Friday, April 16, 2010

Collecting stories

Course, the one day family's coming to visit from the US, a volcano erupts in Iceland, spewing ash across northern Europe. Luckily, everyone made it safely.

My mom sent me an interesting Chicago Tribune article about the eruption, the history of volcanoes in Iceland, and ash interrupting flight.

A few intriguing excerpts:

"The agency said Britain had not halted all flights in its space in living memory, although many were grounded after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks in the United States."

"In 1989, a KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Boeing 747 flew into an ash cloud from Alaska's Redoubt volcano and lost all power, dropping from 25,000 feet to 12,000 feet (7,500 meters to 3,600) before the crew could get the engines restarted. The plane landed safely."

"In another incident in the 1980s, a British Airways 747 flew into a dust cloud and the grit sandblasted the windscreen. The pilot had to stand and look out a side window to land safely."

A Guardian article considers Iceland's 1783 volcanic eruption, which covered the island with poisonous gas and lava and destroyed much of its agriculture, resulting in a famine which led to the death of perhaps as many as a quarter of the nation's people. And more far reaching effects, like the freezing of the Mississippi in New Orleans.

I was telling a friend this past week that I've been jotting down stories that strike me, thinking maybe I'll find inspiration in them down the road for my next novel. If a writer can't find inspiration in some of these articles, something's wrong.

We're supposed to get a "blood-coloured" sun. I'll let you know.

4 comments:

  1. Scary stuff. I understand many people are stranded and can't fly back home.

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  2. Yes, it's been quite a mess over here. Our family coming to visit has been trapped in Paris (which, let's admit it, isn't all bad). They should be finally making their way here tomorrow via train. Some people have had it a lot harder, too.

    I do find myself worrying about the long term ramifications on the weather and crops, too, but I guess that will only be apparent in the coming months.

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  3. Sooo ... what happened? Did they make it across the Channel?

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  4. Yep, made it across the Channel via train on Thursday (hence my complete abandonment of this blog). No problems in the end--well, other than the being stuck in Paris for three extra days problem.

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