Vulcano – The island that lent its name to an entire branch of geology

Fig 1. “The Thunderbolts of Zeus”. One of the amazing photographs taken by the incomparable Marco Fulle, often reproduced on the Internet without giving credit to this wonderful photographer.

Fig 1. “The Thunderbolts of Zeus”. One of the amazing photographs taken by the incomparable Marco Fulle, often reproduced on the Internet without giving credit to this wonderful photographer.

Hephaistos, the lame son of Zeus and Hera, the King and Queen of the Hellenistic Pantheon, was the god of blacksmiths, artisans, craftsmen, metals, metallurgy, fire and volcanoes. He was also the weaponsmith of the Gods and crafted, amongst other things, the thunderbolts of Zeus.

Of course the Romans, the greatest copyright infringers ever produced by mankind incorporated the Greek Pantheon as their own religion and mythology. Here, Hephaistos was known as Vulcanus. The roman scholar Marcus Terentius Varro (116 – 27 BC) cites the Annales Maximus, which go back to at least 400 BC, as the source of the first mention of Vulcanus. He mentions that king Titus Tatius (d.748 BC) dedicated a series of altars to deities among which Vulcan is mentioned.

Perhaps more suggestive is the fact that a new eruptive centre formed in the strait between Vulcano and Lipari with the first recorded eruption occurring in 183 or 123 BC. The eruptions went on for more than a century, thus were contemporary with Varro, and formed a new island Vulcanello. This was volcanic creation of new land where only sea had been before and must have been considered by the ancient world as very significant proof of divine existence and omnipotence. In addition to its theological usefulness, Vulcano provided the Romans with wood, alum and sulphur, activities continued as the main produce of the island until the last, or rather, most recent series of eruptions of 1888-90 ruined the mining works. Today, Vulcano is home to some 500 year-round inhabitants while in the summer, the population grows to about 10,000. But not to worry, renewed activity will almost certainly be preceded by irrefutable signs of unrest well in advance of any potentially devastating event.

Fig 2. Geology of Vulcano (Gioncada, Mazzuoli, Bisson & Pareschi 2003)

Fig 2. Geology of Vulcano (Gioncada, Mazzuoli, Bisson & Pareschi 2003)

The visual appearance of Vulcano is very suggestive with the most ancient centre of activity, the collapsed stratovolcano “South Vulcano” (ca. 120-98 kA) and Piano Caldera (ca. 98-97 kA) to the south, the Lentia Complex (15.5 kA) with the Lentia or Fossa Caldera (16 -13 kA) in which the new La Fossa cone (~6 to 5 kA) grew. To the NE of the Fossa cone an extrusion is obvious but no date has been given for it (14 kA Punta Roja lava flow?). Finally, to the north is the already mentioned Vulcanello complex (2.1 kA).

Activity at Vulcano began a mere 150,000 years ago and is divided into four major stages. The first, South Vulcano center, began at about 120 kA by building a trachybasaltic to trachyandesitic stratovolcano where pyroclastic fall and flow deposits constitute only a minor portion. The activity at South Vulcano came to an end with the collapse of the stratovolcano around 97 kA into the 2.5 km diameter Caldera del Piano. Interestingly, it seems that the caldera was formed, not by an eruption that led to a collapse but the collapse of the stratovolcano “for reasons unknown or unspecified”. Post-caldera activity continued for some 45,000 years which resulted in most of the caldera being filled by lava flows. Then there seems to have been a period of inactivity covering the next 30,000 years.

Fig 3. Looking north. An aerial photograph of the infilled Lentia Caldera with the Gran Cratere of the La Fossa Cone and island of Vulcanello.

Fig 3. Looking north. An aerial photograph of the infilled Lentia Caldera with the Gran Cratere of the La Fossa Cone and island of Vulcanello.

About 15½ thousand years ago, activity renewed at Quadrara and Spiaggia Lunga as well as the formation of the large rhyolitic to trachytic lava dome and flow complex of Lentia, the “Lentia Lava Dome Complex”, in the northwest. From somewhere in the strait between Vulcano and Lipari (proto-Vulcanello?) violent ash-flow forming eruptions occurred and deposited brown tuffs over a large area of the old Caldera del Piano to the south.

