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Mind the Mine

   “If you didn’t grow it, you mined it,” I’ve heard said.  Many countries of the world heavily depend on mineral extraction to keep their economies afloat.  Brazil, the locale for this blog, is no exception.  Iron ore is Brazil’s leading export. Brazil ranks third in the world in this regard, just behind China and Australia.  Multinational Vale S.A. dominates Brazil’s diversified metal industry. Vale S.A. holds about half of Samarco S.A., an iron ore extraction company.

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Furious Fiords

Who doesn’t marvel at those wonderful travel pictures of the fiords of Norway?  Waterfalls, quaint houses perched on green slopes, snowy glaciers far above and likely, a cruise ship sailing far below.  

 One hesitates to sully this image with negative mentions, but steep-sided fiords do present a real and present danger in the form of rockfalls and rockfall-generated waves. “Fiord tsunami” I call the latter, however some find this liguistic mixture ludicrous as ‘lutefisk sushi’.

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Future Fuji

I recently read a web article entitled “Ten Major Natural Disasters Predicted in the Near Future” …

…and I saw Japan’s Mt. Fuji listed as Number 6. 

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Smoke Stream

Most people have heard of the Jet Stream -- those high-speed "rivers of air" several miles up in the sky.  True, our exposure to it amounts largely to seeing a long wavy arrow on the newspaper’s weather map or hearing it blamed by the lady on the Six O'clock News for extended wet or dry spells. Frequent airplane travelers might hold responsible the Jet Stream for taking longer to fly from New York to San Francisco than from San Francisco to New York.

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Muddy Waters

Do you know Muddy Waters?  He was a famous Blues Musician, largely of Chicago in the 1940’s and 1950’s, but finishing strong through the 1970’s.  “Hoochie Coochie Man” and “I’ve Got My Mojo Working” his hand penned. 

For today’s blog,  Muddy’s song  -- Rollin’ and Tumblin’ --  might best fit.

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The Shimabara Disaster

In August 1791, the twelfth California Mission was established in my town of Santa Cruz. Why bring this up? Well, the very next year hosts today’s topic, The Shimabara Disaster. Let’s set the date on the “way back machine” at 1792; the place – Shimabara Peninsula, southern Kyushu, Japan. 

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Hurricane Gonzalo: A Fabian Redo?

As I write this, hurricane Gonzalo is 150 miles SSW of Bermuda. Its winds have weakened a bit to 125 MPH with a central pressure of 947 mb.  It appears to be shaping up similar to hurricane Fabian in 2003.  Fabian passed Bermuda with sustained winds of 115 MPH and a central pressure of 950 mb.

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Acqua Alta All Over Again

Yogi Berra, the pithy catcher for the New York Yankees, once quipped “It’s like Déjà vu all over again.”  Today’s story might rightly seem like “Déjà blog all over again.”

In two earlier entries

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Montecello-Berryessa Dam

I’ve blogged here many times about dam breaks, both real and hypothetical. Three of the best known ones in America were the Johnstown Flood of 1889, the Saint Francis Dam failure of 1928 and the Teton Dam collapse of 1976. Those disasters released 16 million, 45 million and 330 million cubic meters of water respectively.

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Bad Day Fishin’

It is said that  “A bad day of fishing is better than a good day of work”.  I won’t argue, but if you were trolling for trout at Chehalis Lake, British Columbia on December 4, 2007, you’d have had a bad day. Chehalis Lake, 50 miles east of Vancouver is a lovely spot nestled in the mountains. Prior to that date, it was known mostly to fisher folk and 4 wheel drive enthusiasts.


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