August 24th Vesuvius Day

Today, in 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted destroying Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae in Italy. Some 3,360 people died, caught in the ash and lava that followed. What amazes me is that they could see the smoke coming from the volcano weeks before the eruption and apparently thought nothing of it. As the years passed, people rebuilt on the same basic spots only to have another tragedy in 1631 where 3,500 people died. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me. And you know what… they are still building there today. When are we gonna learn!

How to celebrate – Read about Mount Vesuvius. Visit Italy. Create your own mini volcano and see how the lave flows for yourself.

August 24th Vesuvius Day

Today, in 79 AD, Mount Vesuvius erupted destroying Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae, killing and estimates 3,360 people. It was one of the worst tragedies known to man at the time… and since. Entire towns were destroyed, towns that held a great deal of wealth. You might think the lesson was learned, don’t build an entire community at the base of a volcano. However, rebuild they did, and the volcano taught them another lesson in 1631, this time killing over 3,500 people. Well, you might notice in the photo that people have built there yet again, tempting fate even when Mother Nature has already warned us. Oh well, tempting the fates seems to be one thing man always tests.

How to celebrate – Visit Mount Vesuvius. Look for your own volcano to build next to. Make a baking soda and vinegar volcano.

August 24th Vesuvius Day

August 24th 79 A.D. Mount Vesuvius erupted killing an estimated 3,360 people. In it’s wake it destroyed Pompeii, Herculaneum and Stabiae. (Maybe because no one could spell the names of those cities). The destruction came so fast, or at least so fast for those living in those cities, that people were often frozen in time in it’s wake. (well, frozen may not be the right word)

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I guess back in the day, people did not know that the smoke and lava already spilling from the volcano could get worse, but it did. I think what may be even worse is that people later decided to build near the same spot and when it erupted again in 1631 another 3,500 people were killed.

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I think maybe the message here is, don’t build near a volcano, particularly one that is still active. Volcanoes are not like fires that can be put out if enough water can be put on them, the lava burns everything in its course, even water! So it’s not as though you can have a Volcano Department like a Fire Department.

Lava gushes from a fissure eruption of the Kilauea Volcano in the Leilani Estates near Pahoa, Hawaii

This is not to make light the situation happening in Hawaii now, it is horrible… but, maybe we should learn not to build homes and business around active volcanoes or those that might once again become active.

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Now many islands have been formed by volcanoes. They make wonderful vacation spots in the ocean, surrounded by blue water and generally in mild climates. But what do you think is going to happen to the island above, and the people living there, if it erupts?

How to celebrate – Learn from Mount Vesuvius. Take a tour of an in-active volcano. Do not tempt Mother Nature.

 

August 24th Vesuvius Day

“Hey honey, there are some great buys in Pompeii! I think we should move there!”

“Ah, there’s smoke coming out of the top of that mountain.”

“Oh, don’t worry about that. Its just somebody bar-b-queing.”

Mount Vesuvius showed everybody who was boss on August 24th, 79 AD. It destroyed Pompeii (As we all know) but also Herculaneum and Stabiae. Amazingly it only killed 3,360. I am sure that was a lot for the day but considering how large we have been lead to believe Pompeii was (And that two other towns were also destroyed) I am surprised it wasn’t more.

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There were no photos of the original explosion. The artist drawing it had to work really quick. I am not trying to make light of the disaster but come on, wasn’t the smoke and fire a little bit of a give away that something wasn’t right?

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As bad as the original was (There was probably at least one other explosion before man came around) the idea that people would move back into the area and start over amazes me. Tempting fate is not a very good idea. So when it happened again in 1631 another 3,500 people were killed.

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Now I know they did not have the materials and tools available that we have today but still, that smoke and fire leaping out of the top of the volcano should have told them something wasn’t right. Trust me, if you get caught in a volcanic eruption it’s gonna spoil your day.

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How to celebrate – I am not sure you can really celebrate the eruption of a volcano. Plan a vacation anywhere but Mount Vesuvius. If you live near Mount Vesuvius, or any volcano, move!

 

April 26th National Richter Scale Day

The Richter Scale defines magnitude as the logarithm of the ratio of the amplitude of the seismic waves to an arbitrary, minor amplitude.  So, now that we all know what that is, we can probably sleep a little better tonight.  Charles Richter, with assistance from Dr. Beno Gutenberg, figured this all out.  It was published in 1935 and has been used ever since, with a few modification. Kinda shows you that an earthquake is an earthquake whether it erupts in 2016 or 3 B.C..

The number value assigned to the violence associated with an earthquake magnifies with the earthquake’s depth, epicenter location and population density as well as a few other technical items that I could not decipher. The highest recorded earthquake in modern times, since they had the Richter Scale, was recorded by the United States Geological Service in 1960, a 9.5 called the Great Chilean Earthquake.

Now I have come up with my own definitions for the scale they have devised.  I am not trying to flippent with my definitions but honestly, do we really care about what the scientist label these earthquakes if we happen to be in the middle of one?  (Or maybe if they explained it so anyone could understand it) So, here we go…

.0 – It never happened.  Really, it’s .0!

.02 – Like a handgrenade has gone off near you.

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1.5 – You were near a construction blast.

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2.1 – A fertilizer plant blowing up.

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3.0 – The Oklahoma City terrorist explosion

Oklahoma City Bombing 20th Anniversary
FILE – In this May 5, 1995 file photo, a large group of search and rescue crew attends a memorial service in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City. The blast killed 168 people _ including 19 children _ injured hundreds more and caused hundreds of millions of dollars in damage to structures and vehicles in the downtown area. (AP Photo/Bill Waugh, Flle)

3.5 – The Pepcon Fuel Plant explosion in 1988

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3.87 – The Chernobyl Nuclear explosion in 1986.

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3.91 – Shock & Awe

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6.0 – Little Boy during World War 2

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7.9 – The Tunguska Event

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8.35 – Tsar Bomba

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9.15 – The Toba Volcano eruption 75,000 years ago.  (Sorry, no photos here.)

13.0 – Well, just kiss your … goodbye.

How to celebrate: Well this is Charles Richter’s birthday, April 26th, 1900. (He died in 1985).  Get as far away from an fault line as you can.  Forget all this an just go on with your day, nothing you can do about it anyway!