Friday Summary and NTV Riddle

I drank far too much coffee last Sunday morning, all thanks to our favourite Ruminarian and his fifth post. In truth, I was still trying to get my inadequate brain around it a couple of evenings later ……

I was not the only one to struggle!

Diana Barnes wrote:

Had Coffee #4 but my small brain needs more time to adsorb all this information. I think I will have to go back to the first rumination and work through it again even more slowly. Lurking you never cease to amaze me!

Grumpybear echoed my thoughts:

This post made my head hurt. That means its a good one :-)

KarenZ said: 

I gave up and printed it.

JulesP summed it up and decided to do some ruminating of his own

Brilliant rumination! Now I am wondering if there are any other mechanisms by which the sulphur could disperse such that the h2so4 measures (subject of a previous rumination of yours) may not have included all sulphur generated. Need to do some thinking/ digging becuase I suspect that just maybe this isnt the whole picture.

Anyway, in case you missed it, here is a  short extract (the whole post and subsequent comments are a must-read !)

”Two of the more significant volcanic eruption styles… are the massive VEI-6+ explosive eruptions… and the not so explosive VEI-6+ flood basalt events. Of the two, one would think that the huge lava flow events wouldn’t have much of an opportunity to loft stuff above the tropopause. We have already seen that SO2 doesn’t have much staying power, and tends to be scavenged out pretty quickly in the area where most of the water vapor is at… down here in our little realm of existence in the troposphere.

Yet there is a way that massive flood basalts can easily contribute to the Stratospheric Aerosol Layer (another name commonly used for the Junge layer.)

It comes in the form of a little molecule called Carbonyl Sulfide. OCS.
Carbonyl Sulfide can be considered as an intermediate between CO2 (carbon dioxide) and CS2 (carbon disulfide). It has a really long persistence in the troposphere… accounting for up to 80% of the sulfur gases present. I’ve seen residence times ranging from 4 years, to 7.1 to 11 years. Basically, it doesn’t like to react. This gives it time to wander throughout the different atmospheric flows and become well distributed. And a really interesting thing happens when it is hit with ultraviolet light of about 200 to 270 angstroms. (UV-C). The bonds begin to break and it dissociates. Once it does that it forms CO2 and S2… the S2 then reacting with the H2O and OH radicals forming H2SO4… the sulfate.

Hello aerosol haze.

Okay… we have a mechanism not involving SO2 that can make sulfate. Some of the largest sources are the oceans, fossil fuel usage, even the making of concrete. (via a catalytic reaction). In general, the background level of the aerosol is not that big of a deal unless something radically increases the amount there… like an large explosive volcano. Or, a really big flood basalt event. (Eldga, Skaftar, Krafla, Þjórsá lava or any of the huge flow fields that pop up in Iceland from time to time)
Remember, OCS is ultra stable in the troposphere, but once it gets to the stratosphere where the UV-C can get at it, hello Aerosol Haze.” GEOLURKING

For a couple of days the majority of VC comments centered on this topic. Questions were raised and answered, alternative theories proposed and shot down. Loads of you were inclined to dig even deeper into the topic and even I finally appreciated what all the fuss was about!

And Alyson found this ‘recipe’:

‘Baking Soda Volcano’

(This for all of us who might find ourselves caring for young children on rainy days!)

You will need:

Newspaper strips
Wallpaper paste (or make a thick paste using flour and
Plastic bottle
Baking Soda
Red and Yellow Food Colouring (optional)
Liquid dish washing soap

What to do:
Make a papier mache volcano around the plastic bottle using the
newspaper strips and paste. Wait for the volcano to dry out completely. Place your volcano in a container to catch any mess.
Add some baking soda into the bottle. Add a small amount of liquid soap and a few drops of food colouring. Pour some vinegar in and watch your volcano erupt. You can even get creative by painting your volcano to look like a real one or by adding different colour food colourings in.

