Alexis Madrigal is a senior editor at The Atlantic, where he oversees the Technology Channel. He's the author of Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology. More
The New York Observer calls Madrigal "for all intents and purposes, the perfect modern reporter." He co-founded Longshot magazine, a high-speed media experiment that garnered attention from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and the BBC. While at Wired.com, he built Wired Science into one of the most popular blogs in the world. The site was nominated for best magazine blog by the MPA and best science Web site in the 2009 Webby Awards. He also co-founded Haiti ReWired, a groundbreaking community dedicated to the discussion of technology, infrastructure, and the future of Haiti.
He's spoken at Stanford, CalTech, Berkeley, SXSW, E3, and the National Renewable Energy Laboratory, and his writing was anthologized in Best Technology Writing 2010 (Yale University Press).
Madrigal is a visiting scholar at the University of California at Berkeley's Office for the History of Science and Technology. Born in Mexico City, he grew up in the exurbs north of Portland, Oregon, and now lives in Oakland.
In the first week of the energy special report, we've been talking a lot about the role of battery technology in the rollout of electric vehicles. I wanted to take a look at the infrastructural research underlying battery innovation in materials science. Materials science, previously known as metallurgy to Civilization fans, has been a marker and enabler of technological progress since the Bronze Age, but it's in a period of very rapid change. It's long been a bench science, where you try something out, see how it works, and then iterate as quickly as the physical world will allow it. Obviously, lots of fine work has been done this way, but researchers like Gerbrand Ceder at MIT are starting to do more and more research in silico. They can model and predict the behavior of materials with increasing accuracy, so they're conducting experiments with newly available computing power instead of with real world materials. It's not only faster, but their science will continue to get faster because its hooked to the exponential increases in processing power that have turned ENIAC into the iPad.
In the video below, I lay out the case for materials science.
Given the awesome correlating powers of today's stock trading computers, the idea may not be as far-fetched as you think.
A couple weeks ago, Huffington Post blogger Dan Mirvish noted a funny trend: when Anne Hathaway was in the news, Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway's shares went up. He pointed to six dates going back to 2008 to show the correlation. Mirvish then suggested a mechanism to explain the trend: "automated, robotic trading programming are picking up the same chatter on the Internet about 'Hathaway' as the IMDb's StarMeter, and they're applying it to the stock market."
The idea seems ridiculous. But the more I thought about the strange behavior of algorithmic trading systems and the news that Twitter sentiment analysis could be used by stock market analysts and the fact that many computer programs are simply looking for tradeable correlations, I really started to wonder if Mirvish's theory was plausible.
I called up John Bates, a former Cambridge computer scientist whose company Progress Software works with hedge funds and others to help them find new algorithmic strategies. I asked, "Is this at all possible?" And I was surprised that he answered, roughly, "Maybe?"
"We come across all sorts of strange things in our line of business, strange correlations," Bates told me. "And I've had a lot of interest in this for a long time because it's really often the secret source for certain hedge funds."
Companies are trying to "correlate everything against everything," he explained, and if they find something that they think will work time and again, they'll try it out. The interesting, thing, though, is that it's all statistics, removed from the real world. It's not as if a hedge fund's computers would spit the trading strategy as a sentence: "When Hathway news increases, buy Berkshire Hathaway." In fact, traders won't always know why their algorithms are doing what they're doing. They just see that it's found some correlation and it's betting on Buffett's company.
Now, generally the correlations are between some statistical indicator and a stock or industry. "Let's say a new instrument comes to an exchange, you might suddenly notice that that an instrument moves in conjunction with the insurance sector," Bates posited. But it's thought that some hedge funds are testing strategies out to mine news and social media datasets for other types of correlations.
Does it happen a lot? Bates doesn't think so, but it's not out of the question. And, in any case, we're going to see a lot of strange trading strategies as hedge fund managers' computing resources grow ever more powerful and they are actually able to "correlate everything against everything." Oh, it's raining in Kazakhstan? Buy pork bellies in Brazil! And sell wheat in Kansas! Dump Apple stock! Why? Because the computer says that the 193 out of the last 240 times it rained in Kazakhstan, pork bellies in Brazil went up, and wheat prices and Apple shares went down.
It sounds crazy, sure, but they're the ones making 10 figures.
It hasn't even been 12 hours since the New York Times announced they're implementing a fairly complex paywall scheme, and already at least one workaround has sprung up.
