raise awareness of brain-melting horror

The Original “Cthulhu Fhtagn” Wristband Of Rubbery Doom

So a friend of mine — ok he’s not really a friend, he’s one of the imaginary people who live in my computer — is selling these custom-made cthulhu wrist bands. I was pretty enamoured of the Livewrong bracelets but these are just too cool.

He’s kind of worried he ordered too many of them, and I promised him that all my blog readers would immediately run off and buy one if I posted about it. So there you go. Run off and buy one. Both of you.

prayer

My friend Marjorie passed along this prayer. I am neither religious nor Jewish, but still I found it moving.

A Prayer for Guidance and Understanding
Richard S. Moline and Rabbi Elyse R. Winick

Ba’al HaRahamim – God of Compassion:
Mikolot mayim rabim – Above the voice of vast waters;
Mishberei yam – The breakers of the sea;
Adir bamarom Adonai – Awesome is Adonai our God.
In the path of Katrina’s destruction, let the good in humanity rise to the top of the flood.
Give us strength to console those who have lost family, friends and neighbors.
Give us the courage to provide hope to those who despair.
Provide us with the guidance to heal those who ail, both in body and in spirit.

Hoshi’eini Elohim – Save us, O God;
Ki va’u mayim ad nafesh – for the waters have come into our souls.
Open our hearts so that we may support recovery efforts to the best of our abilities
Enable us to endure and to be steadfast in the weeks and months ahead, in the face of a tragedy whose scope is beyond our understanding.
We mourn for those whose lives have been lost. We pray for those whose lives have been shattered.

Mima’amakim k’ratikha Adonai – From the depths we call to you, O God;
Adonai shim’a b’koli – Hear our cry, heed our plea.

washed away

After spending the last few days glued to the news coverage of the hurricane I thought I couldn’t possibly have any words to express my emotions.

I find I have a bunch of words after all.

I was here in 1989 for the Loma Prieta earthquake. It was really bad. But we are an organized country, we have structures and organizations and government programs in place; an emergency happens and we fix it. We pull together. I was back to work in two days.

New York 9/11 was obviously much worse and much more horrific, but it was still the strong and proud United States I know. We are knocked down and we fix it. Unfortunately then some of us use the pretense to go off and start an illegitimate war, but in terms of our national emergencies: we have the means and the infrastructure and the will to recover. This is what patriotism means to me: its not anthems and flag-waving and chest-thumping and slogans. It’s taking care of each other when things get bad.

I am just stunned at how quickly everything has fallen apart in New Orleans, at how little organization there is and continues to be to keep the city from dissolving into an apocalyptic terror zone. I am watching the news and just shaking my head in shock. Of course the magnitude of this disaster is far larger than anything we’ve seen in years, if not ever. But where is the organization? Where are the leaders? Where is the quick and confident and assured response I’ve come to expect in the face of a crisis?

It seems after four days that finally things are beginning to move, that help is finally starting to arrive. Four days is much too long. Much, much too long. We knew this was potentially the mother of all storms on Sunday. We knew the levees were breaking on Monday. Why did the president remain on vacation? And why is it taking greater than a day to get congress back in session to vote on relief funds when they came back on a sunday in a single afternoon for Terri Schiavo? Where was FEMA? Why has it taken so long to get the national guard in in any great numbers and the active military in at all? Oh wait, I know the answer to that last one — all the guard and the military have been drawn off to that illegitimate war. Right.

In the meantime I have a friend in Canada who says thousands of Canadian reserves are LINED UP on their bases to come help and we are rejecting them. I am listening to the president saying that “no one could have anticipated the levees breaking” (well, except pretty much everyone, only YOU cut the funding to pay for that ILLEGITIMATE WAR) and the head of homeland security insisting that there has only been “isolated criminality,” even as reporter after reporter after reporter chokes back tears and talks about armed thugs roaming and looting and the people calling for help and the bodies just lying in the streets because there’s no one there to deal with them. People sick and starving and being forced to drink the flood water, even when they know the flood water is toxic.

This is not the America I know. This is not the America I am supposed to be living in. I am so ashamed for my country. So very ashamed and so very, very angry.

whoa

Really long and slow but very noticeable earthquake just now. big time wiggle. Looking it up….

Update: when an earthquake happens and you can’t find anything on the local USGS maps you start nervously looking at maps outside of the local area, because that means there was a big quake somewhere else. Sure enough: a 5.9 and a 5.0 immediately following it in Parkfield, which is east of Paso Robles on the coast a few hours south of here. Looks like they’re swarming with aftershocks now. Yikes, hope everyone is OK down there.

Update 2: Holy cow, they just keep coming. Eighteen earthquake sin the last fifteen minutes, nine greater than 3.0.

Update 3: WOW. Parkfield has been the center of seismic prediction research for ages now. The USGS had heavily instrumented the area hoping to catch the next earthquake there. Looks like they got it.