How does it work?
The chemical reaction between baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) and vinegar (acetic acid) produces carbon dioxide gas (CO2). As the carbon dioxide gas is produced, pressure builds up inside the plastic bottle, until the gas bubbles (thanks to the soap) out of the ‘volcano’. Real volcanoes also produce carbon dioxide (CO2), along with a lot of other different gases such as water vapour (H2O), sulphur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen gas (N2), hydrogen gas (H2) and carbon monoxide (CO).’

Wednesday’s informative post was writen by Inge B, Part 1  of a series entitled When glaciers start running, giving us an indepth introduction to the causes and effects of jökulhlaups.

Bruce stout wrote :

Nice one Inge! I love the way the sense of scale kicks in… We think we’ve seen a lot but actually we haven’t seen much yet at all! Imagine a glacier riding on one of these floods… Cripes. that is some serious power.

Renato Rio summed up the post:

What a great reading, Inge!

I’m still very busy to stop by and read all what I have missed and all the great posts and comments, but I must confess I couldn’t stop reading yours down to the end.

And Inge left us wanting more

”When I started researching this, I was surprised to find out that not only had the “usual suspects” Vatnajökull and Mýrdalsjökull produced bigger and smaller jökulhlaup running in all directions, but that smaller ones were known from virtually all 5 big Icelandic ice caps, i.e. also Drangajökull (most probably not volcanic, because it is situated outside of the active rift zone), Hofsjökull and Langjökull. (O. Sigurdsson, 2005) And two years ago, we could observe how the outlet glacier Gígjökull from

Eyjafjallajökull covered a small glacier lake with debris during some jökulhlaup.

The phenomenon is of course not limited to Iceland, but is possible in all parts of the world with glacier covered volcanoes like Alaska or the Andes in South America.

And there have also been famous floods in the distant past, i.e. the Pleistocene, like the Lake Missoula floods which carved out the Columbia River Gorge in the USA, the Altai floods in Siberia, even one in Germany (Münsterland) and then there is the case of Jökulsárgljúfur in Iceland. Some of them are thought to have involved such an enormous quantity of water that the one of 1996 in Iceland is really dwarfed by comparison. But we’ll speak more about these in later posts.” INGE B

This morning Diana Barnes observed:

Iceland is way too quiet!

We agree with you Diana! Just a little excitement wouldn’t be too much of a problem, would it?

And now for a Riddle – Name those Volcanoes

5 volcanoes – 5 dings – 5 points

No 1 – Carbon dioxide, Hydrochloric acid, Vermiculite, Lanolin ….. and they have in common? SOLVED

No 2 – A mountain on Titan is named after this volcano’s alter ego – SOLVED

No 3 – Luckily, coffee is on hand to fortify the local villagers whilst they dare to live inside – SOLVED

No 4 – Oh no it didn’t! Oh yes it did! A devastating flow of toxic water wiped out all the Pantomime’s aquatic stars – SOLVED

No 5 –
Local legend tells of a huge, disgruntled mountain and an abandoned, lonely heart – SOLVED


116 thoughts on “Friday Summary and NTV Riddle

  1. Have fun with the riddle!
    And apologies for no pics with the Friday Summary – they’ re lost in the dungeons and will be rescued by Spica shortly.

    • Sagebrusher is right, and thanks for pointing this out, Titan is no longer generally referred to as the 15th moon of Saturn, although many reliable reference points have failed to up date this information! I have altered the clue accordingly.

    • Word of advice (but you likely don’t need it). One of

      the most aggravating times if you are a man…. is being stove up. You know, when parts don’t work right. Stiff arms/shoulders/knees, etc. It really pisses us off. Then you get depressed because you realize that it’s somewhat normal, and comes with age. Then when you see someone full of vim and vigor, you question the fairness of the universe. Other things also drift into thought, but I’ll not state them. I don’t want to say anything that might be construed as condoning wanton violence.

