Volcanic Riddles for the Crowd!

Hello everyone!

After a very volcanically unhectic week it will be good to bend the heads over two mind-contorting riddles. I had prepaired a Name that Volcano Riddle, but then Suzie sent me one that was so mind-boggling that I felt like a understudy Riddler.

There is also another instalment of Evil Alan’s mineralogical riddles. This time Alan confesses to his favourite movie.

About the video, a couple of posts ago I wrote about Volcanologists and Geologists playing Lip Banjo. It comes from a geologist friend of mine who described the joy of when he found a brand spanking new mine in Sweden as “Doing splits while playing Lip Banjo”. I got a lot of comments and a couple of emails where people seriously asked how you play Lip Banjo, so, up above is an instructional video for how Volcanologists play Lip Banjo.

Name that Volcano Riddle by Suzie

 2012582 Who am I?

Here are 4 picture clues.

Clue number 1

Clue number 2

Clue number 3

Clue number 4

Evil Alan’s Riddles

I sound as if I should have some connection to Dundee! Mmm, whilst I won’t do you any good, a relative is good on ice!

What am I? To what are the good and bad referring? (3 points to be had)

Good luck everyone!

Update!

Since everyone seems to have gotten sad that the Riddles are riddled out, here is a bonus riddle.

‘Finnish shemale fish, under what watery grave do I rest?’
Name the Volcano, and name the watery grave. 2 points.

CARL

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410 thoughts on “Volcanic Riddles for the Crowd!

      • Don’t need to… it’s just a little old band from Texas…

        They have been a single group since about 1969. No changes in lineup.

        If you search Youtube, you can find some of their more notable music such as La Grange, Tush, Cheap Sunglasses, Ten Foot Pole etc…

          • I guess I can categorize it… I don’t appreciate much of the treble clef. When your introduction to music is the trombone, you think in a bass clef world. Even after you have lost all of the skills of the instrument, your mind is still set for fundamental supporting tones.

            I don’t know Opera, other than the basic storyline of Carmen.

            I don’t know why some people prefer to be blissfully ignorant… if not downright stupid, mainly when driving.

            So, yeah, there is a lot I don’t know. This is just a sample.

        • Besides, if I told you something that I don’t know… then I would, as a prerequisite, have to know it.

          Sort of a Catch-22 task. Capt. Yossarian might know something about that.

    • A day that starts with bearded men singing can’t be that bad, even though the rain has turned back from it’s brief night excursion into snow.
      I am amazed that we are not flooded yet. But the mud plain is starting to be so soggy that I would not walk out on anything that does not have a man made run off…

  1. Evidently, bicycling in Africa has it’s own hazards…

    Despite the image… I don’t think that they see “Eye to eye” with regards to the right of way.

  2. Soggy Sweden! here it s a classic Autumn Morning. Misty and golden. A rare experience. Only on misty mornings can we see how many spiders inhabit our yard. The variety of gossamer structures is amazing. Orbs, the clasic spiders web. Untidy Jumbles. Basket shaped like a mini swallow’s nest. Flat mats for the unwary, running without looking.
    Spiders……… They are even into helping with eruption prediction!!!

    • Was it just me who did not get where the spiders come into the picture?

      Here we are into type 17, steady and dreary drizzle. I am starting to feel like Douglas Adams God of Rain here. The clouds really love me and want to congregate atop my head and shower me as a way to show their love for me…

      • My husband can never follow my train of thought either 😀
        …….( Sigh) You have rain… We have a beautiful morning with mist. The fine water droplets are caught on spider’s webs thus the webs are more visual …..Therefore a short rumination about spiders. It’s all very logical!
        Sheeeeesh! You Physiscists…….Do we have to explain how a female brain works on a Sunday morning?

        • ..And here is a little something for anyone who is feeling damp round the edges, grey or just…Blaaagh..

          Link fixed /VC

          • Me? I’m done with them creepies.
            And I bet the number of them here exceeds by far those of U.S. and Europe put together! Both in the Senate and in the gardens….

          • We always have spiders in the house. I never found out what they eat, but there has to be some small insects around. So I’m really happy with small spiders. So is my cat which once in a while eats them as delicious snacks. Wish he would also eat some of the big creeps – yes GeoLurking and Renato, we have plenty of them here too! Mostly well disguised.

          • “I don’t recall seeing any bugs in Europe. Probably they hibernate in the colder seasons… ”

            What sort of bugs were you looking for? We have lots – most are just irritating but a few sting or have nasty bites.

