Posts Tagged ‘earthquake’

There’s been a horrible earthquake and tsunami in Japan, and the areas where I lived, and where my friends and their families still (hopefully :( :( :( ) live were terribly affected. Many people are completely forgetting the tragedy and instead engaging in pathetic scaremongering and thoughtlessly spreading nuclear panic: those numbers you hear on the TV, they sound rather scary, but if you remember what they actually mean for you (if you’re in the US or EU or China or Russia: they mean nothing will happen to you, so kindly shut up), and what happens to many radioactive isotopes after a relatively short time

(do I really need to say this? This is primary school-lever physics, and I say it as someone who was never really interested in hard science, apart from the brief period when I was 12 and wanted to be nuclear physicist: nuclear: because it’s the coolest thing ever, and physicist: because my mum is too — but I digress)

you will realize that only people who are really in danger right now are those working at the Fukushima 1 power plant, for whose work and dedication everybody should be grateful, although concepts such as being grateful are hardly ever mentioned by Western media.

I wonder why.

Anyway, I’ll just quote from the banana equivalent dose article for those who are too lazy to read the links:

Many foods are naturally radioactive, and bananas are particularly so, due to the radioactive potassium-40, or 40K they contain. Bananas are radioactive enough to regularly cause false alarms on radiation sensors used to detect possible illegal smuggling of nuclear material at U.S. ports. A medium-sized banana contains about 450 mg of potassium. 40K makes up 0.0117% of this, or about 53 μg, which produces 14 radioactive decays per second (dps), or 0.37 nCi of radiation. If the banana is eaten, the dose equivalent is about 0.01 mrem, which is equivalent to 0.1 μSv (emphasis mine).

See? You’ve been eating radioactive stuff for ages and didn’t even know about it.

Anyway, have you seen this video? It’s a bit too late, because the situation in the power plant seems to be under control, I’ve just seen the NHK news, and they managed to get the wanter into reactor 3, and it seems they’re pretty optimistic, but anyway, this explanation is the easiest to understand there is:

Some people have said that it’s for Japanese children and USian adults, but this is not true: the video must have been made for the German government. If they watch it, perhaps they stop scaremongering.

Maybe.

But I wouldn’t get our hopes up.

***

Anyway: back to People and Their Priorities.

Imagine you’re in a town terribly affected by the tsunami. You see only ruins, ruins, and ruins; and you know that under the ruins there are dead people who didn’t manage to escape. The people who did manage to evacuate are now in a shelter, most likely they don’t have enough blankets and food, because the railways might have been destroyed, and there’s very little gasoline, and the help from the government hasn’t arrived yet. There are many old people, because younger people have mostly moved to bigger cities, leaving their parents and grandparents behind, in little villages on the seashore , old people  many of whom are quite ill, there is however very little medicine left, and the doctors haven’t arrived so far. It’s very cold and it’s snowing, but there’s very little oil for the stoves — and in any case, there’s only one stove — so the people in the shelter are only turning the stove on during the cold night*.

What do you do? You take some photos. Sensible:  people will be sorry and might donate some money for the victims:

Maybe one more:

So what do you do? I know!

SAVE A FISH.

I wish I was kidding:

Sorry, but if there are people who have no food and no warm clothes, and it’s snowing, and it’s cold, and three old ladies have to share one blanket, and there’s only one stove, I will so fucking judge if you go around saving ~*fish*~

So! Let’s do more than Tarah and Carisa, let’s  do more than just save a fish. Your money, which can be used for medicine and blankets and food, is needed:

International Red Cross

Medecins Sans Frontieres

A FB page with links to regional organizations in Japan that are operating in areas affected by the disaster right now, WITH ENGLISH INFO. It’s perhaps the quickest and most effective way to help: the organizations linked on that page are already there.

Every penny is needed!

Look

This girl is looking for her mum in the ruins of Kesennuma, a town that was destroyed by tsunami and a series of terrible fires. We can’t get her mum back, but we can make sure she’s got something to eat and a blanket.

Let’s do more than save a fish!

(Oh, and Tarah and Carisa? I’m normally vegetarian, but next time I’m eating out? I’ll happily munch a fish, thinking of you <3)

(Thanks to Palacsinta, who commented on my other blog, for the link <3)

* It really has been like that: I’ve been watching NHK all the time :(((

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By now everyone must have surely heard about the terrible earthquake on Haiti, a country that has been continuously affected by every disaster possible for many years.

