Sunday, January 15, 2012

Anniversary of the Boston Molasses Tsunami

Today, we honor the anniversary of the Boston Molasses Tsunami. The first time I heard about it, I thought it was a joke, but it really happened. 93 years ago on January 15, a molasses storage tank failed, unleashing a couple million gallons of molasses inundating a portion of Boston's North End to a depth of 2 - 3 feet, killing 21 people and injuring 150 people.


To me, it puts a different aspect on last year's, Japanese tsunami. The immensity of the Japanese tsunami is difficult to grasp, and although youtube videos help, and of course, the Boston tsunami was a dwarf compared to the Japanese tsunami. The photographs from 93 years ago are strikingly similar to the Japanese youtube videos. They both help me to understand the disaster, and the science and nature behind it.

Aftermath of the disaster; photo by Globe Newspaper Co. (Boston Public Library

Wikipedia article on the Boston Molasses Tsunami

So... I baked gingerbread cookies. Why? Because gingerbread cookies are made with molasses. In this case a whopping 2/3 cup of molasses. hmmmm. ok, my molasses is definitely not tsunami worthy. Regardless, I shall be respectful of the energy that large bodies of liquid (I was going to say water, but molasses is not water) can transmit.

Gingerbread cookie being prepared for sharing. By the way, all of the humans loved the cookies, too.

Mabel and Doctor munching on Gingerbread cookies.

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