Wednesday, February 02, 2011

The end of the world as we know it

I hadn't known of the phenomenon of volcanic lightning before (or perhaps I'd just forgotten about it; apparently, Pliny mentions it in his famous description of the eruption of Vesuvius in AD 79), but I noticed these stunning pictures in an item on Yahoo News the other day about the ongoing eruption of Mt Shinmoedake in Japan (that Yahoo slideshow is a bit overlong, and includes a lot of duplicates; these are definitely the two standouts).

Usually, this is what Beijing would be looking like tomorrow morning - Chinese New Year's Day - but this year, I'm wondering if the firework madness is going to be relatively restrained.

[Finally, proof - as if it were needed - that supervillains tend to be foolish or reckless in their choice of secret hideouts.  Mt Shinmoedake was the site of Blofeld's headquarters (some more good pictures and videos of the current eruption at this link) in the classic 1967 Bond film You Only Live Twice.]

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