Monday, May 19, 2008

The May 12, 2008 Sichuan Earthquake (14:28 )

I thought this was an extremely moving photograph. Somehow I can't get it out of my mind. This one or something like it may be one of the images we forever associate with 2008.

This Friday May 16, 2008, photo, distributed by the official Chinese news agency Xinhua, shows a dead student's hand holding a pen tightly in the debris site of Dongqi Middle School in Hanwang Town of quake-hit Mianzhu City, southwest China's Sichuan province. (AP Photo/Xinhua, Liu Zhongjun)

There is an extensive collection of photos of the aftermath of the May 12, 2008 Sichuan earthquake at Given the large number of students killed in what must have been somewhat shoddily-built school buildings, this doesn't seem to be an unusual sight, as I also found some different yet remarkably similar pictures at

Not to be too skeptical or anything, but… what are the chances of all three out of three pictures being lefties? I just happened to notice. I'm not saying anyone is being deceptive, though. Hypotheses: Two to three PM could be left-hand development hour; this may have been the National Center for the Study of Lefthandedness; or rescuers may have a tradition of placing a pen in the left hand so the dead may continue to write in the spirit world. Or it may well just be a coincidence.

The Wikipedia also has a shot of toads swarming down the streets of Mianzhou, thought by many to be an eerie precursor to the quake.

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