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Quake Changes Earth's Rotation, Moves Islands 917

kernel panic attack writes "This week's deadly Asian Quake and Tsunami may have been so powerful, that it changed the rate of Earth's rotation. In a Reuters article, a NASA geophysicist theorizes that the quake compacted the Earth enough to speed up the planet's rotation by 3 microseconds. A second article says the quake moved undersea tectonic plates by up to 98 feet, shifting islands near Sumatra out to sea an unknown distance. Also, a USGS team wants images from commercial satellite operators to help pinpoint coastline damage. Lastly, an interesting article from the Australian Spaceguard Survey about the need for a Tsunami warning system in the Indian Ocean. The author comments that tsunami warnings may not help much, as people often flock to the coastline to see the giant waves." The current estimated death toll is now nearly 70,000; Amazon and Google, among others, have added front-page links to simplify donating to the disaster relief effort.
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Quake Changes Earth's Rotation, Moves Islands

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  • Apple Too (Score:5, Informative)

    by ack154 ( 591432 ) * on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:30AM (#11208574)
    Probably not as much traffic as Amazon or Google, but Apple [] also has also modified their front page to offer multiple relief links. Even the four boxes at the bottom have been changed to different organizations.
    • Re:Apple Too (Score:5, Informative)

      by TopShelf ( 92521 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:49AM (#11208776) Homepage Journal
      Don't know why they couldn't put the link in the article summary, but the Amazon donation link is in the sig below:
      • Amazon Donation... (Score:3, Insightful)

        by uptownguy ( 215934 )
        I don't have a credit card but I'm sitting on a $25 gift certificate that someone gave me. I was hoping to be able to use THAT to make a $25 donation to the American Red Cross (Or, frankly, ANY organization providing relief!) through After some searching I can't find any way to do it...

        So I'm going to use Slashdot to see if I can do the next best thing: I'm willing to give my validation code for a $25 gift certificate to anyone who is willing to MAKE a $25 donation. Se
    • by stupidfoo ( 836212 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @11:05AM (#11208944)
      F'en stingy Americans! How dare you raise millions and millions of dollars privately!?! Clearly your taxes are too low!
      • Re:Apple Too (Score:4, Insightful)

        by EinarH ( 583836 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @01:15PM (#11210277) Journal
        With the danger of sounding like a depreciative bitch I'm willing to play the devils advocate and say that "this whole donate privatly a few bucks on some page" is, allthough good, as significant as a mouse peeing in the ocean to rasie the level.

        Private donatins and charity and campaigns like this are the kind of feel-good actions that do very little overall. They are usualy short-term campaigns tha collect a few millions than fade into obscurity within a week and bring little long term benefit.
        Fast forward a week or two. Amazon may have collected $5-10 million then everyone forgets about the whole deal. It's a perfect setup. Those that give a few bucks get the feeling that they contributed "enough", some people got some help, politicans can take the populistic "sure we are helping through private aid", the private NGOs get they paycheck and got the chance to help _some_ and off couse promote their agenda. And everyone in the western world is happy.

        So yes I think private charity like this is insignificant comapred to large initiatives, long term work and state based aid.

        So yes I do think Americans are stingy, together with the rest of the rich world. I know because I'm a stingy person myself on this area*. But then again I'm honest enough to admit it.

        *For the record I gave less than $100 to the Red Cross yesterday. Should/Could have given much more.

        • Re:Apple Too (Score:3, Insightful)

          by nathanh ( 1214 )

          *For the record I gave less than $100 to the Red Cross yesterday. Should/Could have given much more.

          If every American gave as much as you did then you'd have collectively raised $30 billion for the relief effort. The UN is estimating they'll only need $5 billion in total.

          The problem isn't with you, so don't feel guilty. The problem is with the billions of people worldwide who will donate nothing.

