Something trivial in relation to the tsunami crisis, but it’s on my mind anyway. If you live in the US, have an HDTV-capable TV, and are buying a DVD movie, consider buying a multiregion player and foreign discs. Because R2 (Europe) and R4 (Australia) releases are nearly all in PAL, you get about 20% better video resolution. This article about PAL vs NTSC is helpful.
Anyway. One of our travelling friends has reported in, and she’s fine. Waiting for the others, though we suspect they were in less danger. Just one island north for the first bunch would have put them on Panang, now devastated. Funny how the odd decision sometimes turns out to be really, really important.