Flying Snail - News & Views for Remnants of Paradise

Freedom of expression and freedom of speech aren't really important unless they're heard...It's hard for me to stay silent when I keep hearing that peace is only attainable through war. And there's nothing more scary than watching ignorance in action. So I dedicated this Emmy to all the people who feel compelled to speak out and not afraid to speak to power and won't shut up and refuse to be silenced. - Tommy Smothers

Dahbud's Flashbacks have been moved:

March 29, 2010 -- March 28, 2010 -- March 27, 2010 -- March 11-26, 2010

Michel Auder "Dinner is Served"

Opening Saturday, 27 February at 8 pm
27 February – 14 March 2010
Four Boxes Gallery -
Dinner Is Served by Michel Auder, Paris, 1954
Michel Auder (b. 1954, Paris) Dinner is Served, 2010 70.2 x 110.7 cm, C-print © Michel Auder

Krabbesholm is delighted to host Michel Auder's first solo exhibition in Denmark at our new exhibition space Four Boxes Gallery. The exhibition will display new video and photo works by the artist, along with some of Auder's earlier works never before exhibited in Denmark.

Michel Auder, whose art practice spans over 40 years, was one of the first artists to use video as an artistic medium.

In Auder's work, the camera both witnesses and directs social exchange. It describes a highly subjective position, moving about his environment, recording its soundtrack, admitting incidental drama, autobiographical detail, and the real-time incursions of broadcast media. In the early 1970s, Auder adopted a continuous approach to filmmaking -- constant documentation of the people and scenarios he encountered. As a result, he amassed an extensive archive of video footage, which he uses and reuses in his works. His films collide with narratives in art history and popular memory, and involve artists, writers, and musicians whom he has met over the years.

In conjunction with the exhibition, Krabbesholm will publish a book edited by the exhibition's curator artist Michael Stickrod. The book will include texts by English writer/curator Michelle Cotton, French filmmaker Brigitte Cornand, and US artist Justin Liberman.

This is the beginning of a new series of Krabbesholm books, which will differ in format from those in the previous series. The book will be available online for a short period of time at starting February 27, 2010.

Michel Auder will attend the opening, where he will discuss his work and thoughts about this exhibition.

Tuesday Tidbits:
Testing the volcano-earthquake connection in Chile ... and more!

Category: Chile - Some news for a busy Tuesday, March 2, 2010 by Dr. Erik Klemetti

[Elided Photograph - The crater at Poas volcano in Costa Rica, taken February 25, 2010. Image courtesy of OVSICORI by Federico Chavarria.]

After the MSNBC debacle, it is nice to see some good articles on why the Chilean earthquake was overall less disastrous than the Haitian earthquake, why the tsunami wasn't as large as predicted and why these earthquakes are not abnormal. There are a lot of factors involved - the location, depth, preparedness, wealth - so the comparison can be very telling in terms of both geologic and societal issues.

The other scientific fallout from the Chilean earthquake will be a test of the volcano-earthquake connection suggested by Sebastian Watt in last year's EPSL article. According to Watt's (and others) research, we should expect to see an uptick in volcanic activity over the next year within 500 km of the epicenter of the earthquake - so watch places like Longavi, Descabezado Grande, Calabozos, Copahue, Chillan and Lonquimay amongst many others.

Remember the spiders on Mt. Saint Helens, used to monitor the volcano? Well, they will be spreading to Chile to help monitor Chaiten. Two spiders will be set up on the rhyolite dome system to monitor changes in the domes - looking at seismic activity, deformation and explosions in the caldera.

Dr. Boris Behncke has updated us on some of the volcanic activity in Costa Rica - including a phreatic eruption at Poas last week and increasing seismicity at Irazu. More on the earthquakes at Irazu can be read here. There is also a great set of aerial images of Poas and Arenal taken recently that were posted by OVSICORI.

Eruptions reader Thomas Wipf left a link to a great video of Sakurajima in Japan erupting on January 16, 2010. Definitely worth the four minutes to see an impressive explosive eruption.

It seems that activity at Mayon has settled down significantly as well, with PHIVOLCS lowering the alert status to Level 1 (of 3). Only about 5 volcanic earthquakes are occurring daily at Mayon and that the overall activity suggests a return to "normalcy". However, they do warn people to be careful in lahar-prone drainages near the volcano considering all the new, loose volcaniclastic material on the slopes of Mayon.

Posted by Erik Klemetti at 10:14 AM - 11 Comments - 0 TrackBacks


Local Seismic Activity 201003.02 20:05:33

100302.20200533csb2.psn 03/02/10 20:05:33 Cobb, CA E/W
100302.20200533csb2.psn 03/02/10 20:05:33 Cobb, CA E/W
100302.20200533csb2.psn 03/02/10 20:05:33 Cobb, CA E/W
100302.202042csb1.psn 03/02/10 20:20:42 Cobb, CA N/S
100302.202042csb1.psn 03/02/10 20:20:42 Cobb, CA N/S
100302.202042csb1.psn 03/02/10 20:20:42 Cobb, CA N/S

Robin Trower, Victims Of The Fury
Victims Of The Fury

You were all the rays of sunlight - Shining gold to me - Every color of the rainbow - I was blessed by high decree - You were every moment's magic - Joy beyond compare - You were all the rays of sunlight - I was lost without a care

Victims of the Fury - Shadows in the dark - Victims of the Fury - Arrows found their mark