1. The number of dead is estimated to be between 50 – 100 000, and the number of people affected might be as large as 3 ooo ooo.

Therefore, it is imperative that we donate  money!

Medicins sans frontieres (you can select your country from the drop-down menu to the left)

Red Cross (international site, and the donation form is here)

UNICEF (international) (Germany) (Poland) (USA)

Meanwhile, the penny-pinching manwhores from the government of my country, Poland, generously pledged to donate 50 000$. This is FIFTY THOUSAND DOLLARS. I’m not kidding.

As my friend said, half a cent per dead person, won’t even be enough for the obolus for Charon’s services.

When I go back for winter holidays, I pledge to eat the Prime Minister. I will then sell the footage of me eating the Prime Minister on Ebay, the proceeds will go to charity. DIE DIE DIE DIE DIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE.

Meanwhile, the Canadians sure must feel proud to be Canadian:

The Government of Canada will match the contributions of individual Canadians to eligible Canadian charitable organizations in support of humanitarian and recovery efforts in response to the earthquake in Haiti, up to a total of $50 million. The Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA) will allocate these funds to Canadian and international humanitarian and development organizations.

Yes. Yes. This is what everybody else  should be doing, too. Can I get a Canadian passport now? I’m a good law-abiding  investment citizen and will have two PhDs at some point!

2. Meanwhile, concerned Christians are showing the Christian love to the world by the means of, as usual, being complete, unabashed, inhuman, pathetic, self-centered fucking arseholes.

Exhibit one, Pat “Fucking arsehole” Robertson:

PAT ROBERTSON: And, you know, Kristi, something happened a long time ago in Haiti, and people might not want to talk about it. They were under the heel of the French. You know, Napoleon III and whatever. And they got together and swore a pact to the devil. They said, “We will serve you if you will get us free from the French.” True story. And so, the devil said, “OK, it’s a deal.”

And they kicked the French out. You know, the Haitians revolted and got themselves free. But ever since, they have been cursed by one thing after the other. Desperately poor. That island of Hispaniola is one island. It’s cut down the middle. On the one side is Haiti; on the other side is the Dominican Republic. Dominican Republic is prosperous, healthy, full of resorts, et cetera. Haiti is in desperate poverty. Same island. They need to have and we need to pray for them a great turning to God. And out of this tragedy, I’m optimistic something good may come. But right now, we’re helping the suffering people, and the suffering is unimaginable.

KRISTI WATTS (co-host): Absolutely, Pat.

Wow, the stupidity, inhumanity and uncannily hyaena-like behaviour are stupefying, which does not surprise me in the least. I mean, this is Pat Robertson? What did you expect? Pink teddy bears and roses?

Yeah, didn’t think so.

HOWEVER, what at least I didn’t know is that the “pact with the devil” thing is not something Le Fucking Arsehole made up on his own. No; it seems to be a spurious meme that has been circulating among Pentecostals for some time now, according to several sources:

1. Jean Gelin, a Haitian pastor.

For quite some time now, several articles on the Internet have mentioned the existence of an iron pig statue in Port-au-Prince as a monument to commemorate Haiti’s so-called pact with the devil through Vodou. The statue would be in remembrance of a pig that was killed during the gathering by the African slaves. In an effort to know more about that rumor, I contacted several authors about the exact location of the pig statue that’s incidentally nowhere to be found in the country. Their answer was complete silence, a simple apology, or just the removal of the reference from their texts.

2. Bartholomew’s Notes on Religion has several very interesting quotes as well as links to more resources:

This supposed pact has been obsessed over before by neo-Pentecostal Christians who regard spiritual causality as the directing force behind world events. In 2004, The Revealer noted the views of Terry W. Snow, country director of Youth with a Mission, who described the pact but also announced that it was at an end:

“2004 will be the official ending of the 200 year pact known as the Boukman Contract. (See below for more details.) Made by a slave named Boukman, who was considered to be a great witchdoctor, the contract surrendered the Haitian people to spiritual slavery through a voodoo ceremony, in exchange for their physical freedom. On the night of August 14, 1791 the sacrifice was made and the contract agreed to. However, it wouldn’t be until January 1, 1804 that Haiti was recognized as the first independent black nation in the world.”

