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In particular, the wonder and genius of the animated films from Studio Ghibli have become signposts for many writers at Christ and Pop Culture. We think we know what’s going to happen in My Neighbor Totoro from the moment its basic premise becomes clear. But Studio Ghibli made its name on gently subverting expectations of what an animated film can be, thanks in great part to Hayao Miyazaki’s sure hand in crafting films like My Neighbor Totoro.
I love watching movies in the theater—my first childhood memory is seeing the Rankin and Bass rendition of The Last Unicorn.
She can be sensitive, so we had to stand outside the theater during the trailers for fast-paced CGI previews. But calling it just a fairy tale would be an injustice; at its heart, the film is about a relationship between a young boy and young girl, and how bringing together worlds long-divided can bring us closer to a childlike sense of wonder. Takahata crafted a thoroughly romantic, thoroughly grounded film that is a delight; and is unfortunately completely unmarketable to an American audience that requires talking snowmen and anthemic songs in their animated fare. Counterpoint to these scattered lovely encounters is the film’s anti-war underpinning. Recent CommentsRobert Brooks on Do racial issues really “disappear” because of the Gospel?
In the Introduction to its Design and Construction guidance for Community Safe Rooms, FEMA reported, “Tornado Occurrence and resultant Losses are Increasing.” The chart at the right clearly demonstrates this increase. As destructive storms in the recent past point out, your best hope of survival from violent tornadoes is to have a well-designed safe room for your family. This chart below explains the Enhanced Fujita Scale (EF-scale), the modern version of the earlier F-scale developed by Dr.
Because a tornado is part of a severe convective storm, and these storms occur all over the Earth, tornadoes are not limited to any specific geographic location. In the United States, there are two regions with a disproportionately high frequency of tornadoes.
Strong to violent tornadoes (those of EF3 or stronger on the Enhanced Fujita Tornado Damage Intensity Scale), are relatively rare, and do not typically occur outside the United States.
Because most tornadoes are related to the strength of a thunderstorm, and thunderstorms normally gain most of their energy from solar heating and latent heat released by the condensation of water vapor, it is not surprising that most tornadoes occur in the afternoon and evening hours, with a minimum frequency around dawn (when temperatures are lowest and radiation deficits are highest). Prevention and practice before the storm: At home, have a family tornado plan in place, based on the kind of dwelling you live in and the safety tips below. If you shop frequently at certain stores, learn where there are bathrooms, storage rooms or other interior shelter areas away from windows, and the shortest ways to get there. Know the signs of a tornado: Weather forecasting science is not perfect and some tornadoes do occur without a tornado warning. From left to right is undead Belle, undead Aladdin, undead Jasmine, undead Mulan, undead Cinderella, undead Ariel, undead Esmeralda, undead Pocahontas, and undead Alice. They become signposts and memory markers as we associate a film’s impact to whatever is happening in our own lives. Two young girls move out of the city with their parents in the hope that their seriously ill mother will have a better chance of recovery in a countryside hospital. However, I tend to be very reticent in taking my own children to see movies (yes, I am totally that overprotective parent at times) because once they experience something (good or ill), it can’t be undone.
After that, there was real magic sitting with her, watching a film that is in many ways about a father-daughter relationship.
The premise certainly occupies that special space of Ghibli magical realism: a magical goldfish transforms into a human and then the world is flooded as result of her seeming hubris.
Ghibli has throughout its existence has steadfastly remained in opposition to war and those who conduct it, and the disdain comes out in their films. The immediate vibrancy of the natural palette and the careful, hand-drawn animation was breathtaking. Protagonists and antagonists both were a mix of human inclinations and emotions and motives and goals.
Part of the increase likely stems from better reporting and use of Doppler radar in recent years.
GreatRoom Shelters are designed under FEMA and National Storm Shelter Association guidelines and offer “near absolute” protection for you and your family.
