The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Darth Vader Runs for Ukrainian Parliament

By Piper Bayard

Image from Ebay.

Image from Ebay.

 

Ukrainian “Darth Vader” Runs for Parliament

 

 

I don’t know about his stand on Putin’s invasion or light saber control, but he would definitely be responsive to terrorism.

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

Let’s kick off with a genuine potential apocalypse. Best article I’ve read so far on Ebola, via Tom Wyld. Six Reasons to Panic

The 12 Cognitive Biases that Prevent You from Being Rational, via Sonia Cywilko.

Celiac Disease Foundation’s 2014 Gluten-Free Halloween Treat Listvia Kristy K. James.

 

Malala Yousafzai at the Oval Office Image by US Govt, public domain

Malala Yousafzai at the Oval Office
Image by US Govt, public domain

 

Pakistani girl Malala Yousafzai spoke out against the Islamic fundamentalists who would quash education. The Taliban came to her school and shot her in the head, but she survived and continued in her mission. Recently, she won the Nobel Peace Prize for her work in advancing education. Via neuroscientist Nsikan Akpan, What Will Malala’s Nobel Peace Prize Mean for Girls’ Education?

Lisa Hall-Wilson shares some important cautions for those of us professionals who prefer to use Profile pages rather than Fan pages. Facebook Shut Down My Profile!

USA Today Bestseller Vicki Hinze asks, Cyber Security Awareness:  Are You Protected?

The Issue Box is a new site where people discuss the issues on their minds without having to leave any personal information. Mark Kaplowitz tells us all about it in Big Announcement!

 

The Spy Bride Risky Brides Boxed Set final Cover

 

At  A Girl and Her Kindle, USA Today Bestseller Peggy Webb tells us about Good Books and Good Friends, the writers behind RISKY BRIDES Bestsellers’ Collection. These outstanding authors generously gave Holmes and I a hand up by inviting us to include our debut novella, THE SPY BRIDE, in this collection. RISKY BRIDES is now available for ebook pre-order and will release on October 21.

Some great advice from Maureen Johnson for all of you writers out there, but it really applies to all endeavors of every flavor . . . Dare to Suck!

 

 

Question of the Week:

 

 

All the best to all of you for a week of making good choices.

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . City Pays Alcoholics with Beer

By Piper Bayard

Canstock 2014 Oct Street cleaner

Amsterdam Pays Alcoholics in Beer to Clean Streets

 

 

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order:

New York Times bestseller and former Green Beret Bob Mayer asks, Why Do You Write?  Check out Bob’s latest, ShIT Doesn’t Just Happen:  The Gift of Failure.

Ten Things to Never Say to a Writer by the hysterical and perceptive bestselling author Chuck Wendig.

Your Amazon Account Can Be Hacked Via a Kindle eBookvia author and heckuva guy Nigel Blackwell.

Wiki 2014 Oct Navy SEALs shooting US Navy public domain

 

How Navy SEALs Use Shooting Fundamentals to Forge Elite Warriors, by retired Navy SEAL Chief Petty Officer and bestselling author Chris Sajnog.

Perry Block clues us in on 60 Signs You’re Way Past Middle Age.

Author, publishing attorney, and “reefer” Susan Spann tells us about Engineer Gobies in Engineering on the Reef.

Congratulations to K.B. Owen on the release of her third Concordia Wells mystery, Unseemly Ambition.

 

Unseemly Ambition

18 Kids Who Definitely Bested Their Teachers, via author Kait Nolan.

Via backpacker and professional photographer Steve Griffin, The Worst Hiking Partner Behaviors.

Kudos to American Raven-Symone:  “I’m Tired of Being Labeled.” This took some guts on her part.

And near and dear to my heart, Scientists Take a Look at the Feel-Good Benefits of Belly Dance, via lovely dancer and graceful lady Christine Moore.

Here’s your adorable fix for the week — Cute Baby Seal Joins Surfers for a Ride.

 

 

This Week’s Campaign Style Poll:

 

 

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 RISKY BRIDES

Limited Time Edition Now Available for Pre-Order!

