Introducing Volcanocafé Mk II + Riddles

This was the first image posted on the Volcanocafé Mk I version, it is fitting that it is the first posted on the Mk II site. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

This was the first image posted on the Volcanocafé Mk I version, it is fitting that it is the first posted on the Mk II site. Image from Wikimedia Commons.

Hello and welcome to what we have named Volcanocafé Mk II. This remake is the first step of the new concept. Not only do we have a better look, we have also selected carefully so that the comment thread will be the best possible.

Volcanocafé has always been image heavy, and by utilizing a broader page we get up to 50 percent larger images. This will make the content even clearer. Also, with this change we can edit the texts and images in a much more professional manner.

I hope that you will enjoy your new home and find that it is both more beautiful and even more functional. The result is in large part from you who read and comment, we have listened to your opinions on how we could become better.

During the next few weeks there will be more changes, most of them small, but some will be large, almost as large as this one.

Welcome everyone, The Future is so bright I gotta wear shades!

CARL & CRYPHIA and the rest of the Team!

P.S. The weekly Riddles will be posted at 16.00 Blog Time D.S.


As usual, two points if you solve the riddle before I append clues. Not all are true riddles of course, some are ciphers and some are brainwrecking nuts. And for the first time a picture riddle.

1. The teams are ready and the whistle ablowin’, “and you shall never walk alone” – Arenal (Sa’Ke, 1 pt)

2. We all read every word of the One, and look at any picture from the One – ANQHR ADGMBJD – Boris Behncke (KarenZ, 2 pt)

Click on me to see me better.

Click on me to see me better.

3. Baking (root form of the word) + image – Baekdoosan (Cryphia, 1pt)

4. Hider of female mysteries – Mt Hood (KarenZ, 2 pt)

5. Fizzy mountain of the plains – Ol’Donyo Lengai (Michael Ross, 2 pt)

Good luck everyone!

296 thoughts on “Introducing Volcanocafé Mk II + Riddles

  1. Doors

    Today I was ruminating on doors. Have you ever thought about doors being the dividing line of the world?
    Take for instance the US, all their front doors opens inwards. This will make it easier for burglers and police-officers to kick in the door. The general concept behind this is that it makes it easier for firebrigades to enter a burning building.
    Here in Sweden all front doors face outwards. This to make it harder for people to kick in the door. And also to make it harder for people to get trapped up against a door if there is a fire. You know when you run to a door with 100 people behind you and you get squashed against the door since you can’t turn the handle and it opens. This of course makes it harder for the fire brigade to enter if the door is locked.

    Now that we have established that the only big dividing line between countries and cultures are the way the door faces we can make the rather simple conclusion. If you live in an inwards country you are American. If you live in an outwards country you are a Swede. Let there be eternal peace and understanding, the rest is just trivial problems after all.

    Image and video hosting by TinyPic

    Picture of normal technique for opening a door.

    • My dear Auntie was broken into several times over her long life. To stop it
      she had a reinforced steel barred “screen” door installed at all of her oustside doors. It worked as they were outside openers.
      (This was encouraged by her Nephew, an Oregon State Trooper.)
      Never liked inside opening doors myself for the reasons you state.
      Oh the perps were caught trying a sledgehammer on the front door.
      some old students of hers who knew when she was and wasn’t home.
      She’d head for Japan in the summer to her Navy sons place for a few
      weeks and the Klowns knew it..

    • This may depend where you’re at in the usa, but i think you mixed it up. Doors for businesses and public buildings in the usa open outward if you’re inside the building for fire code. So if a fire breaks out, you can get in an easier fashion.

      For residence and housing, most doors open inward for convenience so its easier to walk in.

      • In Belgium front doors of houses open mostly inwards. For public buildings I don’t know, but those from the university open in both directions. But the door from a henhouse open always outwards, to keep the foxes out. (It does make it easier for the chickens to escape 😡 )

        • So Belgians are Americans, and your Hens are Swedish? Hm… I have to ponder and ruminate on the ramifications of this 🙂

          • I think a lot has to with (a lack of) space to open the door. Front doors in Belgium are often directly at the street (in towncenters) and/or traditionally often have a big “dorpel” (doorstep). This makes it inconvenient to open a door outwards. For the same reason (lack of space) toilet-doors nearly always face outwards.
            Swedes clearly doesn’t lack any space.

    • “Here in Sweden all front doors face outwards. This to make it harder for people to kick in the door….This of course makes it harder for the fire brigade to enter if the door is locked.”

