Pushbutton Disaster Relief

It’s really hard for most of us, sitting in our cozy homes, in our ergonomic task chairs, bloated from the holidays, to wrap our craniums around what just happened in southeast Asia. Tens upon tens of thousands of people dead in an instant and an equal number likely to die from the taint of death left in their wake. I saw a guy on the news last night who lives here in Maryland but is from Sumatra. He lost *30* members of his immediate and extended family! Siblings, parents, grandparents, nieces, nephews, cousins — all gone.

One thing we have no trouble doing is clicking buttons and spending money. I just found myself (through a typical morning serendipity search) on the Red Cross’s donation page on Amazon. If you have an account on Amazon, you can send mullah at the click of a button.

Not surprisingly, there’s a lot of excellent and well-meaning blog activity. One thing I found is a quick summary/ratings of some relief charities (which led me to the pushing buttons and transfering of invisible cash via Amazon.

Also, check out the Google Tsunami Relief page and The Tsunami Blog.

Sci Fi’s Tech Toys Column

Check out the latest issue of Sci Fi magazine (Feb 2005). I am the new “Tech Toys” columnist. The column looks at technologies that are fifteen minutes into the future (to steal a phrase from Max Headroom). In this issue, I cover the latest concept vehicle from Segway, human-skin band-aids, cellphone signal jammers, solar-power clothing, and more.