Bayard & Holmes debut novella, THE SPY BRIDE, in this multi-genre

bestsellers’ collection.

The Spy Bride Risky Brides Boxed Set final Cover

8 Risky Brides — 8 Novels & Novellas

Looking for your next must-read author? You’ll find him or her in this limited-time-only collection. USA Today Bestsellers, (Vicki Hinze, Rita Herron, Donna Fletcher, Peggy Webb, Kathy Carmichael) veteran authors, (Kimberly Llewellyn and Tara Randel) and dynamic newcomers, (Bayard & Holmes)—all share their unique take on what it means to be a risky bride.

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Candidate “None of These” Takes Nevada Primary

By Piper Bayard

I 100% applaud the people of Nevada. The first step to creating better government is to stop accepting the crap that the two self-serving parties keep trying to shove down our throats. Nevada, you rock!

canstockphoto9735189

 

Nevada Democrats Chose “None of These Candidates” in Primary

 

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

Starting with something quite serious today. Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi is being held in Mexico on weapons charges. On March 31, 2014, he was attempting to meet his friends in San Ysidro for dinner, and he missed the exit, landing him at the Mexican border. This is not uncommon. With no chance to turn around, the first thing he told the border officials was that he wasn’t trying to enter Mexico, and that he was just trying to turn around and get back to San Ysidro. He was completely up front about the three legal firearms in his possession. These facts are not disputed. He was arrested and tossed into prison in Tijuana. He has recently been relocated to a prison in Tecate.

 

U.S.M.C. Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi

U.S.M.C. Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi

 

Sgt. Tahmooressi served two deployments in Afghanistan, was honorably discharged, and was being treated in San Diego for PTSD. Unfortunately, as of June 19, in spite of numerous petitions and a media outcry, our administration has exhibited virtually no interest in bringing back our Marine.

For more information, see Why is a US Marine in a Mexican Jail? The Case of Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi and US Marine Sgt. Andrew Tahmooressi Stuck in Mexican Jail on Gun Charges.

I’m not big on petitions, but I did sign this one. Demand Release of U.S.M.C. Sgt. Tahmooressi Suffering with PTSD from Mexico Imprisonment. We can also help on social media by using the hashtag #bringbackourmarine to keep it trending and raise awareness that this travesty has occurred.

And on lighter notes . . .

Myndi Shafer clues us in on the Summer Book Crush — over 80 Book Boyfriend Flings by over 30 authors for just $0.99. Summer Book Crush

 

Summer Book Crush

 

If there’s anything I’ve learned from our editor, NYT Bestseller Ellie Ann, it’s that perfectionism doesn’t pay. Kassandra Lamb helps folks deal this this career-stunting problem. Hi, I’m Kass, and I’m a Recovering Perfectionist

5 Things I Learned as an Anonymous TSA Blogger by Jason Edward Harrington.

Susan Spann reminds us of the power of simple kindnesses. The Postman Always Waves Twice

DD, Michael Rooker, and Piper Denver Comic Con June 2014

DD, Michael Rooker, and Piper
Denver Comic Con June 2014

 

Note of Interest: I had a cool weekend at the Denver Comic Con. DD and I got to hang out with Human Echoes podcaster Tony Southcotte and NYT Bestseller Ellie Ann, as well as friends and fellow authors Juliette Terzieff and Jinxie Gervasio. Also had a nice surprise in the form of dinner with Michael Rooker. He’s not just Merle Dixon, zombie killer from The Walking Dead, but also a Southern gentleman and a lovely man with whom to spend an evening. Be sure to catch his upcoming movie, Guardians of the Galaxy, in which he plays bad guy Yondu.

Travel to Japan with Mihael Herrera. Travel Day — Visit to Mt. Takao

Shaggy from Scooby Doo

We lost a radio icon this week. Casey Kasem, the voice of Shaggy on “Scooby-Doo” and the DJ who gave my generation America’s Top 40 Countdown each week has passed on to that Great Sound Booth in the Sky. Jenny Hansen of More Cowbell called my attention to this fitting tribute, In Honor of Casey Kasem, Counting Down Baseball’s Best Songs.