      Actually, no.

      Forcible entry is an art form in the fire service. We practice a lot, and it’s often (although not always) easier to force an outward opening door, paradoxical though that may seem.

    • Fire brigade opening a door eh?

      Once, I was tasked with making entrance on a fire in a furniture retailer store. The idea was that if we could get in front of it before it got to the rest of the building we might be able to save part of their stock. They sent me around back to the midpoint of the building to locate an entrace or a window. There were none. Using a fire axe, I sliced the pretiest rectangular door in the metal skin of the building. One of the pumpers had set up back there and the crew went strait in.

      I have long preached to my family, that if there is a fire and your way is blocked, screw the windows. Throw a chair (or lamp) through it, and scramble out. We can fix the windows later if the house is salvageable.

      Side note for anyone reading this. In any fire, get as close to the floor as you can. There is air down there that you can survive on…. at least much longer than standing up and frying your lungs. That extra air can give you enough time to think. Another thing you can do to enhance your chances of survival. Learn how you get out of your house with a blindfold on. Get a family member to act as your safety observer while you practice. They will keep you from sticking your head in a toilet or trying to hump the dog. Learn how to get out. You never know when you may have to do it for real.

    • There are two things that strikes me as I read the paper.
      1. “low-voltage thermal battery”. Apparantly this was what was driving the safety component that actually worked. One problem with this is that a low voltage thermal battery does not function when cold. So, if they had flown during winter, and the bomb had been cold, the safety component would not have operated. Ontop of that, I suspect the same battery was driving the trigger sequencer, making the bomb into the most expensive dud in history if it had to be used against the Soviet Union during winter conditions.
      2. Also, what should be noticed is the end of the report; “could have given a nuclear burst”. Setting of a hydrogen bomb is almost impossible even during the best of times. Simply dropping it on the ground does not set it off. What though could have happened is that it would have “compressed” enough to give off a burst of hard radiation. Deadly, but not a nuclear blast.

      • The BBC report makes it clearer the bomb would have ‘detonated’ but for one switch.( correction – it was not faulty)
        “One fell to the ground unarmed. But the second “assumed it was being deliberately released over an enemy target – and went through all its arming mechanisms save one, and very nearly detonated over North Carolina,” Mr Schlosser told the BBC’s Katty Kay. Only one safety mechanism, a single low-voltage switch, prevented disaster, he said.”

        • Yes, but in the report you linked to that is the basis for the news item it says differently. The report quite correctly used the phrase “nuclear burst”, which is something completely different than a nuclear detonation.

          A nuclear burst is what happens when you reach the critical point for the fishionable material in the primer fishion bomb that sets of the fushionable material.

          Both of these bombs refered to was of the flawed Ulam “shrimp” design and can only be detonated with a highly exact explosion. The terminal velocity at which the bomb fell would have been far to slow to succeed in mimicking that explosion. Even if the explosive had gone off by the impact (and that would require much higher speed than terminal velocity) it would have been starting at impact point and then have expanded from there, and that would never create the necessary inward pressure required to set of the fishion sequence.

          At worst what would have happened was that critical point would have been reached and a hard radiation burst would have been set off, same as happened in that famous industrial accident at Los Alamos.

          The krytron trigger (in this case a set of bridged EG&G KN2s) of a nuclear bomb that sets of the compressing explosives are so exact that it sets off all “blasting caps” (an exploding bridgewire to be exact) within 1 millionth of a second. That would require a terminal velocity equivalent of 1000 kilometers per second.

          Why now would the explosive itself not go off? Well, it is quite wisely chosen for its abillity to withstand a lot of abuse. You can fire at it with a hypersonic sniper riffle and nothing happens. Or drop a ton of lead at it at terminal velocity.

          Sadly I know what I am talking about, I really wish I did not. If you ponder about me being a physicist and all you will probably figure out how I know these things… Let me just say, you cant make a nuke go off, even if there are not any safeties on it, by just dropping it. BBC is out on a wild goose chase on this.

          • To continue expounding on things dark and formerly secret… The Ulam design was so criticaly flawed that in a combat situation most of them would probably not have functioned. Something that was well known in the US military. That is the reason for them building so many. Even if 2 out of 3 would have been duds, there was still enough to do increadible damage.
            Also, the design was flawed in other aspects. Even if they went off they where insanely dirty. In a Ulam design between 1 and 13 percent of the material actually was used up. If one compares this to the Sakharov design it used up typically around 98 percent of the material.
            It took up untill the late 70s before the US fushion bombs reached equality in design.

