Volcano Club

Volcano Club only offers one type of membership - and that's lifetime. To become a member send some volcanic themed work to the HQ (volcanoclubhq@gmail.com) and you might get a codename or some other cool shit.

Friday, 28 January 2011

Shinmoedake erupts!

Japanese volcanoes seem to be the theme of the year so its perhaps unsurprising that Shinmoedake in Kyūshū is currently erupting (well unsurprising if you think that natural disasters are directly linked to my life, clearly I do). The volcano is in the range Mount Kirishima, the eruption began on the 19th January the alert level has been raised to 3 which means houses have been evacuated and flights have been suspended. Among the affected are Australians travelling to Bali- believe me, there is NO ONE I feel for more. The range is located in Kyushu, the third largest and most south westerly of Japan's islands. More updates as this story and eruption develops.

Monday, 24 January 2011

Volcano of the Week #10- Mount Etna

Etna is Europe's most active volcano and the second largest after Teide in Tenerife. This Sicilian stratovolcano is 3,328m high and is almost constantly active, eruptions tend to have a VEI of 1 or 2. It is a decade volcano and despite today's gentle eruption it has reeked havoc in the past, a Plinian eruption was thought to have occurred in 122BC which caused roof collapses in Catania (Sicily's second city). Etna's most violent eruption killed around 15,000 in Catania on 11th Marck 1669, the only violent eruption since then was in 1928, the village of Mascali was completely destroyed and only a church was left standing. Further tragedy followed this event as Mussolini used rebuilding the village as an exercise in fascist propaganda and the newly built church had a fascist symbol placed above Jesus Christ. Although recent eruptions have not caused much damage to the island they have destroyed the Etna Observatory and other towns have narrowly missed volcanic destruction, the 2001 eruption was particularly violent. The most recent eruption occurred earlier this year on 13th January causing airport closure but no damage to inhabited areas. Etna's summit has four craters, numerous cinder cones and fissure vents around which yellow sulphur crusts can be seen. The soils at the base of Etna are extremely fertile and home to orchards and vineyards.

Etna's four craters 

 Etna's Strombolian eruption in February 1998
Both from Bernhard Edmaier's 'Earth on Fire'

In addition to magma Etna is also home to Typhon, the monster of all monsters in Greek mythology. He has a human upper half which reaches the stars, his hands contain a hundred dragons head, the lower half of his body is made from viper coils and his whole body is covered in wings. Along with Hades, Gaia and Demeter he is a chthonic (underworld) figure. One day Typhon went a bit mental and had a fight with Zeus which caused earthquakes and tsunamis, finally Zeus laced Etna on top of Typhon and trapped him there. Typhon is therefore the cause of all volcanic eruptions. 

In non volcanic news Happy Birthday to my mummy, Vic Reeves and Nastassja Kinski.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Volcano Flag

As I am now unemployed I thought that learning all the flags of the world would be a good use of time, so far I've got Europe, South America and North America down. Think Africa will be the hardest although the rise of African football teams should make this a bit better, sporcle is obviously the main facilitator of this quest. So I began thinking that it would be great if a flag had a volcano on as picture flags (Lebanon, Sri Lanka) are often the best. I did find a great flag, it is the unofficial flag for Reunion, a French island in the Indian Ocean, which I have written about before.
 The official Reunion flag also has a volcano on but its shit. This flag was created through a competition run by the French Society of Vexillology (flag study) so they obviously agree the official one is shit.

 Also Etna's erupting again, following many conversations at the pub over the weekend, I've realised I don't know much about Etna, which I'll rectify soon.

