablets are a good thing for everyone to have in their emergency/first aid kit. When they started handing out iodine tablets around Fukushima, I said to my husband, "You know, we really should keep those on hand," not because I am worried about radiation from that disaster, but because iodine is shelf-stable and we do live fairly close to a nuclear plant ourselves. It makes sense for people to stock their own iodine instead of waiting for the government to hand it out. I'm not going to run out and buy it now, because I don't want to be part of a run on iodine, but I've made a mental note to stock our emergency kit with iodine tablets for everybody.

I responded to Jay, below, about some of the social dynamics within Japan that are driving complaints that the media should not be covering the Fukushima crisis.
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Jay Lake
User: jaylake
Date: 2011-03-18 13:57 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
That our media is being very focused on the nuclear issues, beyond even the massive human cost of what's going on over there.

I understand why — the nuclear stuff has the potential to affect the western US directly and US power policy somewhat less directly, also it's an enormous emotional hot button. And as you keep pointing out (and I keep sending people to your excellent blogging on this topic), the reality isn't being very well reported.

At the same time, all the nuclear coverage seems to be obscuring what is otherwise a natural disaster of epic proportions.
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User: (Anonymous)
Date: 2011-03-18 14:21 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think the complaints that the media is ignoring the larger disaster in favor of something of less importance is a reflection of the information disconnect. You are seeing conflict between people who buy into one viewpoint or another. Among Japanese, the conflict is particularly intense. Japanese harshly criticized the majority of workers who were evacuated from the Fukushima site after the explosion at Reactor 2, saying they were cowards, not doing their duty, etc. One of them fired back in a blog post, defending herself and the other workers and describing how they didn't abandon the plant, even in the face of the tsunami, which they knew could mean certain death. She actually took the blog post down under fire from Japanese who continued to criticize her for leaving the plant when the situation was "not that bad." The idea that nobody is reporting the real story is part of that meme, and what's behind it is TEPCO's narrative that this is a relatively contained, minor incident of no consequence outside a 20 km radius. Speaking as someone who is not an expert on Japanese culture, it is my understanding that Japanese people are more likely to submit to authority than Westerners, and so there's a lot of pressure on those who are questioning the government and TEPCO. It's become a matter of national pride not to evacuate, and not to be worried about the "insignificant" radiation. I've seen some heartbreaking tweets, such as, "I really want to leave Tokyo, but I am Japanese."
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cathshaffer
User: cathshaffer
Date: 2011-03-18 14:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I think the complaints that the media is ignoring the larger disaster in favor of something of less importance is a reflection of the information disconnect. You are seeing conflict between people who buy into one viewpoint or another. Among Japanese, the conflict is particularly intense. Japanese harshly criticized the majority of workers who were evacuated from the Fukushima site after the explosion at Reactor 2, saying they were cowards, not doing their duty, etc. One of them fired back in a blog post, defending herself and the other workers and describing how they didn't abandon the plant, even in the face of the tsunami, which they knew could mean certain death. She actually took the blog post down under fire from Japanese who continued to criticize her for leaving the plant when the situation was "not that bad." The idea that nobody is reporting the real story is part of that meme, and what's behind it is TEPCO's narrative that this is a relatively contained, minor incident of no consequence outside a 20 km radius. Speaking as someone who is not an expert on Japanese culture, it is my understanding that Japanese people are more likely to submit to authority than Westerners, and so there's a lot of pressure on those who are questioning the government and TEPCO. It's become a matter of national pride not to evacuate, and not to be worried about the "insignificant" radiation. I've seen some heartbreaking tweets, such as, "I really want to leave Tokyo, but I am Japanese."
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