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June 10, 2009 11:29 AM   Subscribe

A supervolcano may be brewing beneath Mount St Helens
posted by Artw (86 comments total) 6 users marked this as a favorite

 
Great. Just great.
posted by Bummus at 11:34 AM on June 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


"I don't think it will be tomorrow, but I couldn't try to predict when it would happen."

Pssst... he means "Friday"!
posted by crapmatic at 11:34 AM on June 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


/me gets popcorn, sets up a lawnchair at cattle point.
posted by klanawa at 11:37 AM on June 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


I think there is a supervolcano brewing beneath my lower intestine. Bowels, why do you hate Taco Bell so much?
posted by Pollomacho at 11:38 AM on June 10, 2009


WHERE IS BOBBY JINDAL NOW
posted by boo_radley at 11:40 AM on June 10, 2009 [56 favorites]


No, that's not a supervolcano brewing beneath Mt. Saint Helens; I'm just happy to see you.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:40 AM on June 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


"These enormous eruptions can spew enough sunlight-blocking ash into the atmosphere to cool the climate by several degrees Celsius."

Global warming solved!
posted by LakesideOrion at 11:41 AM on June 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


The measurements revealed a column of conductive material that extends downward from the volcano. About 15 kilometres below the surface, the relatively narrow column appears to connect to a much bigger zone of conductive material. This larger zone was first identified in the 1980s by another magnetotelluric survey, and was found to extend all the way to beneath Mount Rainier 70 kilometres to the north-east, and Mount Adams 50 kilometres to the east.

They're just picking up traces of the Lizard people. The Lizard people got suckered into the whole Light Rail wave back in the late '70s and early '80s. Their taxes went way up to pay for it, and now hardly anybody uses it, except for aura abusers and the occasional wayward Moleman. Tragic, really.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 11:43 AM on June 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Global warming solved!

Someone just volunteered to go poke it with a stick.
posted by Artw at 11:43 AM on June 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


...brewing beneath Mt. St. Helens
posted by not_on_display at 11:44 AM on June 10, 2009


...brewing beneath Mt. St. Helens

Sounds like La Fin Du Monde might be more appropriate.
posted by total warfare frown at 11:46 AM on June 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Poke lava with a stick? Only an idiot would want to do something like that.
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:46 AM on June 10, 2009


THULSADOOM!
posted by FatherDagon at 11:49 AM on June 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


So to be clear there's a volcano under the volcano?

And to educate me, molten rock conducts electricity, but solid rock doesn't? Well, I mean I know rock isn't a conductor, but what changes in the properties to allow it to be conductive once melted?
posted by cjorgensen at 11:51 AM on June 10, 2009


Eh, I'm still more "concerned" about Yellowstone & Toba.

...and by the way, I'm not an aura abuser. I can quit any goddamn time I want.
posted by aramaic at 11:53 AM on June 10, 2009


That ain't a supervolcano.

This is a supervolcano.
posted by Joe Beese at 11:54 AM on June 10, 2009


what changes in the properties to allow it to be conductive once melted?

I'm no vulcanologist, but i think it has something to do with all the hydrogen bombs put down there by Xenu.
posted by Pollomacho at 11:55 AM on June 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


The New Scientist exists to fill the gaping void left by OMNI Magazine.
posted by exogenous at 11:55 AM on June 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


I was assured that Oregon would be protected from the eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano! This is terrible news.
posted by nonmerci at 11:57 AM on June 10, 2009


So Mount St. Helens is as dangerous as Yellowstone. No big whoop.

Simple solution: Add more wolves.
posted by Sys Rq at 11:57 AM on June 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Now this is a problem that can be solved with some good old fashion ritual human sacrifice.
posted by Sargas at 11:57 AM on June 10, 2009 [5 favorites]


Are you suggested Tom Hanks be brought by force to Washington?
posted by Bromius at 11:59 AM on June 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Eh, I'm still more "concerned" about Yellowstone & Toba.

That's because you don't live in Tacoma

If a lahar reached the city of Tacoma the results would be catastrophic. Since the lahars from Mt. St. Helens traveled 50 miles, lahars coming down the steep slopes of Mount Rainier could easily travel the 50 miles to Tacoma. This lahar would bring an overflowing river full of mud, trees, and other debris into the city. In the past lahars have reached present day Tacoma.

