Thursday, March 31, 2011

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


As things start to clear in Japan following this great tragedy, there will be millions of tons of debris that will have to go somewhere. Where?
The steel and other products used in all the vehicles and the structures of buildings that have been destroyed could end up in a recycling system.
Will your next car or home be radioactive?
I hope someone in government is thinking ahead.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011


Exploring one's own mind is a luxury afforded those who have earned the free time to do nothing more important than think. It is a necessity for those who crave more knowledge and understanding and the excitement of new horizons. It is the comfort of those who do not have the physical means to climb mountains.
It is an escape from the clatter of banal chatter on television and the din of meaningless trivia that oppresses us daily. It can be a respite from the harsh realities of earthquakes, plagues and wars.
Just thinking.
I was doing nothing but thinking when I remembered seeing Franchot Tone and his co-star at the world premiere of their movie, The Eiffel Tower, at the Capitol Theatre in Montreal when I was very young. But I just couldn't remember the name of the co-star. I remembered that he also played the role of The Penguin in a Batman movie. But his name eluded me. It really didn't matter. But, as usual, when I can't think of a name, it gnaws at me. So I gave up trying to sleep and went to the computer. Of course, Burgess Meredith. Now I can rest, right? Of course not.
Burgess Meredith. There was an author named Burgess. Follow the yellow brick road. Thornton Waldo Burgess, Cape Cod, conservationist, author of children's books.
 Waldo, eh?
Ralph Waldo Emerson. Let me see what he had to say. Quotes by Ralph Waldo Emerson: Why does that lead me to remember Henry David Thoreau - Ah! Cape Cod.
Do not go where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.  Ralph Waldo Emerson
Follow the yellow brick road, or better yet, pave a new one. And so, here, I have paved a new path, created a new creation. Sleep is a luxury I cannot afford.
Phyllis Carter
March 22, 2011

