while i was struggling with a bout of caffeine-fueled insomnia last night (i read my kindle until 4:30), a magnitude 8.9 earthquake was rocking japan followed by a subsequent tsunami. i found out about it this morning when i turned on the tv and saw the breaking news. at the same time i was reading an e-mail from alex in tokyo describing what happened1 and it took me a few seconds to realize that the two things were connected. although the epicenter was 240+ miles northeast of tokyo, people in the japanese capital still felt it. what's amazing though isn't that upwards of a thousand people might be dead; it's the fact that millions more survived because japan has the best earthquake prevention measures in the world. still, the destruction seems unreal. the situation is still developing and the latest news is that 2 nuclear reactors might meltdown if they can't cool the radioactive reactor rods.

the most amazing video i saw online that i didn't see on any of the news broadcasts is one that somebody shot in shinjuku, tokyo. the skyscrapers are actually swaying and it's amazing none of them collapsed.

i watched the news on tv throughout the day but it was mostly rehashing the same videos. online updates were more immediate but short text blurbs weren't very satisfying.

my father came by in the late morning to drop off some spicy sichuan mapo tofu with rice for lunch and some meat buns later for dinner. the rain started last night and lasted until this afternoon. the sky was overcast but the temperature was surprisingly warm in the 50's. i went outside to help my neighbor renee reduce the snow pile in front of her house and to chat about her recent costa rican trip. she told me she saw a wild tapir in corcovado.

victor came home earlier than usual, at 5:30, while i was taking a shower. i noticed his bedroom light was on when i came out of the bathroom and he shouted some greetings.

1 stuff fell from his shelves and afterwards he went to the supermarket to raid the aisles of food and water.