So we lived our days in rapture - Like the world could never end - We weren't thinking about the future - We had time enough to spend - We were blessed as though in heaven - We were messengers of joy - There were angels all around us - There was none who dared destroy

Victims of the Fury - Shadows in the dark - Victims of the Fury - Arrows found their mark

Then the world collapsed around us - And the tables overturned - We were lambs before the slaughter - We were driven out and burned - Yes the world collapsed around us - And the archers found their mark - We were victims of the Fury - We were shadows in the dark

Yeah, Victims of the Fury - Shadows in the dark - AaaOoo... Victims of the Fury - Arrows found their mark

Victims of the Fury - Shadows in the dark - Victims of the Fury - Arrows found their mark

Robin Trower, Victims Of The Fury, Songwriters: Keith Reid and Robin Trower, Victims Of The Fury © Chrysalis Music

Locations of earthquakes in Iceland in the last 48 hours - 201003.04
Locations of earthquakes in Iceland in the last 48 hours - 201003.04

Eyjafjallajökull - Earthquake Swarms and Possible Volcanic Activity

by C. Spangler

Every once in a while I feel it is important to share what I am currently 'watching' ...and perhaps spawn new learning experience.

On a daily basis, I check out heliplots (seismic charts) provided by fellow members of PSN (Public Seismic Network) and have been watching seismic activity in Iceland because of my interest in Swarms.

Hekla PSN Station, located on Hvammstangi, Iceland

While reading the morning news I discovered Erik Klemetti had 'bumped' the subject on his Eruptions page:

Increasing signs of activity at Eyjafjallajökull in Iceland

which is (imo) an excellent read and enhancement for understanding my current interest.

The Lonely One

There've been moments of despair - There've been times I couldn't care - I was the lonely one - Then you showed myself to me - And I found I needn't be - Another lonely one

Running in the wilderness - And dreaming in the sun - n'Crying to the sky at night - For God's eternal son

Through the truth and through the lies - There is really no disguise - To hide the lonely one - You can find him on a card - Being matched with other hearts - The really lonely one

Running in the wilderness - And dreaming in the sun - n'Crying to the sky at night - For God's eternal son

Inside your rooms behind your wall - I see your face you know - I hear your call - Is this some madness that's been left unchecked - Or will there always be just promises

Running in the wilderness - And dreaming in the sun - n'Crying to the sky at night - For God's eternal son

There are men that hold the key - To set everybody free - But they are the lonely ones - And if the day should come - When they all can work as one - There'll be a destiny, Yes I know

Running in the wilderness - And dreaming in the sun - n'Crying to the sky at night - For God's eternal son, .......Yeah, yeah

It's Like You Never Left, The Lonely One by Dave Mason -

Cobb, CA, 95426 - 201003.05 11:50:22 UTC Earthquakes

Cobb, CA 95426 - 201003.05 11:50:22 N/S FFT of Earthquake
Cobb, CA 95426 - 201003.05 11:50:22 N/S FFT of Earthquake - Located at Anderson Springs, CA
Cobb, CA 95426 - 201003.05 11:50:22 E/W FFT of Earthquake
Cobb, CA 95426 - 201003.05 11:50:22 E/W FFT of Earthquake - Located at Anderson Springs, CA

Apathy Sucks, Nobody for President

[Ed.Note: Although old information, for cross reference in the 'States', here is the location of USA government statistics, based on Percent Reported Voting and Registering, by Age and Region, in November Elections: 1964-1994, titled: Apathy Sucks, Nobody for President. The Birthday Party's Nobody for President Campaign takes a humorous approach to elections, encouraging people to register and vote for the candidate of their choice. The Birthday Party believes Nobody is another way of saying None of the Above, which should be included on voter ballots. Of all political leaders, Nobody is perfect and has brought peace to our times! I want Nobody to run my life, How about you?]

Don't blame us for political apathy

by Sian Anderson,, Thursday 4 March 2010 11.30 GMT, Article history

So, it's time to blame the lack of voters from Generation Z on the government. Apparently, despite bulging marketing budgets, they haven't promoted the registration process properly among young people, with more than half of 18 to 24-year-olds not registered to vote.

Personally, the thought of walking into a polling station, tattooed up to my neck, piercings all over my face and wearing my comfortable-yet-dreaded-by-the-government "hoody" to be judged and looked down upon is cringeworthy. Well, I assume that's what happens – I've never voted before. And it's one of the reasons I probably won't vote. That and the fact that, half of the time, I can't even understand what politicians are going on about.

I'd guess it's the same for a majority of young people today who are also unaware of where to turn in order to actually comprehend what voting means and what the parties are promising; a political correspondent on a news channel beginning their report with "41% of local authorities' electoral registration officers …" means losing your average teenager in seconds.

Should you take time out to investigate the politicians on offer, a quick Google search leads to 15-page speeches (using language only the majority of Oxford University students probably understand) and, you've guessed it, apathy kicks right back in.

You may prefer to call it lazy – and that's exactly what it is. But given how young people consume media, it should be pretty obvious that anything involving too much in-depth research and analysis is a no-go for engaging young people in politics. To young people, having a government that doesn't know how to engage with us (while nothing new), is of no comfort.

