Monday, December 27, 2004

COMING TO GRIPS WITH THE QUAKE. I suspect it will be another day or two before the full impact of the terrible earthquake in Malaysia becomes clear, although what we know already is bad enough.

The Star, which is based in Malaysia, has put up a photo gallery, but an interactive feature (click on "Asia's Deadly Waves") put together on the New York Times website - with photos from India, Thailand, and Sri Lanka - is more evocative.

Glenn Reynolds has links to some Malaysian bloggers. The most frightening observation - one that will become more apparent as the week wears on - is that millions of people have lost access to drinkable water.

The headline on right now is "Asia Quake Death Toll Tops 23,000." I think everyone understands that the number is going much, much higher than that.

"EATING HAM FOR UNCLE SAM." My former Phoenix colleague Seth Gitell, now press secretary to Boston mayor Tom Menino, has written a must-read essay for a website called NextBook on a trove of letters his grandfather wrote while fighting in Europe during World War II.

The letters, about 1,000 of them, somehow made their way to the Boston Athenaeum, shedding new light on the role of Jewish soldiers in the war - an underexamined subject, Gitell notes, despite the fact that such celebrated Jewish novelists as Norman Mailer and Joseph Heller wrote about it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

More evidence of the uselessness of local TV news: even 22 thousand people dying in a horrible disaster can't top an ordinary snowstorm in New England. Information seekers trying to depend on broadcast news had to put up with 15 minutes of shoveling before the real news could begin.