What is Big Think?  

We are Big Idea Hunters…

We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

Big Think Features:

12,000+ Expert Videos


Browse videos featuring experts across a wide range of disciplines, from personal health to business leadership to neuroscience.

Watch videos

World Renowned Bloggers


Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

Go to blogs

Big Think Edge


Big Think’s Edge learning platform for career mentorship and professional development provides engaging and actionable courses delivered by the people who are shaping our future.

Find out more

Etna puts on a show, but keeps the curtains closed

February 18, 2011, 8:28 AM

The week buzzed by … and we actually end with a bang (albeit a cloudy one).

Dr. Boris Behncke brings us news that Etna seemed to have another eruption, however unlike the events of January 12-13 of this year (top left), these events have been obscured by clouds on the volcano. However, there are plenty of other signs that the volcano is active, including strong seismicity and evidence of hot pyroclastic material. All of this is happening in the Southeast Crater Cone. Here is the description from the latest INGV update on the events of this morning:

"Simultaneously with the onset of Strombolian activity, the INGV-Catania seismic network on Etna recorded a rapid increase in the volcanic tremor amplitude, which continued until about 14:30 GMT and then started to decline sharply. A lava flow descended eastward, following the same path as that of the 12-13 January paroxysm, in the direction of the Valle del Bove. Ash falls were reported from the Linguaglossa area on the northeast flank of the volcano in the morning, and later, as wind directions changed, on the western flank around Bronte."

This new INGV post also mentions some explosive activity at Stromboli as well (see a IR webcam capture below), so it is a busy time for the Aeolian volcanoes. If you've ever wanted a peak at what the control room at INGV-Catania looks like during an Etna eruption, check out the annotated image that Dr. Behncke has posted - if you scroll over the image you can see what many of the monitors are showing and what events were going on when the image was shot today. Hopefully the weather will clear out soon so we can see the products of this new activity (which seems to be calming down as Italy enters the evening), but until then, you can follow Dr. Behncke on Twitter for the latest and keep your eyes on one of the many Etna webcams (hopefully) to catch a glimpse of the action.


IR webcam capture of an explosion at Stromboli on February 14, 2011 by Eruptions reader Thomas Wipf.

Top left: Lava flows from Etna as seen on January 12, 2011.


Etna puts on a show, but ke...

Newsletter: Share: