It’s odd how serendipity strikes us sometimes. After ogling some gorgeous pieces of book-centric art not one week ago, the very cool website Lost At E Minor posted this amazing trailer for a documentary on origami, the ancient Japanese art of paper-folding. Between The Folds is available for instant streaming on Netflix at this very moment. Please to enjoy…
I tried to keep this post light-hearted, because I sense that we could all use that. But…I just can’t help myself, I have to share all the best information that I can get my grubby little hands on.
First and foremost, disaster relief efforts require an endless supply of money. The widely-known anime website Crunchyroll is offering to match every $1 dollar you donate via their website with $1 dollar of their own, so I strongly encourage you to donate here so your efforts count for twice as much.
In addition, I would like to offer the following links to reputable charities to help fund disaster relief efforts:
- The Japan Society
- The American Red Cross
- Global Giving
- Doctors Without Borders
- Mercy Corps
- The Salvation Army
- Save The Children
- Unicef USA — (I know this isn’t *technically* for Japan, but it’s an excellent charity for children nonetheless. It should be on your permanent giving radar.)
- Ali Express — Donate specific items necessary for disaster relief workers to do their jobs safely and help aid the victims they care for.
- World Vets — Helping rescue animals is a completely different ballgame than rescuing people. This organization is already on the ground in Japan. (See their Facebook pictures!) Their work is amazing. If you’re an animal softie like me, who cries at the ASPCA‘s commercial with Sarah McLachlan and has to immediately change the channel from the heartache, I highly encourage you to give a little to them. Click the image below to give!
- Japan Cat Network — In addition to World Vets, this another animal rescue charity that CNN is promoting!
One of my favorite sources for original gallery-quality artwork, 20 x 200, is selling these two gorgeous photos of Japan. The 8 x 10 inch sizes start at $20, with larger sizes costing more. All net proceeds will go to The Japan Society’s Earthquake Relief Fund, as mentioned in the list of reputable charities above.
And on an important note, because this is a book blog, after all… Author Richelle Mead is auctioning off autographed copies of her books through eBay’s Giving Works Program, with 100% of the money going to either Save The Children or the American Red Cross. Please consider bidding on what she has to offer.
According to publishing website GalleyCat, author Maureen Johnson has launched a ShelterBox charity campaign where any donation registered with her will enter you into a drawing to win all kinds of cool book swag like signed first editions by Neil Gaiman (aka @neilhimself on the Twitters)!!! Yeah… I’m amazed too! FYI, there are different donation links for the United Kingdom versus the rest of us in the world, so make sure you have the correct website. If you choose this venue to make a donation, please Tweet about it using the hashtags #TheLastLittleShelterBox or #NameOfTheShelterBox and follow @MaureenJohnson and @ShelterBoxUS. As of approximately 8 hours ago, they had raised over $6,000. Your generosity is just astounding to me. I’m such a grouch but at times like these, I can’t help but love humanity.
My favorite baseball team, the Boston Red Sox, has four Japanese pitchers on the squad. The Red Sox Foundation is currently working to help fundraising efforts for Japan. Please help out if you can, citizens of Red Sox Nation! Below, from left to right: Hideki Okajima, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Itsuki Shoda and Junichi Tazawa bow their heads during the moment of silence for the victims of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan during pregame ceremonies on Saturday March 12th before the spring training game between the Red Sox and Florida Marlins. Additionally, Okajima and Matsuzaka have filmed video messages in Japanese and English expressing support for the victims of the Japan earthquake and tsunami.
Or if it’s easier, you can use you phone addiction for good instead of evil by texting “REDCROSS” to 90999. A charge of $10 will be added to your next monthly wireless bill, with the proceeds going to fund the American Red Cross’ disaster relief efforts. Canadians can do this too, by texting “REDCROSS” to the number 30333 instead.
If you have a website or a blog that you run, Mashable has instructions on how to install a “Hello Bar” on your blog, so each new visitor is prompted to click on whatever link you choose. Using this resource for disaster relief efforts to help Japan right now would be awesome; You can always change the prompt to your favorite charity in the future.
How do you know that a charity is on the up-and-up? Consult Charity Navigator, Give Well, or the Better Business Bureau (BBB) in the United States before you whip out your credit card. Please report any disaster-related fraud to the Internet Crime Complaint Center online or by calling 1-866-720-5721.
(All of this info will have a permanent home over on my “Worthy Causes” page, so it will remain easily accessible if and when this blog post is replaced with more current content.)
Please help out if you can.