I'll give the officials charged with overseeing the electoral register some information for free: no matter how much you continue to promote the need for young people to start voting, you're going to hit a brick wall. Why? Because you're doing it all in the wrong way. Take down your billboards, give up the fancy speeches and get to the core of what young people are engaged with these days. Whether it's music, EastEnders or sport – use it. If you've got the balls (Ed), brief rapper 50 Cent to talk to young people about the importance of voting in a way they can understand.

Will lowering the voting age to 16 help? No. Your beloved statistics will be even worse – what makes anyone think that if 17- to 24-year-olds don't fully understand politics, a 16-year-old will? What you should be doing is ensuring the education system is equipped to the fullest and that this generation are having politics slapped into the back of their heads from primary school days.

Other organisations have tried a non-conformist approach and proved it works. In my role as street team coordinator and music editor of Ctrl.Alt.Shift, a global and social justice movement for 18- to 25-year-olds that uses popular culture to bring about engagement, I've seen first-hand how to empower a typically apathetic group of young people. A recent rave thrown to raise money for Haiti raised more than £10,000, with 3,000 clubbers signing up to the website to find out what else they could do to tackle poverty. And all because the likes of Ms Dynamite and Sway took to the mic and asked them to get involved.

That gets my vote.

Confessions of a Raving Unconfined Nut
Misadventures in the Counter-Culture
Confessions of a Raving Unconfined Nut - Misadventures in the Counter-Culture
House panel seeks proof from Toyota, March 6
My letter to LA Times:
Perhaps Toyota should borrow a slogan from McDonalds:
"You deserve a brake today."
by Paul Krassner

The trouble with trusting complex science

There is no simple way to battle public hostility to climate research. As the psychologists show, facts barely sway us anyway

by George Monbiot,, Monday 8 March 2010 20.30 GMT, Article history

There is one question that no one who denies manmade climate change wants to answer: what would it take to persuade you? In most cases the answer seems to be nothing. No level of evidence can shake the growing belief that climate science is a giant conspiracy codded up by boffins and governments to tax and control us. The new study by the Met Office, which paints an even grimmer picture than the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, will do nothing to change this view.

The attack on climate scientists is now widening to an all-out war on science. Writing recently for the Telegraph, the columnist Gerald Warner dismissed scientists as "white-coated prima donnas and narcissists … pointy-heads in lab coats [who] have reassumed the role of mad cranks … The public is no longer in awe of scientists. Like squabbling evangelical churches in the 19th century, they can form as many schismatic sects as they like, nobody is listening to them any more."

Views like this can be explained partly as the revenge of the humanities students. There is scarcely an editor or executive in any major media company – and precious few journalists – with a science degree, yet everyone knows that the anoraks are taking over the world. But the problem is compounded by complexity. Arthur C Clarke remarked that "any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic". He might have added that any sufficiently advanced expertise is indistinguishable from gobbledegook. Scientific specialisation is now so extreme that even people studying neighbouring subjects within the same discipline can no longer understand each other. The detail of modern science is incomprehensible to almost everyone, which means that we have to take what scientists say on trust. Yet science tells us to trust nothing, to believe only what can be demonstrated. This contradiction is fatal to public confidence.

Distrust has been multiplied by the publishers of scientific journals, whose monopolistic practices make the supermarkets look like angels, and which are long overdue for a referral to the Competition Commission. They pay nothing for most of the material they publish, yet, unless you are attached to an academic institute, they'll charge you £20 or more for access to a single article. In some cases they charge libraries tens of thousands for an annual subscription. If scientists want people at least to try to understand their work, they should raise a full-scale revolt against the journals that publish them. It is no longer acceptable for the guardians of knowledge to behave like 19th-century gamekeepers, chasing the proles out of the grand estates.

But there's a deeper suspicion here as well. Popular mythology – from Faust through Frankenstein to Dr No – casts scientists as sinister schemers, harnessing the dark arts to further their diabolical powers. Sometimes this isn't far from the truth. Some use their genius to weaponise anthrax for the US and Russian governments. Some isolate terminator genes for biotech companies, to prevent farmers from saving their own seed. Some lend their names to articles ghostwritten by pharmaceutical companies, which mislead doctors about the drugs they sell. Until there is a global code of practice or a Hippocratic oath binding scientists to do no harm, the reputation of science will be dragged through the dirt by researchers who devise new means of hurting us.

Yesterday in the Guardian Peter Preston called for a prophet to lead us out of the wilderness. "We need one passionate, persuasive scientist who can connect and convince … We need to be taught to believe by a true believer." Would it work? No. Look at the hatred and derision the passionate and persuasive Al Gore attracts. The problem is not only that most climate scientists can speak no recognisable human language, but also the expectation that people are amenable to persuasion.

In 2008 the Washington Post summarised recent psychological research on misinformation. This shows that in some cases debunking a false story can increase the number of people who believe it. In one study, 34% of conservatives who were told about the Bush government's claims that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction were inclined to believe them. But among those who were shown that the government's claims were later comprehensively refuted by the Duelfer report, 64% ended up believing that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction.

There's a possible explanation in an article published by Nature in January. It shows that people tend to "take their cue about what they should feel, and hence believe, from the cheers and boos of the home crowd". Those who see themselves as individualists and those who respect authority, for instance, "tend to dismiss evidence of environmental risks, because the widespread acceptance of such evidence would lead to restrictions on commerce and industry, activities they admire". Those with more egalitarian values are "more inclined to believe that such activities pose unacceptable risks and should be restricted".

