(1) The AMS meeting has an organized tour of the levees, the damage, etc. This makes me intensely uncomfortable -- the differentiating line between that and gawking at OPS ("other people's suffering") is not that clear to me. I'm definitely not going on that tour no matter how scientific the organizing committee makes it sound:
After having watched the television coverage of this horrific event, you likely have many curiosities about the magnitude of what the disaster has done and also many unanswered questions as you struggle to comprehend the aspects of human suffering ... You will gain a greater understanding of evacuation processes, levee systems, and the city's battle with coastal erosion ... The tour will drive past an actual levee that breached and see the resulting devastation that displaced hundreds of thousands of U.S. residents. The direct connection between America's disappearing coastal wetlands, oil and gas pipelines, levee protection, and hurricane destruction will be explained. After this tour, you will have a better understanding of events pre- and post-Katrina in the "rebirth of New Orleans."
(2) The latest issue of American Airlines' flight magazine -- I flipped through it having run out of other reading material while sitting 2 hours on the runway in Dallas -- has a short travel article on New Orleans. Their website is so disorganized that I can't find it online. The gist of the article seemed to be that even though a couple of hotels downtown were still closed, there were still some really posh hotels that the traveler could stay in and that New Orleans was as much a party city as ever. Not as awful as the AMS tour of broken levees, but the very act of leaving the elephant in the room unmentioned speaks for itself ...
(3) Today's USA today (the passenger beside me had a copy) had an article on New Orleans too. "Katrina's wrath lingers for New Orleans poor " blared the headline.