            Now, ponder the “historic truth” that the Soviets got the blueprints from spies in the US. Hm… If they did they probably laughed their arses off, threw it in the dustbin and went on with their own design work.

            • Thanks Carl. I had got the impression that there was just the one safety switch preventing a normal ‘controlled’ detonation – with microsecond timing etc intact.

            • Another little thing that most people do not know. All nuclear bombs require that someone punches in a code for them to be armed. If the nuke is not armed there is no way to make them go off. Since a nuke is rather a nuisance if they go off and people can go off the pilots never had the arming codes.

              One of those things they actually got correct in the Dr Strangelove movie.

            • I never discount anything that the Russians do-physics, science, space, aviation.
              sometimes they simply do something differently, even better than the west.

          • You wrote: “A nuclear burst is what happens when you reach the critical point for the fishionable material in the primer fishion bomb that sets of the fushionable material.”

            You’re a (nuclear?) physicist and you can’t spell “fission” or “fusion?”

            • Oh, you found spelling errors.

              Congratulations, you have won an ice-cream machine. You can steal it at your local conveniece store.

              GL Edit: Added here to avoid winding up far down the thread.

              It appears that you have found an ‘upptyppingar’ specialist. I’ll be polite and leave their comment unedited so that other readers can see their pretentiousness in full glory

            • Compunding the problem is that I am not a native english speaker, so on occation I will make spelling errors.
              I have a friend who have spent 30 years writing about “flim” as in movies. My favourite word to write wrong is Msuic since u and i is so close. Another one is that I did my best for many years to confuse people by spelling “keep” as “keap”, the letter of course being the central tower in a “broch”.

              My favourite quote:
              “I am a bilingual illiterate, I can’t read or write in two languages.

            • On the bilingual / illiteracy thing. I can fully corroborate on that. When I learnt German after coming to live here I was telling people how I had become an illiterate in two languages. It’s part of the package that comes with becoming a polyglot.

            • I spent a bit of time in alsace, switching between french, german and english whenever I couldn’t remember an easy way to say something in a particular language. With three or more people (at least one native to each language) doing that sentences start in one language and end in the next, and the following sentence continues in that and switches to either of the other two, and if you have a few of you talking at the same time, well it gets to the point where you can’t remember which language is which really, I’m always impressed that Carl and many of the others so consistently manage to keep such a high technical level conversation going in anything less than their native language 🙂

    • Regardless of the why they did it I can just come to two conclusions…
      1. The research staff at Volvo trucks have to much funding and time at their hands.
      2. It is a publicity stunt for their self-driving trucks. The idead is to serialize trucks into trains. First you have a truck with a driver, and after comes a traing of trucks that is following truck number one. I guess it would be usefull in the Australian outbacks, but nowhere else…

      • I love the truck-train idea. How much pay does the driver get?, 5x for ten trucks. Imagine a 50 car train and the wager that driver gets! New next will be Ryanair ordering 500 planes where the following one follows the other, leading one? The most joke I read in newspapers today that that said airline was trying adress issues giving the company a bad name with customers. I have soultion. Shut the company down, all worries over.

  2. Hurricane related: Hongkong will probably get a direct hit by typhoon Usagi. Usagi was a Cat 5 typhoon yesterday but is now weakened to cat 4. It went in the middle between Taiwan and the Phillipines and goes straight toward Hongkong. By then it will be “only” a cat 2 or 3 hurricane/typhoon. But a big city in the eye of a hurricane is asking for trouble.

    • Yes, Hurricanes and Tornados are related.
      Ah, Cyclones, Tornadoes, Hurricanes and Typhoons.
      But in WW2 Cylones did not power Tornados, Hurricanes or Typoons.
      Only today they do. And Cycloes are out of production.

      DragonEdit: Islander forgot to expunge on “cat”, it is after all a shortening of catapult. Normaly used to launch beforementioned air crafts.

        • Yay, people slinging cars with a ancient weapon.

          Wanna impress me? Rather than slinging cars, sling fuzed iron bombs. That will test your projectile delivery system with an actual projectile… granted, a bit old, but you still get your anachronism effect and you could see if fortification siege using a mix of weapons from two eras could work. (such as a time traveling H-46 dropping a pallet of them in the wrong century)

          Oh, it would much less forgiving in your error calculations… You may need to stand a bit further away to avoid the debris and blast from when they go off.

