Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Ed the Volcano

Everyone here is talking about the volcano.

There are even a few fairly good jokes running around the internet:
"It was the dying wish of the Icelandic economy that its ashes should be spread all over Europe."

I'm not sure, but I think on the Grand Coolness Scale of Science, volcanoes have to be second or first. Neck and neck with dinosaurs, at least. Maybe not every kid wants to be a volcanologist when he grows up, but at least there still are some volcanoes.

For our small but interesting "All Scientists are at Least Slightly Crazy" file, I remember watching a nature show on tv when I was a kid that featured a segment in which a pair of geologists in Hawaii went out onto an active lava flow (that looked none too steady underfoot to me), holding a sheet of corrugated roofing material as a heat shield and with nothing more than asbestos gloves on, scooping lava samples into an empty coffee can with the claw end of a hammer. I couldn't decide at the time if it made me want to march right out and become a volcanologist, or if it put me off going to Hawaii for the rest of my life.

As Dale Price pointed out on FB a few minutes ago, it seems that the journalists of the world have grown weary of typing out "Eyjafjallajokull". I suppose it is better for print/net writers. Imagine being the guy in front of the camera trying to pronounce it.


Mike Cliffson said...

Dincher know the prosaic truth?
The eruption's all due to Global warming
Which is driven by overpopulation
Which is driven by The POPE
(despite anglosphere rank-and-file catholics, even some bishops? having seen the light).
So down withe Pope and save the planet.

Sound daft?

3 weeks ago class of educated
adults, all happily included tsanamis (Pacific) and earthquakes(Haiti) in manmade GW.

John said...

I read the other day (no citation; forgot where I read it) the official US gummint reference to Eyjafjallajokull is now "E15". There are 16 letters in Eyjafjallajokull. The first one is "E". Ergo, E15.

I liked that.

(And I would have thought that a Star Trek afficionado would have been a vulcanologist almost by definition.)