Monday, March 21, 2011


I have been pleading with my friends in Sendai since March 15 to leave for a safer area, but they refuse to go.
The Japanese people are being deceived - told to stay indoors and monitor the radiation instead of fleeing to safety. It reminds me of how children were told to hide under their desks in case of an atomic bomb attack. The Japanese people are not being told of the true dangers of further earthquakes, explosions and radiation. 
It is a tragedy beyond tragedy. It is a crime of enormous proportions that will affect helpless little children and generations to come.
But nobody wants to hear the truth. It is easier to hide under the desk. I wish I could hide from the truth too, but I can't.
Phyllis Carter
(Photograph of Nozomi amd Shinya and their little daughters below).
I spent four days and nights trying to locate Nozomi and her family.
March 11, 2011  7:00 AM
Hi Nozomi,
We are just hearing about the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Are you all safe? I look forward to hearing from you.
Phyllis Carter
March 15, 2011
Hi Phyllis,
Thank you for your email. I and my family are all safe.
We hadn't been having electricity for 4 days, but last
night, it finally came.
Many many people died in my prefecture even in my
Thanks God we are alive.
Please tell my friends that I'm okay.
March 15, 2011
OH !!!  I AM SO HAPPY !!!!!!!
Please take care of yourselves and keep in  touch with me. I love you and I have been awake three days trying to find you. I am crying happy tears now.
Try to get out of the danger area no matter what you have to leave behind. Protect your family.
I will tell Brian and Georgia this wonderful news !!!!!!
Later, I will send you email showing you what I have been doing to try to find you.
I can't stop crying and laughing now.
I thank God for this miracle !!!!
Tuesday Morning, 8:15 AM, Montreal Time
Hi Nozomi,
I don't know what your situation is like and whether you are able to hear the latest news. In the west we hear there is serious danger from the nuclear plants. There have been explosions and news reports there is a real danger of radiation leaks and more explosions.
It would be best if you could leave Japan or at least travel very far from the nuclear reactors. This is not gossip but serious news reports.
Please let me know your situation and let me know Shinya's family name. It was difficult to search for you without knowing it.
I check my email day and night.
Take care of yourselves. Nothing is more important than protecting your family.
To Nozomi
Canadian news is reporting interviews with nuclear experts. Radiation leaking from the reactors is already a danger. Even though the effects may not be shown immediately, the radiation is in the air and being breathed in and spreading onto everything. It cannot be seen or felt but there is serious health danger, especially to children.
March 15, 2011
Hi Nozomi,
Thank you so much for writing. You are right. We in the West are hearing that your government may not be telling you all the truth abut the danger. We are also hearing conflicting reports, but there is radiation leaking from the plants already and there have been  more explosions. You cannot be too careful
I strongly suggest that you move as far away from the plants as you possibly can. I am not trying to frighten you. but to protect you. The danger is real. The radiation that has already been released is in the air and can travel on the wind. It is a serious health threat when it is breathed in. It has no taste or smell. You cannot know it is there. Also the radiation lands on everything including crops and food and water. There is not yet enough radiation to cause illness that everyone would feel - like upset stomach , vomiting etc. The smaller amounts of radiation can take years to show the effects. The danger is greatest to the children, but all life is affected.
You should not take the chance of staying, but leave as quickly as you can. I do not want to scare you or to upset you or make you panic. But to be safe, you should go quickly and as far as possible. No one can be sure about how these earthquakes and radiation leaks will increase or which way the wind will blow the radiation. So please go, and keep writing to me. I am telling Brian about everything. He has his mind in the sky trusting God. I trust good sense and reason and logic and I want you to be safe.
I check my email day and night, so keep writing and let me know where you are. Also, please tell me Shinya's family name in case we lose touch again.
Do you have money? I do not know how I could send money to you in these circumstances, but if you need some, I promise to help as much as I can.
March 15, 2011
Our news is now reporting that the danger has increased and people are fleeing. You must go. And be careful. And keep writing to me. They are now saying that the government is downplaying the danger. You must go south without delay. Do not wait.
Do not stay. Go. Now.
March 15, 2011, 9:01 am

Latest Updates on Japan's Nuclear Crisis and Earthquake Aftermath

10:22 P.M. |Chief Cabinet Secretary's News Conference

Japan's chief cabinet secretary, Yukio Edano, is holding a news conference that is being broadcast live on Japanese television. Mr. Edano said radiation readings started rising rapidly Wednesday morning outside the front gate of the Fukushima Daiichi plant. "All the workers there have suspended their operations. We have urged them to evacuate, and they have," he said, according to a translation by NHK television.

March 16, 2011

It is now being reported that Japan is losing control over the reactors and workers in the nuclear plants are leaving the plants because it is too dangerous. I am hoping that you are on your way to a far location. Let me know where you are.
News reports radiation leaks in three nuclear plants.
Radiation detected 150 KM from the plants.
People staying indoors in Tokyo.
Risk of another Chernobyl very real now.
In a message dated 18/03/2011 2:16:55 A.M. Eastern Daylight Time,
Nozomi writes
Dear Phyllis,
I'm at home, in Sendai now. It's over 100km far from
Fukushima nuclear plant. Please don't worry.
My boss said that I can stay at home for a while.
I'm okay.
 I also got email from Sook yesterday, and I replied.
I really thank you for your kindness.

I am sorry, Nozomi,
You are taking an awful risk. The radiation is going far beyond 100 km already. If you would read western press you would know the truth. Your children will suffer for your mistake. I am sorry to be so hard, but I am telling you the truth.
Americans Urged to Leave Japan's Affected Areas as Radiation Levels Rise in Tokyo
by R. Robertson
Tuesday Mar 15th, 2011 12:24 PM
Several embassies advised their citizens to leave affected areas, including Tokyo. Some multinational companies either told staff to leave or were considering relocating outside the city. US says Americans should leave affected areas.