The Times scheme allows readers 20 free stories per month before they have to pay. However, if you come in via Twitter or Facebook, reading the story doesn't count against your total.
So, cheapskates, meet @freenyt, a three-hour old Twitter feed that intends to tweet all the Times stories.
"The New York Times paywall begins March 28 http://nyti.ms/eIJC8z. But you can access articles for free if they're posted to Twitter..." messages posted to the account read. "Can you guess where they'll be posted? 'Information wants to be free' - Stewart Brand."
File this under The Files Will Get Out. And one figures the Times knows that efforts like @freenyt and others will inevitably circumvent the fence. So the real question may be, as Rolling Stone's Tim Dickinson tweeted, whether the paywall can serve as a guilt/annoyance prod for the Times' loyal readers, much like NPR pledge drives do.
Maybe we can even think of the Times paywall as akin to old-school shareware that didn't force you to upgrade but just hit you with a nag screen (a nagwall?).
(Quibble: Out of respect for Brand, it should be noted that his full assertion is much more nuanced than this truncation would suggest.)
Update 4:59pm: @freenyt has deleted the initial tweets quoted above.
Behold the largest wine store-and-pour system in existence, according to the Guinness Book of World Records. The massive winekeeper is located at Panorama Wine Bar in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. It works by pumping nitrogen gas into the bottles, displacing the oxygen that the bacteria that spoil wine after you uncork it need to grow. The bottles are also held at a constant temperature, which is good for keeping wine tasting fresh.
Though the system has been in use since the early 1990s, it was just last year that Guinness certified the Panorama system as the "Largest Winekeeper" in the world. I happened to end up at the place during a quick trip to Philly and couldn't help marveling at 120-wine bottles all hooked up to individual taps. Single-pour systems may have caught on first in Europe, but it took Americans to scale them up into something that somehow reminds me of an organ.
As for the wine that came out of the machine, it tasted good to me, but I have a decidedly low-to-middle-brow palette in these things.
When Internet Explorer 1 came out in 1995, Mark Zuckerberg was 11 years old, and Microsoft dominated the software world. Earlier this week, just 16 years later, the company released Internet Explorer 9, its most ambitious design revamp in a long time. In-between, the web came of age, bubbled and burst. Google was birthed. Facebook, Twitter and social media exploded. Broadband became ubiquitous among the wealthier classes. A lot has changed on and around the web.
So, go back in time with us, and take a look at the evolution of Microsoft's Internet Explorer.
"The first automobile race ever held in this country took place in Chicago on Thanksgiving Day, November 28, 1895. What a day! What a race! What a time!"
So begins Pedro Salom Jr.'s 1949 account of the competition between early automobiles. The first car race in America wasn't just a battle between individuals, but technologies too. Two teams had picked electricity as a motive source, four had chosen gasoline. So the racers were playing for their tech in addition to themselves.
The race itself was a mess. Nearly all of 100 participants who initially signed up had to pull out of the race due to mechanical difficulties and the heavy snow that blanketed Chicago a couple days before the competition. Only six cars made it to the starting line and only two finished. All of the cars had trouble. Frank Duryea, whose gasoline-powered car was the fastest, had such trouble with his igniter that he stopped at a tinsmith's shop and forged a new one! And, as Salom Jr relates, "All of the contestants had been about equally delayed by frightened horses, small boys throwing snowballs, and the need for getting out and laboriously pushing their vehicles through snow."
Salom Jr was not an idle observer of these events. His father had entered the Electrobat 2, an early electric vehicle, into the race. Though it went only 36 miles (by Salom's telling) and did not complete the race, it was awarded the highest prize, the gold medal, for being the "most practical from the standpoints of general utility, ease of control and adaptability to the various forms of work required of an automobile." I recounted the broader story of the Electrobat, and how it became the centerpiece of an audacious scheme to build an all-electric transportation system, in an excerpt from my book, Powering the Dream.
Salom's slim volume, scanned and reproduced below, is remarkably rare. It was self-published by the family, and I've never even seen reference to it in other works on the early automobile.
I got my hands on it through sheer luck and the goodwill of the Salom family. I posted a comment on some website (I'm not even sure which one) about the Electrobat and Salom -- and Mary Salom Lugones, Pedro Jr's great-granddaughter, sent me an email. Lugones had become interested in her great-great grandfather's electric vehicle work. She, in turn, connected me with her father, who sent me this wonderful 31-page book.
