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Cool Toys pics of the day: Tsunamis & Earthquakes: Tsunami Cam | by rosefirerising
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Cool Toys pics of the day: Tsunamis & Earthquakes: Tsunami Cam

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

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Taken on February 27, 2010