What the article hints at is that all the recent subdivisions of the urban migration were built on the lahar plains. If Rainier erupts at night, you could see death tolls in the hundred thousand range.
posted by nomisxid at 11:59 AM on June 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Or, indeed, are you suggesting it?
posted by Bromius at 11:59 AM on June 10, 2009


MetaFilter: a problem that can be solved with some good old fashion ritual human sacrifice
posted by Joe Beese at 11:59 AM on June 10, 2009


Gary Egbert of Oregon State University in Corvallis, who is a magnetotellurics specialist but not a member of Hill's team, is cautious about the idea of a nascent supervolcano where Mount St Helens sits. "It seems likely that there's some partial melt down there," given that it is a volcanic area, he says. "But part of the conductivity is probably just water."

Why is reading New Scientist as intellectually satisfying as picking up the ESL edition of Time Magazine?
posted by KokuRyu at 12:00 PM on June 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Delightfully New Scientist-y piece. Which is to say, alarmist and sensationalist. And therefore entertaining!
posted by mwhybark at 12:02 PM on June 10, 2009


Coming soon, to a "We're all going to die" documentary on a quasi-"educational" basic cable channel near you...
posted by availablelight at 12:12 PM on June 10, 2009


So to be clear there's a volcano under the volcano?

Yo dawg.
posted by uncleozzy at 12:13 PM on June 10, 2009 [9 favorites]


Goddamnit. Just what I need, another fucking volcano.

(I'll be hiding, kthxbai. Volcanoes scare the BEJEZUS out of me. Fucking IMAX at 5 years old.)
posted by sperose at 12:16 PM on June 10, 2009


I put a volcano in your volcano so you can erupt while you erupt.
posted by kldickson at 12:16 PM on June 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Previously.
posted by Smart Dalek at 12:17 PM on June 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Mars Attacks! After all, if we're going to discuss things that "might" happen, we may as well look several billion years into the future.
posted by CheeseDigestsAll at 12:17 PM on June 10, 2009


Next: Venusian volcano spiders!
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 12:18 PM on June 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Here's the abstract of the actual paper they're reporting on:

A detailed magnetotelluric survey of Mount St. Helens shows that a conduit like zone of high electrical conductivity beneath the volcano is connected to a larger zone of high conductivity at 15 km depth that extends eastward to Mount Adams. We interpret this zone to be a region of connected melt that acts as the reservoir for the silicic magma being extruded at the time of the magnetotelluric survey. This interpretation is consistent with a mid-crustal origin for the silicic component of the Mount St. Helens' magmas and provides an elegant explanation for a previously unexplained feature of the seismicity observed at the time of the catastrophic eruption in 1980. This zone of high mid-crustal conductivity extends northwards to near Mount Rainier suggesting a single region of connected melt comparable in size to the largest silicic volcanic systems known.

Would someone who actually knows something about this stuff explain to me how, exactly, New Scientist is misrepresenting this team's findings? Sounds to me like they do think that there's a "supervocano" underneath Mt. St. Helens. Sure, NS leads with the colorful, though highly uncertain, possibility of a massively destructive eruption, but they're not exactly saying "FLEE, FLEE YOU'RE ALL GOING TO DIE!!"

I sometimes think the New Scientist hate here is a bit overblown.
posted by yoink at 12:22 PM on June 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


You are all going to die.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 12:25 PM on June 10, 2009 [6 favorites]


And to educate me, molten rock conducts electricity, but solid rock doesn't? Well, I mean I know rock isn't a conductor, but what changes in the properties to allow it to be conductive once melted?
posted by cjorgensen at 2:51 PM on June 10


There are different kinds of rock. Different rocks have different conductivity. Yuo can distinguish different rocks from each other by measuring conductivity.

The earth has a magnetic field, right? The magnetic field isn't constant - it fluctuates due to the solar wind and solar/cosmic radiation activity in the ionosphere.

Magnetism and electricity are aspects of one thing - electromagnetism. Changes in a magnetic field induce electrical current changes in a conductor within that field. Move a magnet close to and away from a wire and you'll induce current changes on that wire. The earth is a giant conductor, but it's not homogeous. Specifically different materials in the surfacerespond more or less to the magnetic field, and therefore carry different currents.

