Nov. 9th, 2009

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Plan to pierce heart of urban monster volcano - environment - 09 November 2009 - New Scientist

There is some debate as to whether it is a good idea to sink drill-holes into the dormant "supercolossal" volcano that lies under most of Naples. The volcano, known as Campi Flegrei, has been rising by several meters in various parts of the caldera, behaviour that preceded an intense period of eruptions 4,000 years ago. If, in the worst case, it erupted as it did 39,000 years ago, large portions of Europe would be buried under ash. The project intends to determine where magma is most likely to emerge so that the area can be evacuated prior to an eruption; however, similar projects, such as one in Iceland, had to be shut down when magma began streaming up the borehole. Project coordinators argue that known magma reservoirs are more than 8 kilometres below the surface and the maximum attainable depth of a borehole is only 4 kilometres.
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Peckish bird briefly downs big atom smasher

The Large Hadron Collider was shut down on 3 November when an owl dropped bits of a baguette into an outdoor electrical installation, resulting in a short-circuit that triggered failsafe devices that, in turn, shut down part of the cooling system. CERN reports that the bird is unharmed but lost its lunch. There is no word as to what an owl was doing eating a French loaf.

January 2010

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