      And for the younger set… if you ever get into a fight with an older man, be very careful. Age dictates that we stop the agressor as quickly as possible. We are keenly aware of how little stamina we have availible. The older the man, the more likely he will just think “%=%% it” and grab you by the cajones and try to throw you off the balcony. In fact, this attitude of “getting it over with” is probably why some older people get arrested. Every one has homohabilis in their ancestry… the “tool user.” and if a baseball bat is the most useful tool handy… so be it.

        • No, just ruminating… and remembering an incident from two years or so ago when a grand kid raised his hand to his mother and suddenly found himself pinned up against a wall with his feet dangling above the floor and an admonishment from me about what would have happened had he carried through with that motion.

          He was quite shaken. One moment he was a a sullen mouthy teen ager, the next moment, a wall fixture.

          His mom is still angry with me about it. I told her that “he has to deal with the consequences of his action. I’m just lucky that he didn’t carry out the motion or else I would be headed to jail”

          • I wouldn’t have tried anything like that on my Pop -period- knew better. Once when working for a local newspaper in the printing room one of the “assistants” grabbed his
            Girlfriend (who was not of age btw.)by the throat. Pop did what you did to your grandson-there were witnesses,btw.Pop was dark, had these light blue eyes that got
            white-like a Wolf’s when mad. They called the police-the girl who was 16-the boyfriend was 19-was still gasping when the cops arrived. He boyfriend was held-by one hand-against the wall by pop. He was very cooperative. and the Girl (and her parents)
            pressed charges..Pop said later-“I was prepared to rip his head off with my bare hands.” ” I had to finish it quick as he had the age on me.” Pop was a Boxer and
            a Trainer in his younger days,being a working Cowboy helped too.

      • Lurk I have a T-shirt: “Old age and treachery overcomes youth and enthusiasm” .
        something to that..Oh and the average age of Airtanker Captains is 57….

      • Husband now home an safely tucked up on the sofa with his remote buttons and chocolates left over from xmas. (I don’t eat chocolates he told me once…..!!!). Thank you Lurking and Tgmccoy I don’t think the loss of use of the shoulder has impacted yet as he’s not a bit grumpy!!! I think still a little anaesthetised… 😀

  2. Volcano number 2 might be Kachina wilderness peaks, a old composite volcano, part of the San Francisco peaks, and Kachina is also the name for the largest geological feature (a chasm but not really a mountain) at Ariel, which is Uranus’ 15th moon, as counting by the nearest distance to the planet.

  3. Nukber 1 volcano is probably a volcano in Iceland. Well, here where we live we use the vermiculite from Hekla (but I guess it also occurs in other volcanoes such as Askja, Oraefajokull or Krafla). Lanolin is of course a molecule existing in sheep wool, that is used for skin products. And of course Hekla or any other Icelandic volcano also releases Hydrochloric acid or CO2 during an eruption. But my main guess goes for Hekla, because of all my vermicultive coming from there, and also many sheep living in farms around Hekla.

  4. Number 3 is probably some volcano where villagers live with their houses dug into the volcano or even inside its caldera or region of eruptive behavior. This can be so many of them, but likely the cofffe at hands should mean coffee is grown there (coffee is not grown in Pico Fogo in Azores) but in many tropical volcanoes. For instance, Quito (Ecuador) lies right on the slopes of PIchincha volcano and they grow coffee in there.

    Otherwise, in Iceland people live inside Eldfell (Westman Islands) and rely in coffee to keep strong (though they do not grow it there!) just like people living in the slopes of Vesuvius, Etna, the Azores, Camp Flegrei, Hawaii, and many other volcanoes around the world.

    For instance, Hawaii: they have a coffee belt in Kona district in the Big Island of Hawaii, that keeps villagers a way of living. Kailua-Kona, is the modern town which is built right on the southern slope of Hualalai, one the dormant shield volcanoes of the Big Island.

    So Hualalai is my bet for volcano number 3.

