March 14th, 2011, 9:56 am

Jeeves and Japan

Over the weekend, I've been glued to the news, watching with chilling astonishment at the devastation of the tsunami and earthquake that has torn through Japan. Even the country's vast technological achievements are overwhelmed by the horror and heartache caused by this terrible act of nature.

I've always held a deep appreciation for Japanese culture, even if it started rather superficially in my youth. It started with watching rubber-suited Godzilla movies in elementary school, which soon expanded to include the Power Rangers in middle school. By high school, I was watching anime, and by college, I was immersed in Kirosawa movies (not to mention sushi). One way or another, of this came from Japan, and I know it's only the pop culture surface of what Japan has contributed to the world, but I just wanted to say how thankful I am for it. It made me how I am.

So if you, like me, want to help Japan relief efforts, there's quite a few ways to do so. Most you probably know about, but there might be some you do not.

First off, Smack Jeeves, which hosts this webcomic, is donating all their subscription premiums to the relief effort for a month. So if you've ever thought about making a webcomic, now is the time to do it because any money to spend on hosting your webcomic (starting at $19.99) goes to a great cause.

The most popular way to donate is through the American Red Cross, which remains at the forefront of any major disaster. Just be sure to use common sense and good judgment when giving to the Red Cross - because as low as it is, scammers tend to come out of the woodwork when natural disasters hit. The British Red Cross offers some tips about identifying scammers. If you think you've been scammed or identified a fraud, contact the Red Cross here. If you want to skip giving online altogether, you can also text REDCROSS to 90999 to donate $10.

Another charity I like to give to during disasters is Doctors Without Borders. First of all, their donation system is very easy to use - though you might get the occasional newsletter in your e-mail or mail box every now and then. This is one I would definitely recommend using to Japan, given not only the natural health hazards, but the threat of radiation posed by the damaged power plants across Japan's coasts.

I hope this blog even a little help to the disaster overseas. Regardless, Japan will stay in my thoughts and prayers throughout this trying time.

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