‘Catastrophes!’ looks at natural disasters. Wired.com looks at photos of rocks.

Natural Disasters
Be afraid. Be very afraid.
“Catastrophes! Earthquakes, Tsunamis, Tornadoes, and Other Earth-Shattering Disasters” (Johns Hopkins University Press, $30)

Occidental College geologist Donald R. Prothero’s book about natural disasters was published four days after the 9.0 earthquake hit Japan: quite the timing. Prothero examines the geologic factors that create natural disasters without neglecting the (often more interesting) ways that humans are affected by them. In one chapter, Prothero explains how the 1906 tremblor in San Francisco gave birth to modern seismology by inspiring a 300-page report by leading geologists on the causes of earthquakes. He also recounts how the city’s boosters would refer to the event only as the “fire” of 1906 for fear of hurting the tourism industry.

Rachel Saslow

fashion
Great dress! Is it parachute or seat belt?
“Fabric Re:Defined,” Embassy of Finland

If you want to wear your eco-friendly heart on your sleeve, the Finnish Embassy is hosting an exhibit that will show you how: clothing and accessories made from fabrics that once were tents and tablecloths, seat belts and parachutes.

The exhibit, featuring Finnish design company Globe Hope, opened last week with a fashion show, where diplomatic staff served as models in the airy auditorium of the LEED-certified embassy. It will remain on view until April 24, Fridays to Sundays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., at 3301 Massachusetts Ave. NW.

The clothes combine waste-not-want-not spirit with some clever fabric choices and artful stitching. Bright-patterned Russian scarves add texture to heavy military drab; crisp white sails create durable boots and bags.

The items aren’t for sale, but they can be ordered at www.globehope.com. And if they inspire you to get out your sewing machine rather than your credit card, you will have taken away the exhibit’s true message.

Frances Stead Sellers

Frances Stead Sellers is senior writer at The Washington Post magazine. She joined the magazine in 2014 after spending two years as the editor of the daily Style section, with a focus on profiles, personalities, arts and ideas.

national

Success! Check your inbox for details. You might also like:

Please enter a valid email address

See all newsletters

Comments
Show Comments

Sign up for email updates from the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

You have signed up for the "Confronting the Caliphate" series.

Thank you for signing up
You'll receive e-mail when new stories are published in this series.
Most Read National

national

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.