Merapi Mini-Update for 11/7/2010

Not a lot of time for me today, but needless to say, there is still a lot of action at Merapi. I've opened this thread after seeing the 637 comments from yesterday. Sadly, the death toll from the eruption has now reached 156 with the ash plume reaching ~6 km / 20,000 feet and James Reynolds, on the ground near Merapi, is reporting the eruption is still in full swing. Some airlines have decided to resume flights to Jakarta as well. The images of the ash near the volcano are remarkable and heartbreaking, with the entire landscape covered in the grey Merapi ash.

However, even as bad as this eruption has seemed, remember that this is very normal for a volcano like Merapi. It is a composite arc volcano that can produce significant ash and pyroclastic flows - just looking at its history you can see frequent eruptions that produced tephra volumes that are likely comparable to what we are seeing now. This is not anomalous for the volcano, but the location of Merapi, with its proximity to a large population (on the most populous island in the world), has made the human aspect of the eruption amplify its volcanic. It is much like Eyjafjallajökull in the sense that a moderate volcanic eruption (VEI 3-4) has captured the world's attention, but we should not get lost in any sensationalism.

Top left: The dark plume from Merapi on November 6, 2010.

LinkedIn meets Tinder in this mindful networking app

Swipe right to make the connections that could change your career.

Getty Images
Swipe right. Match. Meet over coffee or set up a call.

No, we aren't talking about Tinder. Introducing Shapr, a free app that helps people with synergistic professional goals and skill sets easily meet and collaborate.

Keep reading Show less

The dos and don’ts of helping a drug-addicted person recover

How you talk to people with drug addiction might save their life.

  • Addiction is a learning disorder; it's not a sign that someone is a bad person.
  • Tough love doesn't help drug-addicted people. Research shows that the best way to get people help is through compassion, empathy and support. Approach them as an equal human being deserving of respect.
  • As a first step to recovery, Maia Szalavitz recommends the family or friends of people with addiction get them a complete psychiatric evaluation by somebody who is not affiliated with any treatment organization. Unfortunately, warns Szalavitz, some people will try to make a profit off of an addicted person without informing them of their full options.
Keep reading Show less

10 science photos that made history and changed minds

These photos of scientific heroes and accomplishments inspire awe and curiosity.

Surprising Science
  • Science has given humanity an incalculable boost over the recent centuries, changing our lives in ways both awe-inspiring and humbling.
  • Fortunately, photography, a scientific feat in and of itself, has recorded some of the most important events, people and discoveries in science, allowing us unprecedented insight and expanding our view of the world.
  • Here are some of the most important scientific photos of history:
Keep reading Show less

In a first for humankind, China successfully sprouts a seed on the Moon

China's Chang'e 4 biosphere experiment marks a first for humankind.

Image source: CNSA
Surprising Science
  • China's Chang'e 4 lunar lander touched down on the far side of the moon on January 3.
  • In addition to a lunar rover, the lander carried a biosphere experiment that contains five sets of plants and some insects.
  • The experiment is designed to test how astronauts might someday grow plants in space to sustain long-term settlements.
Keep reading Show less