Sunday, April 18, 2010

MORE of Brian on "Suite 101" - the Eruption of "Krakatoa" in 1883!

“There came an explosion so loud, so violent, and with such far-reaching effects, that it made all that had gone before seem as child’s play in comparison, and made all other explosions known to earth in historic times dwindle into insignificance.” - Local Historian, Aug. 27, 1883

As these two eyewitness accounts make clear, the eruption of the Volcanic Island of Krakatoa on August 27, in the year 1883 was no small affair. In fact, even though it had been giving off warning blasts of no small intensity for some days prior, as the second account makes clear, the blast which finally occurred on the 27’th of August was far beyond anything previously seen or recorded by man. And like the volcanic blasts now occurring in southern Iceland’s Eyjafjallajokull, it shot volcanic ash high into the air which proved to be a menace to navigation. But this ash also produced strange effects around the world for months after.

What happened on the Indonesian Island of "Krakatoa" in 1883? Why is it important in understanding the consequences of the Icelandic Volcano whose name - "Eyjafjallajokull", nobody can REALLY pronounce. And WHAT in heaven's name has all of this got to do with "THE SCREAM"??? Click onto Brian's article on "Suite 101" and find out!!

Read more at Suite101: The 1883 Eruption of the Volcano "Krakatoa"!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Brian is on "Suite" again. This time, it is the Coal Mine Disaster in Monongah, West Virginia in 1907.

The recent terrible tragedy which took place in Montcoal, West Virginia brings to mind a similar, but even greater tragedy which shook the mining community to it's foundations in 1907 --

“I was out on the loaded track and was looking toward the mouth of number 8 and the first thing I knew I saw timbers and everything flying through the air…. followed by black smoke. It seemed to me the smoke was afire. It seemed to me it was a short distance in the air, maybe fifty or sixty feet.”

This was the memory of Carl Meredith, a Foreman on the the Fairmont Mine in West Virginia of the worst mining disaster in American history which happened at Monongah, West Virginia on December 6, 1907. Around 10:30 in the morning after a full contingent of 380 workers, both men and boys had begun their shift, mines no. 6 and 8 of the Fairmont Consolidated Coal Mine were blasted by the force of an underground explosion. A miner had been operating a trainload of coal cars up the shaft of the processing plant when a coupling broke lose, and sent the coal cars crashing back down the sloping mine. The lose cars crashed into a wall, cutting electrical cables which then ignited the dust cloud which had been raised by the crash, it was firmly asserted, and this resulted in an explosion so vast and so powerful that it ruptured almost every ceiling and wall in the mine, instantly killing the miners working below.

What exactly was it that caused such a huge loss of life on that tragic day little more than a century ago? Click on the website below and read all about it.

Read more at Suite101: The 1907 Monongah, West Virginia Mine Disaster.