UPDATE: 3/16. American officials break with Japanese authorities, broadening the area US citizens should move from immediately to a 50 mile radius from Fukushima plant. Source: CNN
Officials in Tokyo 150 miles south of the plant said radiation in the Tokyo, which is 150 miles south of the nuclear plant, is 10 times normal.

Update 3/16: Level in Tokyo 10 times higher than normal says Kyodo News ....
From Nozomi,
March 18, 2011
Dear Phyllis,
I know American Embassy said to the Americans who live in Japan
to leave to the USA or at least leave to 80km far from Fukushima.
American media can say anything because they don't live in Japan.
But we are living here.
I know the radiation comes to Sendai already, but it is not so different
in Tokyo. How we can do?
Tohoku University where I work started to monitor the radiation.
I look numerical values carefully.
March 18, 2011
My heart is with you and your children, Nozomi,
I can only imagine your situation and how you feel. All I can think is that - if I were in your place - I would do everything possible to take my children as far away as possible and as quickly as possible. I think that the longer you remain in that area, the more radiation you are exposed to. And there is the danger of further explosions. I know there is no perfect answer and it is all a gamble, but it seems to me that getting far away quickly makes sense.
To Nozomi,
March 18, 2011
The danger has increased. I can't describe the technical information that is being reported on the news as I write. There is more than the radiation that everyone is talking about. There are plutonium particles being released because of the water levels being lowered in the plants.
March 18, 2011
To Nozomi
Japan's nuclear safety agency has raised the rating of the country's nuclear crisis from 4 to 5 on a 7- level international scale.

Some experts are saying the level should be SIX

Authorities are struggling to prevent the catastrophic release of radiation in the area devastated by a tsunami.

And so we watch and wait with heavy hearts. I fear for the children, but I am helpless.
Phyllis Carter
March 21, 2011


If you are able, but unwilling to help, please don't tell victims of crime and abuse that you are praying for them.
Sincere prayer is the hope of good people seeking support for things they cannot do themselves. We pray for good health because there are limits to what medicine can do.
We pray for safety, because we have no control over volcanoes and earthquakes, and little control over avalanches, mud slides, floods and fires; little control over drunk drivers and icy roads; little control over criminals the injustice system lets loose among us. We know we need help beyond our own ability, so we reach out beyond ourselves in the hope that God cares even when no one else does.
But when you say, "I'll pray for you," because you don't care enough to do anything to help, you insult true believers and you add to the burden of victims.
Please don't say you'll pray for me if it means you don't care enough to help me yourself.
And what does God think of your false prayers? Only God knows. But we crime victims, we know.

Sunday, March 20, 2011



March 19, 2011
I just went to close the window because it was getting cold. And  WOW ! There it is ! At twelve o'clock in the sky right in front of me. Beautiful ! So bright. And there appears to be a huge hazy halo around it - the frost, I guess. What a sight ! The brightest moon in eighteen years.
It was 1993 or 1994. I was on my way to St. Barnabas Church in the West Island of Montreal. It was a very hard time in my life. My darling Cliff had died in 1992, and I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was sick, scared, sad, unemployed and financially strapped. The fact that I had lost all my hair to chemotherapy hardly mattered. I was hanging on to life physically and emotionally, and the hope of Jesus was keeping me from going under.
It was sunset.  Driving north, I was about a block from the church. I came to the corner of Pierrefonds Blvd., I had to stop for the red light. I had my eyes fixed on the traffic lights by the shopping centre across the street. The sky above was a peculiar pale turquoise colour. Suddenly there were meteors ! Were they meteors? Three brilliant fluorescent projectiles were plummeting from northeast to southwest across the turquoise expanse trailing ribbons of white vapor. I stared. I was stunned.
I was on my way to the church to participate in a service where people took turns reading from the bible all through a 24 hour period. When I got to the church, the reading assigned to me was this one from the prophet, Habakkuk. I was not familiar with it. I trembled as I read it.