          At the risk of sounding socialist (I'm sure I just caused a few Americans to faint from shock) this is

        • Re:Apple Too (Score:3, Insightful)

          by kaustik ( 574490 )
          I bet any one of the people receiving any sort of benefit from this (food, shelter, medical attention) would beg to differ.
        • Re:Apple Too (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rcamera ( 517595 )
          as of now, amazon claims to have collected $2,120,581.09. the us federal government pledged $35 million [] while the entire eu pledged $4 million []. overall, nations pledged "at least $102 million" (see first link). amazon alone has collected over 50% of the eu's pledge and 2% of total aid pledged by all nations. i wonder what the red cross has collected (without amazon), as well as unicef, cidi, etc. i imagine that compared to the $102 million, private collections are NOT insignificant.

          if you think that immed
      • by bruthasj ( 175228 )
        No more Food, I mean Oil, uh, I mean Kickbacks, for you Kofi!
  • Rotation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Manan Shah ( 808049 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:32AM (#11208593)
    I would not think a quake, even of this magnitude could have that much effect on rotation. Then again, the speculation is that there could never be enough energy for a 10.0 quake, so 9.0 is pretty high up on the list. It is impossible to comprehend, but an 8.6 earthquake has enough energy to equal 60,000 hydrogen bombs. Amazing.
    • Re:Rotation (Score:5, Funny)

      by justkarl ( 775856 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:34AM (#11208613)
      I'm not surprised that it sped up the rotation by 3 microseconds(not much), but I'm wondering if this really has any secondary effect on the planet. Like "The Day After Tomorrow"-like effects. And I don't mean special effects laced with bad screenwriting.
      • Re:Rotation (Score:4, Funny)

        by Squareball ( 523165 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:42AM (#11208694)
        Great now we'll have Leap-Second
      • Re:Rotation (Score:5, Insightful)

        by nwbvt ( 768631 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @12:04PM (#11209493)
        Thing is that stuff like this is really not out of the ordinary. This was the largest quake in 40 years, that means a larger one happened 40 years ago. And there were 3 larger ones in the past 100 years. Now for a human being once in every 40 years is rare, but for the planet that is pretty routine. We are all brought up to believe that the Earth is this fragile thing in which the slightest alteration screws up the balance of nature, but that really is not the case. It is a constantly changing giant rock spinning around in space.

        Now that doesn't mean that the quake can't have changes just because larger recent quakes didn't do anything. In fact we know that massive changes in the Earth have happened before in the more distant past, and I seriously doubt they were from SUVs polluting too much, so it is perfectly possible that there is something special about this quake (other than just its magnitude) that will cause major changes.

        • Re:Rotation (Score:3, Insightful)

          by b!arg ( 622192 )
          You are so right. The Earth is far from fragile. I've always had problems with people trying to "Save the Earth." What they are trying to do is Save the Humans. The Earth will be around LOOOONG after we are, but it will probably not be inhabitable by humans as we are today. Since our brief view of Earth during our lifetime makes us see it as a static thing (i.e. it is always rainy in Seattle and Northern Africa will always be a desert), it is incredibly dynamic. This has been one of the scariest thing
    • Re:Rotation (Score:2, Interesting)

      by tomjen ( 839882 )
      acording to ajazeera it now takes the earth 3 miliseconds less for a full rotation.

      read the article here []
    • by PhysicsGenius ( 565228 ) <physics_seeker AT yahoo DOT com> on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:45AM (#11208730)
      Angular momentum is conserved and is calculated by L = Iw where I is the rotational inertia, w is the angular velocity and L is the constant product. So if I goes up (and I will show in a minute how that happens), w must go down.

      I, the rotational inertia, is calculated different ways for different geometries. A long stick held by the end has a larger I than the same stick held by the center, for instance. Another example is a sphere, like the Earth, rotating on an axis. If it suddenly puts out a long arm, that's going to increase its rotation inertia considerably, decreasing its angular velocity. Lifting up a whole region by a few inches could easily do that.

    • by otisg ( 92803 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @12:40PM (#11209895) Homepage Journal
      Actually, the 3 microsecond effect (the Earth is now spinning a bit faster, shortening our day by about 3 microseconds) will have no long term effect. Our Moon has the drag effect on Earth anyway, continuously prolonging our days - about 15 microseconds per year.

      Aha, here is a bit about that from Wikipedia[1]:

      "The moment of inertia of Earth decreased a bit due to the earthquake. Because the angular momentum is conserved, this results in an increase of the angular velocity of Earth's rotation. In other words, the earthquake shortened the length of a day by as much as 3 s. However, due to tidal effects of the Moon, the Earth's rotation slows by 15 s per year. So any rotation speedup due to the earthquake will have no long-lasting effect at all."

