(Update: typo fixed. :)) (Update 2: more typos fixed. I should probably do my blogging earlier in the evening.)
On the heels of mind-boggling recent world events, bizarre tornado warnings in the peninsula region south of SF over the weekend, and news that the geologist known chiefly for predicting the 1989 “World Series quake” – Jim Berkland – is now predicting that coastal California or Mexico will have a significant earthquake sometime this week… my good friend and occasional co-blogger abc41 emailed, half-joking, “do you suppose the Apocalypse is upon us?” I told her the thought had crossed my mind, leading me to wonder if I should write faster and try to finish my dissertation before the world ends, or just pack up and go on a long, lovely hike somewhere. The hike is definitely tempting. Then again, if this group (who shall remain nameless on my blog, lest it become a “hit” for someone searching for them on Google) is correct, I’ve at least got until May 21 to finish the dissertation. That’s not so very far from the June 1 deadline I set with my advisor. And if I’m not raptured, I can polish the text and schedule my oral defense for the first week of September, thus wrapping everything up during the “153 days of death and horror before the world ends on October 21.” On the other hand, if the world ends on October 21, my dissertation project – which treats the protection/preservation of other animals as a matter of justice – will be a moot point.
I shared with some other friends the not-surprising-news that trace amounts of radiation from the Japanese Fukushima Daiichi reactor had been detected in Sacramento. One wrote back dryly, “we can be assured that the radiation released is insignificant in comparison to any one of the hundreds of above ground nuclear tests between 1945 and 1962.” Then he provided a link to a stunning and very effective animation by Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto, plotting those above ground tests. Watch it.
At 4:30 a.m. PST, the day of the Sendai earthquake, my father phoned to tell us there was a tsunami headed our way and he didn’t want us to sleep through it. As it happened, we were having a stranger and more sleepless night than usual, and my Better Half had just gotten up to watch television and saw the news. We live high enough that the tsunami – had it made more than a ripple in San Francisco – would not have reached us. But it made us both say, for the third or fourth time since the Christchurch NZ earthquake at the end of February, “we have GOT to get our ‘earthquake kit‘ together!” Then I spotted that Jim Berkland prediction on one of my Twitter follows last night, and I decided to stop talking about it and go do it. I got in the car at 10 p.m., and went to the store for the supplies we know we should always have on hand. Here’s hoping Dr. Berklund is wrong, but if he isn’t – I’ve got us stocked up well enough that it’d be at least a week before we’d have to dip into the rain barrel for water or feed peanut butter sandwiches to the dogs and cats.
Now I think a little sweetness and light is in order, don’t you? In my web-wanderings last night, I came across this wonderful story about Codie Rae, a German Shepherd dumped at the Oakland animal shelter in 2006 with a badly infected leg and a note instructing that she be euthanized. Thankfully, they didn’t. Five years later, Codie Rae is an overachieving “tripod” who co-stars in a delightful new music video by Patrick Stump. Enjoy.