August has been rather quiet for real volcano news, but I did find some more, well, odd news to mention. It is all volcano-related - to an extent - so here we go:
The new volcano-inspired Chivas stadium in Guadalajara, Mexico.
- Last year we had the volcano mall in Italy, this year we have the volcano football (that is soccer for us Americans) stadium in Mexico (see above). The stadium in Guadalajara has green, sloping sides that that open to the "crater" that is filled with the pitch and the stands - seems fitting for a city in the middle of the Trans-Mexico Volcanic Belt. No word on what happens when the home team scores.
- Over in Iceland, Eyjafjallajökull is being thanked for bringing a bumper crop of wheat to the southern part of the island. One of the wheat farmers, Olafur Eggertsson from Thorvaldseyri, says that he thinks the ash from the eruption helped by adding nutrients to the soil - although the especially warm summer for Iceland this year likely played an important role as well.
- And some of you might have seen the news (or the ad) for a new Guitar Hero-like game called Power Gig 2 where the developer supposedly dropped 5,000 Guitar Hero controllers into the crater of Eyjafjallajökull from an airplane. I've watched the video and I'm 99% sure it is a fake - I mean, it is supposed to be July 2010 when they make the drop, but the "crater" at Eyjafjallajökull is filled with a partially crusted-over lava lake - which, of course, never existed. So, yeah, I think they spliced in CGI or other video from a lava lake because dropping the controllers into a relatively cool crater lake (of water) wouldn't have the "extreme" edge that the developers were hoping. However, that means that somewhere in Iceland lie the shattered remains of 5,000 fake guitars ... !
- And in a less odd and more head-scratching moment - or at least an example of how the media can get things wrong - there is news that Jim Holden of the University of Massachusetts (UPDATE: here is the original NOAA press release, thanks to Passerby) was misquoted as saying he thinks the deep earthquakes underneath Moro Gulf in the Philippines in late July were related to an recently-discovered undersea volcano named Kawio Barat. Now, the article I found doesn't go into details, but the USGS solutions for the earthquakes show focal depths of over 500 km (very, very deep), so for earthquakes like that to be related to an eruption of an undersea volcano would be, to say the least, very surprising. I have a feeling that somehow something go lost-in-translation - the original article in the Inquirer or the NOAA press release doesn't seem to say the same thing.