In fact, tornadoes have been documented in every state of the United States, and on every continent, with the exception of Antarctica (even there, a tornado occurrence is not impossible). Although the boundaries of Tornado Alley are debatable (depending on which criteria you use – frequency, intensity, or events per unit area), the region from central Texas, northward to northern Iowa, and from central Kansas and Nebraska east to western Ohio is often collectively known as Tornado Alley. Globally, the middle latitudes, between about 30° and 50° North or South, provide the most favorable environment for tornado genesis.


However, tornadoes have occurred at all hours of the day, and nighttime occurrences may give sleeping residents of a community little or no warning.
Freak accidents happen; and the most violent tornadoes can level and blow away almost any house and its occupants. Know where you can take shelter in a matter of seconds, and practice a family tornado drill at least once a year.
When a tornado watch is issued, think about the drill and check to make sure all your safety supplies are handy.
All administrators of schools, shopping centers, nursing homes, hospitals, sports arenas, stadiums, mobile home communities and offices should have a tornado safety plan in place, with easy-to-read signs posted to direct everyone to a safe, close by shelter area.
Whirling dust or debris on the ground under a cloud base — tornadoes sometimes have no funnel! Get in the basement and under some kind of sturdy protection (heavy table or work bench), or cover yourself with a mattress or sleeping bag.
Go to the lowest floor, small center room (like a bathroom or closet), under a stairwell, or in an interior hallway with no windows. Even if your home is tied down, it is not as safe as an underground shelter or permanent, sturdy building.
There is no safe option when caught in a tornado in a car, just slightly less-dangerous ones.
If not, lie flat and face-down on low ground, protecting the back of your head with your arms. If possible, move quickly but orderly to an interior bathroom or hallway, away from windows. Anyone who’s familiar with the tropes of the endangered-parent fairy tale knows that Mom’s chances of survival aren’t good. His movie is childlike in the best possible sense of the word—it luxuriates in the present. I suppose I understand the complaint of some that Arrietty is slow-moving, but it was a perfect pace for her, and her eyes were wide at times when director Yonebayashi and his animators emphasized the immense differences of scale between Arrietty’s world and the realm of the human “beans.” I’m grateful, because Studio Ghibli gave my daughter—and me—exactly the first-movie experience I had been praying for. As a loose interpretation of Hans Christian Anderson’s The Little Mermaid, it manages to craft its own loving version while incorporating Ghibli’s longstanding thematic focus of restoring the balance between humanity and nature. Instead, we’re treated to a nautical narrative filled with creatures and a sense of innocence that may be unmatched in the studio’s catalogue.
During her time away, Taeko brings to mind another crossroads she navigated years earlier: the onset of puberty.
When Marco tells of his vision of the fallen dead pilots joining the grand heavenly stream. Standing with a friend before the theater marquee trying to decide on the evening’s entertainment, we chose Princess Mononoke because she had heard its English translation was scripted by Neil Gaiman (who at that point was really only famous for his comics series, Sandman). Read the articles below about tornadoes to become even better informed of things to watch for and actions to take to protect your family in the event of a tornado.
This chart explains results based on the observed damage after the storm because actually recording wind speeds during a storm is nearly impossible.
In fact, wherever the atmospheric conditions are exactly right, the occurrence of a tornadic storm is possible.
Meteorologically, the region known as Tornado Alley is ideally situated for the formation of supercell thunderstorms, often the producers of violent (EF2 or greater) tornadoes. This is the region where cold, polar air meets against warmer, subtropical air, often generating convective precipitation along the collision boundaries. Know where very heavy objects rest on the floor above (pianos, refrigerators, waterbeds, etc.) and do not go under them.
Interior stairwells are usually good places to take shelter, and if not crowded, allow you to get to a lower level quickly.
Go to one of those shelters, or to a nearby permanent structure, using your tornado evacuation plan.
If the tornado is visible, far away, and the traffic is light, you may be able to drive out of its path by moving at right angles to the tornado. Move as quickly as possible to an interior bathroom, storage room or other small enclosed area, away from windows.
Stay away from power lines and puddles with wires in them; they may still be carrying electricity! The girls explore and quarrel, giggle and worry; the endearingly strange forest spirit Totoro pops up here and there like a feral Aslan.
