Before I heartlessy go on to the fun stuff, here's an article about the "myth of preparedness" from the Daily Yomiyuri:
RIKUZEN-TAKATA, Iwate--Tsunami caused by the massive Tohoku earthquake were so high they instantly breached the large embankments built along the Sanriku coastal region, local people said.
The region is equipped with highly advanced anti-tsunami measures constructed after previous disasters, including tsunami caused by the Great Chilean Earthquake in 1960 that killed 142 people in Japan.
One of the embankments in the region is even recorded in Guinness World Records.
After the tsunami left the region's towns covered in mud and debris from destroyed buildings, some survivors regret that too much confidence had been placed in the embankments.
"We all believed tsunami would never reach our area," said Ikuo Sugano, 61, who operates a futon shop in the Takatacho Omachi district in Rikuzen-Takata.
The area has been hit by many tsunami following earthquakes, including the Meiji-Sanriku quake in 1896, Showa Sanriku quake in 1933 and 1960 Chilean quake.
However, the Omachi area, which is about a kilometer from the coast, was not affected by the Chilean quake. As a result, local residents believed tsunami would never reach the area.
When they held a study session to prepare for powerful earthquakes and tsunami two months ago, they only discussed accepting survivors from other areas and preparing meals for them.
They never imagined they would be tsunami victims themselves.
"I remember the time [of the tsunami caused by the Chilean quake], but I never thought a stronger tsunami was possible," Sugano said. "I was much too optimistic."
In the Tohoku quake, a 10-meter wave of water poured into the Omachi area and instantly smashed shops and houses to matchwood.
Although there is some high ground north of the area, very few local residents headed toward it to reach safety.
Nearly 60 percent of people belonging to the area's neighborhood association are still missing.
"All of us thought the tsunami would never reach our places. But we were wrong," said a 63-year-old man who lives in an area about one kilometer inland from the Omachi area. His house was destroyed in the tsunami.
"Our embankment is the best in the world. How come we suffered that much?" asked a resident in Kamaishi, Iwate Prefecture, as he looked with dismay at what was left of the embankment.
Recorded in Guinness book
The 1,960-meter-long embankment was built at a cost of 130 billion yen over a 30-year period from 1978.
It was the nation's first embankment designed to resist the most powerful earthquake. Its foundation was built on the seabed 63 meters below the surface of the sea. It was recorded in Guinness World Records as the embankment that is the world's deepest in water.
When a major quake hit Chile in February last year, the Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism Ministry's Tohoku Regional Bureau proudly announced that the embankment helped keep back the tsunami that reached the area.
"Some people had built new houses near the coast because they were so confident in the embankment," the Kamaishi resident said with a sigh as he stood in front of the debris of destroyed houses.
No match for raging torrent
In Ofunato, Iwate Prefecture, many people were killed in the tsunami caused by 1960 Chilean quake.
As a result, a large embankment was built at the mouth of the Ofunato Bay.
According to the city's port and business department, the tsunami destroyed most of the 291-meter-long southern part of the embankment and all of the 243.7-meter-long northern part.
Although local residents saw the embankment as a visual symbol of the city's invulnerability against tsunami, it had weakened over time.
"We were almost sure we could start strengthening it with funds from next fiscal year's budget," a city employee in charge of disaster prevention said.
In the city's Sanrikucho Okirai area, 19 people were killed in the 1933 Showa Sanriku quake and ensuing tsunami.
Shinsaku Katayama, 85, a survivor of that tsunami who works in the construction business and lives in the area, has given lectures at primary and middle schools to increase teachers' and students' awareness of the danger of tsunami, using notes of the 1933 disaster he compiled over a one-year period.
Katayama said the number of participants in local disaster drills had fallen over the past few years and he felt awareness of the danger of tsunami had declined.
"Because of the embankments, they never imagined they'd be hit by tsunami. They acted as if nothing untoward would happen," he said with an air of despair.
I didn't highlight certain passages to dig a knife into their backs. I did it to remind us, the world is the Titanic. No matter what we feel we are prepared for, there is always something out there waiting to overwhelm it. That is why I feel so sad for our atheist brethren- this kind of thing is Exactly why we need faith in a Loving and Merciful God. Without Him, losing everything would mean... losing everything.
Okay, now let's have a little fun with this week's crop of e-mail scammers. Our first contestant showed up Tuesday:
SCAM VICTIM REIMBURSEMENT.
We wish to bring to your notice as a delegate from the Nigeria Government Reimbursement committee under the strict supervision of the United Nations to pay 230 Nigerian 419 scam victims the sum of $7,500.000.00 (Seven Million Five Hundred United states Dollars) each. You are hereby listed as one of the beneficiaries for this immediate reimbursement of funds.As a result of this laudable recommendations,it is imperative to bring to your notice that during the last U.N. meeting held in Abuja, Nigeria,it was alarmed by so many countries around the world about loss of funds by various foreigners to these scam artists operating in syndicates all over the world today.
In other to redeem the good image of our dear country,the President has ordered the immediate payment of $7,500.000.00 (Seven Million Five Hundred United states Dollars) each to the affected victims in accordance with the U.N. directives.Due to the corrupt and inefficient Banking Systems in Nigeria, these payments are to be made by ECO BANK OF NIGERIA as the corresponding paying bank under the funding assistance of the INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND(WORLD BANK) Presently, 184 Beneficiaries have been paid, more than 50% of the victims are from the United States,while about 40% are from other parts of the world.Your particulars were among those mentioned by some of the Syndicates hat were apprehended in Lagos, Nigeria as one of the victims of the operations, you are hereby warned not to communicate or duplicate this message to anybody for any reason whatsoever as the U.S. secret service in conjunction with The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has swung into action to track these set of criminals down.Once again,you are expected to keep away until these criminals are all apprehended.The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) (Motto: No Body is Above the Law) have combined effort with the United Nations Anti-crime commission to alleviate the plight of these victims as well as redeeming the image of our dear country.
