One dude threw on scuba gear and jumped into a tsunami. The other covered health reform

One Dude threw on scuba gear and jumped into a tsunami. The other covered health reform. Both deserve a look.

You’ve just got to read this story about the “badass of the week,” Hideaki Akaiwa. This guy somehow got hold of some scuba gear, jumped into the tsunami, and rescued his wife and mother stranded at the upper levels of decimated houses. Dave Roberts gets a little over the top about this one. You will see why. Unbelievable.

Another dude, Jon Cohn, has a really nice piece about health reform one year later. Unlike Akaiwa, Jon really doesn’t combine MacGuyver MacGyver skills with Jason Statham moves when everyone else is panicking during a disaster. Or does he? How else did he get all those health care scoops after Scott Brown’s election….

Author: Harold Pollack

Harold Pollack is Helen Ross Professor of Social Service Administration at the University of Chicago. He has served on three expert committees of the National Academies of Science. His recent research appears in such journals as Addiction, Journal of the American Medical Association, and American Journal of Public Health. He writes regularly on HIV prevention, crime and drug policy, health reform, and disability policy for American Prospect,, and other news outlets. His essay, "Lessons from an Emergency Room Nightmare" was selected for the collection The Best American Medical Writing, 2009. He recently participated, with zero critical acclaim, in the University of Chicago's annual Latke-Hamentaschen debate.

4 thoughts on “One dude threw on scuba gear and jumped into a tsunami. The other covered health reform”

  1. Harold,

    You think Dave Roberts got a little over the top?
    What about the first story you linked to?

    I got this far:

    Akaiwa was at work on the 11th, when suddenly, right as he was in the middle of jumping over a giant Gatling-gun-armed robot while riding on a rocket-powered jetbike he’d MacGuyvered together out of vines, tree branches, and a couple thumbtacks, something terrible happened…

    That reminds me the prose you find in any one of the guide books for Dummies…
    I don’t need cute cubed…
    Cut to chase dammit.

  2. On a less dramatic and more teamworky note, Globo has before-and-after pictures of a wrecked stretch of road somewhere in Japan. Completely repaired in 6 days.

    International reporting is, I feel, concentrating on easy scare pieces and not getting out into the field to look at reconstruction efforts like this.

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