My daughter was 4 years old when The Secret World of Arrietty was released in the States, and we had been reading Mary Norton’s Borrowers books as a family, so at last, I held my breath and took her.
As she recalls the joys, frustrations, experiences, and hopes of that time of life, she seeks to apply their lessons to her current state of unease. When we first encounter Marco in his island hideout and its striking, paradisaical lushness.


In Porco Rosso, we find Marco who, in great disgust after serving as an ace in WWI, has renounced his humanity to live as a pig. I was reluctant, having been poisoned by too many years of American animation aimed wholly at audiences built of children. Lady Eboshi, the ostensible villain, clearcuts forests and tries to kill the spirits and saves women from lives of prostitution and cares for lepers. Some scientists believe that tornado frequency is a function of global climate change, but that correlation is under study and has not yet been made in the scientific literature.
Florida has numerous tornadoes simply due to the high frequency of almost daily thunderstorms. In addition, air in the mid-latitudes often flows at different speeds and directions at different levels of the troposphere, facilitating the development of rotation within a storm cell.
Forget about the old notion of opening windows to equalize pressure; the tornado will blast open the windows for you!
If you are planning to build a house, especially east of the Rockies, consider an underground tornado shelter or an interior “safe room”.
Most tornadoes can destroy even tied-down mobile homes; and it is best not to play the low odds that yours will make it. If there is no time to do that, get under the seats or pews, protecting your head with your arms or hands. As we grow up, we learn to treat our experiences as stones with which we construct narratives for our lives, but My Neighbor Totoro reminds us that we didn’t always think of life that way.
Yet when the film ends and the balance between the worlds is restored, we see a community accept the wonder of children and learn it’s often the youngest among us who see goodness and love in all creatures (even in the smallest of goldfish). In terms of absolute tornado counts, the United States leads the list, with an average of over 1,275 tornadoes recorded each year since 1997. In addition, several tropical storms or hurricanes often impact the Florida peninsula each year. Of these violent twisters, only a few (0.1 percent of all tornadoes) achieve EF5 status, with estimated winds over 200 mph and nearly complete destruction.
Interestingly, the places that receive the most frequent tornadoes are also considered the most fertile agricultural zones of the world. Even in an interior room, you should cover yourself with some sort of thick padding (mattress, blankets, etc.), to protect against falling debris in case the roof and ceiling fail.
If you are caught by extreme winds or flying debris, park the car as quickly and safely as possible — out of the traffic lanes.
While laying an indictment on the whole violent human enterprise, Marco continues to make his living from guns; even if he deploys them without lethality.
These were thoughtful, complicated, human people whose decisions were built on their contexts and beliefs and interactions rather than simply a need to fill a role in a careless plot.
When these tropical systems move ashore, the embedded convective storms in the rain bands often produce tornadoes. This is due in part to the high number of convective storms delivering needed precipitation to these areas. Watching Miyazaki’s films reminds us what it is like to follow those breadcrumbs, not knowing or particularly caring where the trail ends up. Other locations that experience frequent tornado occurrences include northern Europe, western Asia, Bangladesh, Japan, Australia, New Zealand, China, South Africa and Argentina. However, despite the violent nature of a tropical storm or hurricane, the tornadoes they spawn (some as water spouts) tend to be weaker than those produced by non-tropical thunderstorms.
Simply as a result of the large number of convective storms and the favorable environment, the odds are increased that some of these storms will produce tornadoes. Put your head down below the windows; cover your head with your hands and a blanket, coat, or other cushion if possible. Remain calm and alert, and listen for information and instructions from emergency crews or local officials. We simply follow the crumbs as they appear before us, with each moment an entire reality unto itself. In fact, the United Kingdom has more tornadoes, relative to its land area, than any other country. If you can safely get noticeably lower than the level of the roadway, leave your car and lie in that area, covering your head with your hands.
Avoid seeking shelter under bridges, which can create deadly traffic hazards while offering little protection against flying debris.



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