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Goethe’s volcanoes 15 December 2008

Posted by admin in blogs, history of volcanology, volcano culture.
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Heinrich Christoph Kolbe, 'Goethe as poet and artist before Vesuvius' (1826), detail. Thuringian University and State Library, Jena.

Goethe Etc. (proprietor: Goethe Girl) is a wonderful scholarly blog exploring the life, work and significance of Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832). It features here because, among many other things, Goethe was interested in volcanoes, and when he visited Naples in 1787 during his Italian journey he took the opportunity to study, observe and ascend Vesuvius. The significance of Vesuvius to Goethe’s developing poetic and visual imagination is considered in Goethe and Vesuvius, a fascinating illustrated essay at Goethe Etc.

At the time of Goethe’s visit the British envoy in Naples was Sir William Hamilton, who was also greatly interested in volcanoes. Hamilton, however, was a ‘plutonist’, believing that volcanic action had deep-rooted causes and was a permanent and fundamental geological process, while Goethe espoused the ‘neptunist’ view that volcanoes were superficial phenomena of no profound geological significance.* This aspect of Goethe’s thought is discussed in Goethe and Vesuvius and also in another article at Goethe Etc., Goethe in Bohemia, which illuminates Goethe’s geology.

* Despite their different theories of volcanism Goethe rather admired Sir William, and definitely admired his wife, the (in)famous Emma.

The Volcanism Blog

The Volcanism Blog – one year old today 5 December 2008

Posted by admin in blogs, interludes, miscellaneous.
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The Volcanism Blog is one year old today.

The Volcanism Blog is one year old today. Since 5 December 2007 we have published 502 posts (including this one) and accumulated more than 195,000 unique visits.

Thanks to all who have visited, read, commented, linked, and contributed information and images over the last year, and to those who have kept in touch, offered criticism and advice, said encouraging and nice things, and otherwise been supportive.

Onward and upward, into another year’s volcanic blogging.

The Volcanism Blog

New geoblogosphere aggregator 26 November 2008

Posted by admin in blogs, geoblogosphere.
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Building on the geoberg.de list of geoblogs, the folks at the Stratigraphy.net internals blog have put together a new geoblogosphere aggregator. They plan to do something very clever and chronostratigraphic with it in due course. In the meantime it’s a very useful survey of the geoblogosphere, so I’ve added it to the ‘Geoblogs’ section of the link list on the right.

The Volcanism Blog

Link to your sources! 23 May 2008

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There’s a very good post at the BlogCatalog Community Blog by historian Mark Stoneman: ‘Do you link to your sources?’

Here at The Volcanism Blog I try to provide links to the original sources for everything – you, the reader, have the right to ask ‘how does he know that?’ when you read my stuff, and it’s my job to tell you, by providing access to the original source material.

Mark Stoneman provides four excellent reasons to provide sources if you want your blogging to be taken seriously: verifiability, acknowledgement, examples, context. I would add another: further exploration of a topic. A good blog post should open the door to further exploration of its subject matter by providing links to reliable, authoritative sources* that the reader can follow up, should they so wish. Not only do sources show your readers how you came up with your argument, they also provide the raw materials for those readers to engage fully with the topic and come up with arguments of their own. A blog post that is an unsourced and linkless is a dead end in more ways than one.

* Hence no links to Wikipedia on this blog.

The Volcanism Blog