Boston.com’s The Big Picture has a breathtaking series of thirty-five photos of this most recent Icelandic volcanic eruption. Last week’s Big Picture had volcano coverage as well. It’s not as spectacular as the latest series, but it’s got some goodies.
I’ve been disappointed to observe the waste of this perfect occasion to teach everyone to say jökulhlaup, meaning “glacial outburst flood.” In Icelandic, it originally signified the flood that happens when a volcano erupts under a glacier, but geologists and broader usage have extended its meaning. It’s a useful word.
As usual with photos of the Icelandic countryside, there are pictures you could use as covers without a lot of retouching. So far I nominate this picture for The Fellowship of the Ring, and this one (with a bit more reworking) for The Two Towers.
NASA took a satellite photo of everything at once.
Rush Limbaugh has asserted that the volcanic eruption is God’s retribution for Congress passing the health care bill. He is mistaken. We have it on the word of a senior Iranian cleric, the Ayatollah Kazem Sedighi, that seismic events are caused by women who wear inadequately shapeless coats and excessively flimsy headscarves in public, and thus
“cause youths to go astray, taint their chastity and incite extramarital sex in society, which increases earthquakes. … Calamities are the result of people’s deeds.”Neither fugghead mentioned that both Iceland and Iran sit on top of major fault lines, which guarantees that they’re going to be seismically active no matter what Congress does. Ayatolla Kazem Sedighi came off stronger on logic than Limbaugh did, since he at least assigned divine retribution to the country doing the sinning.
Limbaugh failed to mention why the Almighty would object to a law which provides care for the sick and the needy, or why He singled out Iceland to suffer for the United States’ sins. Limbaugh also failed to explain which Congressional sins were responsible for earthquakes in Haiti, Chile, and China, volcanic eruptions in Chile and the Philippines, and the Sumatra-Andaman earthquake and Indian Ocean tsunami of 2006, or why the United States—which has perfectly good seismic hotspots of its own—has suffered far less damage from earthquakes and volcanos over the past several years than countries which have no Congressional representation.