These electrical currents are called telluric currents. They've been known for about 150 years (more or less). In a given location, by comparing the electric field (which can be directly measured) to the magnetic field (which can also be directly measured) you can determine conductivity beneath the surface, and possibly determine the materials beneath the surface, both of which you can't measure directly. This is routine in mineral and petroleum exploration.

In addition, lava (magma) specifically is a decent electrical conductor for the same reason as water. Pure water is an insulator, not a conductor, but what makes rainwater, tapwater, and seawater conduct electricity are all the ions in the water, like sodium, calcium, chlorine, etc.. Likewise, in molten rock, you have all kinds of ions. All the salts in the ground that don't conduct when solid become good conductors when the rock melts because all the potassium, sodium, etc ions are freed. Studies show that sodium is the primary charge carrier ion molten rock. The conductivity is not as good as a solid metal conductor like copper obviously, but it is considerably better than solid rock.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:36 PM on June 10, 2009 [10 favorites]


We cannot wait for the final proof. The smoking gun could come in the form of a gigantic volcanic eruption. We should invade now.
posted by snofoam at 12:37 PM on June 10, 2009 [4 favorites]


This would be a lot cooler an article if it included pornographic descriptions of the ensuing destruction should such a supervolcano assplode.
posted by xmutex at 12:40 PM on June 10, 2009


Would someone who actually knows something about this stuff explain to me how, exactly, New Scientist is misrepresenting this team's findings?

The size of the magma pool does not directly translate to an eruption of a particular size in a particular time period. Eruptions are a function also of the sub-surface pressure, the cross sectional shape of the pool (inverted cone, or really wide but really shallow field), and the rate at which the magma pool is growing. It also depends how much rock is sitting on top of it. There are many factors.

And as with all things geological, measurements of time are considerably different from what we are used to. Imminent could be 10 years. Or 100. Or 1.

In other words, the magma pool/zone has probably been large for a few years at least (unless there is something else going on not described in the article). The fact that we only now learned of that fact does not make an event more likely to happen.
posted by Pastabagel at 12:45 PM on June 10, 2009


THE FLOOR IS LAVA!

...BUT IT IS!
posted by katillathehun at 1:05 PM on June 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


So basically it turns out there's a giant lake of semi molten rock 10s of kilometers in area that we now know connects to a very narrow escape column in Mount St. Helen's. Were all of that semi molten rock prove to be conductive enough to fuel an eruption, it would blanket the atmosphere and reduce the world's climate temp by a significant degree, possibly resulting in catastrophic loss of life and ecosystem destruction.

Right. One more thing to add to the ever growing list of shit that constantly makes me fear for my life.
posted by lazaruslong at 1:06 PM on June 10, 2009


>Right. One more thing to add to the ever growing list of shit that constantly makes me fear for my life.
posted by lazaruslong


eponysterical.
posted by Fraxas at 1:16 PM on June 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Sigh. I was already a bit freaked out about the super-volcano underneath Yellowstone National Park after reading about it in A Brief History of Nearly Everything (which was a fun read but should have been titled A Brief History of Nearly Everything That Can Kill You), and now I've got this to add to the worry pile.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:18 PM on June 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


MMAAGGMMAA!
posted by The World Famous at 1:26 PM on June 10, 2009


I sometimes think the New Scientist hate here is a bit overblown.

Try reading Science or Nature (or even the science reporting the New Yorker) sometime and you may change your opinion of NS.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:49 PM on June 10, 2009


I just learned something new. I always assumed that the Columbia River Basalts were the earliest known manifestations of the Yellowstone Hot Spot.

It's a but more complicated than that, though.

So I was gonna come in here all smart-assed and knowledgeable, but found out that I did not know that I was talking about.
posted by Danf at 1:58 PM on June 10, 2009


I saw Mt. Saint Helen's erupt when I was a kid. Pretty much lead to a life-long fascination with all things volcano.
posted by chuke at 2:17 PM on June 10, 2009


and now I've got this to add to the worry pile.

Mars might eventually hit us.
posted by prak at 2:47 PM on June 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


The fact that we only now learned of that fact does not make an event more likely to happen.

Is there anything in the article that says otherwise?

Try reading Science or Nature (or even the science reporting the New Yorker) sometime and you may change your opinion of NS.

My opinion of NS is that it's nowhere near as good as Science or Nature (or even the science reporting of the New Yorker)--saying that the hate for it is overblown doesn't mean that I'm saying it's the best science journalism on the planet.