          • The most anachronistic person I ever met was an old Kapitän from the German navy.

            He became a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism and decided that he would very much like to participate in one the “wars”. Unbeknownst to most who are not members sometimes those “wars” feature guns.

            Normaly those guns fire of punctured tennis balls or some such and are driven by compressed air. The normal way of checking the safety is to place the constructor of the gun infront of his contraption and fire it at him.

            The Kapitän-zur-Zee did not believe in compressed air… He believed in gun-powder. And there are actually rules for that too in the SCA. But not for what he did…

            In a feat of madcap engineering he recast an old luftwaffe 88 barrel in bronze masking it as an old culverine front loader (while still being able to operate it in breach load mode). He then fitted 5 tennis balls per casing.

            He was even willing to stand infront of the gun when it was fired. It was not allowed for usage, even though he offered himself up. It was used though as a starting gun for the “war”. The tennis-balls where never seen again.

            • Two options here if we’re talking German Navy and not Bundesmariene, Peters or Johannesson. Which one was it it?

            • There’s a bit of a story about a meeting of a Swedish marine society that ran into a bit of a difficulty when they had to identify which ship was concerned from a photograph from, iirc, Operation Berlin. After a while an old gentleman got up from his seat and walked straight up to the screen, peered at the picture for a moment, then declared “Gneisenau, because that is me standing there”.

      • Sorry for typos (1/3 right) and “Cyclones” were Wright produced radial engines.
        “Normaly used to launch beforementioned air crafts.”
        No. The Hawker Hurricane actually did not need a catapult lunched, but the “Hurricat” did.
        None of the others was in any “Naval” service. USN did not buy British. Only the other way around. Wildcat became Martlet, but later Royal Navy adopted the USN “cat´s”, plus Avenger´s and Corsairs.

      • I knew an old RAF fighter type in my early years as a flight instructor. He started out
        in Hurricanes as ground attack. then made it to Typhoons and finally, Hawker
        Tempests-which were the ultimate in that line (Sea Fury not with standing).they
        had fun with the early Napier Sabre engines. Gearheads take note :
        flat, horizontally opposed 24 clyinder sleeve valve 2500 to 4000 (yes 4000 in test models) Horse power…
        He did a bit in pursuing V-1 “Buzz Bombs” and tipping them over by the wingtip
        to tumble the Guidance Gyros. Seems shooitn them down wasnt a good idea.
        “You didn’t want to explode a High explosive warhead-nasty mess at best-by
        shooitng at it.”-“so we tipped them over.”

  3. One of my principal tennets as a physicists has always been that the Universe is fundamentaly simple.
    During the last 40 years physics has increasingly moved towards more and more complex interpretations of the Universe and its basic functions. Something that made me increasingly weary and gave me a feeling that we as physicists where walking down the wrong pathways.
    One of the two fundamentals in physics (The Feynman path-integral solution of electron motion) required a couple of crude drawings and one formula (for the basis at least).
    Nowadays even a small “discovery” has formulations literaly covering hundreds of pages.

    4 days ago a pre-paper notice was fielded that might not seem so astounding to a non physicist, but for a physicist is a stonking whopper steaming in gravy-sauce. For the first time someone has formulized particle interactions in a way that uses only a one term function called an amplituhedron. It might in the end be the greatest physics discovery through all of what was up untill 4 days ago known as time.

    And the universe has never been simpler.

    • Carl,
      Many thanks indeed for that link. Even a total physics amateur with no maths can see its really exciting.
      “”…..the new amplituhedron research suggests space-time, and therefore dimensions, may be illusory anyway.””
      Hoping that New Scientist can make the concept and its implications intelligible.
      Wow. Dimensions, time….an illusion !!!!! Oh, I do wish I understood it….

      • I might give a crack at it when the paper comes out.
        This might be so important that it might be worth a post in here actually even though it is not volcanic.

        • Yes please, a post on it !!
          VC followers seem to me to enjoy a modicum of science, and this amplituhedron looks like science writ really big.

          • Okay, I will do it when the paper is published and I have had sufficient time to digest it. I have an inkling that it will be a bit hard to digest. Simple things normaly are harder to understand and to put into perspective than the more complex things.

        • sorry, for those not wanting to wade through 30 pages of analysis of the Critique of Pure Reason (I can’t think why anybody would not want to, I mean it is Sunday morning after all) here is the pertinent quote:

          “Space is not something objective and real, nor a substance, nor an accident, nor a relation; instead, it is subjective and ideal, and originates from the mind’s nature in accord with a stable law as a scheme, as it were, for coordinating everything sensed externally.”

