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such a nasty woman | by maryann johanson

it’s not science fiction…

Though I do sorta expect a giant alien saucer to emerge from that cloud:

It’s the result of that enormous volcanic eruption in Iceland. You know, the one that has shut down air traffic across Europe, and may not allow planes to fly for days to come. Because volcanic ash is apparently very very bad for jet engines.

No, it’s not movie-related, but it’s extremely cool and scary and interesting, and it’s the kind of thing that lodges in my brain and rattles around and becomes the kind of thing that influences how I think about stuff, even if only sidewise and obliquely, and in turn might someday influence my reaction to a movie. It makes me think: We think we’re so powerful, but once in a while, the planet reminds us that in its eyes, we’re bugs.

(See a full-size version of that awesome photo at MSNBC.)

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  • Kenny

    Yeh… jet engines don’t usually react well to having their turbine blades sand blasted and their inner workings lined with molten volcanic glass.

    On the plus side, airliners do survive it…. as, after all their engines stall and they go into long unpowered glides, the cold air rushing through the engine is usually enough to unclog the glass and allow the engine to restart.

    At least it has been with all the jets that survived…

    On a side note… yes to the bugs thing, but we can still shave the tops off mountains. This is the anthropocene after all.

    P.S. I hope the ash cloud plays nice and moves out of the way by the end of May. I’ve got places to goooo!!!

  • Hank Graham

    That’s the fakest special effects I’ve ever seen.

  • Isobel

    I don’t know how far over the UK that cloud has actually spread – it’s very high in the atmosphere by the time it gets here, I think – but it certainly affected the sunset here last night, and the clouds were definitely behaving slightly oddly on the way to work this morning (I work in Westminster).

    Scary. It better be done by the end of May, I’ve got places to go too. I think they were expecting flights to be disrupted through next week and then it should be sorted.

  • Lisa

    I got places to go end of April – I’ve got family stuck in England at the moment can’t get home too which is quite aggravating and worrying.

    That’s a beautiful shot, though. The power of nature is amazing. I’ve been coughing all morning anyone else have that problem?

  • englerp
  • “This is not the weather of the world. This is a device of Sauron’s making. A broil of fume he sends ahead of his host…”

    I hope it clears up soon as well, for people’s sake–but to be honest, I don’t think nature cares if people have places to go. I think that was kind of MaryAnn’s point. ;-)

  • Brian

    Heh. That’s exactly what leapt to mind for me, too, Bluejay. Maybe it’s not entirely coincidental, either, since Tolkien was intimately familiar with the sagas of Iceland.

  • LaSargenta

    Mother Nature Bats Last.

  • e

    Man I just only heard about it as I got home late from work last night. End of may is my first time outside of US that isn’t canada/mexico/cruise, and anxious to see how this will affect things.

    It is however, amazing to look at.

  • Mimi

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