About 15-14 ka ago, another caldera collapse affected the island, this time in its northern part, forming the Lentia caldera. Again, there seems to have been no explosive eruption associated with the caldera collapse, which may have been “tectonically triggered”. Activity continued within the new caldera with at least five cycles of pyroclastic and lava flows, the most significant being the Punta Roja lava flow that crops out at the E base of the La Fossa cone. Eruptions also occurred from N-S trending fissures in the NW part of the older Piano caldera where the Alighieri formation and the edifice of Monte Saraceno were formed.

Fig 4. Inside the Gran Cratere of La Fossa (

Fig 4. Inside the Gran Cratere of La Fossa (

About  11,000 years ago, activity began to concentrate in the centre of the Lentia Caldera and at least four eruptive cycles formed the massive-looking albeit only 391 m high La Fossa cone. Over the past 2½ thousand years, there have been at least 15 confirmed eruptions with a further ten possible from La Fossa with the last terminating on March 22nd 1890.

Fig 5. A post card of Vulcanello from Lipari

Fig 5. A post card of Vulcanello from Lipari

Although activity at La Fossa continues and cannot be said to be over, the last major eruptive period recognised is the already mentioned one that began in the second century BC and led to the formation of the Vulcanello Island and complex. Eruptive activity continued with at least two further eruptions after the initial, island forming series ended in ~10 AD. The final eruption, that of 1550, connected Vulcanello with Vulcano. The activity produced three overlapping tephra and scoria cones with craters shifting from E to W, and a gently sloping lava platform mainly on the N, W and S sides of the cone cluster. The Vulcanello products are generally more mafic than most other Vulcano eruptives, being of leucite-tephritic composition, only the most recent lava flow, Punta del Roveto of 1550 being trachytic.

For further reading, I highly recommend Dr Boris Behncke’s former site, thankfully saved for posterity by the Michigan Technological University (?):

Record of historical eruptions of Vulcano:



126 thoughts on “Vulcano – The island that lent its name to an entire branch of geology

  1. Vulcanello has a similar look like Surtsey. Two tuff cones with a big lava field which Surtsey also has. But Surtsey has two tuff cones which are open to the south due the strong prevailing winds from the south when the tuff was deposited.

    • Interesting observation! To judge by the Vulcanello cones, the wind in the Mediterranean wasn’t strong and/or steady in direction enough to have such an effect. Another interpretation to explain the open Surtsey craters is that the material ejected there was so fine/small/light it could be affected by wind whereas elsewhere, such as at Vulcanello, it was too heavy.

      • The average waveheight at Surtsey is 4 times greater, and the waveweight is 16 times greater so I think the waves is the case. And contemporary texts seems to support that.

        • We have the open crater at Etna as another fresh example. There it was the break-out of the lava flows that breached the crater to the E and caused the rim to fail.

        • You see that Surtsey’s east crater tuff cone, called Austurbubki, has been truncated on the right side by the waves.

          Look at this picture below,

          DragonEdit: IMG tags does not work. Fixed the link.

        • Surtsey lies in an area of the North-Atlantic which often has very rough sea states with large waves and large swells. There is often a persistent low pressure area (Iceland low) which causes stormy weather with high winds. If Surtsey had developed in a more sheltered environment like the environment of Anak Krakatoa, I think it would not suffer from massive erosion.

  2. I should add that ALUM is the short form of hydrated potassium aluminium (“aluminum” to the illiterate and uneducated US English speakers who take a perverse pleasure in misspelling and mispronouncing English, they even have the cheek to make the automatic spelling checker suggest that “aluminium” is an incorrect spelling…) sulphate and has been used since Roman times in purification of drinking water. If added in small quantities, ~40 parts per million, it bonds with and causes impurities to flock at the surface or settle to the bottom which makes for easy filtration. Those Romans, eh! What have they ever done for us? Well, apart from aqueducts and sanitation…

    • Thankyou Henrik,
      The Forge of the Gods really has the works, calderas, surtseyan type events, pyroclastic deposits etc.
      The geological map really brings it to life, and the photo at the top: wowsers!!! 😀
      Cheers Henrik.

    • Great article !
      Aluminium is still very widely used today in water treatment. Nowaydays it’s more it’s chloride form but the idea is the same. The positively charged Aluminium cations attract the negatively charged colloids present in the water (silt and the like) and aggregate them so that decantation and hence clarification can occur. Iron chloride is also used, but no so much as if the water is very turbid you need to add a lot of it and then water is colored and has a bad taste.

