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December 06 2013

Slippery Clay at Fault in 2011 Japan Earthquake

Slippery clay that looks like scaly black dragon skin is the crucial clue needed to explain the 2011 Japan earthquake's surprising impact, according to three studies published Thursday in the journal Science.

Scientists now have four lines of evidence (including a February 2013 study also published in Science) that help explain why Japan's earthquake-generating fault acted so weirdly during the 2011 temblor.

"It seems that frictional resistance at this location is getting close to zero, and we never really thought it could go so low," said Patrick Fulton, a geophysicist at the University of California, Santa Cruz and lead author of one of the studies. "This is definitely providing new ideas and challenging our understanding of earthquakes and fault ruptures." Read more...

More about Earthquake, Japan, Science, Japan Earthquake, and Natural Disaster

July 15 2011

Sony Ericsson Blames $70.7 Million Net Loss on Japan Earthquake

Sony Ericsson posted poor financial results for Q2 2011, with a €50 million ($70.7 million) net loss, compared to a net profit of €12 million ($16.9 million) for the same period last year.

The reason for the disastrous quarter, Sony Ericsson claims, was the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in March and hurt the company’s supply chain.

Sony Ericsson sold 7.6 million mobile phones this quarter, a 31 percent drop compared to Q2 2010.

“Had it not been for the earthquake and the supply chain constraints we would have shipped 1.5 million more units and we would have been profitable during the second quarter,” Sony Ericsson CEO Bert Nordberg told Dow Jones Newswires.

It’s not all bad news, though: Sales of Sony Ericsson’s Xperia smartphone series were up 150 percent from 2010. Overall, smartphones accounted for 70% of sales while the demand — and subsequently, Sony Ericsson’s sales — for feature phones dwindled.

[via AFP]

More About: financials, japan earthquake, smartphones, Sony Ericsson

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July 11 2011

Got a Minute? Website Requires You To Sit Still for Japan Memorial

sun image

July 11 marks four months since the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that slammed Japan’s coastline. The natural disaster claimed thousands of lives, wrecked massive damage and caused a disaster at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant.

Even though the initial trauma may be over, there is still much rebuilding and emotional recovery to be done. This was the impetus behind Still for Japan, a website that asks people around the world to observe a minute of still contemplation.

Indeed, the only way to see the website is to keep still for 60 seconds. Any typing or movement of your mouse will cause the screen to pause until you stop fidgeting. The site draws influence from donothingfor2minutes.com, a viral sensation that also required viewers to sit still.

Still for Japan adapts that principle and puts it towards a good cause. As viewers sit, they are greeted by woodblock-style illustrations and a giant sun. The sun rises, revealing information about the disaster and words of support and Japanese proverbs, such as “In adversity we are saved by hope. Perseverance is strength.” The site is a collaboration between VCU Brand Center, McKinney and Clear Channel, which will be donating space on its Times Square digital billboard and its radio stations across New York.

japan map image

The initial goal of the campaign is to reach 180,000 minutes of stillness, one for every dead, injured, missed, orphaned, homeless and radiation victim from the disaster. The second is to reach 1,031,704 minutes, the number of people in the Sendai Prefecture.

The idea came from Kaede Seville, a New York-based Japanese reporter, who wanted to show Japan that the world still supports it. She teamed up with 27 students at VCU Brandcenter to make the site a reality.

After sitting through 60 seconds, viewers are presented with a map of minutes, a short video about the project and a way to share their support through various social platforms.

As the website says: “After a tragedy, one of the most comforting feelings is to know you are not alone.”

What do you think of donating time instead of money? Is emotional support just as important as the huge outpouring of financial support? Let us know in the comments below.

More About: charity, japan, japan earthquake, non-profit, social good, still for japan, tsunami

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April 19 2011

100 Artists Offer 100 Songs for Download to Raise Money for Japan

The music industry has been pitching in its fair share to help those affected by the March 11 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Lady Gaga and UMG both contributed to the cause, and now there’s a new musical effort on the block in the same vein: Songs of Love for Japan.

Songs of Love for Japan is a 100-song compilation packed with music from the likes of Sara Bareilles, Tori Amos, The xx, The Submarines and Ani DiFranco, as well as several other bands both signed and unsigned.

The album — which was put together by artist Cheryl B. Engelhardt and Bryce Longton from Estee Lauder — will be available until Thursday, and costs $100 for all 100 downloads. The pair hope to raise $250,000 for ShelterBox, an international disaster relief charity.

If you don’t have $100, you can also buy 20 songs for $20. If you pick the $100 option, however, you could possibly score artist giveaways and other goodies. All proceeds will go to ShelterBox.

We asked some of the artists why they chose the song that they included (most tunes are rare or unreleased tracks). Check out some of their responses below:

“’Sunshower’ is a song of hope, and in a dark chapter in Japan’s history, it seems appropriate to include a song about hope. Japan is the land of the rising sun, and the sun will rise again. “ – Brian Mackey

“The reason I chose ‘Kissing Tree’ is because it’s a very happy upbeat song. I wrote it while basking out on a really fine day here in LA and I think that some of the sunlight has seeped into the final master. I know that, considering what happened in Japan, a heart-wrenching ballad is more of a natural choice, but I feel that the people of Japan need a little bit of positivity after what they’ve been through.” – Alina Smith

“Being a Louisiana native, I wrote ‘Fortune Teller’ about my beloved city of New Orleans. Pieces of the song reflect my time there before Hurricane Katrina, and then there are some emotions in there about the fear I felt not knowing where my sister and aunt were for three days after the levees broke. Just the reminder of those emotions for me during that time made me think this would be a good fit for SOLFJ.” – Hope Waits

“The song ‘Gimmie Resurrection’ was written for someone looking for a rebirth from a meaningless life. Japan has sustained not a lack of meaning but has endured unimaginable suffering and will undergo a rebirth of their own.” – John Cusimano of The Cringe

“Driving back from SXSW ’11 this year, I heard a recording of a man speaking in Japanese, with English translation superimposed, on NPR. He talked about how he had spent his week, searching for the bodies of his mother and sister, whom he could not find since the devastating earthquake and tsunami. He eventually found them, he said, where the living room used to be, as his house was completely totaled, and everything gone. Right then and there, I started to cry. I thought about how I spent my week (performing during SXSW, enjoying the nightlife, going on tour) and how this man had spent his. At this moment it clicked for me, and although I had already personally donated to the Red Cross, I knew I wanted to do something more with my music, instead of just playing it.” – Sinem Saniye

More About: japan earthquake, music, social good

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April 07 2011

Another Earthquake Hits Japan, “Damn Japan” Starts Trending on Twitter

Almost one month after a 9.0-magnitude earthquake and ensuing tsunami devastated the northeastern coast of Japan, another quake, accompanied by a tsunami warning, has hit the country.

The U.S. Geological Survey says the 7.1-magnitude earthquake hit the east coast of Honshu, in Japan’s northeast region, at 10:32 a.m. ET. There have been hundreds of aftershocks in the region since the March 11 quake, but this is by the far the strongest (none of the others surpassed 7.0).

The denizens of Twitter are rapidly spreading the news via the microblogging site, most expressing shock that such an incident has occurred again.

However, oddly, “Damn Japan” has become a worldwide trending topic in the past few minutes. Still, despite the rather negative look of the topic, most tweets are along the lines of: “Damn another earthquake and tsunami warning in Japan? :(”

We’ll keep you updated as we hear more. In the meantime, here’s a roundup of our coverage of social media and technology as it relates to the events in Japan, and ways you can help:

Image courtesy of U.S. Geological Survey

More About: damn-japan, japan earthquake, twitter

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April 06 2011

All-Star Chefs Create Digital Cookbook to Help #Japan

cupcake image

You can learn a lot about a culture through its cuisine. KeepRecipes.com is using that connection to raise money for the Red Cross Japan earthquake and tsunami relief fund.