          • “and originates from the mind’s nature”

            And here is why Kant was a philosopher and not a physicist. He was hell bent on that nature followed mind and not that mind was a consequence of nature.

      • Actually, my tennet is that Physics to be a true representation of Nature in and of itself will end up being very very simple. We are currently in the stage Henrik is talking about, and I believe we will soon be walking in the other direction of ever more simplicity.

        • Oh my Peter 🙂
          You should meet my friends Sandberg and Boström over at the Future of Humanity Institute at Oxford. They would most likely involve you in a 16 hour maraton chat about uploading of the human psyche into computers.

  4. “Oh, having a crowd for breakfast are you?”


    Actually, you inquisitive twit, it’s none of your damn business what or why I buy what I do in the grocery store. This chain already digs into my personal business by tracking every friken purchase I make with your “rewards card” that shaves a smidgeon off your over inflated prices and then has the unmitigated gall to tell me I saved X amount by shopping there. A great philosopher once said “Bullshit!”

    So take your failed attempt as ‘small talk’ and shove it up your disingenuously cheerful arse. If I wanted chit chat, I would go find someplace to do so. Now give me my damn bisquits and shut the hell up.

    Oh, and “Have a nice day”

    • Pretty much any earthquake along the aleutian chain would be close to a volcano. But if this one is currently active I do not know.

      • I don’t know if there is an active volcano in the near islands. Agattu and Attu are the only significant islands there. It would have to be closest to buldir.

  5. The other day, Geoloco posted a video about landslide/slip that was due to “quick clay.”

    What I found intriguing, was the method used to mitigate the remaining area of quick clay. Dynamite.

    Trondheim is in Norway, and dynamite is a product developed by a Norwegian. Alfred Nobel. Is there some Nordic genetic key or code that predisposes them for finding a solution by blowing something to hell and back?

    Eh.. just an idle thought

    Along the quick clay meme, here is some oddly behaving sand that is made in Sweden.

    • “Dynamite is a product developed by a Norwegian, Alfred Nobel.” Bollocks! Nothing to do with Norway at all, Lurking. Come to think of it, name any Norwegian inventor or renowned scientist! Could be next week’s riddles but I doubt they will ever be answered as apart from Ibsen, Grieg, Heyerdal and A-ha!, are there any internationally renowned Norwegians?

        • Scandinavian “rule-of-thumb”:

          Theoretical physics – Dane (Bohr, Brahe)
          Biology & Chemistry – Swede (Linné, Scheele, Berzelius)
          Engineering – Swede (Nobel, De Laval, Aga, Ericsson)
          Classical Music – Norwegian, Finn (Grieg, Sibelius)

          Can’t do literature as that has been severely skewed by too many Swedes being given the prize, utterly undeservedly and from political motivation (Eyvind Johnson, Pär Lagerkvist, Harry Martinsson).

    • Well, the Nobel Peace Price is given out in Norway, but that is only because we where the same country then and Nobel wanted Norway to get a bit of the Iceing. Nobel was Swedish. Not that it actually makes any difference really.

        • Yeah… It is genetic, together with us blowing big holes in the ground… Our entire mining industry is just an excuse to blow things up. And now we are looking at Syria.

          Actually we are most likely going to end up being the same country again sooner or later. Quite a bit of support for that in both countries. No worries there, worries come if Finns join us. 😉

  6. Good Morning from Lanzarote!
    I like the new design btw.
    For a start i d thought to share some images i took the last days ( i took over 1300 so far) with you. First was taken inside Timanfaya Natinal Park:

    Second was taken on la Isla Garciosa on monday when we hiked one of the central volcanoes Montana Mojon.
    ( Not a “big” hike the volcano is only around 200m high 😉 )
    and the last is from Cuevas de los Verdes which is a lavatube running down from Montana Corona.

    If anyone feels up to it you could try to guess how deep the cave is from where i was sanding when i took the pic. Your reward might be a Ding. ( not sure when i can do that though, cause i dont have permanent internet access atm.

  7. B.t.w. DRAGONS, there are 2, soon 3 drafts in store. My speech which i ll hold the coming thursday in my museum in 3 parts. You can upload them ( please after some spellchecking) whenever you see fit. I wont be able too and i do not know what you planned the next days.

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