Wednesday, March 27, 2013

VOLCANISM IN THE CAMPANIA PLAIN

The contributors to the volume bring new data (experiments on volatile solubility, fluid-melt inclusions, tectonic, geophysical, isotope, geochronology), which are helpful in the creation of new models for a better understanding of the behaviour of the volcanic systems. In particular a hydrothermal model is used to explain the ground movements (bradyseism) at Campi Flegrei. To develop such a model, the authors use an analogue for the evolving Campi Flegrei sub-volcanic system, the model of the porphyry mineralized systems. For Campanian Ignimbrite the authors highlight the impact crystal-liquid separation has on melt compositional evolution and particularly focus on trace element and Th isotope evidence for open-system processes in the magma body associated with the Campanian Ignimbrite.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

PINK FLOYD LIVE AT POMPEII

That summer Adrian Maben, holidaying in Italy, took a sightseeing trip to the 2,000-year-old amphitheatre in Pompeii, at the foot of Mount Vesuvius. After losing his passport during the visit, Maben persuaded the security guards to let him back into the amphitheatre to look for it. Alone in the deserted arena in the dwindling light, he was struck by the ghostliness of the setting, and the fabulous natural acoustics  amplifying the sound of buzzing insects and flying bats flitting among the ruins.
Maben wanted Pink Floyd playing an empty amphitheatre to a film crew and a handful of roadies.  One of Floyd’s stipulations was that Maben had to film and record them playing live. 
Performing beneath the baking Mediterranean sun, and to an audience of cameramen, assorted roadies and a few local kids that had talked their way in, the footage offers a revealing glimpse of the post-Syd, pre-superstar Pink Floyd. The newborn ‘Echoes’ matches its surroundings perfectly: a languid, unhurried performance intercut with  snaps of the surrounding sculptures and gargoyles for added drama. Later, as the song rumbles on, the band are shot loping across the bubbling lava pools and steaming, sulphurous rocks on Mount Vesuvius - all tie-dyed T-shirts and stovepipe hats - like four Kings Road hippies transplanted to a prehistoric landscape.

Monday, March 4, 2013

THE VILLA DEI PAPIRI AT HERCULANEUM

The Villa dei Papiri at Herculaneum - buried during the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius in A.D. 79, then rediscovered in 1750 - contained a large collection of bronze and marble statuary and busts. Before they were published or exhibited, the sculptures were restored so as to appear whole, thereby helping to shape early modern tastes in classical sculpture.
This book describes the nature of the ancient sculptures and their impact on the modern public. Their chance discovery affected the interpretation of the statues―their styles and subjects―over the course of the next 250 years. The ancient sculptures were copied extensively in reproductions of various sizes and patinas.