TOP: Bob's first faux postage stamps.
Copyright (c) 2010
Robert B. Merkin
All Rights Reserved
First Day Issue / Postalö Vleeptron
right-click: OPEN IN NEW TAB
Photographs Copyright (c) 2010 by Thomson Reuters
The perforations contain colors sampled from the photo of the ash cloud. They are the palette for spray-painting and defacing the stamp and the Departures board. (The photo of Eyjafjallajökull and its ash cloud is not defaced.)
[My first faux postage stamp,
Youth Colors Our Urban Spaces"
is at the top of this post.]
Youth Colors Our Urban Spaces"
is at the top of this post.]
On Vleeptron, postage is free for handwritten postcards, and if you send a particularly beautiful or pretty or funny or happy or heartbreaking or interesting postcard, Postalo Vleeptron pays you some money, to encourage everyone to make and send beautiful, pretty, funny, happy, heartbreaking, interesting postcards. So the stamp contains no denomination number.
The Vleeptron High Non-Junk Science Council, Agence-Vleeptron Presse (A-VP), and Postalo Vleeptron wish to apologize for skipping the last few loud, noisy, smelly, terrifying Earth volcanos.
Researchers with the Hoon-Vleeptron-Yobbo Vulcanological Institute @ Hoople ( HVYVI@Hoople ) predicted that The Real Large One was coming, and advised us to ignore smaller crap in Pacifica and South America, and put all the $$$$ on
14 April 2010
at Kick Em Jenny's Volcano Betting Pokerdrinksalon & Brothel in Winnemucca, Nevada USA. Jenny paid off at 61,440 to 1, and I'll soon be riding that new retro Triumph Bonneville, dining on Atlantic lobster, and knocking back Hennessy Paradis like it was Fanta. Watch for me as my college cheerleader friends carry me around town on a palanquin.
This gave geophysicists evidence that magma was pouring from underneath the crust into the magma chamber of the Eyjafjallajökull volcano and that pressure stemming from the process caused the huge crustal displacement at Þorvaldseyri farm. The seismic activity continued to increase and from 3–5 March, close to 3,000 earthquakes were measured at the epicentre of the volcano.
The eruption on 27 March 2010
The eruption is thought to have begun on 20 March 2010, about 8 kilometres (5.0 mi) east of the top crater of the volcano in a popular hiking region called Fimmvörðuháls. This first eruption, in the form of a fissure vent, did not occur under the glacier and was smaller in scale than had been thought by some geologists.
On 14 April 2010 Eyjafjallajökull resumed erupting after a brief pause, this time from the top crater in the centre of the glacier, causing meltwater floods (also known as jökulhlaup) to rush down the nearby rivers, and requiring 800 people to be evacuated. This eruption was explosive in nature and is estimated to be ten to twenty times larger than the previous one in Fimmvörðuháls. This second eruption threw volcanic ash several kilometres up in the atmosphere which led to air travel disruptions in northwest Europe starting on 15 April 2010, including the closure of airspace over most of Europe.
Eyjafjallajökull has melted a lot of the glacier (jökull), causing floods and lahars, destroying a bridge and breaking The Ring Road in the southeast volcanic region. You can still get from the Faroe Island ferry terminal on Iceland's east coast, to Reykjavik on the west coast, but the bus has to take the northern up-semicircle Ring Road route, and approach Reykjavik from the north -- necessitating a toll ride (pricey) through the World's Longest Auto Tunnel in a Seismically Active Area Under a Fiord. Always a real thrill during active seismic periods, like Now.
I hate busses but I'd happily pay mucho dinero to take that one; it's about a 6-hour schlep, probably more like 8 or 10 hours this week, jammed into a window seat next to Lars.
But Vleeptron's charter commitment to VOLCANOS!!! is undiminished, especially now since HVYVI@Hoople has made Bob the 9th wealthiest humanoid in the Milky Way and the nearby Dwingeloo-2 Galaxy, which is where the planets Vleeptron, Yobbo, Hoon, Mollyringwald and Björkguðmundsdóttir are. (I have a holiday time-share in Ciudad Vleeptron a half-block from the Shoe Mirrors Underway station.)
I don't think Eyjafjallajökull has killed anybody yet. If anybody expects nasty volcanos, it's Icelanders, who have 1000 years of surviving and failing to survive the eruptions and lahars and red-hot night-glowing lava advances and pyroclastic events of their many mass-murderous volcanos.