These divisions, researchers have found, are better at explaining different responses to information than any other factor. Our ideological filters encourage us to interpret new evidence in ways that reinforce our beliefs. "As a result, groups with opposing values often become more polarised, not less, when exposed to scientifically sound information." The conservatives in the Iraq experiment might have reacted against something they associated with the Duelfer report, rather than the information it contained.

While this analysis rings true, the description of where the dividing line lies isn't quite right. It doesn't describe the odd position in which I find myself. Despite my iconoclastic, anti-corporate instincts, I spend much of my time defending the scientific establishment from attacks by the kind of rabble-rousers with whom I usually associate. My heart rebels against this project: I would rather be pelting scientists with eggs than trying to understand their datasets. But my beliefs oblige me to try to make sense of the science and to explain its implications. This turns out to be the most divisive project I've ever engaged in. The more I stick to the facts, the more virulent the abuse becomes.

This doesn't bother me – I have a hide like a glyptodon – but it reinforces the disturbing possibility that nothing works. The research discussed in the Nature paper shows that when scientists dress soberly, shave off their beards and give their papers conservative titles, they can reach to the other side. But in doing so they will surely alienate people who would otherwise be inclined to trust them. As the MMR saga shows, people who mistrust authority are just as likely to kick against science as those who respect it.

Perhaps we have to accept that there is no simple solution to public disbelief in science. The battle over climate change suggests that the more clearly you spell the problem out, the more you turn people away. If they don't want to know, nothing and no one will reach them. There goes my life's work.

Gen X Is Now & Y Will Be Next
How the Y Generation Was Created
My generation's irony: so bad it's not good?

All we say and do is lacquered with sarcasm. We don't take anything seriously, and yet we take everything seriously

by Darragh McManus,, Thursday 11 March 2010 14.30 GMT, Article history

[Elided: Would you knowingly buy a lunchbox featuring this car? Photograph: Michael Buckner/Getty Images]

Recently, my brother and I were gently teasing our father about how cool he was looking in his argyle-patterned cardigan. He said to my brother's wife: "I never know with these two if they're being serious or not."

And a weird realisation struck me: a lot of the time, neither do I.

This is the curse, gift and defining characteristic of my generation: irony. My dad's generation, and those before him, were sincere: they meant what they said and said what they meant.

But by the time I was born, in the 1970s, some detached, too-cool Left Bank intellectual had taken a break from his doctorate in semiotics to invent postmodernism, and we were doomed to a world of irony.

We grew up with it and in it. We swam in its invisible currents, like a school of bizarre fish wearing stylishly outmoded spectacles and T-shirts of long-forgotten cartoons. Irony was our amniotic fluid, our mother's milk, our Knight Rider lunchbox (that we keep, tragically, as a totem of nostalgia – another crucial strand of Gen X DNA).

Because of an ever-more self-reflexive culture and generational mores, we see everything through the prism of postmodernism. We like – or pretend to like, and to us it's virtually the same thing – big-hair metal, daytime soaps, Dr Phil, Diff'rent Strokes reruns, jokes that are funny because they're deliberately unfunny, bad acting, bad special effects, bad anything so long as it's bad enough. (One exception, though: we want good-quality literature.)

Our uniform is the ironic T-shirt; even better if the slogan across the chest adds an extra layer of self-reference, a sartorial wink and nod to the audience of our peers: "You are not reading this T-shirt." Arf, arf.

Since before we existed, irony has been seeping through the culture, percolating down like the strong coffee we prefer to alcohol because booze is so lame and mainstream – to the extent that, by now, we're never entirely sure when we mean something or not.

As usual, The Simpsons captures it best. Two slackers at Hullabalooza (a pitch-perfect allusion to Lollapalooza, travelling Mecca of Gen X's devotion). One says: "Here comes that cannonball guy. He's cool." His friend asks, "Are you being sarcastic, dude?", and gets the forlorn response: "I don't even know anymore."

Did I really think my pop's cardigan was nice? Dude, I don't even know anymore.

Our parents don't get this; they literally wouldn't understand what's funny about something that you know, absolutely, isn't funny. Generation gap? It's more like a whole different species.

But it gets worse: we're sincere in our insincerity, thus confusing the matter to proportions so Byzantine it couldn't be teased out by an intellectual tag-team of Steven Hawking and King Solomon.

I'll enjoy Steven Seagal's KillFist of DeathPunch IV as part of some knowing, ironic joke to myself – I realise it's rubbish, and that's the point – but at the same time part of me will genuinely enjoy it. We'll mock someone for trying to save the world but we truly want them to save the world.

Everything is a pseudo-apathetic pose, a wry jibe, for Generation X; everything we say and do is lacquered with the bitter patina of sarcasm. We're ironic and infantile and don't take anything seriously, and yet we take everything seriously.

We're as glum, idealistic and sincere as you could get – sometimes to extremes. Our godhead is Kurt Cobain, who in interviews displayed a sardonic playfulness and mocked his image as a doomy depressive, but ultimately killed himself because the world was inauthentic.

All of which is very disorientating when you're trying to work out if you really meant that compliment about your father's cardigan. Like, I did mean it. But I didn't. But I did and didn't at the same time.

Not that it matters, anyway. Dude, I'm being sarcastic. I probably don't mean any of this. Even though I do. Maybe. If you follow me.

