Burnt Toast

The whole neighborhood smells like burnt toast, which I am guessing is related to the nearby bakery outlet. I feel a bit better after getting out to do a couple errands and spending an hour at Cafe Artiste finishing up Krakatoa. In light of the events of the last few weeks, it's fascinating reading.

The eruption of Krakatoa in 1883, in the same neighborhood as December's earthquake and tsunamis, was a far more cataclysmic event. It killed 35,000 people - just a fifth of the tolls we've seen recently - but of course this was 120 years ago and there are far more people there now.

After reading and seeing descriptions of the destruction now, it's very shocking to read about what happened in the eruption - walls of water over 100 feet high crashing into the shores of Java, thousands (but just a fractions of the casualties) incinerated in the initial blast or suffocated right afterwards, six cubic miles of rock vanishing in an instant, atmospheric shock waves that propagated completely around the Earth seven times, and weather effects worldwide that led to famine and shortages as growing seasons were shortened. That's just physical effects - never mind the effect of movements for Indonesian independence and the appearance of a newer, more militant form of Islam in the region.

Fascinating stuff.

No comments:

Popular Posts