Cool Toys pics of the day: Tsunamis & Earthquakes

NOAA: Pacific Tsunami Warning Center:

Google App: Chile Person Finder:

Honolulu Adviser: Tsunami Cam:

Where to start? I took the morning off, and took a nap this afternoon,
and when I woke up … OMG! Massive earthquake in Chile, Tsunami waves
reported via Twitter throughout the Pacific, including Hawaii and
Southern California.

I found the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center, which mentioned additional
tsunami in China and Russia. Twitter was streaming information fast
and furious. Tweets were largely chaotic and confusing. There was no
consensus on what hashtags to use, or who were the groups or
organizations to follow for definitive reports. I did stumble on the
Google App for finding missing persons from the disaster, which was
based on the similar tool developed for use during the Haiti disaster.
I also saw reported the Honolulu webcam for watching the tsunami roll
in. I saw the sea ebb, boat scraping down, and then rise again.
Luckily there was no massive disaster there. Twitter did serve some
useful purposes, as evidenced by this Mashable report of a family locating missing relatives (a sister-in-law) through making Twitter contacts.

I couldn’t talk about just one of these. It was the aggregation of
existing online tools and communication mechanisms and the rapid
development and release of new online tools that made for the power of
“cool toys” today. Even three years ago the idea of watching a webcam
for breaking news during weather disasters would have been surprising.
Now we almost expect it. Data resources collected by teh government
lurk in the background until the moment of need, but now are vastly
more accessible and usable by the general public because of the
integration of data visualization displays with the underlying
collections of data.

This is just the beginning. We are just learning how to really
leverage the potential of the seamless online environments for the
well-being and benefit of all. I expect to see marvels of technology
and research that empower us in ways that would seem like telepathy or
magic to people of my grandparents’ or even my parents’ generation.
Still, we face the same challenges of every generation with new tech —
how to develop appropriate safeguards alongside of the benefits, how
to facilitate access to the tech in the right places and ways so it
is where it needs to be when it is needed. I am reminded of the
Buddhist Eight Fold Path, which seems today something to keep in mind as we are
confronted with opportunities and examples like today.

1. Right view
3. Right speech
4. Right action
5. Right livelihood
6. Right effort
7. Right mindfulness
8. Right concentration


One thought on “Cool Toys pics of the day: Tsunamis & Earthquakes

  1. Here’s the link about the webcams that I mentioned:Geographically organized webcams of the tsunami along Hawaii coastline using Google maps–

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