Amateur Radio Public Seismic Network

Chang Heng's seismoscope

Know Your Earth: A Simple Start

#7. I know great earth changes have been predicted for the future, so if you're looking to avoid earthquakes, my advice is simple. When you find a fault, just don't dwell on it.

Personal Associated Subjects: Seismology - Geology - Physics - Astrophysics - Celestial Mechanics - Quantum Mechanics - Eigenmodes - Heart Nodes - String Theory - Yantra - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Plates of the Earth

USGS Plates of the Earth
USGS Plates image source - Large Image


Know Your Earth: A Simple Start - Permalink:


Amestizo sent a link to the WORLD FOUNDATION for the DISCIPLINE of PEACE's Video titled, "Universal Principles of Peace" and you can watch it here:

Recent Local Seismic Activity - Magnitude 3.1
Local Cobb [Mountain] CA 95426 USA Seismic Activity 201003.15 FFT N/S magnitude 3.1
201003.15 13:26:02 UTC - Cobb [Mountain] CA 95426 USA

Erik Moll
Hole In The Wall

Here are 2 song-links to 2009 performances by Norwegian Country-Folk-Rock band HOLE IN THE WALL, ahead of their time in the 70's and still kickin' today !

Members are: Erik Moll - vocal, ac guitar, harmonica - Rune Walle - ac, el, slide guitars, mandolin, piano, vocals - Trygve Thue - guitars, vocals - Yngve Moe - bass - Frank Jacobsen - drums, perc

Erik Moll
Also, Erik played with "Happy Valley" ... See Podcast page for MP3s

March 16, 2010, magnitude 4.4 L.A. Earthquake snipped from Google News
California Earthquake Wakes Up Los Angeles

Interesting how this makes the news while Northern California Earthquake Swarms near a Volcanic Field are Ignored.

Harry Venning - Not exactly what Clare was expecting when she brought young and old together cartoon
Harry Venning
- Not exactly what Clare was expecting when she brought young and old together

Clare in the Community - I tell you Megan, these two make a mockery of the whole idea that young people and the elderly have nothing in common. As soon as I introduced Wayne to Gladys the generation gap between them immediately disappeared! - Society Guardian, Wednesday 17 March 2010 00.01 GMT

Boptime with Even Steven, WVUD

201003.20 - Re: WVUD. As you know we've had Radiothon part 1. Part 2 is this coming Saturday and in the 6am hour I'll be playing a sizable portion of the Sam Andrew interview. It'll be proceeded by a rebroadcast of a BBC program on Bob Marley's relationship to Wilmington, how it affected him and his career. Bob still has family in the city, and we claim Wilmington to be his American home. I'll also play a few tunes he recorded from early in his career before he moved to Wilmington for a spell back in 1966, as well as some other, I hope, innerestin' things.

BTW: If I hadn't mentioned it before, check out our blog. It's

My article on The Secret of Kells is now online.

I think The Secret of Kells is a remarkable handmade feature and I hope you enjoy reading about it. My article, mostly an interview with the director, has lots of illustrations from the feature. It can now be seen at AWN.COM. Visit their homepage at or click here to go directly to it.

This Oscar nominated film (for Best Animated Feature) has just opened in NYC, Phili, Boston. and in a few other places. It opens in the Bay Area and LA April 2. - Karl Cohen

Iceland volcano eruption triggers fears for glacier
A volcano that has been dormant for almost 200 years has erupted in Iceland

by Our Foreign Staff,,
Published: 9:42AM GMT 21 Mar 2010


Authorities evacuated hundreds of people after a volcano erupted beside a glacier in southern Iceland, Iceland's civil protection agency said on Sunday, but there were no immediate reports of damage or injuries.

The eruption occurred beside the Eyjafjallajokull glacier, the fifth largest in Iceland. Authorities initially said the eruption was below the glacier, triggering fears that it could lead to flooding from glacier melt, but scientists conducting an aerial survey in daylight located the eruption and said it did not occur below ice.

"The eruption is a small one," said Agust Gunnar Gylfason, a risk analyst at the Civil Protection Department.

"An eruption in and close to this glacier can be dangerous due to possible flooding if the fissure forms under the glacier," he said.

"That is why we initiated our disaster response plan."

The last time the volcano erupted was in the 1820s.

Scientists can see lava flows in the half-mile long fissure, and authorities are watching for further activity.

Authorities evacuated some 450 people in the area 100 miles southeast of the capital,Reykjavik, as a precaution, said Vidir Reynisson, the department manager for the Icelandic Civil Protection Department.

A state of emergency has been declared in communities near the 100 square mile glacier, and three Red Cross centers were set up for evacuees in the village of Hella.

The Icelandic Civil Aviation Administration has ordered aircraft to stay 120 nautical miles away from the volcano area, essentially closing it off.

Three Icelandair flights from the U.S. - departing from Seattle; Boston; and Orlando, Florida - bound for Keflavik airport in Reykjavik were turned back to Boston. All domestic flights were also canceled until further notice, the Icelandic National Broadcasting Service reported.

Keflavik international airport, Reykjavik airport and Akureyri airport are all closed due to the possibility of ash getting into engines of the planes. The only airport that is open is Egilsstadir airport in the eastern part of the country as a back up international airport.

Gudjon Arngrimsson, a spokesman for Icelandair, said he could not immediately comment.