If you’re trying to get into contact with someone in Japan, Google has launched the 2011 Japan Earthquake Person Finder for just that purpose. Similarly, if you need help locating a friend or family member in Japan who is a US citizen, you can e-mail the US State Department at JapanEmergencyUSC@state.gov. They also encourage you to call 1-888-407-4747 or 1-202-501-4444 for current information on security or travel in Japan. Local Japanese resident Masafumi Matsumoto offers advice on his Posterous blog about dealing with this crisis for those of you who live in Japan but don’t speak Japanese.
If you’re in Tokyo right now and need a place to stay, the unbelievably generous Twitter user @yakuza5910 is offering a crash pad. For serious:
If you live in earthquake-prone areas, like the West Coast, I strongly encourage you to sign up for the United States Geological Survey’s (USGS) earthquake notification system, which generates an automatic e-mail to you any time there are rumblings in your area. Even the tiniest bit of warning could save a life, and since we all seem to live on the internet, especially we iPhone and BlackBerry (or should I say CrackBerry?) users, this little system might actually make a big impact for future disasters.
You can follow their @USGS main account on Twitter, as well as their dedicated account @USGSLive for live-Tweeting events like the current situation in Japan. They’re also on Facebook. If you’re a major geology nerd, check out their master list of USGS-affiliated Twitter accounts as well as their Flickr photo account, as they are relevant to your interests.
The National Oceanographic And Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) offers similar services in their field. They are available on Twitter @USNOAAGOV and on Facebook, with additional pages for the National Ocean Service and the US National Weather Service.
As I write this post, we’re waiting to hear if the nuclear reactor goes into meltdown. If you’re feeling super-nervous about the situation, please check out the Brave New Climate blog, which dispels fact versus fiction about the relevant nuclear issues.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has scores of web pages with directions on what to do in the event of an earthquake, what to do in the event of a tsunami, and what to do in the event of a nuclear power plant emergency. They’re also on Twitter under @FEMA and on Facebook.
Do you have a disaster preparedness kit? It’s important that you do, even if you’re not in an area prone to natural disasters like earthquakes, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, etc. Because just the electricity or phones going out for a few days, like we’ve had happen here in the North East due to snow storms, can become an emergency situation. Ready America offers a complete list in addition to being a generally great website for checking your emergency IQ. The website 72 Hours offers similar information, albeit in a slightly more friendly and accessible format.
It’s not technically #FollowFriday (aka #FF) anymore, but in addition to those organizations and individuals linked above, I strongly encourage you to follow these people on Twitter for up-to-the-minute information:
- @SexyGeologist — My real life friend Laura is a geologist. (And sexy, in case you question her username’s accuracy. She has a boyfriend just FYI.) But the information she’s been supplying is unmatched, to the point of her calling correct assessments before major news organizations get the chance to Tweet it! Seriously, I’m so glad she switched her account from private to public for this disaster. Being able to share her talent with you all is really the only positive thing to come out of all of this. Feel free to ask her any questions you have; I promise she’ll respond when she has the time. (As I write this, she finally took a break from Twitter to sleep.)
- @BassEngD — Matthew Bass is a fossil fuel engineering post-graduate student who really knows his stuff.
- @DennilFloss — Denis Fillion is a retired paleontologist.
- @ArcLight — An engineer with the best intel on nuclear power issues that I’ve seen anywhere in my Twitter feed. If you’re feeling panicky and overwhelmed, he’s the guy you want to explain it all.
- @GeorgeTakei — The famous from the original TV series “Star Trek” Japanese-American actor who survived the World War II internment camps. He’s been supplying awesome links the whole time this crisis has been going on. I admire his stamina, poise, and grace under fire. Plus also? In his spare time, he’s kind of a dirty old man. And I dig that.
- @BreakingNews and @Reuters — Self-explanatory!
- @Discovery_News — The Discovery Channel feed.
- TV’s @AndyLevy — For the righty side. He works for Fox News on the only program I tune in to their station for, “Red Eye.” Works as the show’s ombudsman and a generally good follow for news and comedy.
- @Maddow — For the lefty side.
- Cable news anchors @AnnCurry, @JakeTapper, and @AndersonCooper are also consistently reliable news sources.
- @ThinkProgress — I try not to go overboard on my personal politics here, but this is just necessary. Yesterday, the GOP just passed a 3-week spending bill that includes over $100 million dollars in cuts to the USGS and NOAA. No, I’m not kidding. This makes me feel all stabby inside.
Per one of my favorite architecture and interior design blogs, Apartment Therapy… Here’s a list of special earthquake hashtags for you Japanese speakers:
- General earthquake information: #Jishin
- Requests for rescue or other aid: #J_j_helpme
- Evacuation information: #Hinan
- Confirmation of safety of individuals, places, etc.: #Anpi
- Medical information for victims: #311care
As always… If you have a relevant link, please leave a comment to share it with the class!
(Last Updated: 3/17/2011.)