Friday Flotsam: Eyjafjallajökull and the news, Kilauea's past and a new Mystery Volcano Photo (#30)
Long week. I gave two exams, so I get to look forward to an exciting weekend of grading. Yup, that is the part of the job that is likely the least enjoyable (except maybe better than the meetings), but it has to be done.
Some brief news snippets before I disappear with a green pen and plenty of life-sustaining coffee.
The Media and Eyjafjallajökull: Eruptions reader (and more) Suw Charman-Anderson has a nice piece the mainstream media and how it responded to the Eyjafjallajökull eruption. Her post stems from a discussion EBU Radio News Conference 2010 about how the eruption of Eyjafjallajökull threw a lot of media for a loop and that many people turned to social media/new media for information. I'll let you read her post for Suw's take on it. She brings up a number of points about what people around the world wanted for information - and how they found it - that I also touched upon in my AGU post last week.
I am troubled by one conclusion from one of the mainstream (radio) media speakers that if the eruption happened again, they would approach science and experts with more caution. I can interpret that one of two ways: (1) media would make sure to more carefully vet their experts and make sure they get the science right; (2) they would avoid the science and experts because it makes things too complicated. I am hoping it is the former (note: I did talk to a number of reports from the Associated Press, LA Times, KIRO in Seattle and more for what it is worth).
Kilauea: Sometimes we forget that Kilauea isn't always erupting. In fact, back in the 1930's there was a stretch where the Hawaiian volcano was quiet for almost 3 years (a long time for Kilauea), but the month-long eruption at the Halema`uma`u Crater in 1934 broke that spell of silence - and you can read all about it in this week's Volcano Watch article on Hawai`i 24/7. Currently, there are still lava flows associated with the East Rift and plenty of glowing from the lava in the Halema`uma`u Crater.
New Mystery Volcano #30: Last week we had our 29th Mystery Volcano Photo and Chris - Reykjavik got the answer with Tangkuban Perahu in Indonesia - a shield volcano near Bandung that last erupted in 1983. That leaves our current MVP standings looking like this:
So, I'll leave you for the weekend with a new MVP - and be specific for this one! Good luck on big #30!
MVP #30. Click here to see a larger version.
Top Left: An April 16, 2010 plume from Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland.
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- What distinguishes humans is social learning — and teaching.
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From time-traveling billiard balls to information-destroying black holes, the world's got plenty of puzzles that are hard to wrap your head around.
- While it's one of the best on Earth, the human brain has a lot of trouble accounting for certain problems.
- We've evolved to think of reality in a very specific way, but there are plenty of paradoxes out there to suggest that reality doesn't work quite the way we think it does.
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Tragedy in art, from Ancient Greece to Breaking Bad, resists all our efforts to tie reality up in a neat bow, to draw some edifying lesson from it. Instead it confronts us with our own limitations, leaving us scrabbling in the rubble of certainty to figure out what's next.
- Why democracy has been unpopular with philosophers
- Tragedy's reminder that the past isn't finished with us
- …and why we need art in the first place
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