The website aims to be an iTunes for recipes by collecting and eventually selling recipes from amateur chefs and top pros alike. Some of those professional chefs have teamed up to offer their signature dishes for charity. KeepRecipes for Recovery launched Wednesday and will feature 21 Japan-inspired recipes from chefs including Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto, Anita Lo, Eric Gower, Mayumi Nishimura and Marc Spitzer. The cookbook will be available as a digital download for donations of $10 or more. KeepRecipes will donate 86 cents for every dollar of revenue to the American Red Cross.

donate image

Phil Michaelson, the creator of KeepRecipes, said he came up with the charity idea when certain Japanese products, like mushrooms, started to become scarce following the disaster. KeepRecipes for Recovery was a way of combining the culinary traditions of the country with a way to give back. Users can request membership to the site or automatically be approved by donating to the Red Cross. Right now the all-star recipes are for charity, but they will eventually head toward a pay model, said Michaelson.

“I do think that recipes are a great way to connect people,” Michaelson said. “When I cook [a chef's] dish I feel that connection to Japan. So it’s definitely about the chefs who are cooking those recipes and their connection with the culture.”

chefs image

It’s a sense of solidarity not lost on chef Gower. “Japan is suffering from its worst crisis since WWII,” Gower said in an email. “It can use both monetary help and a sense of solidarity with others.” Gower is offering recipes for miso orange roasted chicken and umeboshi scallops.

It hits even closer to home for Spitzer, executive chef at BONDST, a renowned Japanese restaurant in New York. “As a human being your initial response should be what can I do? How can I help? But as a chef that has gotten so much from Japan in tradition, culture, food and its people — the answer is as much as I can,” Spitzer said. He also created a special roll for his menu with 100% of the proceeds also going to the Red Cross. His offered recipe is Japanese Thai snapper tacos.

food image

The recipes run the gamut from traditional (Lo’s trio of steamer clams) to the more eccentric (Morimoto’s tuna pizza with anchovy aioli). Regardless of your personal taste or culinary daring, the project’s primary goal is raising money for the relief effort. KeepRecipes has managed to not only create a platform but a digital connection to the people and culture it’s trying to help.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Cillian Storm

More About: charity, Food, japan, japan earthquake, keeprecipes, non-profit, red cross, social good

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March 26 2011

Sony’s Virtual Cherry Blossoms Raise Relief Funds

Combining game-playing and philanthropy, Sony Online Entertainment has created in-game virtual items that players can buy to support those affected by Japan’s recent earthquake and tsunami.

Players for some SOE games can buy a cherry blossom through an in-game marketplace designed to raise awareness for the tragedy. SOE will donate $10 for each cherry blossom purchased between March 25 and March 28 to the American Red Cross to help the relief effort. In addition to the cherry bossoms, alternative items will be available in Magic: The Gathering-Tactics, Star Wars Galaxies and PoxNora. More information about the program can be found here.

SOE’s is the latest relief effort by Sony Corp., which has donated $3.6 million to relief efforts in its native country so far. Meanwhile, the idea of melding social media and charity has proved to be effective in raising funds after various tragedies in recent years. Last year’s earthquake in Haiti, for instance, prompted the Red Cross to experiment with a text-to-donate initiative, something the organization has repeated this year for Japan. Meanwhile, PayPal, Jiwire, Tumblr and others have offered other alternative ways to give to Japan victims this year. Zynga, maker of FarmVille and other Facebook-based games, has also offered ways for consumers to donate to the crisis by purchasing virtual goods in its games.

SOE’s use of the cherry blossom as a symbol for the tragedy, meanwhile, comes as the New Yorker introduced a poignant cover this week featuring nuclear symbols standing in for the blossoms.

More About: american red cross, haiti, japan earthquake, Sony Online Entertainment, virtual goods

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March 25 2011

Gaga & Bieber Together At Last: “Songs for Japan” Charity Album Hits iTunes

To help raise money for disaster relief efforts in Japan, Universal Music Group has assembled a who’s who of the music world for a benefit album called Songs for Japan, which hit iTunes Friday. It includes an exclusive remix of Lady Gaga’s latest chart-topping single, “Born This Way.”