      [1] thquake
  • What is the impact? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by zeux ( 129034 ) * on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:33AM (#11208604)
    it changed the rate of Earth's rotation. In a Reuters article, a NASA geophysicist theorizes that the quake compacted the Earth enough to speed up the planet's rotation by 3 microseconds

    What will be the impact of this on geostationnary satellites?
    On the measuring of time?
    On the GPS?
    • According to the article, the impact is 3 microseconds/day.
    • by Soft ( 266615 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:45AM (#11208729)
      What will be the impact of this on geostationnary satellites?

      No more than usual perturbations, I suppose: geostationary satellites already tend to drift a little and need stationkeeping.

      On the measuring of time?

      None. The second is defined relative to quantum levels in the caesium atom, that won't change. As for keeping up with the calendar, the Earth's rotation already has small variations; since 3 microseconds is roughly 1/300 second, we might have to subtract a leap second next July or December. (E.g. straight from 2005-12-31/23:59:58 to 2006-01-01/0:00:00 UTC.)

      On the GPS?

      Don't know, but don't think the resolution is that precise.

    • by Epistax ( 544591 ) <epistax@gmai l . com> on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @11:08AM (#11208967) Journal
      On the GPS?

      You press the degauss button. It'll look funny for a few seconds but then it'll click and be fine.
  • Article is useless, and indeed meaningless without the _what_ filled in...

  • by randomErr ( 172078 ) < minus city> on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:36AM (#11208627) Journal
    "a NASA geophysicist theorizes that the quake compacted the Earth enough to speed up the planet's rotation by 3 microseconds."

    Thats alright, it all works out in the end. You see everytime we launch a explortion vehicle we loose a nanoscopic amount of rotation speed.
  • Over what time? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by ( 84577 )
    "Richard Gross, a geophysicist with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California, theorized that a shift of mass toward the Earth's center during the quake on Sunday caused the planet to spin 3 microseconds, or 3 millionths of a second, faster and to tilt about an inch on its axis."

    3 millionths of a second faster...per year? Per day? Per second? It would seem that that would be critical information left out of this and all other articles I've seen mentioning this change.
  • by AbbyNormal ( 216235 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:36AM (#11208632) Homepage
    the wiki is here [] and some amazing videos are here []

    Absolutely amazing, the death-toll is reaching 69,000. I don't mean to be pessimistic, but would a warning system really have helped, though? I mean there are accounts of entire villages just being swept out to sea. Any life, obviously, is worth saving, but in the future I wonder how you could warn villages without power/communication systems. Very tragic.
    • You'd think there would be some sort of international warning system for events like this but apparently there isn't. According to this article [], U.S. scientists tried to reach contacts in the reach but since there is no warning system in place, they couldn't let anyone know what was happening.
    • by metlin ( 258108 ) * on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:57AM (#11208860) Journal
      Well, I'm writing this from Chennai/Madras which was hit quite badly (over 3000+ folks were killed from areas here and around).

      The problem is that this region has never seen Tsunamis before, and most people were just curious to see what the hell was happening. That made it only worse - a lot of them were morning walkers who were wondering what's up with the sea.

      If erudite urban folks are this naive, what can you expect off villagers? Actually, there is a story making the rounds of a guy from Singapore who called up his village and warned them about this, and they all moved to safety and nobody in the village was affected.

      The problem is that, it is not enough if you had a warning system -- you would need to know what to do with it. It's not sufficient to warn people, you need to tell them where to go and what to do, too.

    • The best prevention is education -- a scientist on a news channel in the U.S. yesterday said that when the sea recedes like it did before Sunday's tsunami, you have between 5-10 minutes to run the opposite direction. From most accounts, few did.

      It is noted that Sumatra was devastated by the 9.0 earthquake, followed twenty minutes later by the worst of the tsunami. In addition, parts of the Indian subcontinent were flooded up to several miles inland, making the visual warning inadequate. On the hillier isla

  • by night_flyer ( 453866 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:37AM (#11208645) Homepage
    Scientist warns of Atlantic tidal wave []
    • by arivanov ( 12034 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @11:19AM (#11209056) Homepage
      Fsck, here went my moderation.

