The Philippines

With midterms week looming over us and the doom and gloom of Ohio weather, I think I can safely say that the majority of students here at Denison all wish we were in a place that’s a little warmer, a little sunnier, and a little less depressing overall. You don’t know how many times I’ve caught myself and others staring out of the window when actually we’re supposed to be paying attention the laws of logarithms that are up on the whiteboard. The Philippines are a nice enough place this time of year, right? Since there hasn’t been any recent volcanic activity in the area of Japan and the Philippines, why don’t we focus on the volcanic history of one of these exotic locales and escape the dreariness of Ohio for a bit? I’ve done a bit of internet surfing and here is more or less of a brief summary of what I’ve stumbled upon.

The Philippines are an archipelago of thousands of islands. For most of us who are fairly new the volcanic world, archipelagos are a chain of islands that are formed by tectonic movement and are more often than not, volcanic. One of the most active volcanoes in the Philippines (there are 37 volcanoes in all) is Mount Mayon. It is one the 18 active volcanoes in the Philippines and has erupted a total of 43 times and killed over 1300 since 1616. Mount Mayon is your classic sratovolcano, which just means that it is tall and cone shaped, built up from many layers of hardened lava and volcanic ash along with other debris. Other notable volcanoes in the Philippines include; Taal (which has had 33 eruptions since 1572), Butusan, and Canlaon. Below I’ve attached pictures of various Filipino volcanoes.

Above is a picture of Mount Mayon. You would would’ve never have thought something so pretty could cause so much destruction, huh?


And this is the Taal volcano, which is apparently quite a popular tourist destination.


Priya Nalluri 2/28/11

2 Responses to “The Philippines”

  1. You made a very, very common mistake with the Taal photo: the cone in front is not the main crater; it’s the Binintiang Malaki cone, which erupted 1707 and 1715. The main crater, which is of current concern, is in the middle of the larger island.

    Here’s more about Taal volcano:

  2. Alan Bates Says:

    Hi Priya

    Your first attempt at this assignment. I hope you have been reading my comments on the other contributions but it does not appear that you have taken them to heart – and action. You are not alone, of course!

    I have written a lot here – not because your post is BAD but I think you have missed the objective of the assignment. The comments are here to help. You are at College – presumably you want to learn from the experience?

    1) This is an exercise in scienitific writing. You, and some others, have made it more like a one-sided conversation or a Facebook posting. There are particular aspects of style that go with the genre of science writing. One I want to refer to is the use of verbal contractions. They just do not go with scientific writing – even “popular” science writing. Contractions like “Don’t” or “I’ve” or “That’s” for “do not”, “I have” or “that is” should be avoided unless you really are reporting accurately what another person has said. They are casual and appear sloppy. Readers will suspect that the research behind them is also sloppy (they may be wrong but that is what they will feel – trust me).

    I would like you to read your first paragraph again. That is not scientific writing. The entire paragraph is redundant and a waste of your time to write it and mine reading it.

    2) Here is yet another good photograph (the second) that has been ruined by being cropped because you have not taken into account the aspect ratio of the column space and the aspect ration of the picture. Hence the right hand side of the crater is lost. Real pity. PLEASE will someone get to grips with this problem and work out how to get the pictures right. Or use a different picture or no picture if it cannot be put into a suitable format. A link will be fine.

    To be honest, this is a pretty trivial point when the key thing is to help you to improve your scientific writing. So, guys, GET IT SORTED so I do not have to waste time on almost alternate posts.

    3) Kultsi makes an important point (he was gently with you – I know sites where you would be verbally ripped apart). In scientific writing you MUST get your facts right. You should never have to face someone who has to pull you up on a mistake. YOU are claiming the right to tell us/me about something. I must start with the assumption that you have done your research and not just “stumbled upon ” the information (your own words). A stumble is clumsy, an accident.

    I cannot initially know if you are right or not – I have to take the word of people posting here. But if I find out that your facts are not facts your post loses credibility. What else is wrong? Do I care enough to check it up myself? NO. Why should I?


    Then stand tall and do not run yourself down.

    Facts RIGHT + boring writing I will read (reluctantly) if I want to find out something.

    Facts WRONG and no matter how interesting the style you are wasting my time.

    Facts RIGHT and interesting writing can make the facts live, entertain the reader and make him want to come back for more.

    That is what you are aiming for in scientific writing!

    Other Posters. Please read this and think about it. I am not picking on Priya. The points are generally applicable.

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