          • Plenty of bugs here until the frosts set in. Then most get killed whilst the eggs manage to survive. Spiders like all cold bloooded creatures will go into a n almost death -like state during very cold weather. Their metabolism will slow to almost stopped.
            Mind you it doesn’t take much lower temperatures or rainy days and I think I will join them until Spring. That way I can miss the silly season of Christmas. I used to love that. I am a very traditional
            person. However I find the manic “be happy it’s Christmas” on the TV and the Hell that is Xmas Shopping so unpleasant I am getting more like Scrooge every year.

          • Carl, do Swedish spiders play lipbanjos? Or only when they aren’t drowned… in water.
            As for me I can only play lipbanjos when immersed in Caipirinha…

        • After having been drenched for the last 4 weeks in a row I would gladly take anything. But, I think relocating our rain to you guys would be the best solution overall. There is no forrest fire in hell that can survive the deluge we have had for the last 30 days.

        • Even here west of the Cascade Range we are warm and dry, approaching 80 days with almost no rain, .254mm since mid July. There is rain in the forecast for the end of the week. After a cold, damp spring and early summer, this has given my tomatoes a chance to ripen. By this time next week we will be enjoying 90 F in the desert of southern California for a week.

          • Its been… seasonal here. Though we did have one day with 21″ in 24 hours. That was a bit abnormal. Flooded out the Jail cafeteria to the point that they had to tag and release the non-violent criminals until they could get the system capable of feeding their population again.

            When we had a bona-fide tropical system threaten the area later, the sheriffs department staged about 18 vehicles near here where it’s 130+ feet above sea level. Seems that they were worried about having more of their vehicles float away.

  3. Several years ago, I had a “bird spider” (or tarantula, I don’t know which word for “Vogelspinne” is correct in English) at home. It was a species from Chile and really fascinating. She often didn’t move for hours but when I turned on the laundry or dishwasher she appearently felt the vibrations and moved into her safe shelter (an articicial cave). Unfortunately, not all visitors shared my fascination when they discovered it. 😉

    • Try having a room with a glasdoor that leads into a full room walk in terrarium with 3 full sized burmese tiger pythons. I had visitors that needed quite a few beers before a combination of alcohol guts and pure bladder desperation made them run past the door on their way to the loo.
      The other half wanted to go in and cuddle the snakes. It normally ended up with me taking out the ultra-friendly calico albino named Jessica into the bedroom for some snake petting. Oddly enough, the friendliest snake was at the same time the only snake who flat out refused to eat anything that was not alive.
      The other two where a green male (Fred) and a baseline female (Stinky). The baseline was the only that was even remotely grouchy of them.

      None of them ever tried to bite me though. But as I moved I had to give my little breading experiments away to a friend who had a professional snakehouse. He later moved to Austrialia to work as a herpetologist, but was murdered by his envious collegues who hated that they had gotten suplanted by a non-aussie as the chief herpetologist at the most prestigious reptile Zoo in Australia. I miss both him and the fat lazy snakes.

      • Oh, and incidentaly.
        Nowadays they have started to sell a smaller version of Tiger Pythons. They rarely grow above 3M, and they have a nice pattern.
        But stay away from them. I have heard of a friends cousins distant relatives friend that he had one that almost avoided biting him on the fifth thursday of the month. They are quite possibly the nastiest snakes on the planet to handle. Pro stuff only,
        I have had the full length females (5M), yes they are a bother to handle, and you should never be around them alone. But, if you have the space they are the safest snakes on the planet. They will not strike you (but on the off chance it happens and you are alone you are breakfast).
        In the end, know what the heck you are doing, and never take any risks. They are for gods sake show case animals. Think of them like huge dry fishes in an aquarium tank. Nice to look at, but if you want to kiss and hug your animals, get a dog.

        • a friends cousins distant relatives friend that he had one that almost avoided biting him on the fifth thursday of the month…..come again?? Which month was that 🙂

          • Ah, so that is the day that the snake will almost not bite you.
            It has a very particular pattern, a redish head, and normaly has a very “instantenous pose”.
            Pattern:

            Head and pose:

            The thing with ceylonese pythons is that they strike at anything that is warm, and enters their strikezone. It is due to them having to be very effective hunter, not due to them being nasty per se.