After lying dormant for a year, energy is back in the news. Oil prices are rising and there are new questions about nuclear reactors in the wake of the massive earthquake in Japan. And as always, the structural issues in energy remain: we're putting ever more CO2 into the air and we're dependent on foreign sources for oil.
The good news: there is no shortage of ideas about how to make our energy system cleaner and more resilient. Over the next three weeks, we'll be looking at three key technological areas that may shape our world over the coming decades: batteries for electric vehicles, new ways of harnessing nuclear power, and the battle within the environmental movement over large solar farms.
We've chosen an unusual way of getting at what the next decades may hold: we're looking at episodes from the past to help frame what might happen in the years ahead. There are two reasons for this. One, changing the biggest industrial system on earth takes time. If you want to know what's going to happen a decade out, it would behoove you to know how the system developed. Two, we have access to three exclusive excerpts from my book, Powering the Dream: The History and Promise of Green Technology, which comes out later this month.
Each week, I'll frame the discussion with an excerpt and a forward-looking question that arises from the history. Then, energy experts from different arenas will explore that topic, chewing over some of the biggest ideas out there.
This week, we'll be looking at electric vehicles and their source of power: the battery.
As it turns out, using batteries to run an electric motor that turns some wheels isn't difficult. It's actually a lot harder to use the controlled explosions of a gasoline-powered car than it is to use the current from a battery. Gasoline, after all, was something like liquid dynamite. So, as early automobile experimenters tinkered with powered vehicles, many looked to electricity. By the late 1890s, there were a variety of electric cars scooting around American cities. As you'll read in the chapter excerpt, the very first large-scale car concern, The Electric Vehicle Company, ran electric taxi cab service on the eastern seaboard. Their range was limited then, as now, by the amount of power that could be stored in their batteries. Some have seen the ultimate failure of the corporation as proof that battery-driven electric could never compete technologically with fossil fuel-based alternatives.
That's led many people to believe, as Thomas Edison did, that the dominant factor in the success of the electric car will be improving the battery. Throughout the 20th century, everyone knew that batteries needed to become lighter and to store more power. It would be nice, engineers figured, if the batteries could discharge their stored energy more quickly.
So, here we are 110 years after the first electric vehicles debuted, batteries have improved a lot. They're smaller and lighter and they pack more punch than the lead acid batteries of yesteryear. Cars like the Tesla Roadster, Chevy Volt, and Nissan Leaf provide similar performance to gasoline-powered cars. But many questions remain about the reliability and cost of the batteries.
Which brings us to our big topic for the week: Will creating better batteries determine the future of the electric vehicle? Are they already good enough? Are there ways to engineer around the physical limitations of electrical storage systems?
To answer this question, we've reached out to Shai Agassi, head of Project Better Place, Dave Vieau, CEO of battery maker A123 Systems, two battery scientists at the Department of Energy's Advanced Research Projects Agency, and David Kirsch, a leading historian of electric vehicles.
Dave Vieau, whose publicly traded company is considered one of the leaders in lithium-ion battery tech, leads us off with his take that "Batteries Are Ready to Replace Gas Tanks."
The world's energy system is nearly as complex as it is important. The ways we make light, heat and power practically define the material possibilities of our lives. Yet for all the ubiquity of energy, many of the processes that deliver us electricity, coal and petroleum are opaque. Some are difficult to understand; others are just so old that no one really remembers them.
Meanwhile, we're trying to reinvent our energy, largely with two goals in mind: one, to lower the energy inputs required for goods and services and two, to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide we create as a byproduct of making power.
The books included on this list will help you understand how we built our energy system -- and what it will take to overhaul it.
On August 31, 1894, two young men rolled their new electric car onto what passed for a road in Philadelphia. It would have been hot and sticky outside, a Friday at the end of a long summer that had seen an intense heat wave suffocate the city for most of July. Piles of manure would have dotted the stones.
