My friend Aly and I first heard about the 9.0 earthquake and subsequent tsunami while having a glass of wine in a cafe in Paris on Friday March 11. The report was in French but we could tell immediately that what had happened was massive and completely horrifying. Aly, having spent a semester studying in Tokyo back in 2007, was especially upset. Not until getting back to the states have I really had a chance to see images of the destruction in Japan. I just can't even imagine.

I'm incredibly impressed with the lack of looting and violence occurring in the aftermath. I just read Zeitoun (by Dave Eggars) which is about New Orleans in the wake of Hurricane Katrina . . . and it makes me wonder what makes certain cultures react in the ways they do. New Orleans basically became a Third World country. National Guardsmen and local police treated the locals who stayed behind after the storm like hardened criminals, holding them in makeshift jails without being officially charged or given a phone call.

all photos via The Big Picture

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