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Archive for March 11th, 2011

Friday recap

March 11, 2011 @ 15:21 By: gordon Category: General, Meta

So, it’s been another busy week – the culmination of several months effort at work on Wednesday and a number of blog entries, too. The weather in Ottawa still sucks, but at least it’s been raining rather than snowing the last couple of days. Can you imagine how much snow would have fallen if it had been just a bit colder? It probably wouldn’t have deterred the diehard winter cyclists who are sometimes on the roads when it’s really not safe for them to be, however.

Fortunately, the weather didn’t interfere with my seeing the Space Shuttle Discovery and the International Space Station Tuesday evening. I managed to take a couple of long exposure photographs and I even managed to catch the ISS in a video.

And, of course, the week ended with a massive earthquake in Japan. I took the afternoon off work because I’m waiting for a Bell technician, so I’ve had the tv on in the background. Most of the news channels have coverage of the devastation in Japan. CNN has had the same collection of footage running while various “experts” are talking about whatever they’re talking about. It makes me wonder sometimes if the hysteria surrounding natural disasters like this isn’t fuelled by the news outlets themselves. (Actually, I’m certain that it is a factor.) I wish the Japanese people well as they start their recovery. Two major earthquakes on the Ring of Fire in the last two or three weeks – hopefully the last for a while.

Looking ahead to the weekend: I’m curling on Saturday and looking forward to climbing on Sunday. And it looks like we’re done with the precipitation – at least until 3pm tomorrow afternoon:

TAF AMD CYOW 112014Z 1120/1218 VRB03KT P6SM FEW008 OVC030 TEMPO
1120/1208 OVC020
FM120800 23005KT P6SM OVC020 TEMPO 1208/1215 BKN030 PROB30
1209/1212 1/2SM FG VV001
FM121500 23010G20KT P6SM BKN030

Japan earthquake

March 11, 2011 @ 08:13 By: gordon Category: Current affairs

imageAs you’ve probably heard by now, Japan experienced a massive magnitude 8.9 earthquake a few hours ago, which has led to tsunami warnings and watches for the west coasts of North, Central and South America and the Hawaiian islands. The Pacific Tsunami Warning Centre is an excellent source of information about this. You can read the bulletin issued at 1431Z here.

Japan is unfortunately well-versed in dealing with massive earthquakes. Prior to this morning’s quake, the Kobe earthquake in January 1995 was the biggest one to hit in recent history, with a magnitude of 6.8 on the Richter scale. It resulted in more than 6,400 deaths and cost about ten trillion yen in damage, which was about 2.5% of Japan’s GDP at the time, or just over $100 billion US dollars.

This morning’s quake was about 100 times as powerful as the Kobe quake. And I just saw on Twitter that Japan was just hit by a 7m (23′) tsunami. The extent of the damage is staggering.

Google’s Person Finder service is up and running at http://japan.person-finder.appspot.com. Family members of Canadians in Japan can call DFAIT at 613-943-1055, or toll free within Canada at 1-800-387-3124, or visit http://www.voyage.gc.ca/contact/menu-eng.asp.