  5. Good morning all
    Here’s a NTV Riddle update
    NO 3 has been solved!
    Well done Alison – and for those that doubt coffee is grown on Pico Fogo in the Azores ”Pocketed away at the base of this domineering mountain is the quaint village of Chã das Caldeiras, which was automatically evacuated during eruptions, whether the threat was perceived to be big or small. This isolated village’s fertile vineyards bathe in the tropical island sunshine and provide some of Cape Verde’s finest grapes, which are exported for wine production, as well as its wonderful coffee crops.”

    • Got any references? Nothing from Darwin VAAC or on John Seach’s site (am I the only one who always reads his site as volcano olive? Always makes me hungry).

  6. NTV Riddle – hints added and clues expanded!

    No 1 – Carbon dioxide, Hydrochloric acid, Vermiculite, Lanolin, Oxystearin, Magnesium sulphate, Chlorine – what do they have in common?
    No 2 – SOLVED
    No 3 – SOLVED
    No 4 – Oh no it didn’t! Oh yes it did! A devastating flow of toxic water wiped out all the Pantomime Lake’s aquatic creatures
    No 5 – Local legend tells of a huge, disgruntled mountain who left its heart behind when it moved to the sea

    • No 5, Taranaki?
      Mount Taranaki or Mount Egmont left disgruntled too the sea after having a fight about a woman with Tongariro.

    • Not sure, but was left behind from the erosion of the debris slide. Heart Mountain never made it to the sea. Though it did slide several miles.

      Wackipedias Reendition of the Heart Mountain Slide:

      Between 75 and 50 million years ago, a period of mountain-building called the Laramide Orogeny caused uplift of the Beartooth Range and subsidence of the Bighorn and Absaroka Basins. Just south of the Beartooth Range, this orogeny uplifted an elongate, somewhat lower plateau which sloped gently to the southeast toward the Bighorn Basin and to the south toward the Absaroka Basin. Immediately following this period of mountain-building volcanic eruptions began to form the now extinct volcanoes of the Absaroka Range that lie to the south of the Beartooths and extend into Yellowstone National Park. Between 50 and 48 million years ago a giant sheet of rock about 500 square miles (1,300 square kilometers) in area detached from the plateau south of the Beartooths and slid tens of kilometers to the southeast and south into the Bighorn and Absaroka Basins.[1] This sheet, consisting of Ordovican through Mississippian carbonate rocks and overlying Absaroka volcanic rocks, was probably originally about 4-5 kilometers thick. Despite the slope being less than 2 degrees, the front of the landslide traveled at least 25 miles (40 km) and the slide mass ended up covering over 1,300 square miles (>3,400 km²). This is by far the largest rockslide known on land on the surface of the earth and is comparable in scale to some of the largest known submarine landslides

  7. Nr 1. They all have an E numbers. These are codes for chemicals which can be used as food additives for use within the European Union and Switzerland.

  8. Earthquake in Veidivotn, dead zone, near Laki. 99% quality, 5km deep, 0.6 magnitude. But things there rarely shake due to ductile crust

  9. E Volcanoes… Erebus, Erta Ale, Elbrus, Ebeko, Etna……. but I will go with Egon Volcano….. as in Egon Ronay who judges European foods/restaurants…
    This is very warped thinking on my part!!

    • lol Diana
      @all The name of this volcano (wiki) is literally right in front of you – no clever wordplay, anagram etc – the difficult part was finding the connection!

  10. So we’re left with #4… fish kill, toxic water.. drawing a blank.. Taal? Nyos? Somehow these don’t fit the riddle….

  11. Hmmmm
    No 4 – Oh no it didn’t! Oh yes it did! A devastating flow of toxic water wiped out all the Pantomime Lake’s aquatic creatures
    You’re looking for a crater lake that overflowed toxic (acidic) water and killed all aquatic life in a lake that shares its name with a popular Pantomime

  12. Totally OT (please forgive me fellow dragons) but I just have to say well done to Southampton FC (and for Ukviggen well done also to Reading FC) for winning vital matches today in the Premier League COYR

    • Thanks 🙂 Just got back in – had to stop for refreshments on the way home!
      I think your penalty was even less of a penalty than ours was, but when you’re down at the bottom you take anything that comes along. COYR indeed!