      I have been on that island (it is worth visiting while it lasts). Nearly killed myself aquaplaning in a tropical rainstorm on a road with 400+ meter cliff going into the sea on the right and 400+ cliff going up towards the volcano in question on the left.

      Anyway, on subject:

      It has a US Geological Survey run GPS station network every several hundred meters or so in some places do detect any movement and try to predict the next eruption. There will be a fair warning on this one. It is a question if anyone will dare to use that warning wisely which I doubt.

      That is the good bit.

      The bad bit is that compared to a worst case La Palma scenario the tsunami from 2004 Christmas earthquake will be a child's game in a puddle. The predicted worst case tsunami for La Palma is 800m at the start, 100+m at Marroco and Capo Verde, 30+m at Lisbon, Rio and the Caribean, 10+ m along the entire East Coast of the US including New York and Ireland and 5+ at the South coast of the UK. The death toll if there will be no evacuation will be in the tens of millions if not hundreds. That is the worst case scenario which is if it slides the same way it slid 1+ million years ago when the current north caldera has formed (it is the largest volcanic caldera formed by a landslide on the planet - 30km+ diameter). Even if it is a fraction of that it is still really scary.

      Just to make things worse is that current models are that a landslide is likely to follow one of the next 3-5 eruptions and it erupts every 20 years on average.

      And worst part is that it has not erupted for nearly 33 years now so the next eruption is likely to be bigger then usual.
      • by Anonymous Coward
        Unfortuantely most people just don't look at the two oceans, especially their underwater attributes.

        Both the Pacific and Indian Oceans have very small if non existant shelves. There is simply deep ocean and then land rising up very quickly.

        The Atlantic Ocean has a large shelf that protrudes well out to sea on the east coast of the US. This can significantly reduce the effects of Tsunamis (which are the displacemnt of water). Think of it this way, the Tsunami will "break" hundreds of miles out to sea
        • You have a point to some extent. But you should also make your research properly. It is not uninterrupted contiguous barrier. It has everything from shallow banks to deep gorges that go all the way to the shore. While the banks will protect the shore, the average depth is deep enough for the wave to reach the shore in plenty of places and actually get focused by the gorges in others to way above the 10m average.
  • slowing rotation (Score:5, Interesting)

    by justforaday ( 560408 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:37AM (#11208647)
    I seem to remember seeing something a few months ago about the earth's rotation slowing a bit -- something that the scientists can't seem to explain. Any chance this sort of thing could be related or a partial explanation?
    • Micro gravity (Score:4, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:57AM (#11208870)

      The Earth is modeled in Physics classes as if the density is consistent throughout, so that they use a simplistic geocentric model as if all of the mass were at the center. This is not how The Earth is actually configured. For doing satelites one must models The Earth with micro-gravity elements, where masses are charted and denser areas have different effects based upon their sizes and locations. It is well known, for example, that under the South Atlantic Ocean there is a larger force of gravity.

      And so if there were a shift in some dense part of the mantle or the core where it went farther into The Earth (or farther away) it would change the rotational speed because of the conservation of angular momentum. Think of a child spinning on a swing. When the child pulls in his arms, the child spins faster. When the child puts her arms out, she spins slower. Same with The Earth.
  • Interesting. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jellomizer ( 103300 ) * on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:37AM (#11208650)
    It is interesting the Quake speeds up the earths rotation. Because there are factors like the moon that actually slow down the earths rotation. I don't know the rates of average earthquake will speed up the earths rotation vs. the rate the gravitional effect of the moon slows the rotation. So I guess in some ways earth quakes are a good thing in the long term. Because the earth having a 672 hour day would probably be more desasterious to life.
    • Re:Interesting. (Score:3, Insightful)

      by n0mad6 ( 668307 )
      With the case of the moon, the Earth's rotation is slowed down enough such that on average, the day is lengthened by 15 microseconds every year. At the same time, the moon gets 38 mm further from the Earth over the same period. This is a result of the two bodies being tidally locked (i.e., having synchronized rotations such that one side of the moon is always facing the Earth).
  • by espo812 ( 261758 )
    compacted the Earth enough to speed up the planet's rotation by 3 microseconds
    Don't forget to adjust your clocks [].
  • by Anonymous Coward
    There is a nuclear power station in Kalpakkam, India on the coastline that got hit by the Tsunami. The reactor was shutdown automatically. There was some flooding in the unit. The authorites claim it is safe. I wonder if these nuclear power station has any safegaurds for earthquacks.
  • by Manan Shah ( 808049 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:41AM (#11208681)
    A 10.0 earthquake has energy equivilant 1,000,000,000,000 tons of TNT. It would create a fault that circles the earth. A 12.0 on the other hand, with 160,000,000,000,000 tons of tnt energy, would break the hearth in half. Comparatively, the Northridge, CA quake of 1994 was "only" equal to 5,000,000 tons of emergy.
  • Just the SCOPE (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Badgerman ( 19207 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:41AM (#11208682)
    It's still hard to wrap my mind around the extent of the disaster.

