11 March 2011 @ 03:37 pm
Personal Entry No. 67  
I can't write for long, so please forgive me for being so brief:

An 8.9-magnitude earthquake hit Japan northeast of Tokyo this morning, and both a tsunami against the eastern coast and mass fire outbreaks have followed. This is worse than the Great Kanto Earthquake of 1923 -- even though the death toll is smaller at roughly 1,000.

The Asahi Shimbun is still reporting, so you can get local updates on the quake. Live comments can be found here; Al-Jazeera is running a live blog here. There's also a livestream from NHK available.

If you're looking for anyone you know in Japan, the Red Cross has opened up a directory; there's a Person Finder to look through, too. As for providing relief, so far I've read that ShelterBox is a good source to donate to -- it apparently provided a lot of help during the earthquake in New Zealand. The American Red Cross and Global Giving are also accepting donations.

Finally, if you're in Japan or in any of the areas affected by the tsunami: I'm praying for you, and I hope that you're safe and unharmed.
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15 November 2010 @ 08:10 pm
Personal Entry No. 61  
My Critical Language Scholarship application is finished and ready to be submitted, but I need to wait for my Russian professor to send in her letter of reference...before 11:59 P.M. PST. Needless to say, my stomach is churning. (ETA: My professor pulled through -- hurrah!)

More importantly: via [livejournal.com profile] la_vie_noire, the recent cholera outbreak in Haiti is growing more deadly, with the death toll now over 900. What's worse is that U.N. officers may have unwittingly carried this particular strain of the disease with them, but we still need to wait for confirmation of that (even though some desperate Haitians have not).

In other news, if you have any concerns about the Higgs boson, read this article on progress made at the CERN research center. I can't believe we might be able to definitively prove its existence in as little as a year!

And finally for something more pleasant, here's a meme that's been going around. I think I filled it out a little while after I first signed up for a LiveJournal account, so it'll be interesting to see how my answers for certain series have changed.

★ Reply with a fandom and I'll tell you the following:

▌ favorite character
▌ least favorite character
▌ prettiest character
▌ character I want to marry think is AWESOME
▌ favorite pairing
▌ favorite episode
▌ unpopular opinion

All that said, how is everyone doing?
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29 August 2010 @ 08:07 pm
Personal Entry No. 57  
Contrary to popular opinion, I am still alive. I am doing well. And I will tell you all about my time at the Russian School and other university-related things on Wednesday, since my Japanese lecture was canceled.

Fortunately, I was able to finally make a new header and layout for [livejournal.com profile] momoizumu, and have 92 icons ready for the next set. You can see a grainy preview of some of them below -- please tell me what you think!

Moving on to more important things: here are some links you've most likely seen already, but should be spread as much as possible: Aid for Pakistan via Azuire on Dreamwidth and [livejournal.com profile] help_pakistan, as well as [livejournal.com profile] la_vie_noire's own post on the Western press's fixation on death and suffering in Third World countries.

Also: if you're from the United States, or care about our political system, this article by George Packer on the dysfunction of the Senate is worth a read. Loosely connected to both the Senate and the recent leak of 76,000 military documents on the war in Afghanistan/"Operation Enduring Freedom" by Wikileaks is this piece from The Washington Post, the somewhat-tackily-named "Top Secret America". It details the U.S. government's massive intelligence and national security branches.

And I'm sure you all know that, following over three months of crude oil flowing freely into the Gulf and causing massive, still not fully measured, and possibly irrecoverable damage to the area's ecosystems, B.P. has finally succeeded in sealing the well responsible the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Or perhaps it hasn't.
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03 March 2010 @ 10:37 pm

[livejournal.com profile] help_chile functions very much like [livejournal.com profile] help_haiti, which will be holding another auction sometime in the future. The mods are looking for people who can translate the FAQ and Userinfo pages into languages other than English, Spanish, and French, and bidding is currently underway--please consider helping them out!

Also, please make threads on the meme below (unless you've decided to join the interesting community [livejournal.com profile] cloverbooks--thank you for the heads up, [livejournal.com profile] lavender88!). Quite a few people on my f-list are having problems, and...well, I fail at writing about personal things at length, especially in this journal. Just know that I appreciate all of you, and worry for all of you, even if I can't make the time to talk to you individually.