  13. NTV Riddle
    Answers, explanations, links and dings!
    No 1 Mount E (aka E san) – Alison at 16.45 1 point
    E numbers are codes for chemicals which can be used as food additives for use within the European Union and Switzerland. Carbon dioxide E290, Hydrochloric acid E507, Vermiculite E561, Lanolin E913 etc.
    No 2 Mount Ngauruhoe – Bruce Stout at 11.51 1 point
    Mount Ngauruhoe was used as a main stand-in for the fictional Mount Doom in Peter Jackson’s The Lord of the Rings movie trilogy, achieving worldwide exposure. The International Astronomical Union names all mountains on Saturn’s moon Titan after mountains in Tolkien’s work. In 2012, they named a Titanian mountain “Doom Mons” after Mount Doom.
    No 3 Fogo – Alison at 17.59 1 point
    The mountain’s slopes are used to grow coffee, while its lava is used as building material. Near its peak is a caldera and a small village, Chã das Caldeiras, is inside this caldera.
    No 4 Mount Chiginagak – Sherine France at 17.51 1 point
    In early May 2005, a catastrophic release of acidic water from the lake, with an accompanying acidic aerosol component, drained and flooded Indecision and Volcano Creeks with acidic water, traveled 27 km downstream and flowed into the Mother Goose Lake, headwaters of the King Salmon River. Extensive vegetation damage occurred along the flood route and Mother Goose Lake was acidified (pH of 2.9-3.1), killing all aquatic life and preventing the annual salmon run.
    No 5 Alaid – Sherine France 17.23 1 point
    The legend about Alaid’s Heart Island runs that instead of the lake, there was a huge mountain called Alaid. It was so high that it was standing in the light of the rest of the mountains which they didn’t like. One day Alaid, tired of quarrelling, left to find a better place to stay – and settled as an island in the sea. The only thing he left there, was his heart which one can see in the middle of the lake. It is a rose-tinted island which has a form of the heart.

    • BTW those Bears in that link are the Kodiak’s Russian cousin’s..
      Loved the pictures I wonder about the Eruptive history of Alaid….
      sounds a bit like Mazama…

      • Researching whilst setting the riddle questions each week can occaisionally be magical! And I loved those bears too …….

  14. Hi

    I plan a trip to Tenerife, does someone has some advice to give ? I plan going to the south for the sun, and of course many trips to the volcano are in the mood.

    thanks in advance

  15. Wandering around the net….

    941 AD, an official of Qingzhou reported to the emperor that the sea there (the Bohai Sea, i.e. Gulf of Chihli) froze scores of kilometers off shore


    And part of the same stretch of water, today (with no Icelandic fissure vent eruption):

    • Lurking,

      Closer to home, the Norse and Dane viking raids got so bad in 927 that missionaries were sent from the Bishopric of Bremen-Hamburg and also, independently, from Anglia to the Swedish vikings (the hope naturally being to gain an ally behind the invaders’ backs). This marks the entry of “Vite Krist” (White Christ) in Sweden. And to think that bleedin’ Eldgjá was behind it…

      • Eleventh century Benedictine monk and historian, Goffredo Malaterra, had this to say about the guys that lived on the North Shore:

        Specially marked by cunning, despising their own inheritance in the hope of winning a greater, eager after both gain and dominion, given to imitation of all kinds, holding a certain mean between lavishness and greediness, that is, perhaps uniting, as they certainly did, these two seemingly opposite qualities. Their chief men were specially lavish through their desire of good report. They were, moreover, a race skillful in flattery, given to the study of eloquence, so that the very boys were orators, a race altogether unbridled unless held firmly down by the yoke of justice. They were enduring of toil, hunger, and cold whenever fortune laid it on them, given to hunting and hawking, delighting in the pleasure of horses, and of all the weapons and garb of war

        They seemed to be an easier solution to the invader problem.

