Getting back to normal

I’ve spent the past week and a bit in a stupor, trying to wrap my head around the triple-threat disaster unfolding in Japan. It’s grim stuff, the kind of thing that makes reasonably good backplot to any number of anime stories (seems like we’ve maybe been down this road before, no?), and the scale was just incomprehensible. There’s a not-insignificant part of me that wonders if the devastation here felt more surreal, and more awful, because of my connections to Japan and my love for the country; I’ve never been to, for instance, Haiti or New Zealand or Chile, so I can’t really comprehend the scale of the disaster that befell those countries. Nor could I really get a handle on the devastation following the Indonesian earthquake and subsequent tsunami — southeast Asia was too foreign for me. This might be something we could term “first-world disaster privilege,” as though we only really understand disasters when they happen to people who are sufficiently like us — but then, I don’t really get why the Christchurch earthquake didn’t inspire those feelings of dread and horror.

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Soundcheck Sunday

OK Go, “This Too Shall Pass”

Didn’t really like this song when I first heard it. (To be honest, didn’t really like OK Go the first time I heard them, either.) Saved — in a huge way — by the video which is simply tremendous and goofy and awesome all at the same time.

Huff and puff and blow

Environment Canada: Aieee, run for your life!

A significant and powerful Pacific low will track northwards just west of Vancouver Island during the day on Wednesday. Associated with the system will be very strong south to southeast winds. Southeast winds will strengthen overnight and peak just before noon Wednesday with south to southeast gusts in the range of 120 to 140 km/h on the west coast of Vancouver Island and all areas surrounding Northern Vancouver island. Further south and away from the low, Greater Victoria and metro Vancouver will experience southeast to southerly wind gusts up to 100 km/h.

The wind direction will rapidly shift to southwest in the afternoon as the low moves northwards into Hecate strait. Peak southwesterly wind gusts to 120 km/h will continue over areas surrounding Northern Vancouver island including the central coast. Further south a wind shift to southwesterly 60 to 80 km/h will occur as the associated front crosses Greater Victoria and metro Vancouver.

Winds will start to diminish late Wednesday afternoon over southern areas such as Greater Victoria and metro Vancouver while over the central coast and Northern Vancouver island winds will not diminish until Wednesday evening.

Meanwhile, strong outflow winds in combination with cold temperatures will continue to give wind chill values near minus 20 tonight over the north coast and inland regions of the central coast.

“Significant and powerful Pacific low,” eh? Low pressure my as–wait, what?

Oh. 970? That’s… pretty damn low, actually. Maybe we should take this seriously. Watch the METAR to see how low the altimeter gets!