The year began with news dominated by reports of death and destruction following the massive Indonesian earthquake. At first the death toll was counted in the thousands, then the tens of thousands, then over a hundred thousand. By some reports the dead and missing now number over a quarter million. So many lives gone so quickly, and not due to an act of humanity, but the raw force of nature. The reports tell that many of the victims were initially drawn to the shore, standing in wonderment as the water receded, then were swept away as the waves flooded in.