  16. Rumination on word origins.

    As some of you have found out… a lot of Icelandic words are derived from compound words.

    Here is a non-icelandic example. I was thinking about crime and punishment… and natch, rewards. This phrase came to mind… I remembered it from standing in formation at numerous award ceremonies that I have attended over the years. (no, not mine, I rarely did that well)

    Generally, the award citation begins “To all who see these presents, greetings.” For quite some time I found myself wanting to take a furtive glance around to see the brightly wrapped packages and boxes…. (there are none).

    But the word here, is “present.” Think “pre-sent,” and is that not what a present is? Something that was “pre-sent?”

    Along the crime and punishment meme…. “Mad Max, Beyond Thunderdome” had a wheel that was spun to determine the fate of the accused. “Bust a deal, face the wheel” was chanted by the citizenry as they led the anti-hero to his sentencing as determined by the wheel. Society, whether post apocalyptic Australia or downtown Detroit Michigan, has to have clearly defined boundaries and outcomes for aberrant behavior. It allows one to self judge the ramifications of their actions. It provides clear guidance about what to expect if you mess up or get caught doing something you are not supposed to be doing. Lying, cheating, stealing, “Breaking a deal.” etc. In Aunties world, this was accomplished by catch phrases and slogans that were easy to remember… and rigidly enforced.

    Where societies break down, is when that clear guidance is lost or if the enforcement of it becomes ephemeral if at all.

    • Hm, interesting rumination yet again. I’d say it’s when the values of society become relativistic instead of fixed. To put it simply, “Thou shalt not kill” is an absolute value and if you transgress, your own life is forfeit. In a relativistic society, there is always room for “extenuating circumstances”. Hey, if you’re insane enough to kill, society is better off without you.

      How about something not a life-and-death matter such as “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s 72-inch plasma screen, nor his wife”? Who cares about that today! It’s a great inconvenience to the morally immature individual’s “right” to “the pursuit of his own happiness”.

      Continue exploration down that path and it becomes clear that modern “democracy” is the greatest threat to human society ever and must be abolished before we revert to total barbarism and anarchy. Not even Stalin or Hitler managed to destroy the fabric of society as effectively as Roosevelt, Wilson, Blair and Obama have done via the simple expedient of appealing to people’s self interest. May they rot in hell.


        Jared Diamond has researched this and comes up with an interesting perspective:

        ‘What has New Guinea taught you?
        When I went there in 1964, naive, New Guineans were technologically primitive. They used stone tools, and I had no idea what they were going to be like mentally. It took me very little time to realise that mentally and emotionally they were similar to me.

        Would traditional societies consider most Westerners to be freeloaders?
        You and I are freeloaders. We are not growing our own food. We are parasites on the 2 per cent of Americans and British who produce food. In our complex society, 2 per cent of the people can produce all the food; in places like New Guinea everyone has to be a food producer.

        Why can’t societies without strong leaders be peaceful?
        In a band or tribe of people it’s fairly democratic – the number of people is so small that you reach decisions face to face. But if you get 100 people who agree a peace treaty with the neighbouring tribe, there will always be some hot-headed young men who still have a grievance, break the armistice and kill someone, which starts the whole cycle again.

        Restraining these hotheads requires a centralised force. Tribal societies, without a strong leader, can’t enforce peace. The reason a state society spreads – and why the farmers tolerate “parasites” – is that a state society maintains peace, it settles disputes.

        So nation states circumvent direct vengeance?
        If you have a car crash, it’s not your problem to get satisfaction from the person who broke your leg. It is, instead, the state’s legal system that does that. That’s why people from traditional societies move into the state society, but you don’t see the flow the other way. Traditional societies recognise the benefits of state power.