      • Thank you Dfm, it’s such an unusual place with two small calderas neither of which seem to be caused by an eruption but rather the unspecified and mysterious “tectonically triggered”. How would that have happened? You cannot have a collapse on such a scale unless there is an equally large empty space available to collapse into. Could it be that a series of eruptions emptied much of the magma “chambers” (must have been highly explosive eruptions with a very high “gas” content in order to accomplish that), that there was no magmatic refill and that centuries after the eruptive episode, an unusually large earthquake caused the roof to collapse? Since they are small, 2½ and 3 km respectively, the strain placed on the supportive structure would have been far less than at larger volcanoes such as Mazama (Crater Lake, Oregon) where collapse occurred before the eruption was over?

  3. If anyone is thinking that the SILs in Iceland is starting to look weird, it is most likely due to the storm starting with up to 40 meter per second winds.

  4. Just heard an advertisement claiming that their pain reliever works because it contains cobra venom.

    It’s probably derived from it, but I don’t know if I would let the marketing pukes know about it.

    Be that as it may, R.I.P. Cal Worthington.

    Note: These are 1981 prices. The dollar has devalued quite a bit since then.

  5. Always a good reading Henrik, thank you 🙂 And if you like the old stories I advise you to read
    “Travels in the two Sicilies : and some parts of the Apennines” of Lazzaro Spallanzani

    • Ooh, it’s available online! Lazzaro Spallanzani (1729-99), Catholic priest (Jesuit of course, all intelligent priests are/were) who occupied himself with studies in biology and physiology and was the first to understand that species do not evolve from smaller versions of themselves although Pasteur dealt preformationism, as the idea is known, the final death blow a hundred years after Spallanzani.

      What an interesting old gent! His observations of the behaviour and properties of lava are very pertinent! The evocative terminology – “The Garnets of Vesuvius”! The reference to Mr Pennant of England whose description of the “perpendicular height of the sides” of the lava flows of a volcano in Iceland in 1783 (Laki or rather Skáftár Fires) that were no less than “80 to 100 feet” (25 to 30 metres!), fascinating! The mention en passant of his analysis of the pumices of Santorini.

      Shérine, thank you!

  6. For what it’s worth – I sent spica the popo post. Whether or not there is a new ring fault formation or not, I don’t think I’ll find out from reading up on it as it’s been too recent of a thing to really find any research on. If it is a newly forming ring fault, it would be the first time it’s happened with Popocatepetl.

    Based on what I’ve learned, I’d say it’s pretty unlikely, and is more likely just a vigorously degassing fumarole triggered by a new influx of magma and the sudden pressure change when the cork popped off. There is a suspicious fault around the Popo volcano, but it’s in a different location from where that degassing occurred, and I don’t believe it’s a ring fault as it’s a northwest trending tectonic fault related to magmatic influx.

      • No – and it’s not likely that they would. Anything at this point would just be speculation, and as I mentioned, it’s most likely just fumarolic.

    • You wouldn’t happen to know the location of the camera would you? It would be really nice to line up the camera’s point of view and compare it with known faults.

      An alternate possibility, is that the SE cluster of quakes and the low velocity zone there, may represent a separate magma infusion. “storage area”

  7. My apologies to those who lost track of what the hell I was talking about in my OT comment(s) above.

    For quite some time, I have detested advertisements. Second to that, I detest shoddy reporting. In my opinion, and that’s all it is, an opinion, ALL television programing is designed to sell you on something. It really doesn’t matter what, just that they have an idea, opinion, ideology, or product, and they want you to buy it. “they” will use everything from psychometrics and language, to emotional responses to colors. (many Hotel bathrooms are usually “soft light green” for a reason. It’s not overly harsh or unpleasant, but people tend to take care of whatever they are doing and leave the room). Even the US Navy had resorted to analysis of what colors promote the most effective work environment on submarines.

    My point is, “they” wish to impart some level of control on a population.

    It doesn’t really matter who “they” are, just that there are those who wish to impart some sort of control over another group of people. That’s about as far into conspiracy land as I want to go.

    This idea came up in psychology class back when I was actually going to college, and was one of the areas that I found pretty fascinating. My professor noted that a lot of issue was made about Popcorn, the movie. Allegedly superfast frames were embedded into the movie in order to promote vending sales in the lobby. I don’t recall the actual results, but the indication that I got was that the practice was dropped. (Likely from bad PR). However, subliminal stimuli DO work. MRI tests have shown that the brain does respond to the stimuli even though there is no conscious recognition of it.