Many Banks, Universal firms, Companies and individuals have been in bankruptcy today due to the activity of these hoodlums. However, a thorough investigation revealed that these people have dropped over 500,000 victims across the world, after collecting their money falsely, many as a result of this have committed suicide,while others are now living in abject poverty.As regards these on going developmental strive, we have over 200 suspects at hand, 135 in kirikri prisons.While many are awaiting trial, we are still in search of others,who think they are wise, and hope that you will assist by giving any vital information that could lead to the apprehension of these hoodlums.
You SHALL receive your reimbursement via TRANSFER PAYMENT SYSTEM. We shall be waiting to hearing from you for the final claim of your $7,500.000.00 (Seven Million Five Hundred United states Dollars) Reimbursement fund.Finally, you are urgently advised to furnish this office with your full names/address, your direct phone/fax number, your age/marital status and an attach copy of any of your recent Identity.Awaiting for your prompt response.
FRAUD VICTIMS REIMBURSEMENT CHAIRMAN.
Okay, so let's look this over. First, do you really think any president from any country would establish a scam-payback fund out of wanting to "redeem the name of this dear country"? Okay, we could all see Obama doing it, and there may well be chief execs out there who are even dum... er, more politically correct than Barrack. Second, "Due to the corrupt and inefficient Banking Systems in Nigeria, these payments are to be made by ECO BANK OF NIGERIA as the corresponding paying bank". So, since the Nigerian system is so corrupt, let's pay things out through a Nigerian bank. Good thinking there! Third, What does the Secret Service have to do with investigating financial crimes. Fourth, interesting that I was on the "dumbass got scammed list" when I haven't yet get quite that stupid yet. Maybe they're looking for that other CW Martin who still lives in New Haven. Fifth, while there is an apparently legit EFFC, I was not able to find any link to "corny mottos" on their site. Sixth, I think you mean that they have "duped" 500 k people around the world, not "dropped", unless they combine their monetary services with a travel agency. Finally, "As regards these on going developmental strive". WTF does THAT mean? Other than if these people are really involved with the UN, they might want to cross-ref with UNESCO and learn proper grammar. That sentence came straight out of one of my son's 6th grade essay assignments.
This next one actually tried to weave a little more reality into the BS.
Atten Dear Sir/Madam
This message is permitted to be read only by the beneficiary of this address for security purposes? We have been having meetings for over (5) Five Month and we have come to the final conclusion from our last meeting held at our headquarter February 28th, 2011 with the president of Benin Republic Dr. Thomas Yayi Boni and Minister of Foreign Affairs Mrs. Mariam Aladji.
The United Nations Office have agreed to compensate you with the sum of $1.500,000.00USD and that is why we decided to contact you directly and make sure that this information reached you, This funds have been arranged for you through our ATM Swift Card Payment Center Diamond Bank Plc as that is the latest instruction by His Excellency Mr. Ban Ki-Moon The Secretary-General The United Nations.
This compensation includes every foreign contractors that may have not received their contract fund and people that have had an unfinished transaction or international businesses that failed due to Government problems etc?
You are advised to contact our representative Mr. Jim Wilfred of Diamond Bank PLC Benin Republic and Send to him your full contact details as follow: (1) Full names….: (2) Country:...... (3)Address:...... (4)City:........ (5)Tel Phone: (6) Occupation :......(7)Age:... (8): Sex.....
Contact Mr. Jim Wilfred With the Below Information:
Contact Person Mr. Jim Wilfred
Director Diamond Bank Plc
Email: (email@example.com )
Click on this link to see by yourself (http://www.un.org/News/Press/docs/2003/ik344.doc.htm)
Making the world a better place
Ms. Asha-Rose Migiro
Okay, so there is a President Thomas Yayi Boni in Benin, and Ms. Migiro is a deputy to Ban Ki-Moon. And, despite my doubts, "His Excellency IS the proper way to address a UN Sec-Gen. There is even a Diamond Bank PLC , although it is in NIGERIA (obviously a part of that corrupt Nigerian banking system), not Benin. Also, we see two question marks, both of them where they do not belong. Another glitch in the google Yoruba to English program, no doubt. Also, and this is a tip to you would be victims out there- Are you a contractor whose done business in Benin? Or a business person with dealings in Benin? I'M NOT! And nobody seems to know who Jim Wilford is, except the scam sites that have various examples of his handiwork.
Finally, Punctuation? We don' need no Steenkin' punctuation!
Christopher the economy is not the same as it used to be the internet is where you make the most money now we will be more well off now than ever before you wont regret giving this program a shot you dont need experience to use this program http://j.mp/dZBO3j there is no limited to your boundaries
Okay, let's all take a breath and look at this. First of all, I have a PSA for my wonderful readers _ let's not be stupid and click on any of these links, okay? I'm quite confident that they are full of ooze that will choke off all the love and kindness that resides in your computer. Second, if the internet was the place to make money we'd all be rich, eh? Third, "there is no LIMITED to your boundaries." (Oops, shouldn't have put that period in there.) Again, welcome to the KC Martin School of Grammar circa 1990.