". . . But the past does not exist independently from the present. Indeed, the past is only past because there is a present, just as I can point to something over there only because I am here. But nothing is inherently over there or here. In that sense, the past has no content. The past -- or more accurately, pastness -- is a position. Thus, in no way can we identify the past as past." p. 15

". . . But we may want to keep in mind that deeds and words are not as distinguishable as often we presume. History does not belong only to its narrators, professional or amateur. While some of us debate what history is or was, others take it into their own hands." p. 153

Silencing the Past: Power and the Production of History (1995) by Michel-Rolph Trouillot

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Strongest Earthquake Ever Recorded in the Caribbean Basin

It was a 9, rather than a 7, as initially reported.

Many of us didn't get much sleep last night.

Information is hard to get, particularly after Richard Morse's batteries died (he owns and lives in the famous Hotel Olaffson, and is the head of the Haitian music group, Ram). His tweets were  the closest to real information a lot of us had.

To make an emergency donation to Oxfam:

A worse problem than raising money is going to be the lack of organizational infrastructure with which to coordinate and distribute aid. How do you get drinking water to two million people? A number of people seem to be ready to go down as volunteers, as per the comments on

No word yet of the situation of the Cuban doctors who are in Haiti on an ongoing basis.

The best composite source I've seen is the "The Lede" blog at the New York Times -- too long and too many widgets to copy into an e-mail -- with updated information about resources for information and contributions, as well as tweetlinks, pictures, video, etc.

There is a State Department number to call for information about family members in Haiti: 1-888-407-4747. I don't know how useful that will be.

There is a site set up to collect information:

It doesn't have a lot of material yet, but it reports that the P-au-P airport is functioning. On the other hand, CNN's Anderson Cooper reported that a helicopter he was in almost collided with a small plane -- that is, there is no functional air-traffic control.

There have been numerous aftershocks. An explanation of the tectonics underlying the quake is at

Photographer Daniel Morel's twitpic blog, if you can bear to look at it, is

There's also a flickr feed:

For vodouisants, Tuesday was Dantor's day, today, Wednesday, is the day of Papa Ogou.

No comments: