Saturday, March 26, 2011


QUAKE UPDATE Day 15

Apologies for the gap - missed a couple of days - but the girls came on Tuesday and...

It’s snowing here again, been colder for the past few days, during which time I have been laid low by a virus likely imported from the earthquake region where it was caught first in the chain by one of the twins, then by the other, then by Kaya, then by Kasumi and so to me last Wednesday.

Echo had it after me, but all of them had apparently had the virus in one form or another not too long ago, so their bodies were defeated it rather quickly; none of them were long or seriously affected; none embraced it as enthusiastically as I did.

I haven’t had “the flu” for as long as I can remember, so to this well-honed virus my body was a new continent to be thoroughly explored and colonized-- perhaps become the home of a new form of viral government... By midnight Wednesday I was fully embarked on embodying the potential of the virus in these regards, with little thought for myself, or what remained of that entity.  I can’t imagine having this virus under conditions that prevail in the earthquake region-- dodgy warmth, occasional water, occasional aid, not even at home...

Elderly woman in her lifelong home, in a remote region only just reached by the national guard and designated for complete evacuation, she refused to go, said she’d do better where she was, enough was enough, she wasn’t leaving; everyone else there had either already left, was being evacuated or had died in the quake; she’s still there, alone now...

As I hear the reactor news roil in day after day like wordsmoke, I keep being amazed that this is JAPAN, the country that, in one of the miracles of the modern age, transformed itself from a feudal backwater into a leading world nation in one generation, then went on, mesmerized by its power, to suffer compete devastation by war, then from below zero grew quickly to become the world’s second greatest economy, a marvel of technological prowess, by improving on what the rest of the world had been creating... Here was a country with a history of creative attention to detail, in which now three workers at Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant who were working in reactor no 3, the one that contains the MOX fuels, suffered radiation burns when the 15 cm(!) of water they were working in leaked into their boots BECAUSE THEIR BOOTS WERE TOO SHORT...

What happened to that ancient focus?

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I remember back as a kid in grade school when authorities around the world were enthralled with the A-bomb and everybody wanted one and continuous aboveground nuclear tests were an everyday occurrence (they didn't even call it 'above'ground, then; above was all there was) until a conscientious whistleblower somewhere found Strontium-90 in cow's milk and thence in the bones of children who in those years (as many still do) drank cow's milk, and who for the rest of their lives would presumably embody Strontium-90 to some unknown effect. I was born before the A-bomb and hated milk, so I was somewhat fortunate, but am likely nonetheless Strontium-90fied. Who isn't, these days?

Anyway, having been found out, the big boys took their play underground for the next 50 years, and finally back aboveground again as the benison of nuclear power, and so here comes Strontium-90 doing its thing once more, this time with a few new friends that the uberfolks probably knew about back then but didn’t mention (for our own good, as always): Cesium-137, Iodine-131 and their dark companion, Plutonium-239.

Becquerels on the broccoli, microSieverts in the milk, Curies on the cabbage-- they keep saying it's nothing to worry about again, and maybe they're right - we'll know for sure in seven generations or so, won't we - but why should we even be asking, let alone again? Anything wrong with this picture? Seems you just can't trust unprincipled humans with weapons, your health or your hard-earned money...


6 comments:

Kalei's Best Friend said...

No apologies needed... As far as the flu, zinc, hot lemon tea will help..and chicken soup... Stress doesn't help the immune system.. no wonder u aren't feeling good... I heard about the reactors leaking more than what was reported...As far as the old woman, I can't say I blame her wanting to stay..

Callie said...

Hope you are feeling better soon. I would rather stay at home too. And as far as large companies and governments... they cover their own interests first. I think the focus was retrained onto making money. Take care and be safe.

Cynthia Shearer said...

Glad you're all on the mend...this is a good time to be very kind to yourselves...

joared said...

Glad you're overcoming that virus. I, too, have been following U.S. news items of these latest REPORTED reactor developments -- leaves me wondering about much. Reports here are that many of the U.S. radiation measurement devices aren't recording properly, including two nearby one of our West Coast nuclear plants, Diablo.

Tabor said...

I am sure while your body was fighting the worry front the viruses came in with a rear attack. When we play around with this stuff, we really have no idea what we are doing, although most scientists pretend they have it all under control and most governments primary concern is preventing panic...not protecting our health.

vegetablej said...

_We_ know nuclear power isn't safe. Apparently _they_ don't care.

When, oh when, will governments invest in solar and wind power and save the billions for "clean-up" and cost in misery that they cause by playing with their lethal toys? Does anyone think of the fish and other life in that radiated air,land and sea?