Volcanocafé Mk II goes Facebook + Riddles

One of the less famous parts of Icelands tectonic fissure system.

One of the less famous parts of Icelands tectonic fissure system.

As I started this place two years ago I expected to have about 20 visitors per day. That is about what any little blog has in the beginning, and my hopes was that perhaps after a year or two we would have 100 daily visits. It must have been the biggest miscalculation in blogging history.

The first day of its existence Volcanocafé had 4.513 visitors. I guess you can guess how shocked I was. So, thinking quickly while running I decided that this would not be a blog, instead I decided that it should be a community with a goal of spreading scientific knowledge about volcanoes. And also, that it would be a group effort.

Today Volcanocafé has turned into something even grander (mostly without me realizing it). It is both a community, a volcanic magazine, a popular science journal, an ever evolving book of volcanoes and the list just goes on.

During the last few months I felt that Volcanocafé needed a bit of a makeover to look the part, and also, that there was a need for room to grow even further. As you know we have changed the look of Volcanocafé by now so that it actually looks like one of the world’s largest popular science communities. But there will be more changes down the line.

Volcanocafé Mk II goes Facebook

Volcanocafé has always been a part of Facebook through its members, but now we will have a home on Facebook. So, without much further ado I introduce our Volcanocafé Facebook page!


The Facebook page does not in any way replace the Community page of Volcanocafé, it is instead yet another place where we can share our belief in science and our love for Volcanoes. As a format Facebook is best used for sharing links and photos, it is not suited for deeper thoughts and articles. So, the main hub is as always our Community site.

Expanding into Facebook sets new challenges and requirements regarding moderation. So there will be two moderators there that are intimately familiar with the goals and atmosphere of Volcanocafé. So say hello to Sissel and Lughduniense as the new moderators for our Facebook Group!

The Fear of Comments

Lately there has been a very sad trend among the popular science communities and magazines. More and more of them has turned off their comment-threads. The reason given has been that the commentary is negative and hurts science. Often they quote a study stating that being bombarded by false facts will only make people believe in false information. This week Popular Science Magazine followed suit and closed its Comment-thread.

This saddens me. A science that cannot and will not stand up for itself in an honest discussion is not worthy of the name. Yes, we should always demand that those we discuss with use scientific arguments based on facts and reliable sources. If they do not we do not need to keep those comments in our comment-threads. In the end I suspect laziness and economy as being the real reason.

Here at Volcanocafé we have gone the other way. We have a very lively comment thread with often more than 200 comments a day. Sometimes it goes very off-topic, or even into pure chatting between members. In the end I find this a small price to pay for a free debate. And sometimes there have been very heated arguments about scientific points in here, but it has always been civil. On the few times it has crossed the boundaries of our rather soft rules we have very good moderators (who all are longtime members). The fun thing is that we very rarely need to step in. I think the rest of popular science could learn a Great Deal from us.

Rest assured, the comment-thread at Volcanocafé will never ever close down. The comment-thread IS Volcanocafé.

As a part of the work to keep the comment thread open we hereby announce that our newest moderator is Dracopyrite.

Volcanic Riddles!

As usual there will be two points awarded if you solve the Riddle before I append clues (will be inserted tomorrow if needs be) and 1 point after.

Photograph by Olof Gehrmann.

Photographic Riddle-Image. Photograph by Olof Gehrmann.

  1. Image + Month – Katmai, Caterpillar + May (Diana Barnes, 2pt)
  2. Painly neural legging – Ischia (Think medicine here, cause of the riddle, Henrik 1pt)
  3. Pride weeks proudest – Dyke (This is not a volcano, but it is one of the causes for volcanoes, think female here. Sissel, 1pt + Sa’Ke 1 bonus-point for Lesbos)
  4. The one who illegally absconds with something + Act done during New York Marathon – Þjófahraun, Thiefs Run in Icelandic (Henrik, 2pt)
  5. The fifth Riddle is posted on our Facebook Page (it is after all the inauguration of it)! The riddle was “The Volcanic feature that will always be the furtherest away from you.” – Afar (Ewan Chugg, 2pt)

Boblusconi Tiramisu

After the conflagration of Vulcanettos (Mudcanoes) in and outside of the city of Fiumicino in Italy we hereby proudly present a dish based on the most likely cause of them. Recipe by Lughduniense.

This is how the finnished Boblusconi Tiramisu should look like.

This is how the finnished Boblusconi Tiramisu should look like.