A European volcanic island in the North Atlantic, Iceland is largely an arctic desert with mountains, glaciers and volcanoes and agricultural areas in the lowlands close to the coastline.

Eyjafjallajokull Update for 3/22/2010

Photograph Source:
The steam-and-ash plume from Eyjafjallajokull in Iceland, March 22, 2010

Eruptions Blog: posted by Erik Klemetti

Overnight, the Eyjafjallajokull eruption in Iceland added to its oeuvre, producing what is being reported to be a 8-km plume. Images of the plume (above) suggest (to me) that it is very water-rich, so likely this is the expanding(?) fissure interacting with snow, ice or groundwater, producing steam explosions. These explosions have some minor ash component to them, mostly from the shattering of rapidly cooled lava, but are dominated by steam.

The eruption appears to be continuing into its third day unabated. Flights have resumed to and from Iceland as well. Minus the phreatomagmatic explosions of earlier today, the eruption has been relatively passive (in the grand scheme of volcanic eruptions) and the hazard of ash at high altitudes right now is low. However, many things can change quickly. The AP has posted a little bit more daylight footage from the eruption, showing the pulsing fire fountains along the fissure vent. There have also been some nice, sensational headline like "Eruption of Dormant Volcano Causes Panic in Iceland" (the evacuations actually seem to be calm) and "Iceland will maybe get blown up by huge volcano soon" (OK, so that was from Gawker), but on the whole, the coverage of the Icelandic eruption has been fairly calm and rational.

Here is the official press release from the Nordic Volcanological Center and Icelandic Meteorological Office:

An eruption began in South Iceland in late evening of 20 March 2010 at the Eyjafjallajökull volcanic system (also known as Eyjafjöll volcano - Global Volcanism Program Volcano number 1702-02=). The initial visual report of the eruption was at 23:52 GMT, when a red cloud was observed at the volcano, lightening up the sky above the eruptive site. The eruption was preceded with intense seismicity and high rates of deformation in the weeks before the eruption, in association with magma recharging of the volcano. Immediately prior to the eruption the depth of seismicity had become shallow, but was not significantly enhanced from what it had been in the previous weeks. Deformation was occurring at rates of up to a centimetre a day since March 4 at continuous GPS sites installed within 12 km from the eruptive site.

The eruption broke out with fire fountains and Hawaiian eruptive style on about 500 m long NE-SW oriented eruptive fissure at N63º 38.1′, W19º 26.4′ on the northeast shoulder of the volcano at an elevation of about 1000 m. It was observed from air from 4-7 A.M. on March 21. Lava flows short distance from the eruptive site, and minor eruption plume at elevation less than 1 km was deflected by wind to the west. Volcanic explosive index (VEI) is 1 or less. Tephra fall is minor or insignificant. The eruption occurs just outside the ice cap of Eyjafjallajökull, and no ice melting is occurring at present.

Satellite data is being used to study the eruption and associated intrusion. Several MODIS thermal images on 21 March show a temperature anomaly where the eruption is occurring. ENVISAT ASAR images before and during the eruption have been acquired, and a series of TerraSAR-X images cover the area.


The eruption is located on about 2 km wide pass of ice-free land between Eyjafjallajökull and the neighbouring Katla volcano with its overlying Myrdalsjökull ice cap. Katla volcano is known for powerful subglacial phreatomagmatic eruptions producing basaltic tephra layers with volumes ranging from ~0.01 to more than 1 cubic kilometer.

Three previous eruptions of Eyjafjallajökull are known in the last 1100 years (historical time in Iceland). The most recent began in December 1821 and lasted intermittently for more than a year. The neighbouring volcano Katla erupted then on 26 June 1823. Other eruptions include an eruption in 1612 or 1613, and about 920 A.D.

Episodes of unrest are known at Eyjafjallajökull, with documented sill intrusions in 1994 and 1999.

For information see:

and the following references:

Sturkell, E., P. Einarsson, Freysteinn Sigmundsson, A. Hooper, B. G. Ófeigsson, H. Geirsson and H. Ólafsson, Katla and Eyjafjallajökull volcanoes, In: The Mýrdalsjökull Ice cap, Iceland - Glacial processes, sediments and landforms on an active volcano. Developments in Quaternary Sciences, vol., 13, eds. Anders Schomacker, Johannes Krüger and Kurt H. Kjær, p. 5-21, 2009.

Hjaltadottir, S., K. S. Vogfjord and R. Slunga, 2009. Seismic signs of magma pathways through the crust at Eyjafjallajokull volcanoe, South Iceland, Icelandic Meteorological office report, VI 2009-013

Hooper, A., R. Pedersen, F. Sigmundsson, Constraints on magma intrusion at Eyjafjallajökull and Katla volcanoes in Iceland, from time series SAR interferometry, In: The VOLUME project - Volcanoes: Understanding subsurface mass movement, eds. C. J. Bean, A. K. Braiden, I. Lokmer, F. Martini, G. S. O'Brien, School of Geological Sciences, University College Dublin, p. 13-24, 2009

Larsen, G., 1999. Gosið í Eyjafjallajökli 1821-1823 (The eruption of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in 1821-1823). Science Institute Research Report RH-28-99. 13 p. Reykjavík.

Oskarsson, Birgir Vilhelm 2009. The Skerin ridge on Eyjafjallajökull, South Iceland: Morphology and magma-ice interaction in an ice-confined silicic fissure eruption. M.Sc. thesis, Faculty of Earth Sciences, University of Iceland. 111 p.

