The Day After

10 Years Ago Today, Recovery From
the Monster Tsunami Got Under Way

The day after Christmas, 2004, a giant wave came crashing on the beaches of 14 Asian countries, taking a quarter of a million lives with it, and leaving indelibly tragic memories on its wake. But the day after, survivors and volunteers from all over the world fought back.
Nothing will replace those gone with the receding waters, or their earthly possessions lost to the flooding. But tsunamis and tragedies do happen all the time. What not always survives is the courage to move on. And that was exactly what took place at those places and time.
There were worldwide ceremonies marking the first decade since the equivalent of a small city got wiped out of the face of the Earth. Neither those who perished will be forgotten, nor those left behind will ever get used to their absence. But they will light candles and carry on.
It helps that much of what was destroyed has since been rebuilt. Emotional wounds take long to turn into scars, but just like in Japan, reconstruction is truly remarkable. No one’s wasting time waiting for the next wave. And when it does come, they’ll beat it all over again.

More Than Nine Lives

World’s Oldest Cat
Is Not Slowing Down

You may remember a lot of what happened in 1972. While Abba played on, 100,000 people took the U.S. streets to protest the Vietnam war. It was the year of the infamous Sunday Bloody Sunday in Northern Ireland, and the birth of Bangladesh and Shaquille O’Neal. It was also the last time a man walked on the moon.
1972 is when Lucy was born too. The 39-year old from Wales is believed to be the world’s oldest cat. Despite being deaf, she’s still fit and sharp as a whip, according to her family who has researched her past and concluded that she was born on Thomas Street, Lianelli, all those years ago.
For those who give currency to that sort of thing, 39 years in the life of a cat correspond to some 172 human years. We don’t usually do too well when reaching old age, though, and most if not all of us, never even considered including rodents in our diet. But cats do.
She’s oblivious to all the fuss, which is just fine since some buzzkill from the Guinness Book of Records made a point of saying that it has no entry for oldest cat. Whether they create one just for Lucy is besides the point: mice and small creatures still won’t be seen around for as long as she keeps a daily patrol of her domains.

Drowning Nations

Global Warming May Claim
Its First Micronesian Nation

The 29 low-lying coral atolls in the Pacific Ocean that make up the Republic of the Marshall Islands have a history that goes back four thousand years. This Micronesian nation was named after an English captain, hosted U.S. WWII battles against the Japanese and nuclear tests, and was ruled by a succession of European powers. It finally became a self-governing country in 1979.
It’s now the first one risking to disappear for good, under the threat of rising sea levels. Its 60 thousand plus inhabitants are running against the clock so it can also be declared the first Continue reading