Fukushima just before the earthquake by Beacon Radio at flickr.com

In a way this day, April 12th has more commemorations and memorials than most days. The U.S. Civil War essentially began this day on April 12, 1861 — and the GOP can now officially proclaim they’ve switched sides. Fifty years ago, Yuri Gagarin became the first man to be launched into space. Twenty years later was the first launch of the Space Shuttle.

But all-in-all these commemorations may pale, at least in imminence to this:

Japan raised the severity of its nuclear crisis to the highest level on Tuesday, putting it on a par with the world’s worst nuclear disaster at Chernobyl in 1986 because of the amount of radiation released into the air and sea…

It had previously been put at a 5 rating, on a par with the 1979 Three Mile Island incident in the United States.

Well, at least they’ve stopped dumping radiation on the ocean. And that’s about it for the good news.