Thursday, April 23, 2009

Honorary Member of the Lumbering Nerds of America.

"Amazon" or "Emma's on", which one?

Greetings, one and all! It is I, Dave... the "Alton Brown" of blogging! In other words, a goofy white guy that thinks he's funny, but is really a clueless gump. How I got my own show here, I'll never know...

What? It's free? Oh, that explains it then. Let us proceed.

More of the same today, as far as work goes - which is not necessarily a bad thing. Gettin' stuff done for the website. Including posting pictures of myself reclining on an old rug wearing nothing but Bermuda shorts and a pair of tighty-whities on my head, surrounded by empty Red Bull cans.

OK, I made that up.

Worked on the latest Wagnervana comic tonight, but it ain't ready yet. I'll try to get it finished for Friday. I keep telling myself the next comics will be simpler, but the opposite keeps happening. I'm getting a bit carried away again, but I hope the results will be worth it. It's a butt-load of fun, in any case. As soon as it becomes a dread to make them, I suppose I'll quit, like the spineless wiener that I am.

Thinking about Earth Day yesterday made me think of volcanos again - one of my many natural-disaster-related interests. People complain about man-caused air pollution (and rightly so, in it's context), but I rarely hear mention of some of history's biggest volcanic eruptions, any of which blasted more junk into the atmosphere than mankind ever will. I mean, catastrophic eruptions that had long-lasting global impact. Earth recovered from those events just fine. It seems to have a built-in filtration system. Like a self-cleaning oven, I guess!

Of course, when I ponder volcanos, my mind inevitably goes in two places.

The first is Santorini Island, in the Mediterranean. There was an ungodly massive eruption there back in the time of Moses - in fact, many speculate that it was the natural event that God used to bring about the plagues that accompanied the Exodus of the Israelites from Egypt, but that's another story. Check this map out: 

And then check out this panorama shot of Santorini bay there, just to get the idea of the size...

That overhead view... that all used to be one big island, with a thriving, surprisingly advanced civilization on it (the Minoan's), and one gigantic eruption just about obliterated the entire island. The size of the tidal waves that it generated were unbelievable... over 600 feet high in some places. The impact it made on the Mediterranean was felt for years afterwards. 

I've read books on the excavations there - it is truly fascinating (to me, anyway...). Many believe that the violent end of the Minoan civilization on Santorini Island gave rise to the legend of the lost city of Atlantis. I imagine people 6,000 years ago (or so) may have wondered what happened to the island, and reached the conclusion that it sank into the sea, taking the people with it.

Of course, the other place my mind wanders to is the Super-Volcano at Yellowstone. All the geyser and hot springs activity in that whole region is because of the massive magma chamber underneath the area. It erupts every 600,000 years or so, with eruptions that make Mt. St. Helens and Pinitubo look like nothing but small farts. The last eruption (which was about 640,000 years ago, by the way), buried places over 1200 miles from Yellowstone in ash 30 feet deep. 

Supervolcanos are different from regular volcanos, and are thankfully rare. There's another supervolcano in a place called Toba in Indonesia. The eruption there was also massive beyond comprehension. 

I could elaborate on the difference between your average volcanic eruption and a "super" eruption, but I doubt it would hold your interest. If you're really curious, just Google "supervolcano" and set aside a few hours. 

You'll find a lot of corny nonsense, and even some religious whacks, but there's a lot of solid info out there, too. Here's a website that's a decent place to start. Many believe Yellowstone will erupt again in our lifetimes.

Anyway, my point is that these ridiculously catastrophic events have happened many times before, not to mention ice ages, etc., and the earth has rebooted just fine. So all this hysteria about man-caused global warming and the irreparable, end-of-the-world harm we are doing to our planet by driving to the store in an SUV is just a bunch of nonsense. There's a buttload of money to be made in it, so it's the latest uproar. Before that, it was overpopulation, air pollution, even man-caused global cooling.

I don't know why I've always been so fascinated by natural disasters. Maybe that's why I dream about them so often, I don't know. Volcanos, tsunamis, hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes, any kind of crazy weather-related weirdness... 

Guess I better post a tornado video, just to complete today's "natural disaster" vibe. Here's that 1991 clip of the twister going over that freeway overpass with the people filming from underneath.

Well, I might as well segue into Todayve In History...

Todayve In History: April 24
- April 24, 1800: The US Library of Congress was established. (Thus began the practice of congressmen paying over-due fees with taxpayer money)

- April 24, 1872: Mt. Vesuvius erupts. (It was a relatively small eruption, but I had to throw it in here, considering the topic of the dayve)

- April 24, 1953: Winston Churchill is knighted by Queen Elizabeth II. (They shared a cigar afterwards.)

- April 24, 1968: Leftist students take over Columbia University. (They're still in control of it, actually...)

- April 24, 1981: The IBM-PC Computer is introduced. (That's when Duke Nukem Forever began development. ZING! The most obscure bit of nerd humor in the history of this blog!)

Well, I suppose that's enough babbling for the day. I don't know what tomorrow holds, but I know who holds tomorrow! Yep. President Obama.

[insert eye-roll here]

Until tomorrow, remember, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't teach him to fish.

1 comment:

Abbie said...

I love Winston Churchill!! He is so cool and he has a great name :) Those are interesting theories about the plagues... cool post todayve!