Yesterday’s explosion of the EyjafjallajÃ¶kull volcano in southern Iceland has resulted in a giant cloud of ash making its way across northern Europe’s higher altitudes and closing down the airspace over the UK until tomorrow morning at the earliest; Belgium, Denmark, Ireland, Norway, and Sweden have followed suit. Hoity-toity economists across the pond are idly wondering if this disruption is actually some sort of cosmic revenge for the UK’s trade embargo against the financially strapped nation! Which conveniently ignores the ruinous floods that can occur as a result of the volcano melting glacial ice.
The Guardian is live-blogging the situation as it unfolds, and is taking the time to explain exactly why volcanic ash is even worse for planes than errant birds. (The combination of its fine grain and the high altitudes at which it floats across the sky is not only hell on engines, it “creates an extra problem [around airports] because takeoffs and landings will throw it into the air again”.) Meanwhile, the Hooters-loving strandees at one Scottish airport are taking this opportunity to engage in a little nation-baiting of their own:
As all the stranded passengers get drunker, these on the scene reports should become even more entertaining. Perhaps we’ll all learn how to say “Baba Booey” in other countries by the time this is all done!