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.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Volcano Cricket World Cup

As I was listening to the dramatic conclusion of the semi final between New Zealand and South Africa I remembered one of my fave ever VC posts, ranking all the teams in the european football tournament as if they were judged on volcanoes alone. Here is how the cricket world cup could have been if all that were considered were the volcanoes. Ratings will be given as a VEI (0-8) primarily on volcanoes in the country but playing style can have some impact, my preferences will obviously have none. Ties will be decided on volcano activity alone.

Pool A

Wikipedia says there are a couple of extinct volcanoes in Afghanistan but I've never heard of them. Its only recently that the have made it on the international cricket scene and have improved quickly - beating Scotland in the group stage.
VEI - 1

Australia is obviously a very diverse country that has pretty all the ecosystems but no fucking active volcanoes, although there are a shitload of extinct ones. As much as it pains me to admit this the cricket team are pretty exciting if a little predictably good.
VEI - 3

Apparently there are no volcanoes in Bangladesh but you've got to love the cricket team who made the quarter finals this year.
VEI -1

The only volcanoes of note are extinct ones in Wales which is technically part of England in the cricket world. What can you even say about the England cricket team? The got rid of KP the only vaguely eruptive thing.
VEI - 0

New Zealand
Yay finally some active volcanoes including the excellently named Mount Horrible and Mount Dick. White Island in 2013 was the most recent eruption in the country. The cricket team are also on fire and as they're already in the final therefore good to back.
VEI - 7

White Island

Lots of extinct volcanoes, volcanic landscapes and volcanic plugs in Scotland including Arthur's Seat some bits of the Hebrides including Skye and St Kilda. The cricket team are just a bit shit though, sorry lads.
VEI - 2
Arthur's Seat

Sri Lanka
Again no active volcanoes but there is Sigiriya which is the best volcanic plug and one of the earliest examples of landscape gardens, a former buddhist monastery and I love it. It's close to Kandy which has the best cricket ground and great forests. The team are also pretty exciting.
VEI - 4

Pool A - Results
New Zealand - 7
Sri Lanka - 4
Australia - 3
Scotland - 2
Afghanistan - 1
Bangladesh - 1
England - 0

Pool B

The main vulcanicity in India are the Deccan traps which are one of the largest volcanic features on earth. This volcanic activity occurred at the Cretaceous-Paleogene boundary and possibly responsible for dinosaur extinction. Cricket team are good if a little dull.
VEI - 4
Deccan Traps

The Irish cricket team represents the whole of Ireland, which is good thing from a VC POV as Giants Causeway is in Northern Ireland and a volcanic formation. Cricket wise - they're the new England.
VEI - 2
Giant's Causeway

Pakistan is home to Tor Zawar - the only recent volcano in South Asia which erupted completely unexpectedly in 2010. The cricket team are eruptive although possibly more for the off the pitch activities.
VEI - 4

South Africa
There's a game reserve in South Africa - Pilanesberg which is of volcanic origin but not much else apart from Prince Edward and Marion Island (I'm only really counting mainland volcanoes for this). I've never been a fan of the team.
VEI - 1

United Arab Emirates
No volcanoes here and it's a ridiculous country.
VEI - 0

West Indies
The West Indies (which only really exists for cricketing purposes) consists of Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Guyana, Jamaica, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Trinidad and Tobago, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Anguilla, Montserrat, British Virgin Islands, Sint Maarten and US Virgin Islands. Sorry for the long list but I've always wondered. Active volcanoes include Kick 'em Jenny and Soufriere Hills, sadly Mount Pelee is on Martinique and not therefore in the West Indies. They are also my favourite the best international cricket team.
VEI - 5
Kick 'em Jenny

There are some volcanic land forms in Zimbabwe but not much to speak of.
VEI - 1

Pool B - Results
West Indies - 5
India - 4
Pakistan - 4
Ireland - 2
South Africa - 1
Zimbabwe - 1
UAE - 0

Quarter Finals! Sadly this is going to be a bit predictable, I should create some sort of dice cricket element for this.
India v Australia
India win by 30 runs, with the help of the Deccan traps Kohl and Dhoni put on a big target that can't be chased down.
West Indies v Scotland
West Indies win by 9 wickets, Chris Gayle makes another record breaking 200 and it's a bit of walkover.
Sri Lanka v Pakistan
Sri Lanka win by 2 runs, this one goes down to the last ball and final wicket but Malinga slogs it over the boundary for 6.
New Zealand v Ireland
New Zealand win by 10 wickets. Ireland all out for a pitiful 92.

Semi Finals
New Zealand v India
New Zealand win by 2 wickets.
West Indies v Sri Lanka
In an exciting semi final West Indies win by 24 runs.