  • 250ml strong coffee
  • 4 tablespoons milk
  • 3 tablespoons marsala, grappa or amaretto
  • 2 tablespoons white caster sugar
  • 36 sponge fingers or savoiardi biscuits
  • 200-250 ml of cream
  • 2 spoons of sugar
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons white caster sugar
  • 250g mascarpone cheese
  • 100g Nutella® or any other chocolate sandwich spread, such as dark chocolate or the white variety
  • 1 tablespoon Amaretto
  • 2 egg whites
  • 2 tablespoons white caster sugar
  • cocoa powder and a spoon of ground pistaches to sprinkle the Tiramisu with


  1. Put the caster sugar, coffee, milk, Marsala or Grappa in a bowl and mix. Put the mix in a flat tray and soak the sponge fingers.
  2. Independent of how many forms you use, you need half of the fingers for the first layer and the rest for the second. The recipe is intended for a form of ~20x30cm (9″x13″) and should be enough for 6 people.
  3. Beat the egg yolks with 2 spoons of sugar for about 3 minutes with an electric mixer until pale yellow and slightly foamy. Add the mascarpone cheese and mix for another 2 minutes. Now add Amaretto to the mascarpone mix till you have a homogeneous mass.
  4. Whip the cream until stiff and fluffy and fold it gently into the mascarpone mix.
  5. Whip the egg whites with 2 spoons caster sugar until really stiff (always make sure the bowl and tools you use are absolutely free of fat and oil or you fail). Carefully fold the stiff egg whites into mascarpone mixture.
  6. Take out half and put in another bowl and mix with the Nutella® or chocolate spread of your choice.
  7. Spread the Nutella mixture on top of the soaked sponge fingers. Put the rest of the sponge fingers on top of that first mascarpone layer and spread the other half of the mascarpone mixture over the second layer of sponge fingers. Now the very last bit of mixture you put in the middle of the form and model this into the well known Bob pattern
  8. Sprinkle the Boblusconi Tiramisu with cocoa powder, except the part were Boblusconi is, there you sprinkle very little and add the ground pistaches. Put in the fridge for at least 3 hours before serving.


270 thoughts on “Volcanocafé Mk II goes Facebook + Riddles

  1. Sunday
    29.09.2013 15:51:08 63.912 -19.666 4.1 km 1.5 90.04 8.9 km S of Hekla

    Another quake a little smaller and a bit deeper than the last but almost on top of the last one.

  2. hi could this quake just be a aftershock of the first or because its deeper it might be another quake all together . also I stay up all night but that a different story lol

    • It is another quake, but it might be ultimately caused by the first one raising the overall tension on the fissure. Or it could be that both are caused by strain increase.

  3. thank you carl that what I was thinking this could be a start of series earthquakes leading up to the main eruption or has history tells us this volcano might just need one

    • Well this particular volcano, Vatnafjöll, has not erupted for a thousand years. So I think it will take some doing before it erupts. Remarkably enough for such a long dormant volcano it is still having far more earthquakes than Hekla does.

  4. Ischia is noted for it’s hot springs mud and waters that are said to cure all kinds of ailments from pelvic tissues , sciatica , inflammation of the main nerve in the legs to unmentionable nasties to Arthritis. (I volunteer to go and try it if someone wants to pay for my fare and board and lodging 😀 :D) hence the riddle about aches and pains 😀

  5. Sunday
    29.09.2013 15:51:08 63.912 -19.666 4.1 km 1.5 90.04 8.9 km S of Hekla
    another little quake near Ms. Hekla. … Well 8+ kms away and very near this morning’s tremor 😀

    • Interesting one. I loved the image showing the fault and how it was moving.
      And as an analogy to Fuimicino, I loved how the scalded the locals on trying to plug up the mudcanoes, and how they pointed out that it was dangerous to do so. It is one thing that locals who do not know better try it with bamboo that will just come shooting out of the mudcano when it erupts, but the Italians are doing it with concrete, so instead they will get a really big problem when the gas-pressure grows to big. Talk about nuttery…

      • I think “chided” would be a better word. It was not until about the third reading that I figured out that no one got burned… which is one interpretation for “scalded.”

        I think they ought to let them pour cement down the hole. The results after the pressure build up would be most entertaining… 😀

  6. For those that think Al looks a bit effeminate, he used a body double for the dance routines. Vlada Gorbaneva is the dancer with Al’s head. Marissa Heart is the contortionist in the final sequence… also with Al’s head.

    From what I understand, he just dances around in the peacock outfit in the live performance of this song.

    • That would fit in with Carl’s idea that disturbed gas deposits are what pushed it up.

      And how did Forest Gump‘s mom put it? “Stupid is as stupid does

      Weird Al’s synopsis highlights most of the movie.

      Although they couldn’t smell gas, they did put a match to the fissures from where it was oozing, and set it on fire,’ he said.

      Probably the crudest form of explosimeter on the planet.

      What would be the news report if they set off a large pocket that then lofted them 3500 feet into the air?

      How many of you have gone to the gas station to buy gasoline? If you will notice, there are usually a few standpipes nearby that keep the underground tanks ventilated so that they don’t form a vacuum or overpressure. These pipes are open to the atmosphere. They are also fitted with a device called a flame arrestor. In essence, it is a copper or brass screen that blocks the pipe and will stop a flame should the vapor at top of the pipe become ignited. The last thing you would want would be for that flame to make it down into the main tank.

      I’m pretty sure that no one has installed flame arrestors on the fissures emitting gas on that island. That little stunt with the lighter could have ended very, VERY badly. Whoever did that, consider them quite lucky.

      I think what saved the idiot’s arse was that with depth, the mixture became too rich and the was no longer combustible. Flamable gases have a lower and upper limit of fuel to oxygen that support combustion (or explosion)… outside of that it’s either too lean or too rich.

