Wednesday, September 21, 2005

I wonder if Tsunami was a girl too

A little while ago it was Katrina. Now it is Rita! Still reeling from the terrible devastation wrought by hurricane Katrina, Americans prepare for hurricane Rita. I began to wonder if there was some bias to the naming of nature's greatest storms. Why would this natural phenomena that practically destroyed a beautiful city like New Orleans be named after a woman? Do people who bear names associated with such natural disasters that take heavy tolls on humankind object to being so named? For answers I took a dive online and googled "hurricane". In micro-seconds I had more information than I could handle. How the world has changed!

I found FEMA's info site for kids on hurricanes - most interesting. A complete site, and it did my curiosity justice. Among other things, it dealt with the history of hurricanes and the how and why they were given names, including who did the naming. There was a long list of names given to hurricanes from 1996 - 2007. I thought I might find my name on that list. Hey, I did!

I began to relax though when I noticed a good balance between male and female names for hurricanes. But then, because I couldn't go into individual details I couldn't immediately tell who, or which, did the most severe damage. And then again you couldn't associate certain names with a particular gender. So, hurricane Chris or Sam could be male or female. But Katrina is definitely female. Mercy, Rita!

I'll go for Tony Wilson: New Orleans music makes you happy. Take heart people, as you rebuild.

Q. What do hurricanes and women have in common?
A. They're both wet and wild when they come, and they take the house and car when they leave.