If you read only the comments in this thread you'd assume that this particular NS article was written somewhat in the mode of the Weekly World News: "Megavolcano will wipe out America!!!" The actual article is very careful to say (even in it's damn headline) that there only "may" be such a megavolcano and that even if there is one eruptions happen only every few hundred thousand years.
posted by yoink at 2:49 PM on June 10, 2009


The fact that we only now learned of that fact does not make an event more likely to happen.

Or less likely.

Although I didn't think the reeruption of super volcanoes was in dispute. It is going to happen; perhaps not while you, or any other humans, are around but eventually it will erupt again.

Earth is a deathtrap. If we plan on sticking around we really ought to have a backup or a billion.
posted by prak at 2:58 PM on June 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Coming soon, to a "We're all going to die" documentary on a quasi-"educational" basic cable channel near you...

In the Puget Sound area, we already have that. PBS likes to play these 'disaster scenario' shows every few months or so. Basically, either God is going to decimate us with Mt. Rainier or Mt. St Helens going off, or we're all be crushed by The Big One - which will be like putting Seattle in a blender and hitting 'Frappe'.
posted by spinifex23 at 3:08 PM on June 10, 2009 [3 favorites]


You should bookmark the Mt. St. Helens webcam now, because any minute now... any minute.... Nope. Still cloudy and raining.
posted by steef at 3:18 PM on June 10, 2009 [2 favorites]


Is the word 'caldera' so difficult to remember that it must be dumbed down for New Scientist? We aren't calling Tsunamis 'superwaves'.
posted by Serial Killer Slumber Party at 3:40 PM on June 10, 2009


Is the word 'caldera' so difficult to remember that it must be dumbed down for New Scientist? We aren't calling Tsunamis 'superwaves'.

Not all calderas are supervolcanoes, nor do all supervolcanoes form calderas. Although many very large volcanic events have generated calderas, they can also be formed by relatively tame, nonexplosive geothermal activity. The term "supervolcano" just means "very very large explosive volcanic event." It's not a technical term, but there doesn't appear to be a handy one around to replace it.
posted by yoink at 4:12 PM on June 10, 2009


You are all going to die.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson

And if Mount Rainier blows all over Seattle. Flo?
posted by Cranberry at 4:23 PM on June 10, 2009


I'm going to be checking out the volcanic sights on my summer vacation at St Helens and into Oregon. Caldera schmaldera! I'm going to see lava beds. LAVA BEDS. Made of lava. Possibly a lava tube. I was hoping there'd be lava-eating creatures by now but apparently evolution is SLOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOW.

Anyhoo. Yeah, volcanic stuff! Earth tremors! Hot springs that don't stink of rotten eggs! Whoo!
posted by Salmonberry at 4:28 PM on June 10, 2009


Not worried. Don't care.

You've got to die of something.
posted by bwg at 4:28 PM on June 10, 2009


PS I don't have a twitter account so hopefully if I'm there when the supervolcano goes I'll be able to login and post about it before the lahar/gas cloud/magma/aliens/giant volcanic robots get me.
posted by Salmonberry at 4:28 PM on June 10, 2009


I grew up in Tacoma, Cranberry, for 35 years, then moved north a little ways almost 10 years ago. And the thing is, we always knew that Rainier was death waiting in the wings (supposing that you survived the big earthquakes and tsunamis they were always promising us). And for those who forgot, Mt. St. Helens was a fun and very messy reminder of just how much we "own" the land around here.

On the other hand, I grew up close to several important military targets in the very heart of the cold war, so most of us assumed the bombs would get us long before nature made her play.

But if the mountain does blow in my lifetime, I'd say my chances of survival are actually pretty good. I don't live or work in any of the most likely paths of destruction. But I'm guessing my commute would suck big time for a while.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 4:39 PM on June 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


Oh, and for those who think Science is above a little sensationalism, go check out the current "News" section online. You'll find a story whose substance is that earth may or may not be destroyed by Venus or Mars in 3 or 4 billion years. The headline? "Solar System on a Collision Course" Head for the hills!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! At least NS had the grace to put a "may" in their catchy headline.
posted by yoink at 4:44 PM on June 10, 2009


You are all going to die.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson

And if Mount Rainier blows all over Seattle. Flo?


