Tuesday, April 27, 2010


I'm not sure that this April's eruption of the Icelandic volcano Eyjafjallajökull really ties into the theme of a lapse of memory, since it's hard to forget something that you've never heard of before. Still, I found it quite intriguing that something we don't actually think about all that much was able to so swiftly bring much of the European economy to a halt and through something that most of us had never heard of--the vulnerability of jet engines to spewn volcanic ash.

But obviously it's someone's lapse of memory, otherwise either it would have been common knowledge, or no one would have known it and whole airline fleets would have flown out, none the wiser on the potential peril. It always interests me when knowledge that some people had all along suddenly emerges and becomes our common knowledge so quickly. It happens when presidents have major or even minor surgery, for instance, and it's always rather heartening me that, given the right incentives, people of all ages and opinions can be like sponges in their capacity to learn.

Anyway, in stumbling around for ideas that might link to why I thought volcanoes might be a good Lapse of Memory post, other than the fact that I haven't posted here for awhile, I came across this site on the top 10 volcanoes in geologic history. As these type of memory tests are supposed to be good for the brain, why not test yourself and see how well you do?

I only knew a few and one of them was due really to a wonderful children's book that imprinted it vividly on my memory. If anyone's curious, just drop a note here and let me know.