As the two men began their slow ride, people must have stared. Horses must have balked. It was almost undoubtedly the only car in the city. Credit for the ﬁrst American electric vehicle is generally given to Boston's Philip W. Pratt for his lithe three hundred-pound tricycle, but this new vehicle was one of the very ﬁrst automobiles in the world. Even eleven years later, only ﬁve hundred cars were registered in the city.1 Pedro Salom, a chemist, and Henry Morris, an inventor, had built their new ride in only two months. As much tank as carriage, the Electrobat, as they called it, weighed 4,400 pounds and was powered by an adapted ship motor. Its designers freely admitted that the vehicle was not designed for "an attractive appearance to a carriage builder's eye." Instead, they built the vehicle rugged because they wanted it to stand up to the rough city roads--not at all smooth like the roads of today--and they happened to need a place to put 1,600 pounds of lead-acid batteries.
The ﬁrst version of the Electrobat, on which they glided through the streets of Philadelphia that fall and winter, looks like an uncovered wagon, complete with the spoked wheels--big ones in back, small ones up front. Two could comfortably sit atop the battery compartment, which housed the monster lead-acid cells, but it could have carried up to a dozen people. It gives the impression of a stagecoach missing both the horses and the coach, but it got the job done. It had a maximum range of ﬁfty to one hundred miles and traveled hundreds of miles in its few months of testing, if Salom is to be believed. Its successor, the Electrobat 2, weighed closer to 1,800 pounds and packed a couple hundred pounds of batteries. It looked like a box on wheels, and a conductor sitting in the middle of the front of the car drove it with a steering stick. This automobile was the one that would propel Morris and Salom into history.
The competition between electric, gasoline, and steam-powered horseless carriages was real. At the turn of the century each type of automobile had about a third of the market. We can be sure that proponents of each method of propulsion--not to mention the "lovers of horseﬂesh"--had frothy-mouthed adherents who would have left nasty comments all over the Internet had such a medium existed.
Many nineteenth-century heavyweights agreed that the electric car would win out, and the Philadelphia duo became a part of the most ambitious effort to create an integrated, nationwide, electric-powered transportation system that the world has ever seen. Morris and Salom's second Electrobat became the technological basis of the Electric Vehicle Company, the ﬁrst corporate car concern in the world, the ﬁrst cab company in New York, and, in the words of automotive historian John B. McRae, the "Monopoly that Missed."
In April 1899 William C. Whitney, a New York ﬁnancier, walked out of his home on 5th Avenue, bound for Hartford, with a million dollars earmarked to jump-start the creation of a nationwide electric vehicle company.
Whitney was a robber baron, playboy, lover of ﬁne horses, former Secretary of the Navy, and syndicate builder. He married well; his mansion featured a Marie Antoinette room. Whitney's henchmen purchased ceilings, walls, and chimneys from old European manses and reassembled them in his home.
The million dollars was an enticement for Colonel Albert Pope, who was the country's leading bicycle maker, to tie up with the Electric Storage Battery Company (ESB). The ESB had bought out Morris and Salom's Electric Carriage and Wagon Company, which had successfully opened up a cab service in Manhattan with thirteen modiﬁed Electrobats. During April 1897, their ﬁrst month at Broadway and West 39th, Morris and Salom happily reported to the Society of Western Engineers that they had served a thousand passengers and the small ﬂeet collectively traveled two thousand miles across the city.
There was just one problem with the vehicles: They did not have the range of their gasoline competitors. Batteries, even our modern lithium ion ones, do not pack nearly as much energy per pound or cubic volume as gasoline does.
That disadvantage could be mitigated with an efficient central station that would allow for fast battery swapping. During that year Isaac Rice and the ESB took over more active management of the enterprise.
In particular, they asked George Herbert Condict to design a new way to swap batteries in and out of cabs quickly. Condict responded with an ingenious system that drew on his experience supervising a Manhattan streetcar line that used swappable batteries for power. The ESB constructed it in a converted skating rink at 1684 Broadway to service the rapidly growing ﬂeet.
When a cab drove into the station, technicians secured and centered it with hydraulic shoes. They then hitched the 1,300-pound battery tray, which ran underneath the cab, to a hydraulic piston that pulled out the whole thing and sat it on a table, where "an overhead crane plucked it from the table and deposited it in the charging room." They slotted in a new battery and off the cab went again into the wild Manhattan streets. Conceptually, it's not unlike what Shai Agassi' Project Better Place has been pushing in recent years. If batteries are the problem, engineer around them.