            Back to normal pythons. This is a happy and content python. One of the few species that yawns now and then. This is a sign of a snake that is not going to bite.

            And regarding how friendly a burmese python is..? Well, take a look at this rather cute picture:

        • Wow, Carl, pythons? I think you should write a novel based on your life. 🙂
          The only python I’ll get close to is the scripting language. 😛

          • Nah, it is like me never taking photos. I have the memories, but look forward towards the future. I never live in the past.
            If I write a novel it will be fictional, or why not a pop science book about volcanoes.

  4. What about crater lakes on top of volcanos so how about Lake Chala on Kilimanjaro, or Kalaupapa in Hawaii, from the Wailau,or East Molokai Volcano?

    • Aquarium cleaning day….one of my most dreaded jobs, thank goodness it only has to be done every 8 weeks or so, (if they are lucky!). Got the buckets all ready, moved the rugs, all prepared….then come to find I have no de-chlorinator for the water. so have to go to the pet shop for more. dammit!

  5. Ok here goes on my ‘clutching at straws’ effort to solve Carls’ riddle!

    Mount Keralia for the Volcano and Lake Pyhajarvi for the watery grave!

    Lake Pyhajarvi in Finnland is home to a hermaphrodite genus of roach, called Keralia in Finnish. Mount Keralia is a ficticious volcano which features frequently in games of Dungeons and Dragons. Lake Pyhajarvi is surounded by a large number of ancient grave stones and burial mounds!

    No doubt I am totally wrong but had to have a go!!

  6. Two desparate tries on the riddle:
    First: Hengill (hän Finnish he-she), gill at least a fish organ. Þingvallavatn would be the lake of the hypothetical caldera.
    Second: Katla (close to Finnish kala fish) and the frozen water of Mýrdalsjökull glacier. She occasionally put on her fast trousers (male attribute). The volcano is not so restful, but Katla died there.

  7. Bazingah!
    If these quakes get confirmed we will know something knew.
    They are right now trending up towards the Theistaeykjar fissure swarm. Seems like both volcanic field noted might belong to Theistareykir. The one closest is known to do that, but, let’s wait and see if we get a bit more of a connection.

    • One conclusion is that a warmer-than-usual Atlantic “favours a mild spring (specially April), summer and autumn, in England and across Europe.”

      Since the AMO has been in this stage for about 12 years… do those of you who live in Europe accept this conclusion? Does it mesh with your experience for the last few years?

      AMO – Atlantic Mutidecadal Oscillation.

      There is a very real possibility that the AMO is linked in some form or fashion with the step wise changes brought on by ENSO (El Niño–Southern Oscillation) of the Pacific as the warm water migrates northwards in stages. A cold PDO phase along with a negative AMO could lead to pretty significant changes in what we are used to in the Northern Hemispehre.

      Cycles within cycles… And to think some people tend to ignore most of it and blame it on plant food.

      • The last 20 years have been seriously above average with warmer summers, milder winters, and on average better climate to live in. That ended this winter. 14 weeks below -20 and loads of snow. Cold long snowy spring, bad rainy summer, and the autumn has been piss.
        I do not buy into it being El Nino related, we have had many of those, and they do not affect our weather.

        Caveat: What I am describing is the local weather for the northern parts of Sweden, does not have to have anything with the weather in other countries or even other parts of Sweden. Never confuse your own weather with global weather.

      • That graph makes it look like the orange AMO section of the cycle is coming to an end and we are heading for a blue section. So suspect it could get colder.

        • It really depends. PDO is seems to be tied closely with it. Warm PDO, negative AMO, no big deal. PDO is driven by ENSO, and there are three distinct tendencies in the ENSO.

          El-Niño, La-Niña, and El Niño Modoki. It should be pointed out that a La-Niña is not the exact opposite of an El-Niño. A La-Niña is just a stronger version of the normal state of the temperatures.

          “I do not buy into it being El Nino related”

          Directly, it’s not.


          Note to Carl: This is mainly for transitory readers, not directly at you. I’m fully aware that you already know this.


          Energy (heat) from El-Niño moves north (and presumably southward) with the advent of the next cycle. As the energy makes it’s way northward eventually it interacts and affects the Hadley cells. Those cells, and how they interact determine what we get for weather and climate.

          Water has a CP (heat capacity) of about 4.183 kJ/kg K compared to moist air of about 1.01 kJ/kg K.

