Thursday, March 31, 2011

New Blog!

I finally caved and decided it was worth a little extra work to start another blog, so I'd have somewhere to post my book reviews and literary criticism. The new blog, which I'm calling Lands Away will have my lit crit, recommendations and random bits of interesting trivia about writers. 

I've already posted my first lit crit on Eliot's "The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock", so if you're into poetry go check it out!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Update from Sendai

About a week ago, the situation with the power plant in Fukushima was looking pretty awful and I was faced with a very difficult decision. For those who don't know, a nuclear power plant in the Fukushima prefecture, located just to the south of mine, was damaged in the earthquake two weeks ago. There has been a great deal of concern since then about the possibility of a melt-down and the danger of radiation poisoning in the area around the plant.

One of the main problems was that the power at the plant was down, thus disabling the cooling systems for the reactors. Workers, assisted by the U.S. military, have been dumping sea water on it to cool it down. Last week however, it looked like there was a chance they may not be able to successfully cool the reactors. That news, in addition to many of my friends and family urging me to leave, led me to my decision to temporarily leave Sendai. 

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Sendai Earthquake, Part II

Read Part I here.

We drove to Michiko's sister's house to check on her family that night. The roads were a nightmare. None of the signals were working, there were no street lights and everyone was in a panic. No one was respecting the one car at a time rule at intersections.

What amazed me, after learning the magnitude of the quake, was that all of the buildings and houses were intact. Even the very old ones. The worst damage I saw was to large glass windows and to the traditional tile roofs on some houses. Otherwise everything was impressively intact.

Shattered windows at a fishing supply store in Sendai.
Incredibly, tile roofs were the only real structural damage to houses in Sendai.

Sendai Earthquake, Part I

Unless you live beneath a rock, I'm sure that you've heard about the recent earthquake in Sendai. News programs in countries all over the world have been playing a non-stop stream of disaster footage which has understandably caused a lot of fear and worry for those of us living in Sendai. However, the damage outside of the tsunami areas was pretty minimal. I think a lot of people are interested in what's been happening here recently, so here's my story of the earthquake and the past 6 days.

A coastal town near Sendai, hit by a tsunami