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There's nothing like a big volcano to remind one of our precarious hold on planet earth. Thanks to James for drawing my attention to Chaiten, and the fabulous pictures, via: Alan Sullivan, nuestroclima and the NASA earth observatory.
Along with genetics1, volcanism was the other thing that could have kept me from physics ... neither quite made it :-).
Anyway, I'm not quite sure what sort of volcano it is, nor of the real import of the explosions thus far, but as a caldera type volcano it could be more impressive yet ... if it's even vaguely similar to Taupo. When I was a kid we grew up with stories of the 7m deep pyroclastic flow in Napier (a little over 100 km away).