          With a density difference on the order of 856.2, the energy transport capability of the atmosphere is far outweighed by the ocean… somewhere on the order of 3546 times by equal volume. (Seawater is roughly 1030 kg/m³ compared to air at 1.229 kg/m³)

          It is pretty obvious that the oceans drive the weather and climate, and not the other way around, despite what some climate “scientists” preach to us.

          A definition for some of the above.

          CP – Heat Capacity. The amount of energy required to raise one kilogram mass of the material by one Kelvin. (One Kelvin is the same size as one degree Celsius, Kelvin has zero set at absolute zero, Celsius has zero set at the freezing point of water, or about 272.15 Kelvin)

          BTW: “Kelvin” is a unit, like “Degrees” is a unit. “Degrees Kelvin” would be a non-nonsensical phrase… sort of like “meters meters.”

          • I more blame this rainy summer, and even rainier autumn on the blasted big chunk of ice being gone in the arctic. If you remove a large enough area of ice you get a larger area of water being able to release water into the atmosphere. Then you get the point of where the lows are built moving to the north, and presto I get pissed on a lot.
            I still do not believe that El Nino produces a profound effect in the northern hemisphere. No other weather effect does that, and also, El Nino is the weather phenomenon that is least studied on the planet. It is fairly much a media hype that an El Nino year will make a huge difference.
            Also, coincidentally, in the red area before the current you have the 3 coldest winters in Europes recorded history, the winter war years during WWII. An unusual set of winters that are renowned for how cold, and snowy they where. Ask Guderian what he thought of it being a heat wave…
            And the recorded temperature curve from 1950 up to date for the globe is pointing pretty much streight up without following the AMO.
            I would say AMO has very little to do with European weather, which is fun.

            From a physicists standpoint it is fun to poke at weather, and especially global warming. There is a heat aggregation curve for CO2, Methane, and all the other green house gases. If you detrend the increase with the albedo of earth you get a couple of fun results, A) there could be no global warming before circa 1970, not enough increase of CO2 or methane in the atmosphere before that. After that the curve of increase of GHGs and the curve of expected temperature increase walk roughly hand in hand. The roughly comes from all the other weather cycles of various kinds.
            Little known is that the famous IPCC report is not based on the hockey-stick idiocy. It is built on a physical experiment where physicists built a test bed with the correct albedo, and then had a fixed input of energy and then incrementally cranked up the amount of GHGs in the glas tank. Lo and behold, you get a curve of heat aggregation by doing that.
            Of course things like changes in albedo, or solar influx makes variations in that, but on the whole it is a very sound experiment, and it also tracks with recorded data. And that is why I say that all the dendroicehork is just crap, it does not say anything about now and the changes we have created.

            Back to what I always say, what is 2 degrees going to do in the year 2100? Not much, one more meter of ocean water. A few parts of the world will get a little harsher, and a very large part of the world will get nicer. Amount of food produced will increase. Why? Because at the poles you get 5 degrees of difference, and around the equator you get almost no difference at all. And even a leg and armless zombie can gnaw it’s way out of the water as it approaches.
            No I am going back to worry about the 10 000 new chemicals we invent and let out into nature every year to intermingle with the other 500 000 we allready have. During the last 60 years we have only worldwide banned two chemicals, DDT and Freon. How many DDTs are out there by now that are ticking time bombs. That is what I would worry about, not that we are going to get rainier and warmer summers in northern Europe or that the Everglades will get water covered, the pythons will have had the place emptied before that happens 🙂

          • Speaking of the IPCC’s “built on a physical experiment” bit…

            Particular concern has been raised about the use of non-published, non-peer-reviewed sources in IPCC Assessment Reports. As was the case in AR4, the Co-Chairs and TSU will strongly encourage author teams to use only sources published in international peer-reviewed journals and will insist on a strict adherence to the IPCC’s procedures for using non-published/non-peer-reviewed sources

            http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/10/04/the-secret-ipcc-stocker-wg1-memo-found/#more-71969

            And that’s not counting the rampant “Pal Review” that many of the papers have that is passed off as bona-fide peer review.

            If there were “strict adherence” then why would this be an issue that the IPCC had to specifically address in a letter? (clearly there was not)

            Edit Add:

            With the full on admission that AR4 has integrity (and quality?) issues, rather than addressing and correcting these AR4 problems, or pointing out those issues…

            The IPCC Chair, Vice-Chairs and Co-Chairs are working on a strategy to ensure that work on the AR5 is as effective as possible whilst at the same time emphasising the robustness of the AR4 findings.