If you ever look up at the top of a volcano and see a Pyroclastic Event starting, you have just enough time to think of Mom. Maybe, if you're quick, nimble and fearless, two last puffs of a Gaulois or Marlboro. As they say in the Army or Navy: The Smoking Lamp is lit, smoke 'em if you got 'em. Gathering speed as they roll down the volcano toward you are 3000-degree (Celsius or Fahrenheit, doesn't matter) boulders the size of cars, surrounded by a superheated poison gas cloud.
The United States Geological Service published a 1000-page book, gorgeously rich with tables and photographs and maps and nomographs and satellite images, containing everything the USGS learned from the eruption of Mount St. Helens volcano in the state of Washington. The huge book is dedicated to the memory of David Alexander Johnston (1949 – May 18, 1980), the USGS vulcanologist who perished manning an observation post 6 miles / 10 kliks from ground zero.
He had just enough time to grab the microphone and yell: "Vancouver! Vancouver! This is it!"
Please Leave a Comment if you know the Icelandic phrase for "FLEE FOR YOUR LIVES!!!!!!!!!" I've been to Iceland twice, and I doubt if most Icelanders will pause to translate it into proper English for me as they scream and shriek it running past me down the streets of Reykjavik toward the harbor. It could be a handy phrase to know.
How I wish I were there right now. Even if I were crazy enough to try -- and I am that crazy -- Eyjafjallajökull itself has made that impossible. Can't fly to Iceland, and can't fly to Denmark. If I could get to Denmark, Eyjafjallajökull isn't bothering the Denmark-Faroe-Iceland public ferry. But I can't get to Denmark.
Now that everybody knows about The Big E, Kick Em Jenny's Volcano Betting Pokerdrinksalon & Brothel in Winnemucca is offering odds of 5.2 to 1 that Katla, E's neighbor volcano, will pop, and louder and longer and more violently than E. That's been the historical pattern for the 1000 years Icelanders have been closely observing and fleeing for their lives from their volcanos. They seem to be connected deep underground -- somewhere near Hell -- first E pops, and that triggers K, usually a worse event than E's Freak Show of Fear (Phobos), Panic (Deimos) and Destruction. Phobos and Deimos are the Moons and attendant godlings of Mars.
Keep clicking on VleeptronZ for the Internet's most accurate predictions of superviolent volcanic eruptions, sure winners at the Pokerdrinksalon & Brothel.
Prayer is Science's state-of-the-art optimal response to an erupting volcano. In lieu of Prayer, Vleeptron reads today from the Book of Job, first from the Authorized King James Version (1611), then from the Statenvertaling ("translation of the States," or Authorized Version) of 1637.
Nobody's sure anymore, but Mazzaroth is believed to be the ancient Hebrew word for the Zodiac. God speaketh to Job:
* * *
Hast thou perceived the breadth of the earth? declare if thou knowest it all.
By what way is the light parted, which scattereth the east wind upon the earth?
Who hath divided a watercourse for the overflowing of waters, or a way for the lightning of thunder;
To cause it to rain on the earth, where no man is; on the wilderness, wherein there is no man;
To satisfy the desolate and waste ground; and to cause the bud of the tender herb to spring forth?
Hath the rain a father? or who hath begotten the drops of dew?
Out of whose womb came the ice? and the hoary frost of heaven, who hath gendered it?
The waters are hid as with a stone, and the face of the deep is frozen.
Canst thou bind the sweet influences of Pleiades, or loose the bands of Orion?
Canst thou bring forth Mazzaroth in his season? or canst thou guide Arcturus with his sons?
* * *
Zijt gij met uw verstand gekomen tot aan de breedte der aarde? Geef het te kennen, indien gij dit alles weet.
Waar is de weg, daar het licht verdeeld wordt, en de oostenwind zich verstrooit op de aarde?
Wie deelt voor den stortregen een waterloop uit, en een weg voor het weerlicht der donderen?
Om te regenen op het land, waar niemand is, op de woestijn, waarin geen mens is;
Om het woeste en het verwoeste te verzadigen, en om het uitspruitsel der grasscheutjes te doen wassen.
Heeft de regen een vader, of wie baart de druppelen des dauws?
Uit wiens buik komt het ijs voort, en wie baart den rijm des hemels?
Als met een steen verbergen zich de wateren, en het vlakke des afgrond wordt omvat.
Kunt gij de liefelijkheden van het Zevengesternte binden, of de strengen des Orions losmaken?
Kunt gij de Mazzaroth voortbrengen op haar tijd, en den Wagen met zijn kinderen leiden?