    As a diversion one weekend, I found the threshold of sensitivity needed for a human to distinguish between two otherwise identical items and ran some calculations that let me know how much of a speed difference there needed to be for a human to be able to tell if something was faster than another object. At highway speeds, it came out to about 5 to 7 mph. I’ve adopted that guideline and have yet to get a speeding citation since doing it. The difference is much lower at slower speeds… and if the reference item is visually next to you, you come to the attention of the officer as you pass the slower vehicle. But, in open road conditions, unless they are running a speed detection device, visually, they won’t take note of you. (unless you are doing something stupid like weaving back and forth or having your arse hanging out the window)

    “Not being noticed” is the major brunt of what stealth is all about. Invisible is fine, but not being noticed is just as good.

    Anyway…. the general plot of the ShadoeVision video that I linked is that an spacefaring people take over world wide TV and stream evolution enhancing programing. A running joke is that the statement “This is not mind control, Think about it” keeps being repeated. Telling someone to think about something is in effect, mind control. The (allegedly) fictitious wold control offices are ticked off that someone took over their TV signal and abduct the girlfriend of the central character who managed to wind up in the audience of the studio doing the evolution enhancing program.

    Shadoe Stevens (aka Fred Rated in some commercials) parodied this in the program. Even the subliminal advertising bit.

    This is a screen grab from the second of the ShadoeVision series. (maybe a single frame but I didn’t check. I missed an earlier one.)

    The Max Headroom program of the mid 1980s used “Blipverts” as one of their plot devices. The idea behind the blipvert was to compress all the narative and stimulation of an advertisement so that is would play in full before you could change the channel. This led to some people exploding from sensory overload. (another plot device, doesn’t actually happen in real life as far as I know, though it could probably be used to explain SHC if you are really motivated to weave the tale)

    Anyway, there’s the idea behind my comment. I found the subject funny since I already have a deep seated hatred of advertisements.

    The next time you see an advertisement on TV, note the setting in which the actors interact. Usually it will be of an upper middle income sort of dwelling in order to entice you into associating the product with a higher standard of living.

    From a character the original ShadoeVision: “We don’t want to control your mind, we just want to control your inclinations”

    Side note.

    Red lighting will not cause your iris to dilate. This color is used a lot on ships bridges at the chart table so that the night vision is not adversely affected. For most of my career it was used back in CIC also. Overtime, they switched to blue lighting. Since blue has a more calming effect, I think it was due to the psychological reasons, though I can’t say for certain. (The bridge stuck with red lighting on the chart table. At least they understood the affect on night vision)

    • Yeah… I know, “out there.”

      Well, someone has to be out there. This little gem falls right in line with the general idea of what I’m talking about.

      Not everyone who wants plastic surgery can afford it, but now some of those people are able to slip on a Uniface Mask by Chinese designer [redacted to keep it from being an advert]

      Further along…

      Once applied, Uniface stays on and becomes your everyday face. According to the product site, the glue adheres to human skin and can only be removed at professional clinics, by Uniface experts

      TechBog article.

      Now, here is something to concider. Human skin cells die every day. Usually the dead skin sloughs off or is removed by washing. Your face is one of the most oil producing areas of your body.

      I wonder how that fits in with wearing this (IMO) creepy thing?

      Whats the next version gonna be? Plenty of market space out there…

    • Totally agreed. In Germany (and I think most European countries) we are double screwed because every household has to pay a “media fee” for so called public-law television. That sums up to more than 7 billion Euros. If that wasn´t enough they still throw tons of ads at the viewer. Until recently the enforcing agency discerned between TV and radio owners. We, as non-TV owners (we quit TV while in the US, btw) were under regular scrutiny, because everyone has a TV set, right? One time the inspector got suspicious of our satellite antenna, but I could convince him it´s only a support for our kiwi plant now. Can´t reject the impression that TV is a politically supported self-service institution.

      And that mask thingy must itch like hell…gruesome.

    • “the general plot… …is that an spacefaring people take over world wide TV”

      They already have. Barak Obama, a man whose greatest merit is being a founding member of a college pot-smokers society, is president of the USA and a Nobel Peace Price Laureate after less than a week in office and now is busily manouvering to start WWIII while disclaiming any personal responsibility. How the HELL do you think that happened?