Pedersen, R., Freysteinn Sigmundsson and Páll Einarsson, 2007: Controlling factors on earthquake swarms associated with magmatic intrusions; Constraints from Iceland, Journal of Volcanology and Geothermal Research,162,73-80.

Pedersen, R., Sigmundsson, F., Temporal development of the 1999 intrusive episode in the Eyjafjallajökull volcano, Iceland, derived from InSAR images, Bull. Volc., 68, 377-393, 2006.

Pedersen, R., F. Sigmundsson, InSAR based sill model links spatially offset areas of deformation and seismicity for the 1994 unrest episode at Eyjafjallajökull volcano, Iceland, Geophys. Res. Lett., 31, L14610, doi:10.1029/2004GL020368, 2004.

Sigmundsson, F., Geirsson, H., Hooper, A. J., Hjaltadottir, S., Vogfjord, K. S., Sturkell, E. C., Pedersen, R., Pinel, V., Fabien, A., Einarsson, P. Gudmundsson, M. T., Ofeigsson, B., Feigl, K., Magma ascent at coupled volcanoes: Episodic magma injection at Katla and Eyjafjallajökull ice-covered volcanoes in Iceland and the onset of a new unrest episode in 2009, Eos Trans. AGU, 90(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract V32B-03

Wallace and Gromit creators launch South African animation academy

Aardman Animations to open country's first public animation academy in Khayelitsha township on outskirts of Cape Town

Alex Duval Smith, Cape Town,, Wednesday 24 March 2010 19.30 GMT, Article history

Wallace and Gromit - Source:
Wallace and Gromit

Their creators, Aardman Animations, are launching South Africa's first animation academy. Photograph: Aardman Animations

They have struggled into the wrong trousers, picnicked on the moon and foiled a rampaging were-rabbit.

Now the cheese-loving inventor Wallace and his wily canine sidekick, Gromit, are taking on their most ambitious adventure yet – bringing animation to one of South Africa's most violent townships.

David Sproxton, the co-founder of Aardman Animations, will open the country's first public animation academy, in Khayelitsha, the giant township on the outskirts of Cape Town, tomorrow.

The yellow bricks and bright blue roof of False Bay Good Hope College rise from a grey landscape of shacks and low-grade social housing.

Studies have found that as many as half of Khayelitsha's households struggle to put one meal on the table each day. The school drop-out rate is high because of gang violence and teacher absenteeism.

"There are 900,000 people living in this area and most of them are unemployed,'' said the academy's principal, Gary Kachelhoffer, 53, who previously taught animation in central Cape Town.

"Most of the skilled people in the South African film industry are white. That is because the colleges that train them are in the centre of town and you need money to pay tuition fees and to get there.

"So we decided it would be a good idea to set up a course in a township."

Thanks to its weather and infrastructure, Cape Town is a choice location for the international film and commercials industry.

The city is building a Hollywood-style studio complex – but South Africa has a severe shortage of animators, Kachelhoffer said.

Anele Siwa, 20, is one of 120 students who this week started a one-year course at the academy.

"To get the chance to learn a creative skill and perhaps make a living from it is incredible," he said. His sister works in a supermarket and his father is a welder, while his three brothers do odd jobs.

Siwa will receive a full 20,000 rand (£1,800) bursary for the one-year course, which is supported by the Western Cape government and Seta, a training agency funded by levies from employers.

"As South Africans, we really need our own stories in the vernacular languages," he said. "At the moment, we are stuck with watching Japanese and American cartoons."

Siwa's favourite character is Sponge Bob, from the US cartoon series – "he really cracks me up, man".

South Africa's only recent attempt at creating a home-grown animated series failed last year.

The controversial cartoonist Zapiro – best-known for lampooning President Jacob Zuma's sex life – attempted to interest the national broadcaster in a South African-style Spitting Image.

But the subject matter was deemed too sensitive for the South African Broadcasting Company, so Zapiro put his puppets on the internet.

Siwa has been drawing all his life. "While my friends were playing soccer, I would be sitting in the corner, drawing in the gravel," he said.

He gained his matric (A-levels) in June after three years in a township school ridden by violence, where the fear of gang warfare causes many pupils to drop out.

Unlike the township's high schools, False Bay Good Hope College is located on the edge of Khayelitsha.

Security gates and CCTV prevent disruptive elements entering. Should they succeed, the front door is emblazoned with a sign saying: "No cash on the premises."

In common with most township homes, Siwa's has a television but no computer, let alone an internet connection.

But Kachelhoffer does not require his pupils to do computer-based homework. "We are going to teach them Walt Disney's 28 principles of 2D animation, and they can do all their computer work at the college,'' he said.

"There is nothing more irritating than private students who come along with their laptops and do things you haven't asked them to do.

"In the third term, each of our students will make a one-minute production, which will be their showreel."

Kachelhoffer expects there to be jobs for most of the students by the end of the course. "We now need the industry to come to the party and I expect they will, simply because they need staff,'' he said.

Arthur Sheriff, the head of communications at Aardman Animations, said there was a worldwide shortage of animators.

"We have not defined exactly what Aardman's involvement with the Khayelitsha course will be, but one could imagine one of the students coming to our studios in Bristol for an internship, or one of our animators coming to Khayelitsha to give a masterclass," he said.

