Soldiers hundreds of miles away on Java, thinking they heard cannon fire, went looking for a battle. Fire-generated winds uprooted trees. Pyroclastic flows, or incandescent ash, poured down the slopes at more than miles an hour, destroying everything in their paths and boiling and hissing into the sea 25 miles away. Huge floating rafts of pumice trapped ships at harbor. Throughout the region, ash rained down for weeks.
The Eruption of Vesuvius – Works – The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art
Houses hundreds of miles from the mountain collapsed under the debris. Sources of fresh water, always scarce, became contaminated. Crops and forests died. All told, it was the deadliest eruption in history, killing an estimated 90, people on Sumbawa and neighboring Lombok, most of them by starvation. Great quantities of sulfurous gas from the volcano mixed with water vapor in the air. Propelled by stratospheric winds, a haze of sulfuric acid aerosol, ash and dust circled the earth and blocked sunlight.
In China and Tibet, unseasonably cold weather killed trees, rice, and even water buffalo. Floods ruined surviving crops. Failing crops and rising prices in and threatened American farmers. Odd as it may seem, the settling of the American heartland was apparently shaped by the eruption of a volcano 10, miles away. Thousands left New England for what they hoped would be a more hospitable climate west of the Ohio River.
Partly as a result of such migration, Indiana became a state in and Illinois in They cite historian L. Stillwell, who estimated that twice the usual number of people left Vermont in and —a loss of some 10, to 15, people, erasing seven years of growth in the Green Mountain State. In Europe and Great Britain, far more than the usual amount of rain fell in the summer of It rained nonstop in Ireland for eight weeks. The potato crop failed. Famine ensued. The widespread failure of corn and wheat crops in Europe and Great Britain led to what historian John D.
Typhus broke out in Ireland late in , killing thousands, and over the next couple of years spread through the British Isles.
Researchers today are careful not to blame every misery of those years on the Tambora eruption, because by a cooling trend was already under way. In Switzerland, the damp and dark year of stimulated Gothic imaginings that still entertain us. Vacationing near Lake Geneva that summer, Lord Byron, Percy Bysshe Shelley and his soon-to-be wife, Mary Wollstonecraft, and some friends sat out a June storm reading a collection of German ghost stories.
After several hours of hard, slow climbing, during which I stopped frequently to drink water and catch my breath, we reached the precipice that is the southern rim of Tambora. Clouds on the far side of the great crater formed and reformed in the light breeze. A solitary raptor sailed the currents and updrafts. Three thousand feet deep and more than three miles across, the crater was as barren as it was vast, with not a single blade of grass in its bowl.
Enormous piles of rubble, or scree, lay at the base of the steep crater walls. The floor was brown, flat and dry, with no trace of the lake that is said to collect there sometimes. Occasional whiffs of sulfurous gases warned us that Tambora is still active.
We lingered at the rim for a couple of hours, talking quietly and shaking our heads at the immensity before us. When it was time to go, Rahim, knowing that I would probably never return, suggested I say good-bye to Tambora, and I did. He stood at the rim, whispering a prayer to the spirits of the mountain upon whose flanks he has lived most of his life.
Then we made our descent. The material that it ejected into the atmosphere perturbed climate, destroyed crops, spurred disease, made some people go hungry and others migrate.
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Tambora also opened my eyes to the idea that what human beings put into the atmosphere may have profound impacts. Interestingly, scientists who study global climate trends use Tambora as a benchmark, identifying the period to in ice cores from Greenland and Antarctica by their unusually high sulfur content—signature of a great upheaval long ago and a world away. Subscribe or Give a Gift. Sign up. SmartNews History.
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The Innovative Spirit. Before the eruption of Mount Vesuvius on 24 August 79 CE, Pompeii was a thriving Roman port city and commercial hub near modern-day Naples, and home to an estimated 15, people. After the eruption, both remained buried, their memories lost to time, until they were excavated and identified in the 18th century.
1980 eruption of Mount St. Helens
In the years since, the continuing excavation of their eerily preserved buildings, artifacts and human remains have given archeologists and researchers an invaluable window into ancient Roman life. The only firsthand account of the eruption comes from the author and lawyer Pliny the Younger.
In his correspondence with the historian Tacitus, Pliny describes helplessly watching from nearby Misenum as the tragedy unfolds:. This animation, produced in for an exhibition at the Melbourne Museum, brings his harrowing words to stark and vivid life. Transporting viewers back to the morning of the eruption, the video recreates sights and sounds from that fateful day through to the following night, at which point both Pompeii and Herculaneum already lay buried deep in volcanic ash and debris.
In recent years, their debate — the fourth and final of the series — has been somewhat overshadowed by events surrounding it. However, the debate itself — seen here excerpted and translated by the YouTube channel Philosophy Overdose — has appeal beyond the pleasures of watching the provocative Foucault spar with the professorial Chomsky. With the Vietnam War near its height, Chomsky and Foucault agree that contemporary power structures need to be attacked and dismantled. Probing age-old philosophical questions as well as the politics of the moment, the interview offers a revealing glimpse of the divergent styles, attitudes and outlooks of two enduringly influential thinkers.
Human language is, of course, far from static. Our vocabularies are constantly being influenced by cultural movements, migrations, new technologies and much, much more. Indeed, even good old-fashioned mixups can shape the way we speak, write and think. While Ueno considers herself a Buddhist, she has a complex relationship with religious devotion, believing that, when adopted absolutely, it can lead to violence and destruction. Still, Ueno feels connected to fellow spiritual pilgrims who have felt called to leave behind the conveniences and comforts of home in search of something more — whatever that might be.
Ultimately, her travels culminate at a rare ceremony of prayer between Buddhist monks and Shinto priests at a Shinto temple, where the two religions would have once prayed alongside one another before being forcibly split by the Japanese government following the Meiji Restoration of Books are many things to many people, from status symbols to life-savers to dangerous portals to unwanted experiences, but few of us get to see them born.
This charming short offers a swift tour of the Smith Settle printing and bookbinding company in Leeds, in the north of England, where books are still made the old-fashioned way.
Volcanic eruptions rock Italian island of Stromboli, 1 hiker is killed
The director Glen Milner charts each step in the process as bookbinders piece together a new hardbound edition of the memoir Mango and Mimosa by the British writer and painter Suzanne St Albans. From folding pages to sewing and gluing paper to the leather spine, skilful human hands are front and centre throughout. Milner documents this melding of mechanics and craft with an almost musical rhythm, conveying skills and methods born of centuries of refinements.