Following in the grand LL tradition, here are the various first-halfdescribed or otherwise captured by selected sentences from a book I am reading.
The explosion itself was terrific, a monstrous thing that still attracts an endless procession of superlatives.
He never smiles or looks in any way genial.
But three months later matters were very different.
They are unstable because of a well-understood, if wonderfully complicated, mechanism.
Even today their curious and chilling echoes are still faintly and worringly discernible, both in Java and around the globe.
"We didn't take much notice at first," wrote a second, "until the reports got very loud."
And that is just what happened.
The noose was closing.
And the disaster left a trail of practical consequences - political, religious, social, economic, psychological, and scientific consequences among them.
He was a young man, and cut rather a lonely figure.
Both the idea of what should be the spelling and the etymologies of its various names are an enduring mystery.
Men like James Hutton, Charles Lyell, and William Smith were fast beginning to suppose that man's existence was, in the grand scheme of the very things that they were delineating, of utter insignificance, his sojourn on the planet temporary and vanishingly brief.
After only a few weeks scurvy broke out, with sailors suffering such rending stomach pains among their other symptoms that the Dutch still have a word for it, scheurbuik, "tearing-belly."
It is still far from being fully understood.
Such a series of hammer blows!
It is a deeply complex subject, the stuff of mathematical modeling and the employment of banks of supercomputers.
The skipper grinned.
He saw nothing that struck him as remarkable.
He may not after all have been, as he had eternally supposed, specially created.
But this one was a little different.
"Utter, damned rot!" said the president of the American Philosophical Society.
But neither man was ever seen alive again.
His ideas, it was almost universally agreed, were the results of bad science at best, wishful thinking at worst.
I was lucky: I happened to be in just the right place at what science has now shown to be just the right time.
Hearing of the event baffled people thousands of miles away from where it happened, and left faraway populations bewildered and, in some cases, more than a little frightened.
Just one warning was sounded during those early, braggartly, optimistic days.
The first indication that all was not right became apparent more or less simultaneously to a number of people nearby.
This contentedness would not long survive.
And the spectacle was only the half of it.
It was simply a matter of the gods being angry.
But looks are deceptive: All the while the child-mountain is growing steadily and rapidly, as the elemental fires that created the world rage deep inside.
For now, though, it was all vibration and rumblings and the occasional period of low and menacing thuds.
It was rising and falling, strongly, irregularly, in bursts of sudden up-and-down movements of the sea water that seemed immediately unnatural and sinister.
The memories of those fifty days stay with me yet.
Since I had no obvious qualifications for making the team, I decided to teach myself a vaguely appropriate skill that might make me of some potential use.
They look mysterious and rather sinister.
It is a volcano that absolutely and very visibly refuses to die.
His body was never found.