And for Game of Thrones fans, George R.R. Martin is now on Twitter at @GRRMspeaking.

We fans have a message for you, George . . .

Campaign Style Poll of the Week

All the best to all of you for a week of satisfying choices.

FIRELANDS 5-Star Dystopian Thriller — On Sale at Kindle for $0.99

 

Firelands Cover

 

Eighty years in the future, America has devolved into a totalitarian theocracy. The ruling Josephites clone the only seeds that grow in the post-apocalyptic climate, allowing their Prophet to control who eats, who starves, and who dies in the ritual fires that atone society.

Subsisting on the fringes, Archer risks violation and death each day as she scours the forest for game to feed her people. When a Josephite refugee seeks sanctuary in her home, Archer is driven to chance a desperate gamble. A gamble that will bring down the Prophet and deliver seeds and freedom, or end in a fiery death for herself and for everyone she loves.

Seeds are life . . . Seeds are power . . . Seeds are the only hope of a despairing people. What will Archer do for the seeds of freedom, and what will she justify in their name?

Field on Fire Canstock

Praise for FIRELANDS

“Piper Bayard’s FIRELANDS is a harrowing and cautionary tale of a world in strife, of men and women struggling to survive amidst the fiery apocalyptic ruins of modern society.  Thrilling, moving, and ultimately hopeful, here is a novel to be savored long after you turn the last page.”

James Rollins, New York Times bestseller of Bloodline

“With great characters and an amazing world that both mystifies and terrifies, FIRELANDS deserves to be mentioned with the other great dystopian novels of the past three years.”

Jeff Ayers, Author Magazine

“With echoes of Under the Banner of Heaven and The Hunger Games,  FIRELANDS is a sprawling adventure ranging across a world racked by post-apocalyptic want, denial, and prophetic dictum. Equal parts heroic quest and morality play, it races forward on a current of deftly woven characters and breakneck action, never failing to deliver what every reader wants–a helluva good story.”

Ryne Douglas Pearson, screenwriter of Knowing and best selling author of Simple Simon and Confessions

 

“Piper Bayard explodes on the scene in FIRELANDS. Creative. Imaginative. Chilling and reassuring.  A captivating tale well told.”

Vicki Hinze, USA Today Best Selling Author of Mindreader

 

“FIRELANDS envisions a terrifying and prescient future of a United States lost to the worst extremes.  Piper Bayard’s wonderfully relevant and beautifully realized fantasy tale would make George R.R. Martin proud as it combines the best of Children of Men with Stephen King’s seminal The Stand . . . the result is a major debut that is not to be missed.”

Jon Land, bestselling author of Strong at the Break and Betrayal

 

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . KFC Chicken Corsage, Just In Time For Prom

By Piper Bayard

KFC Chicken Corsage advertisement

Kentucky Fried Chicken introduces its Chicken Corsage just in time for prom, and they’re going like hotcakes . . . or at least like chicken and waffles.

Now You Can Go to Prom with a Fried Chicken Corsage

The Chicken Corsage — How a young man proves he has the primal needs covered.

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

Let’s help English teacher Katie Sluiter build a library for her high schoolers! This is her current classroom library . . .

Katie Sluiter's current classroom library

Katie Sluiter’s current classroom library

She’d probably like to turn it into this . . .

image from Canstock Photo

image from Canstock Photo

But I’m guessing she would be happy with a couple thousand books — either new or gently used —  so that the kids never have an excuse to not be reading. Get the details on how you can help at Building a Dream.

Big thanks to Amber West, author of The Ruth Valley Missing, for calling my attention to this book drive. In my experience, avid reading is a substantial factor to success in any field.

Outstanding review of FIRELANDS. KokkieH Reviews Firelands: A Post-Apocalyptic Tale by Piper Bayard. I love it when people see all of the layers.

FIRELANDS_2ndEd

Being a Browncoat, I love this piece that bestselling author Tammy Salyer pointed my way. If Twitter were on Firefly. If you love Firefly, Joss Whedon, and/or social media, you’ll get a kick out of this.