    It also is amazing just how much information we have at our fingertips from cell phones, cameras, the internet, and more. Had this happened twenty years ago, the sense of it would be different.

    It's amazing seeing the global impact, and being aware of the global impact. The world is much smaller these days.

    I am also heartened to see how the internet has given people information on how to help out. That, too, is different than what we would have faced twenty years ago. Let's hope it makes a difference.

  • by Woogiemonger ( 628172 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:41AM (#11208691)
    As if there wasn't too little time in the day already.
  • Donate some money! (Score:5, Informative)

    by immerrath ( 607098 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @10:45AM (#11208727)
    I submitted a story with a link to a CNN [] page that lists organizations accepting aid for the Tsunami/Quake hit people, but it got rejected.

    I myself donated $500 to AmeriCares [] which seems to be a fairly reputable charity, and I'm only a poor graduate student.

    Those of you who are well off enough, please, donate as much as you can to your favorite charity.

    I quote John Donne []:

    "No man is an island, entire of itself; every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main. If a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less, as well as if a promontory were, as well as if a manor of thy friend's or of thine own were. Any man's death diminishes me because I am involved in mankind; and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls; it tolls for thee."

  • by AviLazar ( 741826 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @11:03AM (#11208918) Journal
    because now i have to reset my watch to account for the correct time. DAMN YOU!!! DAMN YOUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!!
  • by peter303 ( 12292 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @11:10AM (#11208981)
    The length of a day fluctuates two milliseconds, [] or a thousand times more, over the course of a year. Most of this attributed to the annual pattern of ocean storms.
  • by kryzx ( 178628 ) * on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @11:19AM (#11209052) Homepage Journal
    Come on now, is it really good journalism to put the title "Quake Changes Earth's Rotation, Moves Islands" on this, because some dork theorizes that the quake may have accelerated the Earth's rotation, but the change would be too small to measure? Please.

    And speaking of poor journalism, has anyone else noticed that Fox News has the epicenter of the quake totally wrong? They put it down near the bottom of Sumatra. I saw this on the first day and discounted it as early guesswork, but then I just saw it again last night (12/28), same graphic. I guess they just don't care.

  • Satellite Images (Score:5, Informative)

    by KrackHouse ( 628313 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @11:26AM (#11209111) Homepage
    The guys over at India's department of Space, National Remote Sensing Agency posted a link to an 8MB powerpoint slide of satellite images of the affected areas which effectively crippled their server due to the demand. Some of us readers over at mananged to get some mirrors up here [] and here. [] I also created a .torrent which includes the images(in a PowerPoint presentation) as well as a bunch of footage of the tsunami that has been going around bringing down servers. Grab the .Torrent []. Please grab the .torrent unless you're really lazy, the other mirrors will probably be tried first by those who really need the data. More seeders needed for that .torrent, leave your BT clients running please.
    • Re:Satellite Images (Score:3, Informative)

      by KrackHouse ( 628313 )
      Wow, just tested it and I was getting over 400KBytes/second down. That's the first time I've seen a download that fast, thanks for seeding everybody. I'm compiling some more footage that I'm going to put in TsunamiTorrentV2. If anybody has suggestions for content that's not already included please post a comment on my blog [].
  • by StillNeedMoreCoffee ( 123989 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @11:47AM (#11209331)
    Another estimate for the time change here. 22 80221dec28,1,6119845.column

    (some useless registration required). I quote from the article.
    "Incredibly, the magnitude 9.0 earthquake that struck off Sumatra on Sunday morning caused a vertical displacement of so much material that the rotation period of the Earth has been permanently altered. By a tiny but measurable amount, the Earth is now rotating more quickly on its axis, and the 24-hour day is now one ten-thousandth second shorter.That's the result of calculations based on preliminary data made by Oak Park astronomer Dr. Leslie M. Golden. It's analogous to the increase in rotational speed that a twirling ice skater experiences when he or she draws in their arms. It is estimated that during the Sumatran quake, a block of material roughly 600 miles in length and 100 miles in width fell 30 feet closer to the Earth's axis of rotation. The planet has responded by rotating more rapidly, albeit ever so slightly, and our 24-hour days are now one ten-thousandth second shorter." by Tom Skilling.

