Disaster Watch

Hollywood has known for decades that we love watching disasters. Fictional disasters on film are one thing (and we're talking about films intentionally about disasters, such as "Flood", rather than films that are in and of themselves disasters, such as, well, "Flood"), but there are lots of ways to watch real-life disasters.

Some of them are passing wonders, such as the burning of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in Beijing...

..and some are too sad and horrific to list, such as the wildfires in Australia. But sometimes the best real-life disaster rubber-necking is the speculative kind, the apoclyptic imagination wondering which event signals the end of the world. Here are just a few:

Mount Redoubt is getting ready to blow, potentially covering Anchorage in ash and pyroclastic flows damning inlets. You can even sign up for the Twitter feed, with updates every two hours. Alaskans aren't that worried, but that makes the dramatic tension even more exciting.

While the Atlantic hurricane season is still five months away, cyclones are springing up in the Indian Ocean and there's always the off chance of a typhoon in the Pacific.

You can always troll through the CDC and the WHO and worry about the next outbreak of avian flu, toxic peanut butter, and drug-resistant TB.

And you can watch the RNC self-destruct. Of course, I'm biased. I'm sure a link to the DNC, Congress, or WhiteHouse.gov could be equally entertaining for disaster mavens. Sausage-making, it's fascinating but it isn't pretty.

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