This is the giant chunk of dock that was knocked loose over a year ago in Misawa, Japan during the tsunami that followed the Tohoku Earthquake, and was not seen by human eyes again until this week, when it arrived in Agate Beach, Oregon. It weighs one hundred and eighty tons and is sixty feet long, so it's kind of a miracle that nobody saw it on its slow journey across the Pacific, or even crashed into it.
But the most dangerous thing about it may actually be the stuff that was living on it.
Yes, there is more important news about President Barack Obama expressing his public support for marriage equality. But these are bras with ice in them. They are from Japan, and they were created in response to the shutdown of the country's nuclear reactors following the Fukushima catastrophe. This means that Japanese citizens are encouraged to avoid using air conditioners. Finally -- women will have a way to keep their breasts cool and nipples erect for days on end. Gentlemen, consider this a consolation prize while you sweat your balls off, because there is no such contraption for you ... yet.
Before you start worrying about this replica of Kaneda's bike from Akira having anything to do with the live-action remake, rest assured: this is not that. No. It's not. We swear. In fact, not only is the Akira remake still dead (as far as we know), but this replica, built by Shinji Tejima of Japan, was actually built for a great cause: fighting autism.
Reassuringly, this Neon Genesis Evangelion skinned site that displays all the relevant stats to Japan's current disaster related rolling black outs and electric power supply issues is not an official skin. That's probably for the best, because we're not really sure how useful a trio of sky-scraper sized, barely-restrained mad cyborgs would be in Japan at the moment. But it does seem like a useful, informative, and maybe even fun way to check out where there is and isn't electrical power. Good luck to everyone who's using it.
You might have heard about the so-called "super full moon" that is going to be occurring over the weekend (Saturday night) and that some are worried about its effects on the Earth's tides, considering the tsunami that hit Japan after the Sendai earthquake last week. But scientists assure us that there is no need to worry about what is going to be a lovely, rare display in the night sky. So, everyone, sit back and enjoy. Nothing to worry about. Except werewolves. If you think those are real.
Maybe you missed Tamtampamela this weekend. Maybe you didn't watch the vid. Maybe your Facebook wall didn't heysplode with people posting her video accompanied by various shocked disapprovals. So I'll explain. A copy of her original video can be found here, since the original has been taken down. In it she expresses amazement and thanks that a only a single day of Christian prayer at the beginning of Lent, in which she and her fellow worshippers asked god to open the eyes of atheists everywhere to the Christian gospel, resulted in the 9.0 quake that hit Japan this weekend. The video is more than three minutes long, but continues in that vein the whole way through: thanking god for causing a still unknown total of human deaths in an effort to change the minds of supposed sinners.
Here's the... good?... news. Tamtampamela was trolling.
Bleeding Cool has a collection of pieces being either sold or auctioned off by the artists, the proceeds for which will go towards aid for Japan, including the scarf featured above, designed by James Jean. Also joining the cause is James White, who is selling the "Help Japan" poster on his blog. (via Boing Boing)
Japanese Prime Minister Naoto Kan has called the Sendai earthquake the "most difficult crisis" for his country since World War II and says that he has faith that his country will have the strength to overcome this disaster. The official death toll still stands around 1,200 with another 1,000 reported missing and 1,700 injured. However, the badly-hit coastal town, Minami Sanriku, in Myagi Prefecture, cannot account for nearly 10,000 of its residents -- half its population. At the same time, the country is struggling to prevent a nuclear meltdown at its damaged power plants as well as a potential second explosion. (According to Noriyuki Shikata, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister, the situation at the Fukushima Denai power plant is "under control.") As of this writing, 160 people have been tested for radiation exposure which may have occurred while they were waiting to be evacuated.
Japanese officials have increased the earthquake's magnitude to 9.0 and they continue to feel strong aftershocks. And because of the sustained activity at the faults, there is a chance that another magnitude 7.0 earthquake could occur. More images from the aftermath after the jump.
At about 3:30 pm local time in Japan (about 1:30 am EST), an explosion occurred at the Fukushima Daini nuclear power plant, which is located about 155 miles northeast of Tokyo. Four workers were injured and 45,000 people in the area are being evacuated, however Japan Prime Minister Naoto Kan says the amount of radiation leaked is "tiny." He has declared a state of emergency at the power plant until they determine the risk of a meltdown and iodine -- which is used for radiation sickness -- may be distributed as a precaution. It should be noted that the explosion itself was not a nuclear blast, it was an explosion at the site. And while radiation levels initially rose, they have since fallen.
At 2:46 pm local time, a massive earthquake hit Japan, causing between 200 and 300 deaths and hundreds more reported missing (at the time of this writing). Thousands of residents are evacuating in the wake of the tsunami that followed, and coastal flooding has resulted in extensive damage to rice fields, homes, and entire towns. The quake itself sparked at least 80 fires, according to Japan's Kyodo News Service, and residents have felt 67 aftershocks with magnitudes as big as 7.1.
The epicenter was approximately 230 miles to the northeast of Tokyo. Japan is no stranger to earthquakes, but this 8.9 event is being called the biggest in 100 years. Waves from the tsunami have rocked the Pacific Ocean and reached the shores of Hawaii. They are expected to reach the west coast of the United States this morning but serious damage is not expected. Residents of California are not, however, advised to visit the shores today.
The Red Cross is now accepting donations for earthquake relief.
(Top pic via Business Insider, Story via CNN)