Habakkuk's Prayer

1This prayer was sung by the prophet Habakkuka:

2I have heard all about you, Lord.

I am filled with awe by your amazing works.

In this time of our deep need,

help us again as you did in years gone by.

And in your anger,

remember your mercy.

3I see God moving across the deserts from Edom,b

the Holy One coming from Mount Paran.c

His brilliant splendor fills the heavens,

and the earth is filled with his praise.

4His coming is as brilliant as the sunrise.

Rays of light flash from his hands,

where his awesome power is hidden.

5Pestilence marches before him;

plague follows close behind.

6When he stops, the earth shakes.

When he looks, the nations tremble.

He shatters the everlasting mountains

and levels the eternal hills.

He is the Eternal One!

7I see the people of Cushan in distress,

and the nation of Midian trembling in terror.

8Was it in anger, Lord, that you struck the rivers

and parted the sea?

Were you displeased with them?

No, you were sending your chariots of salvation!

9You brandished your bow

and your quiver of arrows.

You split open the earth with flowing rivers.

10The mountains watched and trembled.

Onward swept the raging waters.

The mighty deep cried out,

lifting its hands to the Lord.

11The sun and moon stood still in the sky

as your brilliant arrows flew

and your glittering spear flashed.

12You marched across the land in anger

and trampled the nations in your fury.

13You went out to rescue your chosen people,

to save your anointed ones.

You crushed the heads of the wicked

and stripped their bones from head to toe.

14With his own weapons,

you destroyed the chief of those

who rushed out like a whirlwind,

thinking Israel would be easy prey.

15You trampled the sea with your horses,

and the mighty waters piled high.

16I trembled inside when I heard this;

my lips quivered with fear.

My legs gave way beneath me,d

and I shook in terror.

I will wait quietly for the coming day

when disaster will strike the people who invade us.

17Even though the fig trees have no blossoms,

and there are no grapes on the vines;

even though the olive crop fails,

and the fields lie empty and barren;

even though the flocks die in the fields,

and the cattle barns are empty,

18yet I will rejoice in the Lord!

I will be joyful in the God of my salvation!

19The Sovereign Lord is my strength!

He makes me as surefooted as a deer,e

able to tread upon the heights.



After I published the piece on Habakkuk the first time, I looked at the picture I had picked at random from a free photo site. Look - There are three trails even though there are four projectiles.

Sunday, March 13, 2011


My heart goes out to you who are surviving in Japan.
We who live in the West may think that your troubles are sad but distant - not connected with us, really. But we all live on one Earth and we are all connected. We are all flesh and blood, and yes, souls. Even the poor animals who are dying now feel fear and pain and loss. 
World War II saw some of the greatest horrors that human beings could visit on each other. One monster more than any other, Adolph Hitler, brought us hell on earth, but the idol worship of an emperor led the people of Japan to become puppets, participating in the savage horror. It finally brought the fires of hell down on your ancestors and made us, the ordinary citizens of the West, a guilty but helpless party to the cruel revenge. If only it were just the perpetrators of evil who suffered, but it is always the innocent who suffer. There is no justice on this earth.
Now, we are seeing a holocaust wrought by nature - and by man, through the nuclear plants. Those who survive will be left with the incredible pain, and scars that will not heal. The earth itself is injured. We are all living on shaky ground. Yet most people continue to ignore reality, even as our very earth crumbles. Bible prophecies are coming true even as I write.
All humanity will suffer hopelessly unless we find leaders who will guide us out of this nightmare. But, call me Jeremiah. Even in the midst of this darkness, people are contemplating their own interests. There are people on the Internet and on television still talking about trivia - sports, cosmetics, money - telling dirty jokes and participating in dirty behaviour, while you, our fellow human beings in Japan, are suffering and dying. But we are not separate. We cannot be separate. There is only one earth and we are all one flesh, one heart, one soul. Your pain is not distant to me. I am weeping for you - and for all of us.
Phyllis Carter

