TOKYO (AP) -- Last Sunday was the six-month anniversary of the day the massive earthquake and tsunami devastated Japan's northeast coast.
Some 20,000 people are dead or missing. More than 800,000 homes were completely or partially destroyed. The disaster crippled businesses, roads and infrastructure. The Japanese Red Cross Society estimates that 400,000 people were displaced.
Half a year later, there are physical signs of progress.
Much of the debris has been cleared away or at least organized into big piles. In the port city of Kesennuma, many of the boats carried inland by the tsunami have been removed. Most evacuees have moved out of high school gyms and into temporary shelters or apartments.
Last week the Kyodo News agency distributed an amazing group of combination photographs showing three scenes. The first scene is right after the earthquake and tsunami hit, then three months later and finally, how the scene looks now.
Northcross A, Pillarisetti A, Smith KR. Modeling Personal Exposure to Fine Particulates and Carbon Monoxide from Cookstove Smoke in Rural Highlands of Guatemalan Mothers using Simple Low Cost Sensors. In Abstracts of the 21st Annual Meeting of The International Society of Exposure Science. Baltimore, MD: Oct 23-27 2011.
Steve Jobs is gone.
We're lucky to live during a period of vast technological transformation that has changed the ways in which we interact with the world and people around us. Much of this is directly due to the persistent vision of Steve.
I grew up surrounded by Apple products. In the beginning, there was an Apple II, on the floor of a sparsely furnished home in Florida. I was young and memories of this time are scant, but there are a few photos of me, diaper-clad, in front of the computer, surrounded by toys but fixated on the keyboard and screen. It began there, around 30 years ago. We moved, and I don't remember if that computer came with us. But I distinctly remember going to get the original Mac, waiting in the car with my mom while pops picked it up from the nearest retailer -- a few hours from home. My father's excitement was palpable, contrasting his usual even keel. I remember that machine, unlike anything in the house. Unlike anything else anywhere, period. The ImageWriter + the amazement at making a crude drawing and then being able to print it. Then, the upgrade to a "Fat Mac," with its awe-inducing 512KB of ram. My dad got a Mac II (color!) and a laser printer. I remember helping my dad unpack it and set it up on the kitchen table, a hulking beast of a machine. I began to explore fonts and type. I printed, learned, and reveled in a newfound ability to create. I was hooked.