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.