            Nothing like plastering over bullshit with more bullshit.

          • Haha, well…
            It is true. That report is not peer-reviewed. It has a funny story. The report was ordered by a power utility company that wanted to prove that their nice coal fired power plants was fine and okay since global warming was hork. They did not like the result of course, so it was leaked directly to IPCC.
            But, and this is a big but, that experiment has been redone openly.
            And, I can give anyone the exact way to perform that experiment if they want to try themselves.
            All you need is a few bottles with gases, a medium sized tank of glas, a bottom of the tank with correct albedo, and a bit of water. Then you just put up lights to an amount that gives the correct wattage. You can do it in the garage or your living room. If you use a smaller tank you would still be fine, but it would be hard to get the proportions correct.
            It is a simple DIY project, it has been known for many years. And still nobody does it. Well, simple and simple, but it does not cost more then 5K$ to do properly.

            And the big hoot, the report is in the addendum but nobody ever cared to look.
            Of course you can do it theoretically, and that has been done and peer-reviewed from here to Novosibirsk and back. The unpublished report was just actually checking the curves with reallity.

            What more irks me is the bunch of people trying to disprove a very sound report just because “they feel” that it should be wrong. In reallity they are influenced by the very large cash-flow going into duping them. Same bunch often also believe that we will find infite amounts of oil too. Both are of course bull crap.

          • I have issue with any “scientific” organization that comes to the table with preconceived notions and rejects any theory that is contrary to the status quo. If you have an idea, fine, prove it is true… you know, that whole “repeatability” thing. I don’t care if you think your data and methods are the most precious thing on the planet… if it can’t be repeated, it horse shit and should be treated as such.

            Svensmark’s nucleation theory has a lot of unexplained effects that do not quite fit the established models. The same can be said of ENSO/NAO, TSI, the absorption spectra of all gasses (including H2O, the most predominant “greenhouse” gas, which is generally rejected out of hand)

            One thing modelers need to understand… is a fundamental aspect of all models. If the model doesn’t fit real world data in it’s entirety, then there is most likely a problem with the model, or the data collection methods.

            One thing that I saw done, was some yahoo averaged a crapload of models together and called that the best that could be had. Yet they did not address the issue of error summation.

            Systematic Error = ± SQRT((Σ per step error)²)

            One thing I have learned from all my plotting and data juggling, is that error creeps in silently… and if you don’t watch for it, you get garbage… no matter how pristine the data seems.

            The saddening part is that apparently, the biggest difference that I have from a real scientist, is that I know that I can be totally full of shit in my analysis.

      • Here in belgium the weather is very erratic and seems to change from the one extreme to the other. Of course the weather in belgium is by definition changeble.
        For belgium:
        The weather in 2011: summer, i.d.warm, sunny and dry in spring (april-mid june), autumn (rain,cold and cloudy, had tot turn on the heater mid july) in the summer (july -21 sep), On exactly 21 sep the sun started to shine again and we had spring weather in autumn (okt- novem).
        December was a classical autumn storm month with very strong jetstream above belgium.
        in 2012: march was sunny and relative dry
        april- first half of may: (very) cold and a lot of rain, we had frost till the ice-saints (12may)
        second half of may was warm ( max 30°C), june, july wet and cold, august was warm and dry (max temp 36°C) and we nearly had a real heatwave (average 1 in 4 years).

        About the wetter summers, I found some stats for Ukkel, Brussels, Belgium:
        It seems that the summers aren’t wetter than before (source: http://www.frankdeboosere.be/klimaatukkel/klimaatzomer.php), but the average annual rainfall slowly rised from 780 mm at the start of the 20th century, up to 850 mm now
        (http://www.frankdeboosere.be/klimaatukkel/klimaatjaar.php)

        • We had a very cold winter in the north of France (practically belgium in fact !) and some snow up to the beginning of March (which is strange). Spring was rather more sunny than usual in march but after that quite cold (had problems to start the tomatoes) and summer was very very wet until the middle of August. Then rather dry (which is not “normal” too). So a pretty unconventional year after all which recoups rather well the observations of sa’ke (where are you ? I’m in Lille)

          • I’m from leuven, an university town 20 km south east of brussels.
            Lille I only know because we have to pass it on our way to Paris.

