Only a few thoughts on Japan that have not been said better elsewhere.
- Japan is a wealthy high tech manufacturing nation. Is the best way to help the Japanese people to buy something manufactured in the north of Japan? A Canon camera? An Apple iPad with expensive Japanese made components? A Subaru? If Yellowstone burped, and Minnesota somehow survived, I might prefer Japanese people buy our goods rather than send donations.
- Our family offsite backup is located about five miles away. There's a nuclear reactor about 45 miles south of my home. I used to think our biggest regional risk was Yellowstone, and if that blew without warning I wouldn't need to worry about my backups. Fukushima makes me think the ideal offsite backup is in orbit.
- Several bloggers I trust say the best place to follow the Fukushima nuclear plant story is Wikipedia.
I'm surprised Japan's most recent disaster has not brought more attention to New Orleans. Six years after Katrina the non-flooded areas of New Orleans are estimated to exceed their pre-Katrina population. I was unable to find any persuasive discussions of the current state of New Orleans, and how its recovery has evolved. I have read that the region of Japan hardest hit by the tsunami was, like pre-Katrina New Orleans, relatively poor and elderly (though far less prone to looting than New Orleans). The Northeast of Japan may recover more like New Orleans than like Kobe.