One last thing: that other meme is forthcoming. I can't do it tonight, unfortunately, since I need to finish my reading on Russian imperial expansion in the 18th and 19th centuries. Oh, how my eyes ache.
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28 February 2010 @ 02:18 pm
Personal Entry No. 43  
I can't focus on my work. This calls for shutting the laptop down and getting started on my Japanese drills--and possibly the Russian dialogue I have to memorize, which entails me being a helpless American who can't find her friend's house in Saint Petersburg.

It's interesting how the Голоса (Golosa, or "Voices") textbooks are structured: while our grammar studies proceed at a well-designed pace (the simple prepositional and accusative cases came before the more complex genitive plural, for example), it took us a while to learn how to say things necessary for every-day survival. We knew how to say "I study international relations and the Russian language" and "I saw an avant-garde artist at the bookstore" long before we knew how to say "I'm cold" or "Where is the hospital?". We just reached the imperative, so we can finally call for help!

Holy war is on the phone,/Asking to please stay on hold. )

I'll postpone the meme results until I get some more questions, so please consider taking a look at the post below!

More importantly, here's some more information on the recent 8.8-magnitude earthquake in Chile. The death count is in the hundreds, there are many more people wounded or displaced, and damage costs will be anywhere from 15 to 30 billion USD. Thank God the expected tsunami only left minor damage; I'm amazed that the shock of the quake was strong enough to send 2.5-foot waves to the Kuril Islands, well over 10,000 miles (over 16,700 km) away.

Quake, tsunamis kill more than 700 in Chile (Reuters)
"2 Million Displaced After Chile Quake" (The New York Times)
"Officials Breathe Sigh of Relief as Tsunami Passes" (The New York Times)
Photographs of the damage (BBC News)
Eyewitness accounts of the quake (BBC News)
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14 January 2010 @ 06:03 pm
Personal Entry No. 35  
I'm not skilled enough to write about what's going on in Haiti right now, but at least I can help direct other people to information and ways they can help.

A BBC report on the amount of aid that has been pledged and received thus far in Haiti, as well as current death counts. (The Red Cross estimates that 40,000 to 50,000 civilians died, and the UN has stated that 36 of its personnel are confirmed to be dead.) The homeless number in the tens of thousands. It's difficult to estimate how many people are trapped and still alive.

A New York Times article on how survivors are getting increasingly more tense about the slow arrival of aid.

Another BBC report on the situation on the ground in Port-au-Prince. Keep in mind that the article itself, not just the accompanying video, has some disturbing scenes.

Eyewitness accounts of the aftermath of the earthquake.

A short reflection on the international reaction to the Haiti earthquake.

ETA: More via [livejournal.com profile] la_vie_noire, whom I'm cribbing too much: "America's Debt to Haiti." Read her post for more, but be prepared for some rage-inducing history.

And, finally, here are some ways you can help. Note that if you're in the United States, you can donate $10 to the Red Cross by texting "HAITI" to 90999 and having the amount charged to your cell phone bill; the organization has managed to raise over $3 million through text messages alone.

Here on LJ, a fandom auction is being held at [livejournal.com profile] help_haiti to help raise money, and [livejournal.com profile] la_vie_noire linked to a more comprehensive list of trustworthy organizations. It's horrible to think of someone taking advantage of the situation and scamming would-be donators, especially in light of how many people are in dire need of help in Haiti, but it's all too real a possibility.

Also, here's a preview of something that's been long in coming. )
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01 October 2009 @ 09:40 pm
Personal Entry No. 21  
Above all else, take a look at this link: Relief for victims of Typhoon Ketsana/Ondoy. Thank you to [livejournal.com profile] baliwnababae for posting the original entry, and to [livejournal.com profile] asherfoxx for linking to it.

ETA: Read this article. It's not often that one reads about individual acts of heroism like that, and it's all the more honorable to me in part because of my current studies (i.e., atrocities committed by Allied and Japanese soldiers in Asia and the Pacific Theater).

The girl was singing in a church choir,/ About the weary abroad, far away... )

On a decidedly more minor note, I think I'll postpone writing about TRC until the epilogue is released next week.
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