        What do New Guineans make of rich countries like the US?
        New Guineans are certainly frank in telling me what they like and don’t like about our society. They love all the material goods: umbrellas, matches, glue. They love the fact that our children usually don’t die. But they are appalled at how we bring up our children – that kids aren’t running in and out of houses. When they get to know our society, they are appalled at our loneliness, at our sparseness of personal relationships. And they are disgusted that our old age is often so miserable.’

        Seems pretty clear really – state power good – tribal conflict bad.

        Football is much better than fighting anyways

        • Thats debatable.

          The push here in the States is to villify the sport. One aspect that “they” don’t concider, is that it is a vicarious outlet for agression. Elliminate that, and the populous may tend to seek the real thing.

          Personally, I don’t follow it, though I do quite enjoy seeing an Ivy League team get their ass stomped by a bunch of “rednecks”

          (Alabama vs Notre Dame) (not the cathedral)

        • Cool! I love Jared Diamond, I didn’t know he had a new book out… Thanks for the heads up. Off to amazon…

      • Democracy has no significant effect on either murder rate ( or suicide rate ( In other words, it is neither causing or preventing the worst criminal behaviour or in the most severe manifestation of unhappiness. To turn the argument on its head, it means that abolishing “modern democracy” will not help a bit to improve morality.
        There would be more corruption though (

        • Before you can undertake a serious look at this… you should first clearly define “happiness.”

          What is happiness? Is it the same from one person to another?

          I take great pleasure is finding lots and lots of data, free for the taking. Just download and go. But some knuckle worn researcher somewhere had to bust thier arse to collect it. To them, having some data leech like myself come along and pull it down off the net may not be the happiest thing that they could envision.

          Some people believe that copious amounts of uncommitted sex is the answer to happiness… others may differ with that idea. Occasionally a kid is the result, and those have to be fed or they make all sorts of noise. (Caterwauling kids can dampen most peaceful serene moments.)

          To many of us, a tropopause popping plinian eruption would make us happy. To those in the ashfall or column collapse area… not so happy.

          It is difficult to define. What is “happiness?”

          If it is to get what you want, when you want it… then what is the motivation to do anything?

          For the Movie people:

          What is best in life?

          “To crush your enemies, see them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women”

          From a character developed by Robert E. Howard

        • Of course. Let a thief define his own activities and it’s not theft, it’s redistribution of property. Same way with organised corruption – let the “democratically elected” define what constitutes corruption and African countries come out as totally corrupt and they themselves as Snegurochka. Truth is, Sweden is the most corrupt nation on Earth and the most skilled at hiding the fact.

        • As for Alyson’s comment about war – “Seems pretty clear really – state power good – tribal conflict bad.”, war is how prehistoric humans resolved overpopulation. It is in our genes, and war at that level, tribal war, tended to weed out the weakest leaving the species stronger. Besides, the assassination of a local tribe chieftain in Sarajevo would never have spread into a five-year, world-wide conflagration that claimed 20 million directly plus another estimated 50 million to 100 million people killed by the Spanish flu because the war left almost everyone suffering from malnutrition and thus vulnerable.

          While tribal war is a genetically beneficial solution to overpopulation, state power does the exact opposite. It selects the best, either through conscriptive selection or forced “volunteering”, then kill them on an industrial scale, leaving the dross behind to profligate. From any sane point of view, It should be the other way round – prevent the dross from reproduction and consumption of ever-dwindling resources.

      • @Oliver St John-Mollusc (or whoever you are)
        I really don’t understand this argumentation for dictature. Is it an appeal to have concentrations camps again or what??? Or just provocationin the manner of neonazis – which would be bad enough??
        Nazisim was the really worst thing that ever happend in Germany!

