Tuesday, November 8, 2011

It's The Same All Over

Caption: A 250 meter-resolution image of the El Hierro undersea eruptions taken by NASA's MODIS satellite on Nov. 6, 2011.

Image credit: NASA/MODIS

Not much to report that I can see regarding the El Hierro event that is still, thankfully, not a full-blown volcanic eruption. I did find this little gem, though, in the live blog from Earthquake Report:
Update 08/11 – 21:20 UTC - The La Restinga Webcam story (continued) :

Joke Volta has called this evening Mr. Atilano, the webcam owner and got a totally different story than the person who “tweeted” that the President of El Hierro prohibited the use of the webcam.

Mr. Atilano said (unfortunately too late) that the president story was total nonsense. A typical rumor who starts to live his own live and was probably a setup by political opponents of Alpidio Armas.

He said the real reason is simply TOO MUCH VISITORS. In only 1 hour the webcam had more than 350000 visitors! Mr. Atilano said that they are working on a solution. A stronger server and more traffic capacity may solve the problem tomorrow or the day after tomorrow.

El Hierro Volcano (Canary Islands)
It had been reported, via Twitter naturally, that the Spanish government was trying to keep a lid on this so that tourists wouldn't be scared to visit the Canary Islands. The actual explanation was a good deal more prosaic - what was an Internet connection mostly used by a few scientists and hobbyists was suddenly inundated with connection requests, and it stopped working. That, of course, didn't stop people from spreading a story that fit with their own prejudices and/or self interest.

Which, I think, just goes to show that politicians can be opportunistic little assholes just about anywhere, and people can be credulous morons when someone tells them something they're inclined to believe.

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