Thank you Baran, Davies & Kleinrock

My dear friend Clare lives in Tokyo. When I heard about the earthquake and tsunamis on the radio Friday morning I tried her number and couldn’t get through. My heart stopped for a moment as I relieved the panic I felt when I couldn’t get through to my dad that horrible Tuesday. Within seconds however we were logged onto Facebook, had checked her profile and knew she was okay. Thank god for the internet, American military paranoia that started it all, and Paul Baran, Donald Davies & Leonard Kleinrock for inventing packet-switched networks that made it all possible. I know the interwebz is home to all sorts of incredibly dodgy things (bomb making tutorials, hatred, people in dire need of “WTF Were You Thinking?” group sessions), but when it comes to touching base with loved ones and making sure they are ok, nothing can beat it.

There are still aftershocks and the knock-on effects to wait out – especially the current fear of a nuclear meltdown at Fukushima. My Lucky Sunday thoughts? I’m thankful for international cooperation, communication, aid and assistance. The interwebz. Potassium iodide because it block the thyroid’s absorption of cancer-causing radioactive iodine released from a nuclear reactor. And last, but never least, hope. Hope for my friend that she and those around her stay safe and secure in the coming weeks.

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