Sunday, April 20, 2008


Today's weather report: sunny and extremely clear, with a clean spring-like breeze. This has been the case all weekend. The rains on Thursday and Friday, ostensibly the end of our dry season here in southern Southeast Asia, dragged the smog and humidity out of the sky for a pretty fresh couple of days. I suspect we're in an autumn of sorts, the twilight between the last season and the next. Since it can't gradually rain, it must increasingly do so. Twilight started with a bang, though. Looking over the internet I find that Thursday's storm wasn't only weeks early for our monsoon, but months early for the Pacific typhoon season as well. As a matter of fact, Typhoon Neoguri,1 the year's first tropical depression, is the earliest Pacific typhoon in recorded history. Great start. The depression formed last Sunday, becoming a full-fledged typhoon late Wednesday in the South China Sea. During the next few days it threw all sorts of rain at my country before weakening as it drug aground on the Chinese mainland. Weakening meant very little in this case, however, as Neoguri arrived with an incredible amount of water, drowning first Hainan Island and then Guangdong province in something like ten inches of rain per hour.2 Flights and ferries were grounded in Hong Kong, and these delays continue to disrupt schedules throughout this weekend. In the South China Sea, several multinational fishing boats were capsized in the storm, and many fishermen remain missing, although Vietnam has managed to rescue quite a few of them from waters just off the central coast areas.3 Meanwhile, as the tropical storm Neoguri still moved up the Chinese mainland Friday, the very first dedicated Vietnamese telecommunications satellite, VINASAT-1, blasted into orbit from a platform in French Guiana courtesy Paris-based Arianespace corporation.4 [Cavin]

Then, a 0 sided conversation ensued...

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