  8. Another gem of a post, thanks Henrick! I have to reconsider visiting Italian volcanoes after this succession of posts about them. I’ve always thought that the forges of Hephaistos were in Mont Etna, but Vulcano sounds more plausible.
    And after Lurking’s conspiracy ruminations I am feeling even more Nibiruistic than before!
    “I have a deep seated hatred of advertisements.” – you are not the only one, Lurk. I’d say that watching volcanoes is sort of an antidote for the bombardment we get from the media.
    Great minds we have in Volcanocafé!

    • Another great post! I’m also feeling Nibiruistic these days – mainly because both where I work and live the politicians are completely ignoring the wishes of the people involved and going their own sweet way while heaping platitudes out to us and the media. The media, of course, just repeat what the politicians say and so it becomes “truth”.

      I do quite enjoy watching the way that TV programmes manipulate us – expecially the ones where the money is made by ‘voting’ for contestants – X Factor, Strictly Come Dancing, Big Brother etc. We are asked to have our favourites and, more importantly, someone we dislike. We are asked to vote for our favourites and early on in the series a clear favourite is discarded. The disliked person remains and so we get sucked into voting for the favourite and hoping the bad one leaves. It happens every time. Very entertaining as long as you realise that you are being manipulated (and don’t spend any money on expensive vote calls).

      • And the really horrible part is that in the UK the free press is no longer free. Unbeknownst to most governmental agencies have started to raid newspapers demanding them to erase harddrives and the also go in and directly censor articles. UK I am afraid is quickly slipping into being a hybrid between a democracy and dictature.

        • True. Our local MP spoke last night in Parliament about the closure of a facility here and the loss of 800 jobs and this has been reported in the BBC as praise for the government opening a new science park – nothing at all to do with what he was actually talking about!

  9. Americans are really immensely polite!

    It dawned on me a few days ago that even though we have quite a few American readers and commenters in here I have never written about an American volcano. Even though I unwittingly have been rather etnocentric and forgotten to cater to their needs they have not been beating me over the head.
    So, next week I will start to digress into the lands of Amerigo Vespucci.

  10. There is a new email!

    There has for a while been a problem with email and getting in contact with the Administrators and List-owner of VC. This problem have now been adressed, sadly we had to change the email to work around the problems.

    Kindest Regards!
    The Dragons

    • So, a mud volcano going caldera!!? How can one be more Nibirulistic than that?
      BTW: There is a small swarm of quakes taking place in YSV. If there is an interest on American Volcanism, here is one that will bring Nibiru even closer to VC. The University of Utah has been doing some research on the types of eqs that happen in the area and say that some quakes are related to tectonic strtch of the crust and some to hydrothermal and magma influx within the faults. Interesting indeed.

      • Help! The Mudcano is going Mudcera!
        Not even a 2012er could go into panic mode over a small cute roundabout mudcano… 🙂

        • Doom deficiency? Rune Floberghagen to the rescue!

          “We are facing the situation where the electrical propulsion system which keeps the spacecraft flying at this extremely low altitude will stop working somewhere between the end of September and the beginning of November—the best engineering prediction is in the middle, somewhere in the 16th or 17th October,” he said.

          Most of the 5.3-metre (17.2-foot) spacecraft will break up and burn when it tumbles to an altitude of 75 to 80 kilometres, he said.

          According to re-entry analysis, about 250 kilos of its one-tonne mass will survive, hitting the surface in a trail of “between 40 and 50 fragments” extending over 900 kilometres, he said.

          This pending debris field cost about 350-million-euro.

          “Everyone is extremely happy with this mission, both in our ability to monitor Earth’s gravity field, and also the spinoff achievements, [such as] our ability to understand and use the payload onboard

          Note: I added the bolded and italicized part for the humor of it. Hopefully they knew what they stuck on the thing when they designed and launched it.

          • I am going to miss the GOCE and the maps they generated from it. Without it we would not know that Iceland is uplifted 50 meters by the hotspot.

            And what the heck kind of name is Rune Floberghagen? Must be a mutation between Swedish, German and American…

    • Hello and welcome Jack!

      That earthquake is not at Hekla, it is at the far remote end of the Vatnafjöll volcanic fissure. A completely different volcano. Last it erupted was more than a thousand years ago.

  11. hi Carl just my luck my first time here and I get the wrong volcano lol carl do you know the volcano name that had just has had a earthquake ..

  12. Iceland seems very quiet lately maybe the pressure will be release in a laki sort of eruption or may be one large earthquake or may be it may carry on the way it is with little or no activity for hundreds of years like in the past . Carl what do u reckon Iceland is going to do next . .

