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

Taal at elevated alert as the volcano remains restless

April 20, 2011, 5:01 PM

A brief update today on the activity at Taal in the Philippines. There has not been a significant change in the behavior of the caldera, with the latest PHIVOLCS update mentioning 13 earthquakes under the volcano during the last 24 hours. However, one of those earthquakes on Volcano Island was larger than the rest and a rumbling sound was reported after the earthquake. The crater lake water at Volcano Island also increased to 31.5C (from 30.5C) and the edifice has experienced slight inflation since the last measurements in February. All of this activity means that Taal remains on alert status 2 with much of the area in the lake and its islands off limits to all. The current evacuations at the volcano have now reached nearly 1,500 people in shelters and a total of 5,000 people total have left the area voluntarily. The government has issues assurances that others near the volcano will have sufficient time to evacuate if the situation arises.

For those of you just joining the discussion of Taal, remember, the mostly likely eruption would be confined to Volcano Island, thus the evacuations of people living on or near the island. Most of the recent activity has been small, explosive vents, mostly driven by phreatic explosions in the crater lake on Volcano Island (which is different than Taal Lake that fills the caldera). That being said, eruptions in the last fifty years at Taal did produce pyroclastic flows (such as in 1965 - see image below). The 1965 eruption was partially through the crater lake, which added to the explosivity. So, the threat is there for surges that could travel a few kilometers from the vent, however it is still much more likely that any eruption will be limited to Volcano Island, at least based on the recent activity at the caldera.

Taal erupting in 1965.

Damage from pyroclastic flows during the 1965 eruptions at Taal. Click here to see the originals.

You can get a brief summary of all the activity at Taal over the last week in the latest USGS/Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program Volcanic Activity Report.

Top left: Undated image of Taal Lake in the Philippines with the cone of Volcano Island in the foreground.


Taal at elevated alert as t...

Newsletter: Share: