Sunday, April 18, 2010

Why are volcanic pumes so dangerous?


Fumes The mushrooming cloud of ash from the eruption of the Eyjafjallajoekull volcano in Iceland has resulted in the closure of major airports throughout the U.K. and Scandinavia. The grounded flights make sense, as these super-heated plumes can do more than reduce visibility.

More here.

Coffee Break Poem: The Heart of Herakles

Lying under the stars,
In the winter night,
Late, while the autumn
Constellations climb the sky,
As the cluster of Hercules
Falls down the west
I put the telesccope by
And watch Deneb
Move towards the zenith.
My body is asleep. Only
My eyes and brain are awake.
The stars stand around me
Like gold eyes. I can no longer
Tell where I begin and leave off.
The faint breeze in the dark pines,
And the invisible grass,
The tipping earth, the swarming stars
Have an eye that sees itself.

by Kenneth Rexroth

Coffee Break: Byrne, baby, Byrne

Michael Archer interviews David Byrne in Guernica:

Byrne300Clayton%20Cubitt Setting Imelda Marcos’s life to music—dance beats, no less—seems a perfectly mainstream concept coming from David Byrne. After all, this is a man who placed an old pump organ inside the Great Hall of the Battery Maritime Building in New York City and used hoses to connect it to pumps and motors set throughout the century-old former ferry terminal, so that when visitors pushed the organ’s keys they were “Playing the Building,” the project’s name. Still, a musical version of the former Phillippine First Lady’s life will likely raise some eyebrows. But beyond that, it’s also a potential new business model for the record industry. How so? By creating a musical biography of Marcos, one with a specific narrative thread, Byrne hopes to drum up demand not just for the catchiest of the songs, but the entire arc of the CD collection.

More here.