    If it is one ten-thousandth of a second then it works out to have more effect.

    Doing the math for 1/10,000 of a sec/day:

    so 10,000 days = 1 second

    10000/365 = 27.39 years

    So in 27.39 years we loose a second.

    Diameter of earth 12,756 km or circumference 24,902 mi or 131,482,560 ft (appox at equator)

    One second of the day means a radial distance of

    24hr * 60 min *60 sec = 86400 seconds /day

    131,482,560 (feet / day) / 86400 (sec/day) = 1521.79 feet/sec

    at the equator (old 24 hour day)
    or is what the eath turns in one second

    or if there is change of 1521.79 feet of alignment in 27.39 years. or 55.56 feet / year.

    55.56 (feet/yr) * 12 in/foot = 666.72in/yr(bad omen here)

    or 666.72 (in/year) / 365 days (aprox) = 1.8 in /day difference.

    55.56 (feet /year) / 12 months = 4.63 (ft/month)

    This is a different estimate than Nasas but might be thought of as an upper bound until things
    can be calculated more precisely.

    Satelite's orbits will not change their period because of the change in the earths rotational speed. Geosynchronous satalites will slip out of synchronisity and need to use fuel to change their orbits, reducing their effective life as we have no way of replenishing fuel in geosynchronous orbit (around 22k miles out I think).

    This will be devistating for GPS and will require immediate upgrades/repossitioning to those systems.

    Can you imagine a year from now a precision guided missle landing 55 feet to the left. and each day
    an additional 55 feet more. Frightning. I image the military has stopped using GPS guided weapons
    until that can be corrected.

    Now if you correct those numbers for the Nasa estimate.

    3/100,000 instead of 1/10,000 then the

    or 3,000,000 days to get one second then.

    or 8219 years

    1521.79 (ft/sec) / 8319 (years/sec) =.1829 (ft/year) .1829 ft * 12 inches = 2.195 in/year

    much less of an adjustment or a threat to satelite's positions or positioning satelites.

    (check the math, who knows if I did it right)

    Just an intellectual exercise to assess the effect. Enjoy
  • by Urgo ( 28400 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @03:52PM (#11212106) Homepage
    Normally when a person or entity uses the amazon honor system for donations/payments amazon takes a nice cut of the pie. I emailed them today to check if they did the same thing for the disaster relief and apparently they aren't!

    I included both emails below:

    TO: Amazon
    FROM: Urgo
    I have a question about the disaster relief donation page that you have setup on I know normally with the amazon honor system amazon gets a cut of all the donations. Is amazon taking a cut of the money in this case or is all of the money people donate going right to the red cross?

    FROM: Amazon
    TO: Urgo
    Thanks for writing to us at

    Please rest assured that all the donated money will go to the Red Cross to help victims of tragedies in southern Asia, India, and Africa.

    Please know that is waiving its usual fees.
  • Front Page Link? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TrevorB ( 57780 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @05:24PM (#11213102) Homepage
    Amazon and Google, among others, have added front-page links to simplify donating to the disaster relief effort.

    Perhaps Slashdot could do the same? After all, 80,000 dead and counting definately counds as "Stuff that matters."
  • by chris_sawtell ( 10326 ) on Wednesday December 29, 2004 @06:03PM (#11213481) Journal
    Why is it that so many people did not know that if the sea suddenly goes out very fast, it's going to come back again even faster.

    So if that ever happens to you, don't hang about, run inland as fast as your little legs will carry you. You life depends on it.

    Slashdot moderators please help get that message out, you will save lives.

"Call immediately. Time is running out. We both need to do something monstrous before we die." -- Message from Ralph Steadman to Hunter Thompson