First post. Hope you enjoy this project that is intended to remove from my head the sometimes wacky, sometimes scary, sometimes funny, sometimes ironic, sometimes naughty, sometimes just plain weird stuff that occurs to me over the course of the day. Jump in with me, add your similarly wacky, scary, funny, ironic, naughty, weird, etc. stuff that comes to your mind. Really, I need to know I’m not alone. Heh.
So my mother is in Italy on a much-deserved vacation. She and her husband are touring Rome and Siena and Florence. They have a wine tap in the place they are staying. By “wine tap”, I mean a tap in the hallway from which flows red chianti as opposed to, say, agua. That in itself is pretty nifty, as Madre can take her in-room carafe and fill it with the juice of the gods any time she damn well pleases. Anyway, they were meant to be joined by another couple before they left Rome for a couple of weeks Under the Tuscan Sun. The thing is, the other couple, traveling from Ottawa, Canada, were waylaid by a VOLCANO.
I got to thinking, seriously? A volcano??? What. The Hell. Is Going. On. I’ve been following the drama of the volcano in Iceland (named Eyjafjallajokill, which is totally unpronounceable to anyone whose mother tongue is a Romance language) covering a good portion of the Old World with the contents of its spittoon, and preventing people from my mum’s friends to the President of the United States from traveling eastward. Apparently, this is the biggest air traffic disruption in Europe since World War II. This is really something.
Now, I love a good disaster. Especially a good disaster movie. You know, where things like this aren’t REAL. Naturally, this required some investigation, like, for example, how often does stuff like this happen? What I discovered was UN. SETTLING. We all know about the Richter scale, a ranking system from 0-10 for earthquakes that determines if the shake of the very planet we in habit (scary!) is minor – “Hm. I just felt unbalanced. Was that my general feeling that broke through my sub-conscious or was that an earthquake”/runs to check the news, or major, e.g. California fell in to the ocean.
People, they have a Richter-like scale for Volcanic Activity. It is called the Volcanic Explosivity Index, or VEI for short. I’ve worked in government and as such, you know something is scary when it a) has an acronym and b) a science-y sounding name with an “Index”. The VEI is a scale from 0-8 (I wonder why not 10?) and “provides a relative measure of the explosiveness of volcanic eruptions” (thanks, Wikipedia!) This isn’t your grade 7 science project.
There haven’t been too many huge eruptions recently, but seriously – do we live in the Paleozoic Era or something?!! This is just. not. supposed. to happen. If a relatively minor eruption like the one in Iceland can mess with modern society like this, what happens if the BIG ONE comes? I’m just saying that they should make a disaster movie about it so we can let it seep into our consciousness while embraced by the warm glow of Hollywood and a bankable action star like, oh, say, Bruce Willis.
Anyway, my mother’s friends went to Jamaica instead. I wonder if they have volcanoes there.
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