Saturday, January 03, 2004

A couple of days we were visiting K's mother and sisters. "The radio is reporting that 100,000 people might be dead in the region," K told me.

"I was shaking for a whole day," his sister told me. "I could not sleep for two nights. It is just so bad."

"Now people are saying that it was God's way of punishing drug addicts," his sister said. I'm sure that is a great comfort to people who lost their entire families.

"That's crazy," I said. "I get so mad when people say things like that. If God wanted to punish drug addicts, why would he just strike them down? What kind of a God do people believe in?"

"That's exactly how I feel," K's sister said. "That's what I said when I heard this. What about the babies, the children—were they punished for drug addiction?"

Later we happened across some friends of K's family who opened a private event center. They had a huge, well-heated tent set up in the garden. "After Bam, everyone wants to be in the tent," K's friend said with a small laugh. That made good sense to me.

The thing is that everywhere you go, you see steel frame buildings being constructed with hollow bricks filling in the spaces between the frames. My first reaction when I saw this construction was that it would crumble in an earthquake. Bricks? California doesn't have bricks, and California has a lot of earthquakes. My Californian nephew was surprised and excited the first time he saw brick houses. He was about three, we were walking in my parents' neighborhood, and he turned to his mother and said, "Look blocks!"

I think an enterprising engineer could make a profit selling some kind of earthquake protective dome of some kind. I imagine some space-age, inexpensive, strong, & lightweight material that can be assembled inside a home. Families could make at least one room of their house a "safe room." Somebody please do it. Thanks.

Oh yeah. Happy New Year.

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