      • Well, except bad weather we can safely say that something will blow sooner or later in Iceland. Currently there is not a clear trend pointing to any volcano in particular being close to erupting.
        But, that might as usual change at any time.
        Regarding the Laki type event, there are trends pointing towards an increased risk for a larger eruption to happen during the next 40 years or so. For the moment it does not seem to be really close. This might also change at any time, or take a few hundred more years before it happens.

        My guess for the next volcano to erupt in Iceland is Grimsvötn, at least if we look at it from a historical perspective. Let us just say that if we wait for a while something will happen.

  13. American Volcanoes, I know that I haven’t been to Northern California, I reckon though that Mount Shasta is a beautiful mountain. It is up towards the California/Oregon State line. Alaska can be seen as a more active zone considering that a couple of them went off this year. I’m not an expert though.

    I’m a little surprised Carl, that you think that Grimsfjall shall be the next one. Yes, I have the spelling down now too. People won’t be surprised should Hekla go loose. Hopefully not in a 1947ish style though or worse.

    • There are two reasons for me thinking that Grimsvötn will erupt again before any other volcano. The first reason is the hard rate of uplift, in about a year it will have passed previous highest levels, we have deep earthquakes and expansion earthquakes in the magma chamber. Still far apart due to pressure not being high enough for an eruption, but still.
      And then we have the fact that Grimsvötn is the cause for more than half of all eruptions in Iceland.
      So it is not that an amazing bet to believe that.

      Hekla is also on the list for volcanoes I am waiting for. She is just playing hard to erupt right now.

  14. Personally, I’m hoping for a Vedivotn level eruption from Jackson Volcano.

    It’s highly unlikely, that volcano has been dormant for 80+ million years, but it would be an epic karma event. (Lord knows, Jackson deserves it)

    Central vent of Jackson Volcano.

    (I’m not kidding, it’s built right over top of the vent’s location… well, where it was at)

    As for danger to the population, well, I think they would be well alerted to changes in the system. “Jackson Dome” (as it was called before they realized it was a volcano) is something like the second or third largest producer of industrial CO2 in the US. (based on past reading) They drilled for natural gas, but got CO2 instead. Changes to that would definitely get someones attention.

    Side Note: South of here, in the producing natural gas wells, is a large quantity of “sour gas”. It gets burned off at the different well sites. Late at night, sitting on the front porch, you can see the flicker of the flame stacks out in the different fields. During my teenage years, I remember when they had a well blow-out down in one of the fields. They even cancelled one of our basket ball games because of it. That area had to be evacuated until they could drill in underneath the failed portion and pump cement in to close if off.

    Curiosity makes me wonder if the proximity of the volcano has added to the SO2 content of nearby gas fields. (Sulfur puts the “sour” in sour gas)

    ‘Lurking, aren’t you being a bit hard on Jackson?’

    Yup. I was raised there. I can’t think of a better ending for that town.

    Another product removed in sweetening is carbonyl sulfide.

    Hello Nurse!

  15. Here is a picture for TG and the other fireguys here.
    The fire was set intentionally, and the effect as the cold air and the hot fire met is stunning. I call it a fireado.
    Happy friday all!

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    • Down here, we refer to the house as a meth lab. {joking}

      And, from the too stupid to be fake category… I learned this from listening to the radio while out on calls.

      Parker Florida Police were lauded on air for locating and arresting the operators of a meth lab. In an interview with the neighbors, it turns out that the lab operators used to cook the stuff in the front yard when they weren’t barbecuing. {stellar investigative work there… if it hadn’t lit off, they never would have responded along with the Fire Department}

      But… this is a city that had one of it’s city council removed and arrested for trying to buy meth in a local store’s parking lot.

      They later had an election to replace the arrested council member.

      Elsewhere, in the same city. Police discovered a meth lab operating out of the back of a pickup truck that was parked under a bridge. (parking under a bridge is not that odd in Florida, fishermen commonly park where ever they can get close to the water. It helps when running your live bait well to have a nearby source of electricity. Menhaden die quickly if you don’t keep the water circulated and aerated. And there is nothing more tastey to a Spanish Mackeral than a juicy Menhaden that can’t swim away very fast.)

      I guess they figured that they would blend in. It’s actually pretty stupid when you think about it.