Then I'm going to feel like a horrible human being for saying 'eponystical'.
posted by Lemurrhea at 5:05 PM on June 10, 2009


Measurements? Scientists?

This all sounds like a waste of taxpayer dollars that could be better spent on neglecting hurricane preparedness.
posted by DU at 5:15 PM on June 10, 2009


I think I can now predict the hour-long special that will be in heavy rotation on the History Channel for the next six years or so.
posted by gimonca at 6:01 PM on June 10, 2009


Since volcanic eruptions involve lots of warm blood-red fluid coming out of a hole, can we call it Aunt Flow when it happens, so as not to scare the children? "Kids! Aunt Flow is coming to stay with us for a week!"
posted by jamstigator at 6:13 PM on June 10, 2009


Would someone who actually knows something about this stuff explain to me how, exactly, New Scientist is misrepresenting this team's findings?

I am a geologist. I am not your geologist.

Here's the trouble with geology and geophysics- it never translates to news well at all. Defining the zone of higher conductivity underneath Mt St Helens is a wonderful result for this study- there are hundreds of ways the data could have come back as various forms of 'inconclusive'. That being said, the data is still inconclusive to an extent. We don't know what the material is; specifically, we don't know how much it has melted, and we don't know the water content of that melt.

An explosive volcano is just water depressurising. Water way, way down underground will lower the melting point of rock, which will incorporate that water into it. This semi-melted, wet magma will rise (it's less dense than the solid rock around it), and stay pressurised. It'll rise until it finds itself a nice magma chamber to hang around in. Along the way, it melts the surrounding rock (usually felsic, which means high in silica). This rock has a much higher viscosity, which means it can withhold higher pressures than mafic rock. You know hawaiian volcanoes? Watery, sputtering things? Mafic lava. Mt St Helens, Krakatoa, Mt Vesuvius? Felsic lava.

So we've got felsic magma, under pressure, with water, sitting in a magma chamber underneath a volcano. If this pressure is released (by a small eruption of the material above it, by seismicity, etc.) then you have tens of thousands of litres of superheated, pressurised water that will turn to steam. That's all. Water goes to steam, just like it does on your stove. The difference is that this does it a little bit faster, and will not only blow Mt St Helens to pieces, but it will eject thousands of cubic kilometres of material onto the planet while doing so.

But here's the rub- we know this is how volcanoes work. But we don't know that's how this volcano is working. If the magma isn't felsic enough to sustain enough pressure, if the water content isn't high enough to really explode, if the chamber is too deep to get all the way up, then you don't get a supervolcano. That's the problem- geoscientists can do great research that's really useful, but which in reporting it will appear to be hyper-dramatised. There simply isn't enough certainty to draw those conclusions. Yes, it MAY happen, and if it does, it MAY happen anytime between now and 4034.

So WATCH OUT! WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST! RAID THE STORE! PANIC!
posted by twirlypen at 6:14 PM on June 10, 2009 [14 favorites]


I'm going to build a rocket ship!
posted by disclaimer at 6:14 PM on June 10, 2009


I went to college in Tacoma (I started one year after St. Helens blew its top), and remember taking a field trip with my geology class to Rainier during my senior year, and studying previous lahars and pyroclastic flows. Our geology prof. was gleeful earnest about explaining all of the various ways the mountain would kill tens of thousands of people if/when it finally erupted. It was as sobering, to say the least. Thank God I've avoided all of those geologic calamities by moving back to the Bay Area.
posted by mosk at 6:16 PM on June 10, 2009


"felsic" sounds like a dirty word. "mafic" sounds like the resulting effects of a serious disease. I learn something new everyday here. I forget it within 2 days of that day, but still.
posted by Salmonberry at 7:04 PM on June 10, 2009


I'm so behind the times. Aren't we still worried about the Long Valley Caldera?
posted by Devils Rancher at 7:54 PM on June 10, 2009


What's with the New Scientist hating?

In particular, I don't see how a weekly science news magazine can be compared to a scholarly journal like Science or Nature. By its very nature, a weekly is going to have be more "fly".