      • Certainly from my remembrance in southern Britain in the last 3 years we’ve had much colder winters, wetter summers and very warm, dry spells in spring and autumn. At the beginning of this year we were in a severe drought but now we are facing a winter of floods as it has been so wet and the water table is right up above normal.

  8. Now they have started to shut down the roads, and warned that the river banks are seriously undercut. Landslide here we go. I just hope it wont be at a place where there is a house.
    I am a bit surprised that the city water drainage system is holding up. But then on the other hand the tributaries are filled to capacity or above by now. And the buffer dams are overflowing.
    May I not live in to interesting times.

    Oh, yepp, it is still bloody raining… Gah!

  9. OK – so many of us are feeling a bit autumnal. It’s either raining or about to rain. Everything’s a bit dank and dingy. Cold getting into those old joints.
    And then something marvellous happens! And it comes in the shape of a massive field mushroom!
    Was trudging along the cold, wet touchline of yet another rugby pitch today and something caught my eye off to one side. Went to investigate and found the biggest, most perfect ‘shroom ever. I have just eaten it, grilled with butter. It overhang the toast on all sides. God bless autumn!

    • We’ve got lots of fungi here but I assume they are all toxic as otherwise the badgers would have eaten them – but without butter.

    • I hope you checked for those miniscule worms that appear inside wild mushrooms within 24 hours of emergence from the soil!!!!

      • Oh, thanks for that! Too late now 🙂
        (it was very fresh, gills still slightly pink. And it was huge, and delicious – maybe the worms add a bit of extra flavour)

          • Very rare to find anyone searching for wild mushrooms here…. (other than the odd phylosibin seeker). We usually try to keep them knocked down so the dogs and kids don’t get to them. Unless they come store bought. In general no one has the skill to identify and differentiate the varieties.

          • Yes knowing is not so easy. Except if you stick to the boletus genum. As a fact, where I search there are quite a few edible varieties, but edible does only mean you’re not going to be sick (or worse) by eating the mushrooms. So I have a rule, do not eat if you’re not 101 % sure (too bad to loose your liver just for a few bites…). In the past I tried to collect what was edible, but now I stick to the really good tasting ones, in my case boletus edulis (fungi porcini) mainly. If there are none, well it will be better next time ! Today was not too bad, about 1 kg for 1 hour in the forest.

          • @dfm
            That sounds very nice! As a kid growing up surrounded by marshy pasture we virtually lived on field and horse mushrooms this time of year. Freshly picked there are few things nicer. My little weekend ‘find’ took me right back to childhood

            (hmm… this makes me sound like I grew up as some sort of feral swamp-child living off what we could forage from the land. I must point out we did have shops as well. It does make you realise just how much we have ‘lost’, particularly any notion of seasons – the diets of most families was much more seasonal when I was a nipper)

  10. A little bored with the lack of activity (volcanic) – so it must be time for El Hierro to liven up !

    Been out of touch for a while – last daughter just off to uni and so I’ve been fixing everything in the house – only now noticing the jobs that have needed doing. The place is so quiet now though and I actually miss the loud music, being a taxi and have lost my opponent for video games. Ah well, me and the missus have also just realised how much time we have missed and are now making up for it. How time changes things so quickly. Empty nest syndrome !

    • Been there several times. Over the last 12 years, at some time we have been the refuge of each of the kids (and their families) for a period until whatever hardship that they had run across has been resolved. The kid(s) may be out of the house, but you are still the refuge if stuff goes awry.

      Only one of the last six dogs that I have had… were mine. The rest were kid’s dogs that could not accompany them to their new dwelling. Right now, there is a Pekingese that tends to turn up smelling like a skunk, and a rather odd Chihuahua-Pekingese mix that revels in chasing laser pointers. Neither are mine.

      Given the Pekingese’s odoriferous tendencies, I came to the conclusion that Wookies and Ewoks, if they were real, would not be the cute cuddly things that Spielberg makes them out to be. They would stink the high heaven, and would be hard pressed to sneak up on anything. You could smell them a mile away.

      • Depends on what gender the Ewoks and Wookies where of. The female parts of them would shower for 5 hours and use 5 different products in their fur and inevitably smell like a flowerbed. The male counterparts would of course smell like a mix between a well used never washed jock-strap and stale beer.