Saturday, March 12, 2011


March 12, 2011
I survived the 11th March 2011 Japan(Sendai) Earthquake and Tsunami 
Hello, people. I am not Japanese, but Ukrainian. And I am from the generation that saw Chernobyl in childhood and all the consequences of the radiation: diseases of my friends and family, deaths of radiation explosion, polluted land and gigantic mushrooms, double headed cows... I can write about more...
I pray for those who saw this explosion and never wish anyone to see it again.
Anna, The world is so sick. We have no control over volcanoes and earthquakes, but nuclear power plants are man's folly. The tragedy of Chernobyl was not enough to stop those who hold power from building more nuclear plants. I am so worried about the people of Japan - and for all helpless victims - the innocent who have suffered because of Chernobyl and those who are going to suffer now and in the future as human beings continue to put greed before sanity. We must not be silent. There is only one Earth and politics, race, religion - none of these things matter when we are faced with such catastrophe. We are one human race living on the only Earth we have.


Nozomi Chiba and Shinya,
Rune and Moyu

The disaster in Japan has hit very close to my heart. I have dear friends who live in Sendai, Nozomi Chiba and her husband, Shinya, and their two little girls, Rune and Moyu.

Nozomi was one of my students here in Montreal and a fellow member of St. Thomas' Church - circa 2003 - before returning to Sendai to be married.

The last phone number I have for her is dated January, 2007. When I dial that number, I get an operator's recorded message saying the number is not valid.

I have sent messages to the Embassy of Japan in Ottawa and to the Red Cross.
I called Foreign Affairs - 1-800-387-3124. I was advised to write to I did that.

I am still waiting to hear from anyone who can let me know they are safe.

I believe Nozomi's mother was a co-founder of a hospital in Sendai circa 2003.

Nozomi and her family live in Aoba - Ku, Sendai, Miyagi, Japan.

The whole world is watching and waiting and praying.

The Japan Times reported today, "THE EARTH SHIFTED ON ITS AXIS"

There are no words.

Friday, March 11, 2011


March 11, 2011
Concordia Journalism students with Todd and Caroline - February 17, 2011 
  • Phyllis Carter
    I had an experience with one journalism student from Concordia that brings me to warn the public. I will not name her here. This young lady asked to interview me. She said she wanted to write about me because she was impressed by who I am. I sat with her for about three hours at Tim Horton's answering all her questions and discussing my experiences. I had told her when she first called me that the interview was conditional on my right to see what she had written. She said, "Of course. No problem." Some time later, when I asked to see her paper, she refused. I contacted the head of the journalism department at Concordia and I was told that the student was not obliged to show me what she had written about me. I then went to the highest official at Concordia and I was told the same thing. What the girl had written about my life was not my business. Beware of Concordia's journalism students.
    Elias Makos
    The public does not need to be "warned." You sat down with a journalism student for three hours, and expected some sort of special privilege that no journalist should ever give, if they want to be taken seriously. I suspect you either misunderstood, are naive, or both.

    The student, the chair, and this "highest official" at Concordia are right. You are not. If you have a problem with people writing about you, don't do interviews with journalists.

    (Full disclosure: I work full-time in the Journalism department at Concordia University, and I appear regularly on CTV's noon news as tech/trends columnist.)
    Phyllis Carter  I have learned from this bad experience. I would never give an interview to a student again. When I speak to a professional journalist, I know what to expect. I did not expect a student to lie to me and I did not expect officials at Concordia to condone the deception. As a professional journalist myself, my level of ethics requires me to be truthful at all times no matter what anyone else does.
    PHYLLIS CARTER'S JOURNAL - Building Camelot One Essay At A Time -

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


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Tuesday, March 8, 2011


  • Archive Index Part IV

  • ▼  February
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