Volcano stories: BA 9, Mount Galunggung, and the penguins of Mount Terror

We all have our favourite stories. We like reading about volcanoes that erupt frequently, with impressive videos and preferably little damage. Stories of major and destructive eruptions are also liked, as long as they happened a long time ago and not within living memory. My personal favourite is Krakatau (the parent, not the child) –…

Okmok versus the Roman republic

Okmok is a known hazard. The volcano occupies its own half of Umnak, an isolated part of the Aleutian islands. Okmok is possibly the most active of the 40-odd Aleutian volcanoes. Over the past 8600 years it has produced over 50 ash layers from separate explosions, and minor eruptions happen every other decade. AVO has…

The Hanging Gardens of Babylon

There is something about it. Gardening is a very human passion. Wherever there is nature, there is the urge to improve on it, removing the thorns, thistles and weeds, and replacing them with colour and fruit, adding beauty and harmony, a taming of the wild world, an artifice of flowers and pleasing shapes, where every…