New Zealand v West Indies
Chris Gayle's instagram account can't help him now (not sure if this makes me like him more or less but it does have to be seen), Williamson and Guptill help NZ put on an impressive 358 and win by 43 runs.

Here is a picture of VC favourite Tongariro to celebrate.

Sorry that was very long but you probably didn't read it all. It does make you wish that England had colonised countries with more volcanoes. If NZ do win the World Cup then it's obviously all down to the volcanoes.

Friday, 20 March 2015

Cyclone Pam and Volcano Ambrym

One of the main problems with volcano club is that whenever I want to find out about somewhere it's normally because of a fairly large eruption and volcanoes tend to be in really cool places. Then I have this weird desire to go load of places following ecological disasters - so today we have Vanuatu. Vanuatu is so cool that it has the highest language density in the world and is estimated to be the most ecologically efficient country with high well being. It's a great place if you can ignore Tanna, the island where they worship Prince Philip, but that's a cargo cult which have more to do with european colonisation anyway, I mean I'm not a theologist but that's probably true. Unless you know all the flags in the world, all the capitals in the world or are an avid pointless viewer (tbh I'm sure that lots of people are all three) then you might not have known a lot about Vanuatu until cyclone Pam. Vanuatu is quite near Fiji and New Caledonia and used to be called New Hebrides presumably because like the real Hebrides when Captain Cook went there it rained continuously and no shops were open.

The cyclone has been described as the worst natural disaster in the country's history with many buildings being destroyed and some islands being left without services like drinking water. For the island of Ambrym things were particularly shit as there was also a volcanic eruption, however it wasn't in the direct path of the cyclone so other islands were worst affected and are still in need of aid. The volcano is also called Ambrym and has a 12km wide caldera which is fucking massive and was formed in the second largest eruption in recent history. There are two craters - Marum and Benbow which have lava lakes, lava lakes are fucking great as you can see below. The recent eruption was actually quite small and the volcano is one of the most active in the world but the area is still in state of alert.

A quick google search will tell you that aside from volcanoes the island is also known for black magic and there are many associated dances and rituals with this. I think that this type of searching shows the problem with the internet because while I'm sure that there are these beliefs which are important and deeply held, but if you're a tourist you probably aren't really seeing them and you can't expect to understand a foreign culture from a week long stay. Also these magical beliefs are often tied to big scary things, so maybe the sense of foreboding attached to the island has as much to do with the fucking massive active volcano as the black magic. Which is something me and my brother were talking about yesterday - that something can have different explanations which can be unrelated yet equally valid, only he put it way better as unlike me he is theologist and had a way better analogy.

Even by VC's very low standards this post has gone wildly off topic but basically don't believe google , don't be a voyeur and there is still a disaster in Vanuatu, donate if you want.

Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Volcano of the Week #27 - Villarrica

Right so I haven't done a post in fucking ages but I'm not gonna be all like - relaunch, yeah I'm back! Because I keep doing that and then not posting again so I'm hoping that I can casually start posting again and no one will ever notice anything and it will just be an indication of my great new life. So basically ages ago my mate was all like 'I'm going to Chile to see volcanoes and shit, can you write about them?' and I was all like 'yeah course I will mate, that's pretty much my thing' so I wrote about Easter Island - where she's obviously not going as its in the middle of fucking nowhere. Then more recently she was all like 'I'm in fucking Chile, the volcano I was going to climb has just erupted, can you find out whats going on?' and 'I was like, yeah of course - that's totally my thing', which I didn't do like the twat I am. The other reason (I think that this is an indication of my staggering immaturity) is that whenever someone says that they are doing something slightly fun or exciting, there's a part of me that a bit too jealous to even slightly engage with anything to do with the fun or exciting thing. Which is obviously fucking ridiculous and petty, also mylife is so fucking great that I spent yesterday evening watching masterchef and making a coral reef to go in my fireplace. But back to the volcano.

Its hard not to be jealous when people send you photos like this!

Villarrica was the volcano that erupted and I know that I'm well behind as there is also the Vanuatu volcano but I can only deal with one eruption at a time as I've been working in admin for 5 months and through under stimulation my brain is seriously struggling. Villarrica is one of those volcanoes that erupts quite frequently but rarely massively - although this has been a fairly large eruption and thousands of people have had to evacuate the area. It's also up there with Mount Fuji in the classic volcano looks - snow capped, lake and forest. The lake is also called Villarrica as is a town and national park. The alert has now been degraded and the exclusion zone has been reduced but probably not enough for my mate to be able to climb it, although she did say that she would do some writing for me - cos she's a babe, I'm lazy and she should really pay some penance for having lots of fun.