Wallpaper Monday

bamboo forest

With all of the disaster imagery filling the news, a classic bit of Japanese serenity seemed appropriate for today’s wallpaper. This was taken in a temple garden in Kyoto. (Click the image to download.)

Speaking of disaster imagery, a few notes:

The Australian Broadcast Corporation has a startling series of before and after satellite photos of various locations in Japan; the New York Times does as well. In addition, two hair-raising videos have surfaced: one taken from inside the Sendai Airport as all of the cars were washed away, and the other taken right at street level in the middle of a town.

The second one is phenomenal for its illustration of what makes tsunamis so dangerous: not necessarily the initial wave front, but the sheer volume of water behind it. Tsunami waves have vast periods, measured in tens of minutes (versus a few seconds for a normal wind-driven wave or ocean swell). Which means that while a normal wave will crash on the beach, run up the sand a few meters and then go back out, a tsunami wave’s runup will keep going, and going, and going. Many buildings that withstand the initial onslaught can’t keep it up for the entire duration of the surge — a fact that this video shows very well, starting at about the 4:25 mark.

UPDATE:Part of the second (street level) video has now appeared on YouTube, incorporated into a news segment. While it does not show as much of the full tsunami length as the original, what it does show is in a much larger and higher-quality format.


About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
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One Response to Wallpaper Monday

  1. Ana_ñ says:

    Thank you for the extensive and rigorous coverage of the catastrophe. It is horrible and seems to have no end. This second video certainly is hair-raising; all those sounds: the siren, the metallic voice of the alarm, the roar of the water. I think of the person who recorded it, their town, houses, cars (you talked about sang-froid!)… all destroyed.
    I take your posts as homage to Japanese people and I want to take the opportunity to send my thoughts and express my sympathy to them. I apologize because I am unable to express myself in English and my usual mistakes might be “less funny” in this situation.

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