April 17th, 2010

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

From Twitter 04-16-2010

  • 08:49:20: Wetness yesterday. Probably more today. Not sure when--the main lump of wet is well south & east of us.
  • 09:17:59: How can it be after 10am already??? (Sound of mournful wail of woe echoing down the corridor, along with "Late! Late! I'm late!!")
  • 11:26:08: I'm all for healthy eating unless it means giving up dark chocolate and Blue Bell ice cream. (Contemplates healthy stew in pot...)
  • 16:39:05: Tossed mushrooms and some mustard (condiment, not leaves of) in the stew. May add some other stuff, as inspiration suggests.
  • 18:39:11: Twice have posted to LJ only to be told post failed and "Must provide entry text." Had entry text. Stupid LJ ATE the entry text. Anyone?

Tweets copied by twittinesis.com

woods, Elizabeth, camera, April

Iceland Volcano and World Travel

The ash cloud from the Iceland volcano has revealed the weakness and instability of international air travel--and the governments that both support and regulate it.

From the time the volcano first erupted, there was concern about air traffic safety, and yet no effort to avert the serious consequences of continued eruption and spread of ash into the jet stream on international travel seems to have been made. Airlines went right on scheduling flights, and moving people around, without warning and without regard for what was (very likely) coming. Governments made no attempt to plan for alternative transport, for housing and feeding large numbers of tourists, etc.

Could planning have helped? Of course. The effect of volcanic ash on aircraft engines was already known (hence the early concern.) Meteorologists were well aware of the path the ash cloud would take at different levels of the atmosphere. Airlines could have foreseen (and governments should have told them, if they did not) that flights would be restricted. Flight changes and cancellations should have begun well before need, with refunds to all affected passengers, so that more tourists didn't end up in northern European airports during the eruption.

Meteorologists could have suggested the nearest (to Europe) airfields that would not be affected (such as NW Africa, for a start) and fuel could have been moved there in advance of need, with flights re=routed from northern Europe to southern Europe (first) and then Africa (second) for trans-Atlantic flights on a southern route. Aircraft can fly (at a fuel cost, admittedly) lower than the ash cloud. Then the tourists already in northern Europe could have been moved out before their situation became desperate.

Governments could have anticipated that passengers stuck longer than planned would need food, a place to sleep, access to their baggage or a change of clothes and could have appealed to local charities and citizens to help out as well as supplying some relief directly.

Instead, both governments and airlines let the situation develop until all flights were grounded, and continue to act as if passengers exist only to pay money...watching the BBC report last night, it's clear that airlines are still telling people to "stay here, check back in x hours" when "here" is a crowded noisy terminal with no place to lie down, no place to shower, to wash clothes, or to eat anything but expensive airport food. As usual, airlines have disclaimed all responsibility (though this problem was predictable from the moment that volcano first belched.) There's no evidence (from the BBC report anyway) that governments have done anything to relieve the situation for passengers.

The volcano's exact time of eruption could not be predicted, that's true. But an eruption "sometime" could be, as Iceland is known to have active volcanoes. Thus--with Iceland's location and the prevailing winds--the effect of a large ash-heavy eruption on major air routes could have been predicted. _Should_ have been predicted, with plans in place for minimizing the bad effects.
woods, Elizabeth, camera, April


If this works, writing with the Rich-text editor, which lets me upsize the font so I can actually read without sticking my nose on the screen, I'll be a happy camper.  For awhile.  Because I need to ramble on about meatballs, the edible kind.  (Let's see now ....will it post just this little bit, and then let me edit and add to it?  Or not?)  (And hot diggety, it worked.  This time.)

So today I went looking for something else in the freezer and kept tossing the baggie of ground venison out of my way, could not find what I wanted, and finally decided, OK, venison, your time has come.   I had a pound of pork sausage I could mix with it (venison is really, really dry, esp. when shot after a drought year) and a little leftover ground beef, and a sack of bread crumbs, plus parsley in a pot on the front porch and an onion in the basket.  What more could a cook want?
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