Friday morning, I woke up to my mom telling me about an earthquake and tsunami in Japan. For earthquake and Japan to be put together in the same sentence, in a place this far away from Japan, and in a tone that expresses anything but daily news, I knew this wasn't one of those regular hiccups felt by the place. When I thought about the tsunami, I was most worried about my cousin's family, who were on a cruise to Mexico. I still haven't been able to get in touch with them, but I believe that's more due to the lack of a signal. For the last couple of days, I've been glued to the Earthquake or Nuclear Power channel of Google News. My dad's been reading out snippets from the news every once in a while. I almost have a feeling of deja vu, living through this all. How many movies have recently been released all featured on some kind of apocalypse? Moreover, have any of us forgotten Chernobyl?
There are two parts of me that have been battling it out since the possibility of radioactive leakage first surfaced. There's the part that's looking for a cleaner energy source, since the options we have now are definitely not green, and moreover, these sources are dwindling. Then there's the part that's worrying about what happened in Japan - which unfortunately is not a possibility I envisioned, and I feel terrible about that. It's probably easy to say that we shouldn't hook up nuclear plants in earthquake-prone areas. But on the whole, is it ever safe? Just how many people are going to support it now? I'm myself of a mixed opinion.
But what's confusing me the most is why a geologically active region has nuclear power plants? Japan frequently experiences earthquakes - but most are barely felt. Tad bit of overconfidence to go and plop not one but too many of them. Tucson Citizen has the below map up at their site. Click on it to see a larger version.
Many in the nuclear energy industry do not think this is a disaster. I hope they are right. I know Japan has taken all precautions and even considered what to do in the event of earthquakes. Still, I hope that the industry can find a safer and disaster-free method to harness nuclear power. I haven't given up on it, but I won't be supporting it until I'm satisfied that there's no chance of it exploding, like it did in Japan. A strong supporter recently complained that the opponents of nuclear power disregards every other tragic possibilities like exploding oil tanks, electrical fires, etc. I'm wondering if this supporter is so naive as to forget that effects of radioactive leakage persist for a long time and through generations -- in not-so-human ways.
On other matters, it's been a good week otherwise - I got loads of pending reviews out of the way, plenty of reading. Work's been somewhat hectic but with enough breathing space. My family and I visited one of my favorite places - Luray Caverns yesterday. I can't stop being amazed at staring at the underside of the earth's belly and wondering at how the structures look so perfect and intricate. My favorite is always the mirror pool (below) and the fried eggs.
So what's happening in the bookish world?