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.

Wednesday, 30 May 2012

I'm in Print!

At the weekend I bought this book which is very exciting as it's about volcanoes, it's by the curator of the Volcano: From Turner to Warhol exhibition which was at Compton Verney last year and was very good. But I think the best thing about the book has to be that I'm referenced in it! Not to say that it isn't otherwise a great book but everyone likes to feel important (and what makes you feel more important than seeing your name in print?)

I haven't really started reading it yet as I'm still recovering from the Eurovision at the weekend at which there were no volcano references- Come on Italy and Iceland, pull your fingers out. I know Russia also has lots of volcanoes but their entry could not have been improved on in any way. Back to volcanoes as sadly this isn't a eurovision blog. Anyway when I've read the book I'm sure I will have lots more stuff to blog about, as it opens with a quote from The Volcano Lover, it's bound to be great. It's part of the Reaktion Earth Series, of which the series editor Daniel Allen says.
The Earth series traces the historical significance and cultural history of natural phenomena. Written by experts who are passionate about their subject, title in the series bring together science, art, literature, mythology, religion and popular culture, exploring and explaining the planet we inhabit in new and exciting ways. 
The book is also full of lovely pictures such as these.
 Bernhard Picart, Enceladus buried beneath Mount Etna
 Brynjolfur Thordarson, Hekla
 Wilhelmina Barns-Graham, La Geria, Lanzarote
 Athanasius Kircher, Mundus Subterraneus
 Joseph Wright of Derby, Eruption of Vesuvius
 JMW Turner, Naples: Vesuvius from Naples: Rome
 Karl Briullov, Last Day of Pompeii
 Dieter Roth, Surtsey 

Monday, 14 May 2012

Volcano of the Week #24 - Popocatepetl

I realise that this is actually the first volcano of the week that I've done all year making Popocateptl the volcano of the year! Yay congratz! lolz! etc... This is appropriate as Popocateptl has very much been the most active volcano of the year apart from maybe Etna (but @IAmMountEtna, so we've covered that base) unless I'm forgetting another big eruption this year. Which is likely as it's already May- Fuck where has this year gone- oh yeah I remember. Back to Popo (which is what Popocateptl lets you call him when you're friends, but he's not that great a friend- bit moody), the wiki entry is a bit short so I might just make some stuff up - that's just me covering my back in case someone tells me my information is incorrect.

Popo is around 70km southeast of Mexico City, part of the Trans-Mexican volcanic belt and 5,426m tall. The volcano used to be covered in glaciers however these became extinct in 2001. The crater is a massive 400x600m, the volcano formed around 730,000 years ago. During the last 20 years or so Popo has become very active and since 1993 one can almost constantly see smoke rising from the crater. In April this year Popo had a pretty large eruption and covered a lot of the surrounding area in ash, in some places up to 7cm thick (reminds me of my old living room). And has continued to do this for about a month, putting the area on alert, an eruption is of particular concern due to the proximity to Mexico City. Thank to this site one of my new hobbies is watching volcanoes on webcams and here is Popo if you wanna check what it's up to.

There are a lot of cool legends about Popocatepetl and Iztaccihuatl, which is a lady mountain north of Popo and I'm not just gendering volcanoes- they're in the stories. What Wikipedia is telling me is that there are three versions of the legend- however I'm sure there are many others. The first (which is a bit Romeo and Juliet) is that Popo went to war under the instruction of Izta's (to he was betrothed) father. As Izta's dad was unhappy about the union he told Izta that Popo had died in battle and Izta died of grief when Popo heard this he lay down beside Izta and killed himself. They were both covered in snow and then turned into mountains and Popo is the volcano because he's angry. In the next version, which is very like the Ruapehu, Tongariro, Taranki volcano story, Popo and Izta are engaged however Xinantecatl (Nevado del Toluca) wants to get it on with Izta. So Xina and Popo have a massive fight and Popo ends up throwing a massive stone and decapitating Xina.

The final one is that Izta was the daughter of the Emperor and Empress of Tenochtitl├ín (Mexico City) and she loved Popo who was the leader of a tribe. One day Popo and tribe went off to battle and one day a warrior who hated Popo (who told him he wore crap shirts when he was on TV or something) sent a message to the Emperor that Popo had died in battle. Izta was very upset and became ill and died through sadness, when Popo came back the Emperor told him Izta had died. Popo carried Izta a long way and then made a funeral table, he then died of sadness watching over Izta, the gods were moved and turned them into mountains, the volcano stills smokes to let us know he is looking over Izta. 

Hopefully it'll less than 6 months before I do another volcano of the week as writing that was fun.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Nocano of the Week

I listened to the first part of this radio programme which is about the eruption of Soufriere Hills on Montserrat and thought that could be my volcano of the week as it was really interesting and makes you think about the people involved in these disasters in a very humane and touching way. But it turns out it's already been volcano of the week, it would seem a bit weird having a different volcano as volcano of the week (any suggestions welcome) and I want to post something as I haven't done so in a while but I can't think of anything else. Also my computer is so slow that using it is torturous so listen to the radio programme and here is a pretty picture of Soufriere Hills, I'll write a better post soon.