The business caught Whitney's eye. His band of barons had made a pile of money electrifying New York city's trolley routes, and looking at the electric vehicle, he began to imagine a syndicate that could control all kinds of electriﬁed mobility within and between cities. Electric trains called interurbans would run between local towns, trolleys would provide service along major routes, and the electric vehicles would serve any other intracity mobility needs. Urbanites wouldn't buy a car: They'd be able to go anywhere on one type or another of electriﬁed transport.
So Whitney got his boys together--A. B. Widener, Charles F. Ryan, and a host of other names that now adorn the big buildings of New York--and convinced them that there was money to be made displacing the old horse-drawn carriage with clean, noiseless electric cars. They would churn out thousands of electric vehicles, sending them to the big cities of the world--New York, Chicago, Mexico City, Paris--where they would seamlessly fit into the transportation web that crisscrossed the world's great human agglomerations. At the back end of all the mobility, there'd be the miracle of electricity, as represented by the central power plants of Edison Electric and New York Heat, Light, and Power, which Whitney and his band of scions of wealth also controlled.
What ﬁve years earlier had been a simple two-man project in Philadelphia had morphed into a play to unify the transportation infrastructure of urban America into one great syndicate. What they needed was scale, and that's what Pope could provide. He was the largest manufacturer of the product at the center of America's latest craze: cycling.
By 1898 Pope's newly consolidated American Bicycle Company cranked out 800,000 bicycles. They made their own tires and steel tube frames, and they assembled them in massive quantities. Pope's company had also been toying with an electric car concept that had yet to catch on, so it wasn't a stretch to work with the Whitney team.
Pope and Whitney sealed the deal and each side of the transaction took half of the Electric Vehicle Company. As an enterprise for building and operating electric vehicles, it seemed to have all the right parts: the Electric Storage Battery Company and its patent on the lead-acid storage battery, the Pope manufacturing apparatus, Whitney's financial connections, and the central station service model developed by Condict.
As the Electric Vehicle Company (EVC) rounded into shape, there was a brief moment when it seemed that success might be at hand. The New York station was performing well and new offices began to operate around Boston, New Jersey, Chicago, and Newport.
But to say that the EVC was a grand disappointment would be an understatement. Within about a year problems began to appear. In New York the service remained proﬁtable, but the other cities suffered from poor management and operations. The batteries were not properly cared for, nor were the drivers trained well. Led by the trade magazine Horseless Ageand its "autoelectrophobe" editor, E. B. Ingersoll, the public started to call the company "The Lead Cab Trust." The regional operating companies were shut down in February 1901.
People began to suspect that Whitney and his ﬁnanciers were merely trying to pull some stock swindle. That notion gained steam when the EVC turned patent troll and began brandishing the Selden patent, which it said covered all automobiles. Automotive historians of the 1950s have tended to see the problems as simply the gurgling death cries of an electric vehicle industry being taken out by the insurgent gasoline-powered car; they see the death of the EVC as a demonstration of the technological impracticality of the battery-powered vehicle. But contemporary historians like Gijs Mom and David Kirsch have taken the company more seriously. Kirsch sees the scheme, if not the actual company, as "the seed of an alternative transportation system for motorized road transport."
Images: 1. The first Salom and Morris Electrobat. 2. An Electric Vehicle Company Cab. From the author's collection with thanks to Mary Salom Lugones.
The 20th century was, in many ways, the nuclear century. In the span of 100 years, we modeled and split the atom, created nuclear weapons and converted big chunks of the power grid to run on electricity generated by atomic reactors.
Along the way, old hopes and fears about human power were given new forms and clothing. As with other technologies like steam engines ("get up a head of steam"), the technical language of the nuclear industry began to pervade common language (a child's "meltdown").
With the world's eyes focused on Japan's reactors and wondering what the trouble there will mean for the future of nuclear power, I thought I'd use Google's NGram viewer, which looks at the frequency that words appear in a massive corpus of books, to look at our relationship with the atom over time. This gallery shows you what I found.
If you think House and the guy who James Franco played in 127 Hours are tough, you haven't heard of Leonid Rogozov.
In 1961, Rogozov was stationed at a newly constructed Russian base in Antarctica. The 12 men inside were cut off from the outside world by the polar winter by March of that year. In April, the 27-year-old Rogozov began to feel ill, very ill. His symptoms were classic: he had acute appendicitis. "He knew that if he was to survive he had to undergo an operation," the British Medical Journal recounted. "But he was in the frontier conditions of a newly founded Antarctic colony on the brink of the polar night. Transportation was impossible. Flying was out of the question, because of the snowstorms. And there was one further problem: he was the only physician on the base."
