The past weeks have been a stark reminder of the unimaginable power and majesty of Earth’s natural forces, as an unpronounceable Icelandic volcano blasted forth millions of tons of politically, economically and ecologically incorrect ash and gas into the stratosphere, paralyzing air travel to and from much of northern Europe for weeks. Over 100,000 flight cancellations left untold thousands of travelers stranded globally.
Some of my fave reporting:
- The Boston Globe compiled 35 compelling photographs that are among the best on the web. Gotta love the shaggy Icelandic ponies sparring fiercely, with a volcano spewing ash in the background.
- The high-functioning autistics at Slashdot sparked a fascinating discussion on just how dangerous flying in the recent ash cloud actually was. Untrounceable ginger bastard Virgin CEO Richard Branson demanded compensation, claiming the British government overreacted in its blanket grounding of flights, but the links to Boeing documentation reveal his chutzpah is almost certainly ill-advised. Branson a risk-taker? Isn’t that the definition of an entrepreneur? Good on him anyways for the cool space tourism partnership with Burt Rutan. Risky much?
- The Economist put forth a rawther good article on volcano risk management lessons learned. Major props to UPS for nimbly diverting packages to Istanbul and trucking it West.
Vulcan likely ain’t done yet. Eyjafjallajökull’s more sensibly named, but larger and more dangerous sister volcano, Katla, has historically shown a mean streak.