Walking in an Exploding Volcano

Photographer Carsten Peter tests the thermal suit that Sims used to get close to the lava lake. “It can protect you from the radiant heat, but if you get hit with a lava splatter, the force will likely kill you,” he says. For 30 years Peter has explored volcanoes around the world. “Seeing at close range the primal forces that shaped the planet can be hypnotic. You cannot allow yourself to fall under a volcano’s spell, especially one as unpredictable as Nyiragongo. That can be a fatal mistake.”

Photographer Carsten Peter walks in a volcano
Photographer Carsten Peter walks in a volcano

This caught my attention in National Geographic.

A Word Before We Go

We are about to leave for the train station – on our way to Beijing for the holiday – but before we go I thought I would relate this small story.

Avid readers of this blog (both of you) will recall Xianyi selling one of her photos to an ad agency late last year, and the small amount of trouble it took to extract payment from said agency. The person who finally paid us sent the money along with a very snooty and rude email which stated that we should never write him again, not even to thank him for the money. Feeling somewhat humiliated, I posted our email exchange on this blog as a way to exact my revenge.

Knowing the small and narrow readership of this page, I never thought I would actually get what I was after – publicly shaming the person who had snapped at me. There was no way, I figured, that my tiny little corner of the blogosphere could ever make its voice heard across the vastness of the internet. O me of little faith.

I received this email a few weeks ago:

Hey Rindy,

Long time no email.

A coworker of mine discovered your blog, and in it they found the email exchange between you and me from 6 months ago. I didn’t even realize that you had posted those emails to your website. The link got circulated around to a couple of coworkers, and to be honest, it’s a little embarrassing that they can read that email of mine. I did act out of line, and said a couple of things that I shouldn’t have, but I’m hoping that there are no hard feelings.

Would it be possible if you took that down from your site? I would really appreciate it.

Wow. I am still amazed that this happened. After half a day’s thought, I decided to be a nice guy and remove the post. As Jarrett put it to me, it has served its purpose. And so it has been deleted. But never have I felt the power of the blog like this. We think we are small independent units floating around the universe, but actually the things we say and do have great meaning, and they can be felt by everyone around us. It goes back to Xianyi’s philosophy: “The world is small, so don’t be an asshole.” 😀