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

Monday Musings: Russian activity, tremors at Ngauruhoe and Mayon climbers beware

June 20, 2010, 10:20 PM

News for Monday!

Ngauruhoe in New Zealand, showing the dark lava flows of basaltic andesite on the slopes of the young volcanic cone. Image by Erik Klemetti, taken January 2009.

  • A couple pieces of news from two Russian volcanoes on the Kamchatka Peninsula: (1) last week's report of activity at Gorely appears to be semi-substantiated with new photos on the KVERT website (Russian). The images from June 6 and 12 (2010) shows steam plumes coming from the volcano - one as tall as 500 meters. Now, this doesn't imply that an eruption occurred, but it might suggest activity on on the upswing. KVERT continues to list the Alert Status at Gorely as "Green". (2) An eruption over the weekend at Shiveluch produced an explosive plume that reached 4.5 km / 15,000 feet. Over the last few days, the volcano has experienced over 150 earthquakes, but the activity is no threat to nearby villages or aviation over the peninsula. The status at Shiveluch remains at "Orange".
  • On the other side of the Pacific Ocean, there are some interesting tremors (Updated 6/21/2010: Nope, likely these "tremors" are just wind in the area of the webicorder - see the comments below) going on near Ngauruhoe in New Zealand. This fairly active volcano is part of the Taupo Volcano Zone and is located next door to Ruapehu near the famous Tongariro Crossing. Now, there is no indication on the New Zealand GeoNet website and the status is still "green", but it could be something to watch. Ngauruhoe last erupted in 1977 and had frequent eruptions in the middle of the 20th century. Ngauruhoe is really the youngest cone of Tongariro volcano - a cone that started forming only 2,500 years ago. The volcano tends to have strombolian explosions with basaltic andesite lava flows (see image above) ... and be sure to check out the Ngauruhoe webcam.
  • Over in the Philippines, government officials now have the deal with tourists visiting Mayon instead of Taal after they were warned to stay away from the latter volcano. However, dangers still exist at Mayon, where there are frequent rockfalls and small explosions - yet tour guides still bring people into the 6-km exclusion zone. Although the Alert Status at Mayon is at Level 1, the crater still glows red at night, reminding us that magma is still near the surface.
  • Finally, last year there was a lot of talk about the oil storage tanks near Redoubt in Alaska. This week, the Cook Inlet Regional Citizens Advisory Council heard a report on the storage tanks and whether the CIRCA did an appropriate job in planning for a volcanic eruption from the Alaskan volcano in regards to the potential spill from the tanks. More or less, it appears that the Council may have been complacent in the oversight of the facility - a common problem when it comes to planning for disasters.

{Hat tip to Eruptions readers M. Randolph Kruger and Bruce Stout for information used in this post.}


Monday Musings: Russian act...

Newsletter: Share: