18 March, 2011

Los Links 3/18

It's been a week.  Top story, of course, was the earthquake in Japan, and the still-unfolding disaster as nuclear power plants failed.

A great many geobloggers have presented excellent posts.  For links to a vast array of information, try Looking for Detachment and Outside the Interzone, where Silver Fox and Lockwood have collected a wide range of sources.  Mountain Beltway was on top of things from the very first morning, and Chris Rowan did one of his typical brilliant assessments, along with a post on the SciAm guest blog.  Evelyn at Georneys has a series of interviews with her dad, a nuclear engineer.  All excellent stuff.

Dan McShane posted a brilliant assessment of how the Japan earthquake should impact policy considerations for those of us in Cascadia.  I think this needs to be thrust into the hands of every politician, city planner, and - oh, fuck it, absolutely everyone in the region.

Rachael Acks at 4.5 Billion Years of Wonder had something very important to say in the aftermath:
There is no meaning to the Sendai earthquake. There is no capricious god, no vast karmic wheel. It is simply a thing that has happened, that we as humans must struggle against, and fight to overcome, and mourn those who have died afterward. Because there is nothing more to it - it's just the summation of physics and time - what we do is so very important. We have only this world, only this life, and only each other.

And the NYT asks if we "get" tsunamis yet.  Judging by the fact that so many people ran to the water to have a look at one in this country, I'd say the answer is probably no.  This is an important artiicle, and gets bonus points for quoting Gandalf.  No, really, I mean it.  Go have a look.

Finally, if you missed Callan's post on secondary effects, don't miss it now.

In non-earthquake-and-tsunami news, Rep. Ed Markey went off on a glorious rant about science and the GOP attacks thereon, which is a thing of beauty and should not be missed by anyone.  Also on the political front, read Steve Benen's very important post about power grabs.  There's so much happening you may know nothing about, and if you care about the future of democratic rule in this country, this is stuff you should know:

You might be thinking, "C'mon, that can't be right." I'm afraid it is. Michigan's new Republican governor is cutting funding to municipalities, and if they struggle financially as a consequence, he will have the power to simply take over those municipalities if he believes he should.

And once Snyder does take over these local governments, by virtue of his own whims, he can impose a local dictator -- called an "Emergency Manager" -- who will have the authority to undo collective bargaining agreements, scrap contracts, and even undo the results of elections.

And if that weren't quite enough, the local dictator, at the behest of the new Republican governor or a designated corporate ally, can even "disincorporate or dissolve" an entire municipal government -- effectively making a local government disappear -- without any input from the public whatsoever.

I'm completely serious.

He completely is.  And so is the situation.  Pay attention, people.

No graceful segue is possible from that, so I won't try.  Instead, enjoy the sensation of whiplash as I direct your attention to two posts for those interested in ebook publishing: Michael Stackpole's 9 Must-Have Clauses for Digital Rights Contracts and Joseph Esposito's The Terrible Price of Free.

I'm not sure about the science behind this article on the Large Hadron Collider, as I'm not very well-versed on particle physics, but it gets props from me for quoting one of the greatest Doctor Who lines ever.

And today, Mercury Messenger made it into orbit!  Two things: Lockwood 'splains it all and Callan linked to one of the most remarkable videos I've ever seen.  There's a little something uplifting for ye.

Right?  Right.  I probably missed a ton of stuff, but I'm still busy catching up on a great many lost years of Doctor Who fandom, which I'm back off to now, so adios for now.  Or (and only fans will really understand): Allons-y!


Cujo359 said...

Today I tried to explain what's so hard about dealing with a disaster like this one.

Cujo359 said...

ichigan's new Republican governor is cutting funding to municipalities, and if they struggle financially as a consequence, he will have the power to simply take over those municipalities if he believes he should.

Leave it to the GOP to cure a headache with a sledgehammer. This is the sort of thing you have to do when there's an insurrection or a huge natural disaster, not when some cities can't pay their bills.