Japanese Earthquake

A devastating earthquake measuring 8.9 on the Richter Scale struck just off the north-east coast of Japan at 5.46am GMT today. There is back to back coverage of the disaster on all the news channels delivering some absolutely astonishing scenes that look like something lifted straight out of a movie. The initial earthquake triggered a tsunami with waters being reported to have reached 10 kilometres inland and much of the Pacific basin put on alert for further damage as the tsunami ripples out through the ocean. Luckily, so far, reports indicate that neighbouring countries have only experienced very minimal water surges with no damage.

Japan, by contrast, has suffered terribly. The city’s buildings are very well earthquake ‘proofed’ these days but with the addition of torrents of water sweeping through dragging everything in its path, the scenes of devastation are horrific. Out of the cities, it is likely that the death toll will be far higher where houses are not able to withstand the impact and are swept away by the waters. Initial reports say there is a death toll of between 200 to 300 but I expect that number will be far higher as the situation unfolds.

A ship is reported to have been swept away with 100 passengers onboard, a train is missing and the footage of an entire town in the north of Japan literally being swept away was just shown on the news. Side effects of the initial quake have caused immense fires with a nuclear power plant in a state of emergency as water coolants failed. A huge whirlpool was generated in the turbulent waters, throwing about a boat trapped in its wake.

This earthquake follows on from a smaller earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand just a few weeks prior. Todays Japanese earthquake is said to be 8000 times more powerful than New Zealand’s. The two countries lie on a very active ‘Ring of Fire’ zone of tectonic activity.

As this terrible disaster unfolds, with more aftershocks still causing damage (some measuring higher than that of the Christchurch earthquake) and the true horror of the rescue process yet to begin, my thoughts go out to the people of Japan and wish the country a swift recovery with minimal casualties from this earthquake, the most powerful ever recorded in the country’s history.

Sporcle

My friend introduced me to this website (Sporcle) and I have since become addicted to it. It’s a great website with hundreds of quizzes to keep your brain trained and agile.

If anything, I can confidently say I can name all the 50 US states in under six minutes. If that’s not useful, I don’t know what is!

Link [WARNING – You might well become addicted to knowledge!]

YouTube Time Machine

This great website allows you to travel through time with YouTube. Simply enter a year into the search box and you’ll be presented with a bunch of YouTube videos from that particular year.

Such a simple idea but a great historical aid to pop culture.

Link

Cute Hedgehogs

A gallery of Awww! Strange little animals but undeniably cute.

Link

Sarah Millican

Sarah Millican is an up and coming English stand-up comedian, who won Best Newcomer award at the 2008 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has appeared on several tours and television.

Prior to her first comedy gig at the age of 29, she had never set foot in a comedy club before. Her husband left her in 2004 after seven years of marriage, but on the flip side this left her with some hilarious material to draw upon. I think the reason why I find her so funny is the way she delivers her punch lines so sweetly in a slightly venomous way. Hope to see more of her in the future.

Live At The Apollo clip here, with plenty of other clips available on YouTube

WTF Kitty

This is an oldie and has been sitting in my favourites for a few months waiting for me to post it. It might be old but it still gives me a giggle every time I watch it.

Link

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