Mt. Etna blew up again today

Mt Etna on the island of Sicily, Italy (the “football” the boot of Italy is kicking) blew up again yesterday, and below is some spectacular nighttime footage you’ll probably see on tonight’s evening news.

Just remember that volcanoes are Nature’s way of telling us the Earth can warm up the atmosphere just as much as us puny humans.

Mt Etna erupts in glorious fashion

Mt. Etna, a really neat volcano located on Italy’s southernmost island Sicily (the football the boot is kicking), went through what they call a “paroxysm” a few day ago. Below is the video, and if you like that kind of thing, it’s pretty. Etna has erupted fairly often over the last 20-something years, but most of the time, the eruptions are relatively tame.

And then you have what you see below. 1999, 2006 and twice in 2011, Etna erupted like you see. The difference is here, Etna waited for a weather front to move through and started erupting with force at night, and then into daytime. Add to that the wonderous thick layer of snow and you have a nice bonus. When the hot rocks meet the cold snow bank, massive plumes of steam rise up, and you have what are called pyroclastic flows of ash and steam caught on video.

The only reason for audio is to listen to the oohs and ahhs of the Italians making this movie. There’s a very nice “Mama, Mia!” about two thirds of the way through.

If you’re watching this on a big monitor, don’t forget to hit the HD button, as this vid is available in glorious 1080p goodness.

The pretty side of the volcano

Sean Stiegemeier is a videographer who has taken a really neat video of the “E15” volcano earlier this month.

I’d love to have this on a loop playing on a monitor hung on a wall.
This is my version of fireplace video. Weird comfort from a distance.

Video after the break Continue reading The pretty side of the volcano

And now, for your moment of Zen…

Need I say more?

The Perfessor

Are you smarter than a fourth-grader? (Apparently not)

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
Moment of Zen – Iceland Is Too Cold for Volcanoes
Daily Show Full Episodes Political Humor Tea Party

OK, First, now would be the time to tell you something I learned in like grade School. The Vikings misnamed both Iceland (which is warm, green, and habitable) and Greenland (which is cold, brutal, and unlivable), so as to confuse their enemies. Second, there is this thing called the “Ring of Fire” where the magma from the center of the Earth boils up to the surface and spews out.

It is back to Skool for you!.

The Perfessor

No Redoubt about it

The newest active volcanic eruption on United States soil is taking place involving the Redoubt Volcano in Alaska near the Cook Inlet.

And Sarah Palin can see it from her house!!

More information will be forthcoming as the news cycles hit later on this morning. There’s no danger to most people (the last eruption set volcanic ash in the pathway of a passenger jet, choking out all four engines on a KLM Boing 747 jet, causing an emergency landing!) being that warnings have been going out for several weeks now. I’ve been following the Tweets from the volcano staff and at the moment, the ash cloud is estimated to be above 50,000 feet!

The volcano’s ash probably won’t really affect worldwide temperatures, however. Some volcanoes have been known to do that. It’s said that the dark and cool summer caused by a volcanic eruption helped “inspire” Mary Shelley’s “Frankenstein” novel. But the Redoubt volcano is most likely too far north to have its ash spread far enough south to mix well in the global circulation to the point of affecting sunlight reaching the earth’s surface.