The 38-track album [iTunes link] costs $9.99 and features popular tunes in original, remastered, live or acoustic formats from Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Justin Bieber, Eminem, Katy Perry and other superstars (see full list below).

Worldwide proceeds from album downloads will go to the Japanese Red Cross Society to provide immediate assistance to people affected by the March 11 Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami in Japan. The participating artists, their labels and music publishers waived their royalties, meaning every cent from each album download helps survivors.

This global initiative — one of the many new ways people can help Japan — is akin to the star-studded fundraising efforts following the destructive 2010 earthquake in Haiti when celebrities joined forces for a telethon and a new “We Are The World” charity single.

What do you think of the Songs for Japan lineup? Let us know in the comments.

Track listing

  • John Lennon — “Imagine” (Remastered)
  • U2 — “Walk On”
  • Bob Dylan — “Shelter From The Storm”
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers — “Around The World” (Live)
  • Lady Gaga — “Born This Way” (Starsmith remix)
  • Beyonce — “Irreplaceable”
  • Bruno Mars — “Talking To The Moon” (Acoustic piano version)
  • Katy Perry — “Firework”
  • Rihanna — “Only Girl (In The World)”
  • Justin Timberlake — “Like I Love You”
  • Madonna — “Miles Away” (Live)
  • David Guetta featuring Kelly Rowland — “When Love Takes Over”
  • Eminem featuring Rihanna — “Love The Way You Lie” (Clean version)
  • Bruce Springsteen — “Human Touch”
  • Josh Groban — “Awake” (Live)
  • Keith Urban — “Better Life”
  • Black Eyed Peas — “One Tribe”
  • Pink — “Sober”
  • Cee Lo Green — “It’s Ok”
  • Lady Antebellum — “I Run To You”
  • Bon Jovi — “What Do You Got?”
  • Foo Fighters — “My Hero”
  • R.E.M. — “Man On The Moon” (Live)
  • Nicki Minaj — “Save Me” (Clean version)
  • Sade — “By Your Side”
  • Michael Buble — “Hold On”
  • Justin Bieber — “Pray” (Acoustic)
  • Adele — “Make You Feel My Love”
  • Enya — “If I Could Be Where You Are”
  • Elton John — “Don’t Let The Sun Go Down On Me”
  • John Mayer — “Waiting On The World To Change”
  • Queen — “Teo Torriatte (Let Us Cling Together)” (Remastered)
  • Kings Of Leon — “Use Somebody”
  • Sting — “Fragile” (Live)
  • Leona Lewis — “Better In Time”
  • Ne-Yo — “One In A Million”
  • Shakira — “Whenever, Wherever”
  • Norah Jones — “Sunrise”

More About: itunes, japan, japan earthquake, justin bieber, Lady Gaga, music, social good

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8 Ways To Help #Japan After the Earthquake

japan help image

Despite some tentatively good news surrounding Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant, the country is still reeling from the 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami that hit its shores just two weeks ago.

There has been a huge outpouring of support for Japan as it weathers the aftershocks and aftereffects of the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami. Social media has been no slouch with nearly countless campaigns aimed at donating money, supplies or lending support in any way possible.

Mashable brought you seven other ways to help, and we’re back with even more ways that you can assist the on-going relief efforts. Some are as lighthearted as a T-shirt from Snoop Dogg while others support on-the-ground rescue workers. Let us know how you’re helping.

How You Can Help

#Hands4Japan on Crowdrise

crowdrise image

Two Japanese-born venture capitalist brothers started a campaign on Crowdrise in support of the American Red Cross Bay Area Chapter. They’ve offered to match donations until the campaign reaches its total goal of $1 million. In just four days, the brothers and their family raised more than $225,000 (with matching donations), at time of writing that number is nearly $325,000. The family said most of those donations were for amounts of less than $50.


twestival imageTwesitval is an international charity event that uses social media to help organize local meet-ups around the world. This year’s Twestival had several meet-ups planned for Japan but those had to be canceled because of the need for help following the earthquake and tsunami.