      Methane, one of the principle constituents of natural gas, the explosive limits are 5–15%.

      If phosphine or diphosphane are present, this island could light it’s own flames if the weather and waves are calm enough.

      • I am pretty convinced that there are oil guys out there drooling right now racing to see who of them can get there first with one of those air-gun ships. If there is one hydrocarbon trap there is bound to be more.
        And… remember that in the same large fleck of sedimentary rock is one of the worlds largest oil fields, you know the one that gives Iran the shutspah to tell everyone to hork it.
        Might come some good out of this for the Pakistanis, the might get a bit out of cash from it after all.

    • In essence, what these guys have, is a pretty shallow natural gas dome.

      We have one of them pretty far out in the Gulf called Destin Dome. It was slated to be drilled and produced, but Florida decided that they didn’t need the royalties from it’s production and that it would be better to just tax the residents more. I think Marathon had the lease rights to it, they sued and recovered the money they had paid for the lease.

      It’s a pity, really. A while back I looked at the royalties that various gulf states had received from the MMS and Florida got about $4000 one year compared to Alabama’s several tens of millions. All this to “protect” the beaches…. and yet Cuba has lease areas that they are putting up for bid that are just a few miles from the precious Key West area. And that doesn’t concern them in the least. (Not much they can do about it either, Cuba would just flip them off or tell them to pack sand up their arse. Or better yet.. PAY ME to not produce that field.)

  7. So that youtube video Luisport posted earlier about the underwater geyser opening up is apperntly in the Mediterranean just off the coast of Fiumicino approximately 100 meters from the coast. For reference, Fiumicino is the same area where our mudcano popped up in the ancient roman area.

    So now we have two separate instances of mudcanoes popping up west of Rome at a very similar time at a respectable distance apart.

    What are the odds two seemingly separate gas pockets randomly open up in Rome weeks apart without a larger driving force acting as an influence at depth?

    The more we know here, the more it’s starting to look volcanic in nature.

    • Not if the gases are 80% CO2 and 20% mainly Methane. And when there had been a drilling project in that broader area, that has been made responsible in the newspapers. Tonight I’ll dig for that article again.

      • If anyone finds a gas report… look for SO2. SO2 is a high heat sulfur product, H2S is low heat. High SO2 values would point towards a possible magmatic source. High H2S levels point more towards a decomposition product. (along with the Methane).

    • There are a contingent of doomsayers that state that some prophesy says that the city of seven hills will be destroyed. A volcano at this location could do the trick… but nothing indicates that it is anything more than a mudvolcano… or potentially a hydrocarbon seep.

      Thousands of years of organis material were laid down in this area as it became filled in and part of the nearby airport complex. Organic material typically decays once it is no longer part of the organism that it came from. Byproducts of decay are methane, H2S and other gases.

      I fear that the only reason that a boat went out to look at the Jacuzi was to try and get a gas sample so they could see who they could sue. It is in their nature to be litigious. I lay you dollars to donuts that there is a lawyer involved in that boat trip in order to try and find some deep pockets to siphon for cash.

      On the bright side… as far as I know, no one in the government is calling for an underwater photography contest or swim meet to the jacuzzi.

      there had been a drilling project in that broader area, that has been made responsible in the newspapers

      Ahem… “ding!”

      Anytime you get the media involved, they have to find somebody, anybody to lay the blame on. It’s the only way they can get anyone to read their trash heap of a paper. They will plaster the front pages with accusations based on little to no evidence, and then print a retraction 15 pages deep in a tiny font when they are proven wrong. They are about as slimy and self serving as the lawyers.

  8. Facebook. Oh my. I don’t want to go on fesse-bouc (translate that from french). But now there would be a reason. Nevertheless I can’t support Facebook and it’s mind blowing disrespect for intellectual property.
    Whatever, had to rant a little bit.

    The new look is really nice. And the happy mix of science with heavy OT keeps thinking alive. I would like it so much to quit anything internet and live only in real life. But online-porn is so cheap and it’s so cool to read people in here… (one of these two arguments contains a bit of sarcasm – monday morning riddle…)

    Have a nice start into that let’s hope wonderful week.

    • Yepp, but thankfully the FB-page does not in any way interfere with this page. It is just a complement and a bit of way to do advertisement. So do not worry about having to get a Fezbüchlein account.

  9. Some activity on El Hierro again this morning, clustered in the middle of the island:

    08:51:43 27.7191 -18.0205 12 Sentido 2.4 mbLg W EL PINAR.IHI
    08:40:55 27.7276 -18.0238 12 1.6 mbLg SW FRONTERA.IHI
    08:03:41 27.7239 -18.0238 11 1.9 mbLg SW FRONTERA.IHI
    08:01:57 27.7271 -18.0249 11 1.8 mbLg SW FRONTERA.IHI
    07:22:10 27.7186 -18.0256 12 2.0 mbLg W EL PINAR.IHI
    07:13:53 27.7184 -18.0303 12 1.8 mbLg W EL PINAR.IHI
    07:08:08 27.7178 -18.0272 12 Sentido 2.7 mbLg W EL PINAR.IHI

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