Thursday, December 30, 2004

The Incomprehensibility of So Much Death

In the wake of the horror of the tsunami disaster in Asia -- and a horror it is indeed, one in which in the wake of all our own problems which we've created, we're suddenly given a massive reminder that Mother Nature can slap us around any damn time she wants to -- I keep seeing a lot of comments about how so much death is inconceivable. And I guess it really is, but for a couple of visual ways to see it, try this. The death toll right now, as I write this, is held to be around 120,000 people.

Here's a picture of what appears to be a sold-out Madison Square Garden (approximately 20,000 people). And here's a picture of the Rose Bowl in Pasadena, CA, which has seated over 100,000 in the past (although apparently a recent reconfiguration of seating has reduced capacity to around 92,000).

Imagine every seat in both venues, filled. And then imagine every person filling those seats, wiped away by the surging waters of the Indian Ocean.

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