Instead, Twestival opened a special channel of its site where people can donate to Save the Children’s Japan Initiative.


The popular online payment site has offered to credit transactional fees incurred from March 11 to April 10 to any registered charity in the U.S. or Canada raising funds to aid Japan relief. (For the U.S., any 501(c)(3), and for Canada, any under the Canada Revenue Agency). PayPal members can also donate directly here (U.S.) or here (Canada).

Clothing & Shopping

threadless image

Threadless, the online clothing vendor jumped into the effort by running a short, crowd-sourced contest to come up with a t-shirt design that could be sold to help Japan. The winner, based on the theme “sunrise,” is available for $20. All of the net proceeds from the sale will be donated to the American Red Cross‘ Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami fund. The shirt is part of Threadless Causes, an initiative to help non-profits and causes through its sales.

snoop dogg image

Snoop Dogg and Neff Headwear have teamed up to help Japan by creating a t-shirt in which all profits will be donated to Operation U.S.A.. The pair are hoping to raise $50,000 in funds in one week.

shop image

Shop for Japan is a one-day global shopping event happening Saturday, March 26. Businesses can sign up at the site to pledge a percent of their revenue from that day to go toward charity. The site also has a list and map of participating stores.


tweetdrive imageThis social good community has organized #TweetDrive4Japan.

The campaign is an international series of tweets-ups from March 29 to 31 where 100% of ticket sales from each event will go to the Save the Children‘s emergency Japan relief fund.


japan image

Ever since Haiti was hit by an earthquake, text-to-donate has been a huge trend — and a huge help — in times of need. The Japan crisis has spawned several options:

  • MobileCause has shortcodes for the Salvation Army (text “JAPAN” to “80888 for a $10 donation), the International Medical Corps (text “MED” to “80888″ for a $10 donation), and ADRA Relief (text “SUPPORT” to “85944″ for a $10 donation).
  • MobileGiving promises a 100% pass-through of all funds for shortcodes to Save the Children Federation (text “JAPAN” or “TSUNAMI” to 20222 to donate $10), World Vision (text “4JAPAN” or “4TSUNAMI” to 20222 to donate $10), the Mercy Corps (text “MERCY” to 25383 to donate $10), the Canadian Red Cross (text “ASIA” or “ASIE“ to 30333 to donate $5), and Canadian Salvation Army (text “QUAKE” to 45678 to donate $10).
  • Obopay lets consumers make larger donations (in the hundreds) that, according to Obopay, reach organizations faster than carrier-based text-to-donate plans. Donors can text “Japan” to “48510″ where they’re taken to a mobile payment site complete with electronic tax receipt.


jiwire imageJiWire has offered it’s location-based ad network of Wi-Fi hotspots and mobile apps by running a campaign in support for the Red Cross. The ads will let users know about nearby Red Cross locations as well as options to donate through text.

It’s a nice example of an ad platform maximizing its reach and geo-location possibilities to serve a good cause.


tumblr image

Tumblr recently announced the addition of Japanese as the newest language option for the blogging network. Users will be able to change their language setting on the preferences page, opening new opportunities for outreach for native-speakers and supporters abroad. Users can also keep up with news from Japan on Tumblr’s #Japan tag page or donate to the Red Cross from the dashboard. Donating will unlock a Limited Edition Japanese Tumblr Logo and the company will match donations up to $15,000.

The last time Tumblr opened special features was its all-black background to promote awareness and raise funds following the Gulf oil leak.

Next Steps

Before donating to any sites or organizations, make sure you do a little bit of homework. It’s important to know about any transaction fees and to double check that the site will actually donate to the (registered) charity as promised. Disasters are unfortunately prime targets for scammers who try and play off the public’s genuine sympathy and desire to help. Organizations like the Red Cross are generally above-board and provide up-front information on how your money is being spent. It’s important to help in times of crisis, but it’s also important to make sure your support isn’t being misused.

