Saturday, February 27, 2010

The Rumblings of Planet Earth

The Earth is once again giving us just a minor taste of how insignificant we tiny bags of biologic chemicals and mostly water are in the grand scheme of this planet's evolution.

The earthquake in Chile this morning, though one of the largest ever recorded at magnitude 8.8, didn't cause catastrophic loss of life anywhere near the scale seen in Haiti.  Which might seem odd to some, since the quake itself was 500 times more powerful than the one which ripped through Port Au Prince last month.  Chile is obviously a much more prosperous country than Haiti and its infrastructure has evolved specifically to deal with earthquakes and other natural disasters in mind, which helps limit the damage.  In many ways, Haiti and Chile are on opposite ends of the two extremes in this regard.  Another difference is that the epicenter was 22 miles underground, 70 miles from Concepcion and 200 miles from Santiago (it wasn't a direct strike on a large city).  Still, over a hundred are known dead so far and likely many more before it's said and done.  The direct strike was on the coast, resulting in a massive tsunami whose destruction is spreading far beyond the local region, threatening a good chunk of the pacific (warnings are in place as far away as Hawaii and Australia).  Good thoughts to our brothers and sisters in the southern hemisphere and pacific basin while they deal with this crisis.  

This is a good time to remind folks that the people in Haiti are still hurting and will be for a long, long time. Without any sort of lasting infrastructure to help them.  Please give if you can.  The global news cycle and associated throng of media have largely moved on to more recent events as is natural, but that doesn't mean things are all that much better here ...

Perhaps it's too soon for jokes but I've given fair warning that my humor trends toward the dark side.  When I first saw the news this morning on TV and they were showing damage in Santiago, I immediately thought of Something About Mary.  Specifically, the scene in which Pat Healy, pretending to be an architect, slings bullshit at Harvard educated and renowned  British architect Tucker, who he thinks is the real deal (but who later turns out to be a pizza delivery man named Norm from New Jersey).  Hint: neither of them have ever been to Chile.

Tucker: Really? Where would I have seen your work?
Pat Healy: Well, have you been to, uh well, let me see... Santiago, Chile?
Tucker: Twice last year. Which building's yours?
Pat Healy: Oh. Emm ... are you familiar with the soccer stadium?
Tucker: Did you build the Estadio Olimpico?!?
Pat Healy: No, just down the street the Celinto Catayente Towers. It's quite a fine example, in fact!  I recommend that next time you're up that way that you drop in and take a gander at it yourself.

Here's hoping the Celinto Catayente Towers is okay.

And in all seriousness, best wishes to all affected by this tragedy.   Give to the Red Cross, please.  For Chile, Haiti, and all those hurt by Mother Nature's wrath.   The Red Cross is pretty good at getting the cash to those who need it most.

"Talk" to you again maybe next weekend.  My flu's in the rear view mirror and it's time to tackle all things technology again for awhile.  If you're a masochist who finds something interesting on these pages, you can always visit my technology blog as it's more likely that I'll post there during the week.  Of course, I can't guarantee you'll like the subject matter much; often times, I don't either :-).