      • Haha – yes already had the dog thing with my eldest. Frequently abandoned here – the biggest Golden Retriever on the planet. Has a habit of visiting the cow field next door to ‘freshen up’ – he does though, love water and as we live close to a river, he is usually frogmarched down there for a dip before coming back into the house. Can’t help but like him though and he’s easily exercised with a stick – will chase it and bring it back all day long. Apart from his affection for cow-pats, he’s really no trouble at all. Not sure how long my youngest will be away though – very homesick now after 4 weeks at uni.

    • We noticed the same yesterday Jim. However we are further down the line. It was a visit from step son, partner and two infants that triggered my husband to comment as we waved goodbye on the door step ” My God! I’m glad we’re through all that!”
      We had spent most of the day chasing a baby that has just learned to walk and the ensuing explorations of a very exciting world, and answering endless questioning by a nearly 4 year old who also finds Granny Bean’s home and garden more challenging than the search for King Solomon’s Mines! ( I am called Granny B by most of the grandkid’s, this one calls me Granny Bean, I think because I grow huge quantities of these vegetables in my garden or worse he Thinks I am Mr Bean’s Mother !!!)

  11. Rehashing it since the column width got sort of narrow…

    Carl’s idea of increased precipitation because of relatively open large body of water nearby, is not alone… and not without merit.

    Each year, Buffalo New York (and other areas around the lakes) is nailed when an arctic blast comes sweeping down across Canada and picks up moisture from the Great Lakes. They call it, (natch) “Lake effect snow”

    It’s not unique.

    During weather extremes in history, “Little Ice Age” and the winter of 763-4, Europe was nailed hard by snow and cold. Who is to say that an open region in the arctic sea did not assist by providing a ready supply of moisture?

    Ref 763:

    During the middle ages they constantly needed repair, notably after the arctic winter of 763/4, when huge ice-floes thronged the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn, and even broke over the wall at the point of the Acropolis (Seraglio point).

    Constantinople: the story of the old capital of the empire By William Holden Hutton

    • Brole? = Broke? When the ice comes over the wall, that would not be necessarily due to moisture, but severe cold and wind would be enogh:

      • Not saying that the ice was due to moisture, but that the severity of the European winter of 763/4 may have been enhanced by an open region in the arctic/near arctic.

        Floe ice comes from wind/seas driving the frozen surface.

        The problem is that we don’t (as far as I know) have data on the North Sea, “Icelandic Age of Settlement is considered to have lasted from 874 to 930” (Wackipedia) During the 8th Century, the Norwegian coast were being settled.

        • Would be interesting to dive into writings from that age, but not much is available, there are some Frankish/Carolingian chronicles, and there are writings from Moorish Spain from that period. The Frisians would have been an interesting source of information, but what is known of them from that period also is derived mainly from Merovingian end Frankish sources.

        • We do know that grapes and wine were likely an export commodity during the Roman period of England, so that hints at a relatively benign climate.

          Four Roman era vineyards were discovered in Northamptonshire – 52.28°N, and one each in Cambridgeshire – 52.33°N, Buckinghamshire – 51.83°N, and Lincolnshire – 53.07°N.

          One of the main wine-producing areas of Roman Britain seems to have been the Nene Valley, in what is now Northamptonshire. In the valley, near the village of Wollaston, archaeologists have found ancient vineyards covering at least 30 acres, in which vines were grown in the Mediterranean Roman style, exactly as described by classical authors such as Pliny and Columella. On one site, the remains of four miles of bedding trenches have been found. Estimates suggest that the site contained 4,000 vines, producing 10,000 litres of wine a year.

          And, from: http://grapegrowingguide.com/starting-your-vineyard.html

          “The ideal temperature is below 60ºF at night and 70sºF during the day.”

          (15.5°C to 21.1°C.)

          So, in the 400 AD time frame, the climate was pretty tame.

      • The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle has no mention of any natural events for 763 or 764 but for 761 says “This year was the severe winter”.

    • I can attest to the Buffalo snow belt. I grew up in Hamburg which is just south of Buffalo and a bit more inland from the lake. Buffalo has an average of 2 meters of snow a winter. In Hamburg we averaged 3+ meters and there were areas to the south that had even more. Once Lake Eire froze over the amount of snowfall dropped. Worst storm I recall was in early December in the early 60″s. We had .6 meter fall the first day and 1 meter the second. The .6 meter did not close the schools but the 1 meter did. Roads were plowed and passable by 0900 after the 1 meter fall. Where I now live, in western Washington, 25mm of snow is a disaster.