There are definitely other ways to help the relief efforts outside of the options above. Please share in the comments your hashtags, newsfeeds, non-profits, campaigns or any other ways to help Japan.

Image courtesy of Flickr, Yashar.Mans

More About: charity, Earthquake, japan, japan earthquake, non-profit, social good, tsunami

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March 21 2011

Radiation Dosage & Its Sources Explained [CHART]

Fear and uncertainty continue to grow around the condition of Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant. There has been a fervent struggle to keep the plant’s reactors from achieving a partial or complete meltdown after the devastating earthquake in Japan and Pacific tsunami damaged the plant and knocked out the backup power needed to cool its radioactive fuel rods.

Naturally, the events in Japan have people curious, frightened and confused about the potential impact of not only the Fukushima plant’s radiation, but on the impact of nuclear power plants and radiation in general on the body. Even friends have asked me if they should evacuate the U.S. West Coast just in case radiation from Japan travels across the Pacific Ocean.

Until now, I haven’t had a good way to explain why they shouldn’t worry about radiation from Japan, especially given the many other sources of radiation we encounter on a daily basis. However, Randall Munroe of XKCD has solved that problem by putting together a very informative chart explaining and visualizing radiation doses and their sources. Although we don’t suggest living by this chart, it’s a good general education tool for understanding the effect of radiation absorption.

We encounter sources of radiation every day, from natural background radiation to bananas. (Yes, bananas emit gamma rays, but you’d have to eat 5 million bananas in one sitting to get any kind of radiation sickness.) The absorption of this radiation is measured in units called the sievert (Sv). As the chart explains, we absorb approximately 0.1 microsieverts (μSv) of radiation per day from eating a banana, 10 μSv from background radiation and 20 μSv from a chest x-ray. That’s more than the radiation you’ll absorb from living within 50 miles of a power plant (0.09 μSv). Even a coal power plant generates more radiation (0.3 μSv) because coal has trace amounts of uranium.

It takes a lot more radiation to actually cause harm to a person, although, the maximum yearly dose permitted for a U.S. radiation worker is 50 millisieverts (mSv), more than 200 times the exposure received from a typical X-ray. It takes double that amount though (100 mSv) for an increased risk of cancer and a full 2,000 mSv for severe radiation poisoning to occur.

For a more detailed explanation of radiation dosage, check out the XKCD chart below. Click on the image to see a full-sized version:

Image courtesy of Flickr, zfmg!

More About: japan, japan earthquake, Japan Tsunami, Nuclear, Radiation, xkcd

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March 18 2011

YouTube Launches Channel To Help Japan Quake Victims Communicate

In response to the devastating earthquake in Japan, YouTube has launched a special Missing Person Finder channel with video messages from the various shelters and those affected by the quake.

The channel is just the latest social media effort dedicated to helping quake victims reconnect or locate loved ones.

Just hours after the March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Google created a special crisis response page that offers users a way to get the latest information about the quake and an updated page of resources. Google Japan also has a localized version of the page.

The YouTube channel is particularly nice because it offers visual exposure for people to get out their message. For friends and family members in other parts of the world, it’s also a way to find out if loved ones are OK.

What do you think of the way social media is being used to help keep individuals informed and connected in Japan and abroad? Let us know.

More About: japan, japan earthquake, people finder, youtube

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March 14 2011

March 12 2011

The ‘Godzilla’ Incident: Did Twitter Users Gang Up on CNN Earthquake Anchor?

To hear Twitter users tell it, last night on CNN was one of the most disreputable in the network’s history. “You might prefer streaming Al-Jazeera to watching CNN anchor giggle about Godzilla,” wrote blogger and NPR contributor Maud Newton, in a widely retweeted statement. “Disgusting,” chimed in hundreds of tweets. “F– you @CNN your anchor is giggling & talking about monster movies while you’re showing waves sweep entire homes away,” read another widespread retweet, originating from filmmaker and writer Aaron Stewart-Ahn. Many others called for the anchor to be fired.

