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1 January 2011 On overcoming the "worse than worst" earthquake
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The March 11 earthquake hit Japan in many ways: from the trembling earth, the devastating tsunami, the damage to the nuclear power plants and the escape of harmful radiation to the environment, the loss of a substantial percentage of power in the nation, to economical and psychological impacts. The unexpected piled on the even less expected. No wonder major reports described the situation as “worse than worst.”

While the whole world is watching, sympathizing, and helping, there are many things to learn and to admire. We learned that safety measures must anticipate worse than worst. Advanced technology is still no match to nature, and highly sophisticated civilization does not guarantee freedom from disaster. In fact, a civilization sufficiently advanced to build many nuclear power plants is suffering from the same nuclear genies that have provided faithful services for decades.

On the other hand, we have great admiration of Japan, the nation, and her people. We saw a nation working hard, but orderly and calmly, to recover. We saw selfless heroes risking their lives to save others. These are examples of “better than best” from Japan. It takes “better than best” to overcome “worse than worst.” Let the whole world offer up their better than best to help Japan recover. Let the whole world be conscientious to the fragileness of this earth and treasure what Mother Nature has provided us. 010101_1_d1.jpg

Happy reading.

©(2011) Society of Photo-Optical Instrumentation Engineers (SPIE)
Burn J. Lin "On overcoming the "worse than worst" earthquake," Journal of Micro/Nanolithography, MEMS, and MOEMS 10(1), 010101 (1 January 2011).
Published: 1 January 2011

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