(Also, another one of Bartholomew’s  entries in which he writes about a Pentecostal who believes that the Japanese (shintoistic) sun goddess Amaterasu is the Biblical harlot. Also, there are demonic influences.

I giggled while typing that. I guess Shinto must be the perfect opportunity for crackpots to emit drivel all over the memosphere. I mean, many parts of many rituals, including the ritual speech, are completely incomprehensible for modern scholars, not to mention modern Japanese. The opportunities for making up stuff are endless!)

3. Linked by Bartholomew is a fascinating, detailed post by Rachel Tabachnick which sheds some more light on the historical background of the entire legend. Unsurprisingly, there’s colonialism, racism, Christian asshattery and blood libel:

The Haitian revolution against their French masters put the “fear of God” into colonial empires around the world. It was believed that the rebellion could not have possibly been achieved by any other power than the devil himself. The myths were embellished by people like Sir Spencer St. John, a British consul to Haiti  who published the 1886 book The Black Republic. He claimed that “Vaudoux” practicing Haitians were cannibals who sacrificed children.  St. John’s writings were widely published to support the claim that Haitians were not capable of self-rule.  The characterization has since been used to justify “recolonizing” Haiti’s land and economy as a source of low wage labor, a struggle which continued for generations.

Gee, who would have thought? Also, more blood libel:

Following is an example of the propaganda used to promote Haiti’s National Day of Prayer in 1997, sponsored by “Vision Haiti.”

“Last week a baby was stolen from the hospital in St. Marc. The reason the child is to be sacrificed to appease the Voodoo gods for the so-called special day of celebration. There are generally two ways they sacrifice children. One is in a large grinding pot. They place the child in the pot and proceed to grind the child while still alive. The other way is even more demonic as they hang the child upside down by his feet and place a large bowl beneath him. The child hangs until dead as the body releases its fluids into the bowl. The bowl is then placed in the sun to dry. Afterward, the priest takes what is left of the young child and grinds the body into a powder to use for his Voodoo ceremony.Can you imagine?

This is the kind of satanic worship and bondage that has gripped the Haitian people for over 200 years.”

I’d like to say this surprises me, but no. Unfortunately not.

(Especially not after the blood libel urban legends spread about the Chinese by other fundie groups.)

This quote is particularly telling of the theist research standards:

In 2003 Jean-Bertrand Aristide, then president of Haiti,  recognized voodoo as an official state religion. Link to the BBC report. Subsequently Christianity Today published an October 2003 article reporting that this had created fears among some Christians concerned that Aristide might be planning to “renew the 200-year old pact with the devil.”  Christianity Today also repeated the infant abduction story although they stated that it was “unconfirmed.”

“Unconfirmed”. Awesome. But you know, they aren’t doing anything wrong! Just asking questions! Why wouldn’t they be allowed to just ask question? Think out loud? Wonder? The’re just conceeeerned!!!1111111

4. Finally, the Haiti ambassador in the US pwns Le Fucking Arsehole liek, totally:

“So, what pact the Haitians made with the devil has helped the United States become what it is (…)”

Oops. (Link goes to the delicious video, by the way.)

5. Also, the USian White House did something very right, too:

White House Says Haiti Statements by Robertson and Limbaugh Are “Really Stupid”

Yes, thank you for that.

6. And while we are at it, Le Fucking Dickwad, Rush Limbaugh, also was adamant about letting us know what his thoughts on yaoi Haiti are (I’m not linking to his website. Google it if you like):

“Would you trust that the money is going to go to Haiti?” Limbaugh said. “Would you trust that your name is going to end up on a mailing list for the Obama people to start asking you for campaign donations for him and other causes?”

Limbaugh added, “besides, we’ve already donated to Haiti.  It’s called the US income tax.”

Yeah riiiiiiight. Because you’re paying taxes so that the lazy foreign brown people can spend their lazy days not pulling themselves up by their bootstraps, while you work your arse off. Taxes, of course, have nothing at all to do with the existence of public schools, or public healthcare (oops, wrong country!), or, I dunno, public roads, maybe? No, of course not. All those things happen thanks to magic, wishful thinking and Jesus.

In that order.

In other words, die in a fire, Rush!

Also, I will now donate moar money out of spite.