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   Undertoad  Tuesday May 16 01:46 PM

5/16/2006: Merapi is angry



An active volcano gets you some of the most excellent images. Mount Merapi, Java, Indonesia, is threatening to massively erupt.



Today the mountain is blowing off the biggest plume of hot gas it's ever released, say the volcanologists. It's a coincidence because my girlfriend claimed I did that last weekend.



The smart villagers have bolted. But some others are fighting the battle the only way they know how: by giving offerings to the mountain. Here they've created a version of it in rice. Apparently the "food sculpture of mountain" theme from Close Encounters of the Third Kind is universal.



Wearing funny costumes and dancing may also help.



Apparently the dancers have to paint on a layer of sunburn and grizzled concern. Being next to an active volcano doesn't do that for them?



The villagers are tempted to stay because their crops have so much value to them. But their crops may not make it anyway. Ironically, it's the volcanic soil that creates a fertile medium for crops like coffee. The ash of hundreds of years ago is helpful... but the ash of 15 minutes ago is not.

So why would you live there in the first place?



Because normally it looks like this.

Before this threat, Merapi has had smaller eruptions but nothing massively major since 1930.



wolf  Tuesday May 16 01:56 PM

They better hurry up and find themselves a certified virgin.



BigV  Tuesday May 16 02:11 PM

Sorry, can't help.


Actually, I'm not sorry I'm unable to provide this help, although I am filled with concern for those in the shadow of this impending disaster.



glatt  Tuesday May 16 02:15 PM

This is near Krakatoa? When that erupted 120 odd years ago, they heard it 3000 miles away in Madagascar. Lots of activity in those islands. I'd get off the beaches if I were vacationing there.



barefoot serpent  Tuesday May 16 02:50 PM

Mount St. Helens has been growing a nice cork lately. It probably won't match the major eruption when this one pops but it will make for some ash clouds.



Undertoad  Tuesday May 16 02:56 PM

Google maps link


1700 feet over, via Google Earth



Undertoad  Tuesday May 16 02:59 PM

I was wrong about the original dates for the last major eruption and I've corrected the entry.



Trilby  Tuesday May 16 05:33 PM

GoogleEarth is soooo cool. Thanks for the beautiful images, UT.



Elspode  Tuesday May 16 05:41 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by wolf
They better hurry up and find themselves a certified virgin.
How does one go about obtaining a position as a virgin certifier? I'm thinking that, considering the usual uses for certified virgins, there might some pretty nifty benefits for being the guy who gets to say, "Nope...this one's not a virgin!"

Anymore...


capnhowdy  Tuesday May 16 06:23 PM

She would prolly give it up pretty quick when you started to throw her in.......



xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday May 16 06:58 PM

Good idea Capn, just hang around the mountain and when they bring the virgin offer her your help.



Kagen4o4  Tuesday May 16 07:38 PM




capnhowdy  Tuesday May 16 07:49 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by xoxoxoBruce
Good idea Capn, just hang around the mountain and when they bring the virgin offer her your help.
Hee hee, hee hee
If I can't help her,
I can help me.

Problem: No volanoes in the Peach State.


xoxoxoBruce  Tuesday May 16 08:47 PM

This guy looks like Gallagher.



Kitsune  Wednesday May 17 09:56 AM

Since Kagen4o4 is pulling PBF references...




barckio  Wednesday May 17 11:19 AM

lol@sloth



Nothing But Net  Wednesday May 17 10:24 PM

That mountain is steep. Real steep.

The pyroclastic flow will come down fast.

I wonder what the ratio of New Orleans residents who didn't leave when they had the chance will be as opposed to this group. I'll bet it's larger.



Ibby  Thursday May 18 12:54 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nothing But Net
The pyroclastic flow will come down fast.
Correction, they ARE coming down fast. They've all been small (well, comparatively) so far, so no big deal... yet.


On a side note, Yangminshan, the dormant volcano right outside Taipei, is becoming more active. Now, scientists are predicting an eruption sometime between, eh, tomorrow and... er, 10,000 years from now.


Pancake Man  Thursday May 18 10:51 AM

Quote:
I wonder what the ratio of New Orleans residents who didn't leave when they had the chance will be as opposed to this group. I'll bet it's larger
The New Orleanians knew what was coming, whereas these people think they can dissuade the volcano with dances.


Griff  Thursday May 18 08:55 PM

One has a quaint faith in government another has a quaint faith in buying off volcanoe gods... both die.



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