One of these things…

October 5, 2004

Recently, Mt. St. Helens resumed volcanic activity after nearly 20 years of quiet waiting. While that is a mere blink of an eye in geologic time, it seems like a lifetime ago since it erupted and killed nearly 60 people. Mt. St. Helens is located south east of Seattle in the state of Washington, United States.

The United States Geological Survey (USGS) has a web accessible camera mounted at the active volcano which refreshes every five minutes.

This is the reference photograph from September 24, 2004.

Mt. St. Helens, Sept. 24, 2004 at 5:09 PM

Here is a photograph from October 1, 2004 at nearly the same time before sunset. I didn’t calculate correctly though; if you look at the shadows between the two photographs you can see that I should have taken an earlier image.

Mt. St. Helens, Oct. 1, 2004 at 4:59 PM

What is interesting is that in the first photograph you can see that there is snow on the top of the mountain – not so on the later photograph. In fact, although I didn’t think to save the image there was still snow on the day before the eruption.

As the world becomes more and more connected and archived I can still be amazed at the fact that with a little bit of ingenuity and thought I can ‘scoop’ the news agencies who have made it their mission in life to be the ‘first with the news’.

RSS is making this even more of a reality. I monitor about 200 different news sources around the world every four hours with my aggregator and I can usually spot trends and information hours if not days before it is reported or mentioned on any news program.

People I talk to wonder how I can live without watching the news or reading a daily newspaper – this is how.

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