In its defense, CNN tweeted today: “RE: questions about a CNN anchor laughing while covering the Japan earthquake, we checked. It appears it was a false post.” Moments later, the network’s Twitter feed added, “We checked on the Godzilla references too. That also appears to be a false post.”

So who is correct — CNN or the Twittersphere? An analysis of the transcript and the Twitter record by Mashable brings us to the following conclusions:

1) The anchor in question, Rosemary Church of CNN’s International Center in Atlanta, did not make any “Godzilla jokes.” One of her guests, an American eyewitness named Matt Alt, describing the video footage, said “these waves of debris, it is almost like a monster movie.”

Tweets at around this time slammed Alt, misidentified as a CNN reporter or anchor, for making a “Godzilla-esque” reference. Later retweets removed the “-esque.”

2) Church’s words could not be accurately described as “joking”. Her tone, clearly irksome to many viewers, is another question. An anchor with some serious news chops — she covered 9/11 and the fall of Slobodan Milosevic, among other major events — Church also has a bubbly, Australian-accented voice. Some of her statements around 2:15am ET, according to the Twitter stream, may have sounded inappropriately jovial. That’s when the earliest cluster of results for “CNN laughing” appear:

It was around this time that Church paraphrased Alt’s comment about his Japanese wife being used to earthquakes and issuing orders. “She made a small joke about a caller’s Japanese wife being calm,” tweets journalist Michael Corey. “The joke wasn’t offensive, just a joke in that situation was weird … But live TV is hard, so I cut her a little slack. Not much.” A CNN spokesperson admits that Alt “lightly chuckled,” but that there was no laughter.

Some minutes later, Church interrupted a reporter on the scene to say that she was being “flooded with tweets.” That set off another mini-firestorm on Twitter. Given the scenes of devastation on screen at the time, it was clearly a poor choice of words, but it does not appear to be an intentional joke.

3) In ascribing the criticism to “a false post,” CNN is incorrect. That suggests a single influential Twitter user was behind the criticism. In fact, as the screen above shows, it emerged spontaneously from multiple independent sources at the same time.

Granted, Twitter is something of a digital echo chamber. Stewart-Ahn’s tweet is still being retweeted, even after he admitted the misattribution (though he still believes Church covered the story “rudely and ignorantly” and still swears he heard her laughing.)

But pressed to locate the “false post” it tweeted about, even CNN itself admits there’s no single source. “I don’t know if anyone could point specifically to the flash point on social media that started the rumors,” says Bridget Leininger, a spokeswoman for CNN. “All I can say is that no one at CNN joked, laughed or made a Godzilla reference on our live coverage.”

Here, courtesy of Mediate, are some video clips of Church’s coverage:

More About: cnn, Earthquake, japan earthquake, Japan Tsunami, tsunami, twitter

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March 11 2011

HOW TO: Follow the Japan Earthquake Online

Social media and the web have become the go-to for real-time information when disasters strike.

It’s no surprise that the news of Friday’s 8.9-magnitude earthquake in Japan spread rapidly on Twitter, while live video feeds and blogs kept pace.

With unreliable cellphone service, social media is the only form of communication consistently available to people in Japan, says Brian Gillespie of Texas. He has reached out to friends in Japan through Twitter and Facebook. Mixi, Japan’s largest social networking site, has also been used to located loved ones, he says.

Like Gillespie’s friends, many in Japan are updating us on the country’s status via the Internet. In addition, thousands of reporters and citizen journalists worldwide are distributing their knowledge of the situation on homepages and social streams.

Now, hours after the initial quake, information about the earthquake and tsunami abound. Here’s a list of some of the best Japan earthquake resources online, as suggested by our readers.

What tools are you using to track the crisis? Let us know in the comments which ones we’ve missed.

Social Media

Live Video and Blogs

Other Resources

Image courtesy of MapLarge.com

More About: breaking news, facebook, flickr, japan earthquake, media, News, social media, tsunami, twitter, youtube

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