The 11 March 2011 tsunami at Kamaishi

The video footage linked below is particularly interesting because it is an unedited record of what happened at the fishing port of Kamaishi, towards the northern end of the east coast of Honshu, immediately after the earthquake. The film starts more or less directly after the shaking stopped; on the soundtrack you can hear people [...]

Seismological cartoons

For many years I’ve been collecting cartoons about earthquakes, mostly from newspapers. I have some that go back to the early 20th century. A lot of them are depressingly similar. Many are simply variations on “shaken but not stirred” or “did the earth move for you?”. It’s a refreshing change to find one that actually [...]

H.G. Wells on

We hear so much about “expert judgement” and “panels of experts” … here is what H.G. Wells has to say:

Now Newton, Darwin, Dalton, Davy, Joule, and Adam Smith did not affect this “expert” hankey-pankey, becoming enough in a hairdresser or a fashionable physician, but indecent in a philosopher or a man of science.

From “A Modern [...]

The Murder Room

Of the various tropes in detective fiction, one that I like in particular is the cold case – and the colder the better. Particularly if it is some incident in the past that casts a long shadow onto the present. It’s not too hard to imagine a case occurring 50 years that turns out to [...]