And I have a pretty decent science background but I find at least half of Nature particularly to be opaque to me. I'd be surprised if as many of 5% of Mefi readers could read and process all of it.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 8:18 PM on June 10, 2009 [1 favorite]


The actual letters section of Nature is opaque to most people who aren't in the respective field covered, I think, but in general I find their news, features, and article summary sections to be great reading, especially when it comes to subjects far outside my own field. So yeah - maybe 50% by volume is opaque, but that 50% is not the part that should be valuable to the majority of readers, and it shouldn't discourage anyone from enjoying the rest.
posted by you're a kitty! at 10:00 PM on June 10, 2009


I don't want to know this I don't want to know this I don't want to know this.
posted by redsparkler at 10:11 PM on June 10, 2009


If there were any justice in the world the public/media/government will have the same attitudes toward all those prissy white folks in Seattle that they did to Katrina victims when this supervolcano erupts.

But there isn't, so there won't be, and the irony will be lost on everyone.
posted by hamida2242 at 11:21 PM on June 10, 2009


You are all going to die.
posted by It's Raining Florence Shatner at 12:25 PM

posted by blueberry at 2:12 AM on June 11, 2009


Perhaps this could have been avoided if only Harry Truman had been a virgin. Also, you ever notice that once old Harry was gone, we never saw the Kite Man again? Hmm...
posted by blueberry at 2:27 AM on June 11, 2009


I like the Old Scientist better.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:46 AM on June 11, 2009


There is no escaping the lava men.
posted by wobh at 7:20 AM on June 11, 2009


Well, I say we send one of these down there and straighten things out. Otherwise, god knows what could happen.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 7:46 AM on June 11, 2009


I am a geologist. I am not your geologist.

Jesus Christ--get over yourself.

That's the problem- geoscientists can do great research that's really useful, but which in reporting it will appear to be hyper-dramatised. There simply isn't enough certainty to draw those conclusions. Yes, it MAY happen, and if it does, it MAY happen anytime between now and 4034.

So WATCH OUT! WOMEN AND CHILDREN FIRST! RAID THE STORE! PANIC!


And, yet again, we have someone hating on the article who clearly hasn't actually read it. No, it doesn't say "Raid the store! Panic!" Yes it does tell us that nothing might happen for hundreds of thousands of years, if ever. Yes it does tell us that the results of the study are inconclusive.

So again, I ask--pretty sure that it will be completely in vain--can one of the people who thinks this is an example of New Scientist's wretchedness actually point out something that the article gets wrong? Could you even point out something misleading in its tone?
posted by yoink at 9:34 AM on June 11, 2009


Metafilter: I was gonna come in here all smart-assed and knowledgeable, but found out that I did not know that I was talking about.
posted by dersins at 9:53 AM on June 11, 2009 [1 favorite]


My biggest problem with New Scientist is their pandering tone. They like to stretch things as far as possible towards titillation and "OMG!" while remaining outside of Weekly World News territory. Science is exciting without such shenanigans, and I feel they diminish the discourse.

Also, years ago I put myself on some job search mailing list of theirs and it took extraordinary efforts to get removed from it.
posted by exogenous at 11:30 AM on June 11, 2009


"f there were any justice in the world the public/media/government will have the same attitudes toward all those prissy white folks in Seattle that they did to Katrina victims when this supervolcano erupts.

"But there isn't, so there won't be, and the irony will be lost on everyone."


First how would having thousands of people die be justice? Second, can you explain the Irony to me? Because I'm afraid I'm one of the clueless who doesn't get it.
posted by Mitheral at 12:26 PM on June 11, 2009


Seattle is well known for it's support of the Bush administration during that period.
posted by Artw at 1:37 PM on June 11, 2009


Oh people...that's not water building into steam to blow up the mountain, it's just the hot tub for my secret volcano lair. Honestly, people freak out about the smallest things these days. I mean, I add a sauna to the plans and suddenly I'm putting geophysics to test and trying to blow up Seattle? Sheesh.
posted by dejah420 at 5:01 PM on June 11, 2009


Yoink, I wasn't having a go at New Scientist. I didn't claim they were panicking. I was pointing out that the panic angle is a popular one because these kind of results are usually fairly vague and open to extreme interpretation.

The NS article did a good job, it seemed to me. Yes, I did read it. I was trying to illustrate how the nature of geological research doesn't often translate well to news stories.

And thank you, I'll try to get over myself. I thought I was making a silly joke about a MeFi meme, but you're right, I see it now- I was consumed with big headedness and swollen self esteem, thinking only of my supreme worth among you peons.
posted by twirlypen at 5:44 PM on June 11, 2009


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