Please vote for your favourite volcano at the right of the page.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

Volcano of the Week #9- Mount Fuji

It has been a while since I've done this feature some would say too long, some would say not long enough and most were probably blissfully unaware that it ever was a feature. I thought I'd write about what (for reasons that I am about to describe) is fast becoming my favourite volcano, you can vote for your favouritcano at the link at the side. My love of Mount Fuji has started partly because I got two Christmas presents relating to it (boxcano and diarycano, see the post a couple down) and is probably after Vesuvius the most common volcano in popular culture. The most famous representations of Mount Fuji are two series both called Thirty-six Views of Mount Fuji by Hokusai (boxcano) and Hiroshige (diarycano), if this is making sense to anyone I'll be impressed. Below is an image from each of those series. 
 Hokusai- The Great Wave. Which is apparently the best painting ever, obviously after Rolf Harris' portrait of The Queen
Twilight Hill- Hiroshige (the other chap)

Fuji is a stratovolcano which is 60 miles outside Tokyo so overlooks the city, making it such a prominent feature in Japanese culture. At 3,776m it's Japan's highest point, it's last eruption was in 1707. The Aokigahara forest at the base of Fuji is surrounded by myths of supernatural beings and in recent times it's gained a reputation as the world's second most popular suicide site after Golden Gate Bridge. The forest is incredibly dense, the floor consists of hard volcanic rock and has signs urging potential suicidees to reconsider. The trees are mainly white cedar, pine and boxwood. I guess there are pro and cons to the volcanic soil and amazing flora there but all I can find out about is suicides so if anyone who has like a degree in Plant Science wants to tell me about the flora that'd be great. The younger Fuji was formed mainly between 11,000 to 8,000 years ago, flank vents were formed between 2000 and 3000 years ago, the 1707 eruption created a new crater. 
Aokigahara Forest
 Massively Japanese

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Terry's Plagiarent Orange

Now if there's one thing in life that I have a natural talent for then it's making volcano based wordsearches and if there's another thing in life that I'm good at then it's making ridiculous volcano based food. So how do you think it feels to have these two talents being used (and not used very well) to market popular Christmas confectionery products? Not very good, I can tell you.

 So Terry's you stick to what you're good at (making chocolate that looks like fruit) and I'll stick to my more volcanic talents, yeah? Also putting popping candy in something does not make it volcanic, you have to construct something that actually looks like a volcano not just shove in gimmicky sweets. And if volcanoes erupted popping candy and lava was made from chocolate, then I don't think they'd be the amazing natural disaster that they are.

Thanks to my mummy for sending me this, although it would have been nice to get some actual chocolate not just the packet.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

The Volcano at Night

I found out about this, wrote a blog post about it, forgot about it, was reminded about it and watched it. Everything about it is fantastic, has some great actual volcanic facts and not just some moron talking about Cyndi Lauper and making crap paper volcanoes. Io is really cool, I really want a telescope and Sir Patrick Moore is really really cool. I won't try and write about space volcanoes as I'll just get it wrong and look like an idiot so it's probably best just to watch the programme.


Monday, 3 January 2011

Boxcano, Bookcanos, Happy New Yearcanos

Unsurprisingly I got a lot of volcano related products for Christmas (and have since bought myself some) and as there are technically three days left of the festive period I should probably share them before it gets too late.
Firstly this beautiful diorama showing 2 scenes of Mount Fuji was a late present from Isaac and is actually really really difficult to make but it was time well spent. It's actually so great that I'm thinking of replacing my TV with this boxcano.

This picture of the instructions shouldn't fool anyone into thinking it is at all easy to make. http://tatebanko.com/products/index.html Here is a link to the website for the kit makers- Tatebanko, it is apparently an ancient Japanese art (what isn't) the range includes Hello Kitty, The Scream, The Persistence of Memory and lots of other very Japanese things.
The second volpresento, also Japanese themed, is my new Taschen diary showing 'Famous Visions of Edo'. Edo is the former name for Tokyo and presumably the volcano depicted in many of these is also Mount Fuji. 

These are some of my favourite pictures, obviously I only included the ones with volcanoes in. There is a lovely reminder for everyone of what I'll be doing this week and if anyone wants to give me a job, preferably in a volcanic field (though that may be a little dangerous), that'd be great. 

My favourite new bookcano is the present I bought myself, which is 'Earth on Fire' by Bernhard Edmaier which is full of truly amazing volcano photographs and really great information. I won't write too much about the book as I'm sure I'll will reference it many times. 
These are two of my favourite pictures from the book and are of Mount St Helens, Washington and Nyamulagira, Democratic Republic of Congo and they inspired to do this volcano painting, I am aware that the heat energy of the eruption would probably melt the snow but I thought it would look pretty. 
Happy New Year!