        • No Inge, I’m thoroughly in favour of democracy, but not the abused, abusive and downright harmful variety of today. First of all, who gets elected should not be a popularity contest because that will lead to the mediocre being elected by the mediocre for the mediocre and a stagnant society on a downward spiral. Second, there has to be accountability. The people should be protected from the excesses of those in power. They’re there to do a job for the common good, not to further their own interests or those of groups with enough clout to swing an election. This accountability should be everywhere – if I’m a poor teacher, I should not be allowed to teach and if I still do, I’m personally responsible for the outcome. Third, power should be limited by being divided as proposed by Montesquieu 350 years ago.

          As for the worst thing that ever happened in Germany, that was the 30-years’ War in the 17th century. Hitler and his criminal thugs – democratically elected by the way, their road to power built on bedrock by the moronic actions of the victors of WWI, in particular those of France and the USA – place second on that list.

          PS. Concentration Camps are a British invention, first implemented during the Boer war when the Boers; men, women and children, were taken from their homes by force by the British Army and herded into camps without proper facilities. As a result, tens of thousands died. There is some debate as to whether this was deliberate or not on the part of the British Government. Be that as it may, the facts are that Britain invented the Concentration camp and killed tens of thousands of innocents.

  17. The volume of a sphere is

    So, you can effectively find out what the area is in a specific “shell” of the atmosphere if you calculate Volume (EarthRadius + altitude) minus Volume (EarthRadius + a lower altitude)

    And, you can calculate the pressure of the air at that altitude with

    p = 101325 (1 – 2.25577 10-5 h)5.25588

    You can work this further to find the density of the air at various altitudes

    And if you do individual slices 0.1 km thick, then calculate the mass of the air in each “shell”, then sum it up… (or integrate the curve that the plot makes) you can get the mass of the atmosphere.

    I get roughly 380,045,740 kg from 0 meters to 40 km altitude, total mass. For the section above 17 km up to 35 km, about 4,076,448 kg, or 1.06% of the total mass. That would be the part that is in the stratosphere.

    I have yet to work out what sort of screening effect a specific ratio of sulfate would have by concentration. Generally, it’s measured or stated in ppmv (parts per million by volume) rather than mass. So that’s another conversion step that would need to be tackled.

    I need to go to bed. G’night all.

  18. Hi

    A day by day animation of earthquakes under El Hierro since the onset of the earthquake crisis of 2011 and including the last small swarm of 31-12 and beyond up to Jan 08.
    Earthquake magnitude is proportional to dot size (see scale on on side)
    Terrain elevation is shown with colorbar.
    Dot color is time coded (month by month according to the same colorbar) so the oldest events are in blue and the latest in red.
    Data courtesy of IGN and NOAA.
    Many points are interesting to note, in particular, the relative size of the earthquake swarms which show that apparently the intensity (in term of number of quakes) is degressing with time. Also the fact that for the majority of the quakes, they are concentrated timewise. This shows also that the last swarm is activating a new zone where there were few earthquakes before.
    The swarms of august (1’37) and August – October 2012 (1’58 and 2’06) and of course the last swarm are clearly visible (but for the last swarm it’s only at 2’31…)

  19. I have read throught the comments above only just now.
    Please people, this is NOT the place to discuss politics or the like. I will remove such comments, quite some people feel offended already and sent emails.
    This is a volcano blog, Friendly banter is of course welcome , ( or informatio about Dianas dog Meg… ) but not that!

    • How typical. If you don’t like facts and interpretations of those facts but know you cannot argue with them, you can always complain and say you’re “offended”. That’s typical of the cowardly children that populate the world today and who have ruined our planet. Actions like that prove there is no hope, people are just too stupid.

      • You ever notice how it generally only works in one direction?

        Personally, I am quite opinionated, and take great offense at being thieved from and being told to enjoy it, But the idea of sticking to the subject of the blog is a valid desire, so I quell my animosity towards those ideologies that are less than deserving of a pulse.

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