March 17th, 2011
Recently saw the following vanity plates on my regular I-66 and I-495 commute.
- NY YNKEZ: Ok, we get it. Fine. I saw an SUV almost rear end this one. The SUV probably had Mets written on it. (I am just saying.)
- AQT B4U: Very nice. Although in this case, she was more to my side than really before me, but really nice.
- JNEFER: Nice and direct, but as I observed, Jennifer looked rather manly, complete with beard and moustache.
- MOCKBA: Very nice for “Moskva”, written in Cyrillic. You can check this out: New York Moskva
- BRE-SQRD: This I didn’t figure out, but second portion probably refers to squared. Any ideas?
March 17th, 2011
When Jean-Marie Colombani of Le Monde wrote on September 12, 2001: “We are all Americans now”, little did he know that as the tragedies go around, the world will follow his example and express solidarity with many nations, even if one by one. Year 2011 undoubtedly belongs to Japan. The extent of damage caused by the twin disasters of earthquake and tsunami surpassed most recorded natural disasters in Japan, since the 1923 Great Kantō earthquake. The earthquake of March 11, 2011 was more than 100 times stronger than the Great Hanshin earthquake of 1995 which killed more than 6400 people.
Perhaps one of the best ways to understand the tragedy is from the following picture from Sendai airport in northeastern Japan, which really looks like a playground, but as your eyes struggle to find a plastic bottle, an empty play-dough box or the shadow of a boy alongside the seemingly toy planes and the toy cars, you are forced to accept the harsh reality that in this case it is the playground of destruction.
As bard would have put it:
As flies to wanton boys are we to th’ gods,
They kill us for their sport.
Still, Japan has received a standing ovation of sorts from the entire world due to its handling of such a calamity. While in similar situation, riots could have broken out elsewhere, the steady media coverage of Japanese people calmly queuing up for basic resources such as water, gas and groceries is a pleasant change to observe. This attitude outlines decades of confidence in their society and is a clear signal that rejuvenation cannot be much further behind. The physical, emotional and economic recovery will not be easy or overnight, but it will surely be there, most likely in 2011 itself.
[PS: I do not know the image copyright, received it in email. Please let me know if you know who is the copyright holder.]