Mt. Vesuvius keeps rumbling

…..and Naples keeps growing.

I watched a pretty good movie the other evening. “Pompeii” owes all its climactic effectiveness to modern movie graphics, with gripping gladiatorial scenes. When the volcano finally erupted and sent its flying rocks and lava guts onto the populace, I remembered that I had been on top, at the very lip of the volcano.

A very long time ago, a guide drove Renato and me partway up its 4,000 feet and we walked the rest of the way. I recall peeking over the edge into its fuming caldron before the guide could stop me, and drawing back hastily from its sulphuric reek. He gave us a dramatic account of the world-famous destruction of that 79 A.D. eruption, embellishing it with overmuch relish the vulnerability of Naples, which lies in the path of a future blow. At this, Renato looked thoughtful. Naples was his hometown. His relatives live there.

Mt. Vesuvius is an active, living volcano, along with a string of other active volcanos in its subterranean path: Stromboli in the Aeolian Islands on the Tyrrhenian Sea (did you see the film “Stromboli” starring Ingrid Bergman?), Mt. Etna looming over the city of Catania in Sicily, and 27 more. Italians aren’t nervous about all that and after all, what can they do anyway?

The movie “Pompeii”? I was bemused to see Kiefer Sutherland as a Roman Senator, quite imposing in costume and ——haughty accents. The love interests almost escape but only their horse gallops onward to safety. I liked that ending.

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Note about Ben Carson: California Governor Jerry Brown sends him a full compilation of scientific findings on global warming, along with comments on Carson’s ignorance.

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