Life, always messy, has become even more complicated than usual, and I’m going to be absent from cyberspace for a while. Here are a few quick notes before I disappear.

• For those interested in unlikely crossovers, there’s finally a new page up at Sailor Ranko. How frequently the webcomic will be updated remains to be seen.

• We are living in the golden age of anime right now. If you don’t believe me, watch an episode or two of a recently-exhumed ancient series such as Mahou Tsukai Sally, Yusei Shonen Papi or Dororon Enma-kun (the last concocted by anime’s weird uncle, Go Nagai). Then watch some of the better recent shows such as The Tatami Galaxy or Kuragehime, and note just how far anime has come over the years.

• I’ve been obsessively following the events at Merapi in Indonesia. As major volcanic eruptions go, this is nothing extraordinary — spectacular though it is, it’s little more than a cough compared to Pinatubo in 1991 — but Java is one of the most densely populated islands on the planet, and this time Merapi isn’t following its usual script. The best source of information in English is Erik Klemetti’s Eruptions weblog, including the hundreds of comments.

Continue reading “Briefly”


Recently I’ve been spending more time watching volcanoes than anime. In particular, I’ve been keeping an eye on Java’s Gunung Merapi, which is currently in the middle of a major eruption. (See Eruptions for continuous coverage.) There’s a webcam perilously near the mountain. It’s not always online, and when it is, the lens is likely to be be covered with ash. But when conditions are right, the view is spectacular. (Update: the camera is out of commission again and probably won’t be working again until things cool down. That may be a while, since this is apparently Merapi’s largest eruption in 50 140 years.)

Update: It looks like the view at night is clearer. I’d like to send someone to Java with a bottle of Windex.

Update II: Here are a couple of videos, this one and that one.

Update III: Some very good pictures here. And here.

Update IV: When the camera isn’t working or is covered with ash, you can check the seismographs. Here’s what’s been happening during the past 24 hours:

(For some reason, the preview image looks pale grey or invisible, depending on the browser. Click on it to see it at full size in full color.)

Java dawn

Gunung Merapi in Indonesia is beginning an eruption, and there are indications that it could be major — bad news in that densely populated region. I’ve been keeping an eye on the webcam (you will need to refresh the image every 30 seconds or so), ((Link removed — some creeps hacked the website.)) and I grabbed a few screencaps of the mountain in the early morning light. See the comments at Eruptions for discussion of the activity.

Update: Merapi did indeed erupt. There’s much discussion and many links here and here.

Update II: The eruption is turning out to be every bit as bad as feared. The best source of information remains the Eruptions weblog. Reuters pictures of Merapi, and also of Anak Krakatau (Krakatoa, Jr.), can be viewed here.

Update III: Here’s a regularly-refreshed link to the Merapi webcam. The camera has a good, close view of the mountain, which means that the image is frequently obscured by ash on the lens.

Update IV: Some very good pictures here.

Continue reading “Java dawn”