Go Japan Go
Japan vs the tsunami, in the style of ukiyo-e. Evocative. My money’s on Japan.
(By Boulet, a French site that I seriously need to dig into.)
Japan’s other battle, with radiation, is as much about fear as danger. Part of the problem is that minute quantities are detectable and no one really understands radiation (and understandably fear it).
This Japanese video for children explains radiation better than many news sources. Nuclear Boy has a stomach ache and is farting – the worst case is if he poops & it leaks from his diaper.
And as for scale – our planet is radioactive. Bananas are radioactive. We are radioactive. But scale matters, and this radiation chart by XKCD puts things into perspective.
(Worth reading the small text — the bananaphone reference is classic.)
I didn’t realize that Sieverts were SI units and Rems were US units (i.e. litres vs gallons). I think a lot of the confusion comes from people not understanding the difference between microSieverts (harmless) and milliSieverts (something to start thinking about over a course of a year).
I squarely blame computers for this — it is way too hard to type µ on a PC (vs option-m on a Mac), which means too many non-Mac people abbreviate microSieverts and milliSieverts both as mSv, allowing all hell to break loose as 1oe-3 and 10e-6 is a big difference. For the PC reading audience, buy a Mac for the good of science and humanity. Here are some extras for you to use while you save up.
µ µ µ µ µ µ µ µ µ
(1 rem = 0.01 Sv = 10 mSv = two chest x-rays, for those wondering.)