  12. OT.

    I have been absent most of the week… had a lot of miles to travel. Even managed to get half ###ed lost while trying to avoid an 8 mile section of paving crews. You know, the ones where they stop one lane of traffic and let the other side go. Then switch. I managed to wind up in a tree-farm. Yes, a tree farm. Vast acreages of fast growing pine that are then harvested one section at a time and then replanted. Pine is indigenous to this area, so the conditions are ideal. The last thing I expected was to wind up on a corduroy dirt road. A corduroy dirt road is one that has managed to develop a set of small bumps every six to eight inches. You will slow down.. or else you will find yourself weaving back and forth as you try to get the rear end of your vehicle to stay in back. I haven’t driven on a corduroy dirt road in 30 years. It finally went back to pavement and then I found… get this. A one lane wooden bridge. Thank God it was daylight.

    Elsewhere, I ran across interesting sites. These guys are most likely headed up to ruin somebodies day. The area they are headed to is heavily wooded low-land and would be an ideal location for an illicit growing operation…

    Some of you have never been to Florida. All you see are pretty post cards and pictures of the beaches and sand. There is more to Florida than that. This is north of Port St Joe. It’s a good representation of the backwater areas. It’s the Intracoastal Waterway.

    Sorry for the OT.

    • No apologies needed. It’s interesting seeing another side to the tourist brochures. One thing that made me smile is the comment about the single file bridge. When my husband caomes back from the USA he tells me about the amazing roads and how everyone is totally reliant on the car.
      I t must be a huge shock for US citizens to experience the lanes of rural Britain. Even our motorways are small compared with yours so the twisting and turning lanes that I drive along to get to my daughter’s farm , called B roads here must be scary!Tthey are for me at times in the winter , with steep gradients and only room for one car’s width. Reversing when meeting another car is the norm here.

    • In Africa we called them corrugated roads. If you have the nerve you can speed up (usually over 60mph) and ride over the top of the bumps – then you have the excitement of bumping back down through them when you brake! Passing other cars envelops you in swathes of red dust and overtaking is hazardous! In northern Scotland your one lane bridge would be a major through route! 🙂

    • A bit on the slow side today. Took me a while to see why the bridge was a hazard. Americans drive on the right. 🙂

  13. A short morning rumination. The Rest of Europe and Scandinavia seem to have caught the Great British trait of discussing and being affected by the weather.
    I seriously think that there is a hidden agenda here. A plot by one of the World powers who wish to dominate the free world.
    A very clever ploy to bring the Europeans to their knees psychologically.To get the populations so depressed that they care nothing for politics, financial hardships or the ability to organise mass demonstrations.

    However it will not work. They forgot that there is an antidote. All that is needed is a teapot, milk, sugar and CustardCcream biscuits! his is the proven answer to overcoming all natural disasters and World wars.

    • Oh! What a good idea! Thank you IMO and all others participating in this project. It will surely attract more visitors. I for one would love to see the Aurora for real.

  14. It is a beautiful sunrise here in western Washington this morning. As I look out the back I can see Mount Rainier against an orange sunrise. There is still much smoke around from the fires burning east of the Cascades.

      • Hi, Micro,Diane- Smoke’s everywhere right now no wind and inversions, went over to Umatilla county yesterday, which is home to Pendleton,the county seat. I have to cross
        the Blue Mountain Pass which is about 4200ft (sorry can’t do metric this am) and the
        temps were about 5-7 degrees warmer…
        If we had wind it wouldn’t be good… Would like some of that European rain,,,
        Looks like I’m getting back to firefighting at the right time-some are forecasting a warm, dry winter here..

      • dfm,
        No, it is leisingite from the Centennial Eureka Mine, Tintic District, Juab County, Utah. For more info see the following.

        http://www.mindat.org/min-7151.html

        It is one of a suite of rare minerals I have from Centennial Eureka. I was fortunate to be the high bidder on this suite at our Northwest Friends of Mineralogy Symposium a couple of years ago. They were collected by a friend of mine who specializes in the Centennial Eureka mine but does not care for micro minerals. This is the data on the photo, Nikon D300 on PB6 bellows with 10X Nikon finite conjugate objective. 57 frames at .005mm steps, stacked with Zerene Stacker, and cropped from full image.

  15. Hi people, i am back from Venice. I did not catch up completely and did not have a chance to put in the answers to all the riddles because i did not even read the comments. No time for that till now, i am sorry. But i think the blog needs a new post.

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