"I have been coming here for nine years. On every street corner, there is a kid selling a piece of artwork. There is clearly talent here. We just need to develop it, and I think Aardman should be part of that process."


Stand Against SIT/LIE San Francisco, Saturday, March 27, 2010
Stand Against SIT/LIE

Celebrate our city’s public space, vibrant culture, and tradition of tolerance.



The San Francisco Board of Supervisors will soon be voting on a law that would make it illegal to sit or lie on any sidewalk in San Francisco. We think it’s a terrible idea to criminalize the act of sitting in public space and we are shocked that San Francisco may be on the verge of adopting the most draconian “sit/lie” law in the country.

You can help stop this law from passing, and you’ll need do nothing more than do what you love on your nearest sidewalk.

MARCH 27 will mark a fantastic, city-wide celebration of public space, San Francisco’s diverse and vibrant culture, and San Francisco’s history of tolerance and compassion.

On Saturday, March 27, people in every neighborhood will be doing what they love on the city’s sidewalks and they will be inviting family, friends, and neighbors to join them. Multiple events have already been planned and the list is growing by the day. More than one thousand people have already RSVP’d!

What can you do for Sidewalks are for People? Anything!

Just occupy a space on the sidewalk, perhaps with a table, lawn chair or carpet. Then, make music, barbecue, do yoga, create a lemonade stand, read, relax, make art, have an argument, talk, sun bathe, do your taxes, play chess, meditate, do tai chi, eat, knit, dance, paint, write, sit, lie down, play — Anything!

We will provide you with some basic materials to hand out to curious pedestrians, along with tools to support you in orchestrating this in the most effective way. Other than that, we leave it up to you to organize the best event that you can. You can do whatever you want, but please do something!

Be sure to document your event with photos and video.


CONTACT: to learn more about how to get involved and make your individual action cohesive with the hundreds of other people who will be participating.

Eyjafjallajökull  Volcano from Iceland webcam
Eyjafjallajökull Volcano, Iceland - WebCam

Tuesday marks 'Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day'

If you meet a Vietnam veteran on Tuesday, give them a special message: "Welcome home."

Written by Elizabeth Larson , Tuesday, 30 March 2010, Lake County, CA

Tuesday, March 30, is the third annual "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day" in California.

Last year, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger signed AB 717 by Assemblymember Paul Cook (R-Yucca Valley) to establish the annual commemoration, as Lake County News has reported.

The bill also encourages all public schools in California to observe the day and conduct exercises recognizing the contributions of all those involved in the Vietnam War on March 30 of every year.

By the time Schwarzenegger signed the bill, the commemoration already had been held twice in California, beginning in 2008. California was the first state to adopt it.

José G. Ramos of Whittier founded the movement in 2000 to get Vietnam veterans a special day of recognition.

March 30 was chosen because that was the day, in 1973, when the US Armed Forces completed withdrawal of troops from Vietnam.

Ramos, who served as a medic during Vietnam, and a group of several supporters even took a bike ride to Washington, DC in May of 2004 to gain support, he told Lake County News in an interview last year.

The US Senate and US House of Representatives would sign resolutions in 2007 celebrating the day, according to Ramos' Web site, .

Then, earlier this month, on March 18, the US Senate unanimously passed a resolution introduced by U.S. Senator Richard Burr (R-NC), ranking member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, that encourages communities across the nation to establish "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day."

So, as you travel through your day on Tuesday, don't forget to stop and thank Vietnam veterans - or any veterans who you meet - for their service. It's a small gesture that means a lot to those who served.

The text of Gov. Schwarzenegger's proclamation for March 30, 2010, is below:


Many years have passed since the Vietnam War was waged, and despite the divisions that existed in our country, our troops continuously demonstrated the best of the American spirit by performing amazing acts of heroism. Our Vietnam veterans deserve our respect and recognition for everything they did to defend freedom, which is why I am proud to proclaim March 30 as Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day.

This day of appreciation, like the Vietnam Veterans’ Memorials in Washington and in Sacramento, is a tribute to the sacrifices of all the American veterans who served in Vietnam. It is a time for us to reflect on our past, and March 30 represents our continued dedication to honoring and supporting our veterans as we offer all of them a heartfelt "welcome home."

I encourage every Californian to take a moment this day to remember the brave veterans of the Vietnam War. It is never too late to recognize the selfless actions of these courageous men and women who answered duty’s call and served our nation.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of the State of California, do hereby proclaim March 30, 2010, as "Welcome Home Vietnam Veterans Day."

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Great Seal of the State of California to be affixed this 24th day of March 2010.

ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER, Governor of California - ATTEST: DEBRA BOWEN, Secretary of State


Only after the last tree has been cut down, Only after the last river has been poisoned, Only after the last fish has been caught, Only then will you find money cannot be eaten. - Cree Prophecy

The man whispered, "God, speak to me" and a meadowlark sang. But the man did not hear. So the man yelled "God, speak to me" and the thunder rolled across the sky. But the man did not listen. The man looked around and said, "God let me see you" and a star shined brightly. But the man did not notice. And the man shouted, "God show me a miracle" and a life was born. But the man did not know. So the man cried out in despair, "Touch me God, and let me know you are there" Whereupon God reached down and touched the man. But the man brushed the butterfly away and walked on.

Somebody is looking at whatever you do, so always present your most charming you
Don't miss out on a blessing because it isn't packaged the way you expect.