As radiation leaks, truth is slow to follow
Last year it was the spewing orifice at the bottom of the sea brought to us 24/7 courtesy of the dozen or so "spillcams" that became a fixture in the corner of just about every cable news TV screen.
This year we have the unseen wafts, leaks and seepages of radiation from the Fukushima Daichi nuclear power plant in Japan. The fact that the threat level of this crisis has now been raised - one month later - to seven - the highest possible - is alarming.
The fact that Japanese authorities insist the radiation level is still one-tenth that of Chernobyl - the only other nuclear disaster that has earned a seven - is puzzling.
The leaking information has made the leaking radiation all the more perplexing. Not surprisingly, the patient people of Japan are getting angry. They feel - not for the first time - that their government and Tepco, the power company, have been economical with the truth.
The oil leak in the Gulf was terrifying because of its relentless filthy incontinence. The leak of radiation is terrifying because it remains unseen and is in part dependent on the whim of the wind.
Though the casualty figures from the nuclear disaster have been mercifully low - so far - I still wondered whether that cool breeze caressing my face was a potential kiss of death.
When I was in Tokyo last month, nervously fingering my very own personal BBC-issued Geiger counter, I too was mugging up on some nuclear basics that I thought I would never need.
The fear of the unknown is complemented by a hunger for solid information. In both leaks - oil and radiation - the truth about the true extent of the disaster flowed as reluctantly as molasses.