      Fish and Game is not above checking out what is being caught. I’ve been looked at on several occasions. I even had one pair of officers motor up in a boat to the quay we were at to check out what we were catching. Fish and Game carry about the same authority as the Highway Patrol or DOT. They are all state officers with arrest powers.

      (… though I have never heard of them arresting anyone for fishing under the influence (FUI)… as long as you don’t drive, I guess you’re okay… till you fall in, or tie into a large King that does a 300 yard dash when you set the hook. That will be a long fight, and likely, if you can get it in, you will be sweating your arse off… and probably sober by then)

      Note: “setting the hook” is that initial tug you make on the baitfish in order to get the hooks into the target fishes mouth. Do it wrong, and you snatch the bait out of it’s mouth. When the hook sets, the Mackeral will tail lash and take off. If your steel leader isn’t long enough, you will loose the fish. My leaders are usually about 6 feet long. (They have to be. A 40 pound mackeral can easily be 5 feet in length, snout to tail)

      About 35 lbs is my largest catch. A week later my stepson pulled in a 60 lb one. Damned near had a coronary doing it. It is quite common to see a fisherman with a bottle of water sitting nearby so that they can douse the bail if it starts to overheat. A Mackerel can empty your entire bail in short order.

      • Meth Menhaden, if I ever have heard a name of a city council member on drugs before, that was it…

        A few years ago a German couple moved to hereabouts to get into contact with a particular moss that grows here. After a few months the neighbours contacted the police when they discovered that their children had not been fed for a while. The police found the couple sitting dead out in the forrest with huge grins on their faces.
        That kicked off a trend and every year there are Germans found stoned dead in the forrest with the same sanguine smiles. As the old adage goes, it is hard to ban a moss.

        As I have heard it the effect is somewhere between dope and LSD, and people who start taking it kind of forget to eat, drink and all the other things that you need to do to survive. They have rescued a few, but they inevitably walk out into the forrest again wearing those dreamy smiles. I have not heard of any survivors, found or not.

        Regarding fishing, we have a fish here with odd taste. Every five years or so someone goes for a skinny dip in one of our lakes to land in infamy and the newspapers as the fish has bitten of their manhood. I have never heard of anyone having fingers or toes bitten off…

        • Just found out that if you poke a sleeping dog in the side that is laid out cold, on it’s back… he might just get your finger. Luckily he’s an older dog and his teeth don’t cut so well. I gave him a piece of cheese afterwards. Now he’s confused. (The cheese is why I woke him in the first place)

          Dogs, in general, do not like being startled. To have some lumbering primate catch them unaware really pisses them off.

          (but it keeps him on his toes)

            • A) It would put a genuine smile on their otherwise fake-concerned visages. Directly televised parliament debates and question times would not tire your ears – you could have soothing music on to go with their rictus grins – and they would pass no silly laws in an effort to justify their own existence. (In the background, a triumvirate would rule the country wisely, away from public scrutiny)
              B) I am not so sure about that as it’s hard to find any Swedish Government that made even one sensible decision since 1940. It could very well be true in which case, who are the triumvirate that rule in our stead, Carl?

            • Peter Wallenberg, Carl Bennet och den som tagit över rollen efter Löfvén nu när han auto-failat…

              Only world order discussions.

      • The skill of a fisherman, is getting a 40+lb fish in on 15 lb test line. The lighter line gives you more line on the bail, but you are more likely to loose the fish if it snaps. Heavier line is more robust, but if you get to 200 yards and have no line left… he is likely gonna snap what you have anyway.

        There are other hazards also. The oblivious weekend skipper who motors through the array of fishing lines will piss you off in short order. One guy I know of is perfectly content with flipping his bail open when that happens and letting the boater have all the line on his rig. Removing fishing line from you prop is a much greater pain in the arse than refilling your bail with new line. (and can be much more expensive)

  16. Oh, and since it is friday. Have you ever wondered when a 2012er becomes to nibiruistic and will be picked up for a visit at “the home” for the insane? I now have the exact point captured on camera.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    And with this stunning specimen of manhood I leave you all to do something with this day. I guess the ladies will stay off the boys this weekend after seeing this.

