98% Fact Free*
It turns out that my sister-in-law and RW (and probably my brother, too) knew about what was going on, but RW told her not to tell me because I've have a morbid fear of tsunamis ever since I moved to the West Coast (in New York I had a morbid fear of apartment prices). I found out, in spite of her attempts to shelter me, because even though I don't read newspapers I do read blogs.
I know it's pathetic, but that's how I heard: reading blogs when we got back to my brother's house.
In light of which that "feel the world and find out what the weather's like" post below seems sort of...off. Wrong. Maybe I should delete it, but then I'd never remember in twenty years that Mermaid Girl said it. Because not only is the Internet my newspaper, it's my baby book.
*In truth, this is RW's line, about herself. She proudly admits to being even more fact-free than I am; she says she figures if something's important, someone will tell her about it.