One of the highly pleasant side effects of publishing TidBITS for nearly 21 years is that it’s given us the opportunity to meet and work with many people around the world. The downside of that is that you worry about your friends in situations like the earthquake and associated tsunami that crashed against the eastern coast of northeastern Japan last week.
While many thousands of people remain unaccounted for, and the Japanese struggle to maintain their damaged nuclear reactors, we did receive one small bit of good news here. All the volunteers who translate TidBITS into Japanese each week survived the earthquake and tsunami unharmed, with most of them happening to live in parts of Japan that were largely unaffected. That said, it’s impossible not to worry about the thousands of TidBITS readers in Japan who we don’t know personally.
The toll on human lives, property, and the Japanese economy is incalculable, and the effort to recover and rebuild will be immense. You can get a sense of the damage and destruction from Boston.com’s Big Picture page of photos of the initial event and the aftermath, plus interactive before-and-after satellite photos published by the New York Times and video footage at BBC News.
Donations to relief efforts are extremely welcome; Google has a page linking to a number of the primary relief organizations working in Japan now.