  17. This one makes me wonder what would happen if you took a hypodermic needle and injected acetone into a surfboard… Theoretically, all the Styrofoam inside would dissolve, leaving an empty fiberglass shell. (might piss off the board’s owner also)

  18. Great article, and thanks for citing my old site – though there is a more up-to-date version of it … oh yes, it’s back online, at (so thanks also to Tom Pfeiffer for hosting the site!) — the direct link to the main page is, and the Vulcano introduction page is from where you will find a number of links (right top of page) to the geological history, the period of unrest in the 1980s and 1990s, hazards, and literature (though not updated since the early 2000s). Greetings from Etna (currently again quiescent, but no one thinks this will be for long)

    • Absolutely marvellous news! Did you know that your site is the only one available that gives anywhere near a comprehensive overview of Italian geology and volcanism? Seeing it back online makes me very happy indeed!

      Dragons! Add to the Hoard at once!

  19. I just Love Fridays. 😀 . I am not prone to belly laughs early in the morning with only Coffee # 1 in front of me but These latest comments have made me more than chuckle. It’s the best humour. Real life!
    Now I rarely poke fun at fellow humans. Just before I left the teaching profession we were told never, Never, NEVER, use the word stupid in relation to a fellow human, particularly the smaller ones. One never fully knows what problems or ailments a perfectly normal looking body conceals. Added to that is the fact we live now in a society where litigation is big business. It does worry me that there is possibly a correlation between the increase of commercial and governmental information and the apparent decrease in the use of average human intelligence both real and presumed.
    Being a scientist and curious about this hypothesis I just read a few samples of small print on the packets in my kitchen whilst waiting for the kettle to boil for coffee #2.
    On a packet of California Walnuts …….”.Allergy advice. Contains Nuts”
    Table salt……….”Suitable for vegetarians”
    I love feeding my wild birds even they are protected. The packet states the following
    Peanuts Use… A food for wild birds.
    Ingredients… Peanuts.
    On the Cooking Oil plastic bottle was the warning……”Do not pour hot oil back into the bottle”
    Then of course the water boiled and I got to thinking about H2O. Surely there is no danger in drinking pure tap or bottled water is there?
    The population outside The European Union should go down on their knees and thank the Almighty they are spared this burden. The latest findings for our health and safety is that Water does NOT prevent dehydration.. Here follows a very interesting scientific debate on the matter and of course the correct context of this finding.
    I am but a mere amateur. I profess to no expert training in this matter and these are only my opinions. Likewise VC is in no way liable for the content and possible actions caused by my ruminations. Likewise Any small Dogs in the USA are not in any way at fault or cannot be held responsible for the ruminations by this commentator but should seek legal aid if food or any other solid object should be carelessly and without due care and attention, or the aforesaid food or solid objects be aimed with accuracy towards the Small Dogs in such a manner it results causing physical, mental or sensory compromise including confusion or loss of identity.

    • In my defense…. my choice in using the word stupid was fully intentional. As for the people in question having some hidden infirmity that was beyond their control… dunno about that. My definition of stupid is not accounting for information that is readily available. Any other adjective that indicates a lack of mental prowess would probably be misconstrued as being biased in some manner. “Stupid” was the simplest word available that got the point across.

      Many years ago, a young Boilers Mate was tasked with cleaning the bilge area under the boiler. (boiler was offline). He had with him some M&Ms candy. Their motto is “Melts in your mouth, not in your hand.” A couple of months later, he was back down in the bilge doing his cleaning tasking again, and found a pack of M&Ms that he had left on a stringer previously. He wrote a letter of complaint to M&M-Mars, the company that makes them. They thanked him for his use of their product, but felt that being placed next to a ships boiler voided the claim about them only melting in your mouth.

      • Oh Lurking. II quite understand. I happily use even stronger words than stupid especially when aiming comments at some road users. The fact we could not use that word and others ,in my opinion, reflected the direction education was taking and I left the profession as soon as I plucked up enough courage to break out into running my own business. I never looked back except to sigh with relief that I am no longer at the chalk face when I see that my worst fears on the education front have been realised.
        Stupid is, as you say, short and to the point. Everyone understands what it means. Intellectually challenged. Disaffected. These words do not have the same simple, clear, meaning. Stupid covers that section of society who actually could think logically if they could be bothered but choose to act in a unthinking and uncaring way. Please do not think I was being critical of you Lurking. Far from it.

  20. And at 18.00 blog time there will be Riddles to be had. Sadly Kilgharrah is occupied this weekend so as a poor substitute there will be lame attempts of evility from me.

  21. This is probably the solution to some problem somehow.

    This is dedicated to Diana as compensation for the furry beast up above.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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