Just a bunch of random stuff

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Tinfoil hat competition entries at the Equinox Barbecue yesterday.  Hat themes, L-R top row: nuclear cooling tower by Rob; BSD daemon by Paul; WTF? by Masa hand modelled by me; Disaster Airlines by me; Turkish fez by Yasu. L-R bottom row: propeller beanie by Tracey modeled by Max; wonder woman by Sareh modeled by Tracey; meta-hat by Tod; Bohemia by Yuka; minimalism by Ashley; fashion and safety by Naomi.

  • The most useful thing I can do right now is to support my friends by bringing them together to talk and laugh.
  • The next most useful thing I can do is to remain calm and observant and open to change.
  • The third most useful thing I can do is to dig deep for sources of reliable and factual information and share information with people.
  • Following those three things, I must do what I can to help people up north. That is my special focus this week.
This week's power blackout schedule from TEPCO. My neighborhood's fortunate not to be assigned to one of the groups yet.

  • When researching for information, getting to the true source is critical; whether it's the source of a rumour, wind direction, your spinach, or a radiation leak. Without pinpointing sources, nothing makes any sense.
  • Events are fluid and change every day - body and survivor counts, supply chains, radiation levels, blackouts -  and no news source is perfectly up to date or accurate. There are lots of actions happening simultaneously. Some things just can't be analyzed immediately with precision. But recognising the guesstimates and speculation help to keep alarm to a minimum.
  • This crisis requires a lot of arithmetic. Converting from milliseiverts to microseiverts, calculating the per hour radiation dosing rates, comparing distances between here and there, figuring out your power consumption...get a calculator and make friends with it.
Here's a pretty pink flower that Sareh and I planted the other day.
  • A revelation I had a few days ago is that people make decisions based on four different systems: logic/head, instinct/gut, feeling/heart, faith/spirit. Personal experience also plays a role. All four systems are valid and most people use more than one at a time. Each personal recipe leads to a different decision even in the same circumstances. All decisions are valid. I may not agree with them. That's ok. Not everyone agrees with mine. That's also ok.
  • When I am tired, my body lurches a tiny bit and generate personal earthquakes. But real earthquakes are getting harder and harder to feel each day. The threat of a huge aftershock is fading, though it's not entirely gone yet. There's a nice article at the US Geographic Survey that explains earthquake clusters and the function of time.
  • Humour, especially black humour, seems to run in my crowd of friends. Thank goodness.
  • For me, it is important to observe and experience the world. I admitted to a friend yesterday that I feel some pleasure at being in Tokyo right now; it I think it is very cool to see how people and places are changing in response to the situation. The lack of complacency, the alertness, awareness and action people are taking is stimulating and refreshing.
  • Foreigners are getting  bad rap in Japan. I've had a few Japanese friends express surprise that I am still here; the perception is that every foreigner has bolted off to their homeland. And one or two more talk about how they feel about the people who left. Someone even asked me what I think ought to happen with the high-paid, high-powered foreign executives who left - should they be allowed to keep their jobs after they return? I had no answer.
  • Because of that, I'd like to get some credit for the foreigners who have satyed and are doing good works here. There are tons of non-Japanese who are organizing benefits, donation drives, going up into the stricken areas, or like me, trying to keep friends calm and misinformation to a minimum.
  • This morning I justified using the vacuum by having had 15 friends over for dinner last night. All of their lights and appliances must have been off while they were here so I was not using much in comparison. At the time I switched the vacuum on, I silently thanked everyone who was going to experience a blackout on my behalf today.

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