There was no question that he'd have to operate. The pain was intolerable and he knew he was getting worse. He recorded his thoughts in his journal:
I did not sleep at all last night. It hurts like the devil! A snowstorm whipping through my soul, wailing like a hundred jackals. Still no obvious symptoms that perforation is imminent, but an oppressive feeling of foreboding hangs over me ... This is it ... I have to think through the only possible way out: to operate on myself ... It's almost impossible ... but I can't just fold my arms and give up.
Operating mostly by feeling around, Rogozov worked for an hour and 45 minutes, cutting himself open and removing the appendix. The men he'd chosen as assistants watched as the "calm and focused" doctor completed the operation, resting every five minutes for a few seconds as he battled vertigo and weakness. He recalled the operation in a journal entry:
I worked without gloves. It was hard to see. The mirror helps, but it also hinders -- after all, it's showing things backwards. I work mainly by touch. The bleeding is quite heavy, but I take my time -- I try to work surely. Opening the peritoneum, I injured the blind gut and had to sew it up. Suddenly it flashed through my mind: there are more injuries here and I didn't notice them ... I grow weaker and weaker, my head starts to spin. Every 4-5 minutes I rest for 20-25 seconds. Finally, here it is, the cursed appendage! With horror I notice the dark stain at its base. That means just a day longer and it would have burst and ...
At the worst moment of removing the appendix I flagged: my heart seized up and noticeably slowed; my hands felt like rubber. Well, I thought, it's going to end badly. And all that was left was removing the appendix ... And then I realised that, basically, I was already saved.
Two weeks later, he was back on regular duty. He died at the age of 66 in St. Petersburg in 2000.
Just a little reminder that humans can complete some pretty amazing physical feats when their lives hang in the balance.
Update 4:25pm: The article originally incorrectly stated Rogozov's age at the time of his death.
The earthquake is as ancient a human experience as you can get. As a one-time L.A. resident, I can attest that the ground moving beneath your feet is terrifying. But as a modern human, you know that the quake will soon come to an end.
But there have been times in history where a region becomes beset by quakes. The shaking becomes chronic. Around the New Madrid fault in the southeastern United States, exactly this happened in 1811 and 1812. Seven strong quakes struck in just a few months, prompting recent settlers to wonder what had befallen them. The U.S. Geological Survey has preserved some of the diaries of these people. The entry below, penned by George Heinrich Crist, still strikes me as the best way to access the psychological toll that chronic quakes take.
I first read it years ago, and it still haunts me. The line, "You cannot fight it cause you do not know how," floated into my mind as I watched the tsunami roll right over all the infrastructure of an industrialized nation.
23 January 1812
"What are we gonna do? You cannot fight it cause you do not know how. It is not something that you can see. In a storm you can see the sky and it shows dark clouds and you know that you might get strong winds but this you can not see anything but a house that just lays in a pile on the ground - not scattered around and trees that just falls over with the roots still on it. The earth quake or what ever it is come again today. It was as bad or worse than the one in December. We lost our Amandy Jane in this one - a log fell on her. We will bury her upon the hill under a clump of trees where Besys Ma and Pa is buried. A lot of people thinks that the devil has come here. Some thinks that this is the beginning of the world coming to a end.
Read the rest of Crist's diary at the U.S. Geological Survey website.
It's almost impossible to grasp the scale of the tsunami that slammed into Japan yesterday following the 8.9-magnitude earthquake that struck off the coast near Sendai. The quake was a global-scale event, shifting the axis of the entire earth by four inches.
These satellite photos may help you grasp just how much water moved from the ocean onto land. Comparing the image from after the quake above with an image shot February 26 below, you can see how the coastline got erased by the displaced water.
If you click on the photos, you can see the very high-resolution photos that NASA's Terra Satellite captured.
A guide to news and information resources from across the Internet that will help you stay on top of this developing story.
A massive 8.9 earthquake struck about 80 miles off the coast of Japan, wreaking havoc on one of the world's most disaster-prepared countries and generating a devastating tsunami.
As in recent natural disasters, traditional news organizations, one-off sites, and Internet crisis agencies have swung into action. This is your guide for where to find information and resources about the 10th-largest quake since 1900.
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