[UPDATE, 2011-APRIL 22: I have improved the links in this story. I’m sorry it took so long to do so. – Mike]
Contemporary journalism often frustrates me greatly.Good questions don’t get asked, spin is reported as news, and explanations necessary for the understanding of important events are often thin at best and non-existent or flat wrong at worst.
The reporting on the technical aspects of the Japanese nuclear crisis is an excellent case in point. If you want to know how high the tsunami was, the depths of the human tragedy, how much the main Japanese island of Honshu moved or the changes in the length of a day or the tilt of the earth’s axis as a result of the great quake, you’re in luck. There’s lots of that information to find.
If you want to understand what’s going on at the Japanese nuclear plants— what’s happening in the atomic cores, what the explosions mean in technical terms or why they occurred, what a partial or full meltdown really are — that information on a clear, lay-technical level has been scarce.So when I saw tonight’s Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, and heard her clear, simple-to-understand-but-hard-to-find explanations of what’s going on inside the Japanese nuclear power plants, why it’s happening and their historical context, that was something I very much wanted to share with you.
There are many more video clips from Rachel explaining various details of this disaster, and they’re all woirth seeing. You can search further at MSNBC.com or youtube.com, using terms like “maddow explains japan nuclear”.