It’s a simple fact. Bestselling author Kristen Lamb is a great writing teacher. Everybody Arcs! How to Use Emotional Growth to Propel the Story and Capture the Reader

In celebration of The Bard’s birthday this week, 20 Great Shakespearean Insults. Big thanks to Jenny Hansen of More Cowbell for bringing this to my attention. I’m saving these up for the 2016 election season, which starts . . . let me check . . . in 2012.

Meme William Shakespeare Bitch Summer's Day

On a more serious note, 200 girls are missing in Nigeria. Two hundred. They were kidnapped from their school by an Al-Qaeda affiliate. This deserves some attention. 200 Girls are Missing in Nigeria – So Why Doesn’t Anybody Care? by Anne Perkins.

The Tipping Info-Graphic for my fellow life travelers. I don’t know about you, but I’m not always sure how much to tip and where.

Prom time is here, as the chicken commercials indicate. Some great advice for you young couples, and a laugh for the rest of us.

Campaign Style Poll of the Week . . .

All the best to all of you for a tasty week.

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Microsoft “Smart Bra” Nags You to Not Overeat

Microsoft Developed a “Smart Bra” for Dieting

Those of us over a size 8 already have to take crap from the TV, modeling, and White House industries. Now Microsoft wants us to take crap from our underwear, too? I have a better idea. How about use the money for a gym membership instead of a bra that nags us like a disapproving relative?

Canstock Red Bra

Click on the link below to go to the new Bayard & Holmes site for the rest of the mashup, including some wonderful books, links for Nelson Mandela and Paul Walker, great points about working out, and some humor. Remember to subscribe while you’re there. We would hate to lose you in the move.

Bayard & Holmes

The End Is Near (and we deserve it) . . .

Microsoft “Smart Bra” Nags You to Not Overeat

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Funeral Selfies

Funeral Selfies? Yes, They Do Exist

Proving once again that bad taste on social media has no boundaries. Apparently, taking selfies at funerals and other serious places like Chernobyl, Pearl Harbor, ad Auschwitz is the new trend.

Click on the title for the text version.

gFuneral Selfie

For the rest of the Mashup and the Campaign Style Question of the Week, come on over to our new site, and remember to subscribe when you get there. We want to bring you all with us!

Bayard & Holmes

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . .

Funeral Selfies

The End is Near (and we deserve it) . . . Wine for Cats

Nyan Nyan Nouveau, Wine for Cats, On the Market in Japan

I’m delighted to report that Japan no longer has homeless people, orphans, diseases, or natural disasters so that the Japanese can develop wine for cats. Click on the title for the text.

Nyan Nyan Nouveau

Nyan Nyan Nouveau

Blogs and Articles in No Particular Order

Fun, quick post from Jenny Hansen–Life is All About . . . Give Me One Word!

I don’t go on haunted tours. I let Susie Lindau do it for me. Ghost Walk

Some gorgeous photos from Award Winning Author Justine Dare Davis. Do You Love Where You Live?

International Giveaway and Interview with Allison Brennan at Larissa’s Bookish Life. Allison is the New York Times Bestselling Author of the Lucy Kincaid series and a fun lady, to boot.

And to get the rest of the bad news over with, the NSA is collecting millions of contact lists, including those of Americans. Yes, this one is so undeniable, even MSN is reporting it. Also, the Washington Post article: NSA Collects Millions of E-Mail Address Books Globally

And for the latest on whistleblower Edward Snowden . . . Edward Snowden: US Would Have Buried NSA Warnings Forever.

Now that I’ve thoroughly depressed you, time to cheer you back up again . . .

image from Bored Panda

image from Bored Panda

This one via literary agent Chip MacGregor cracked me up. 15th Century Flemish Style Portraits Recreated in Airplane Lavatory from Bored Panda. I know how I’m killing time on my next airplane flight.

Saudi Cleric Warns Driving Could Damage Women’s Ovaries

The video in this piece from Kitt Crescendo had me actually ROFL, but beware that the language evokes some quite graphic sexual images. What I Brought Back

Brickhouse Chick gives us a far more interesting Story from the Shutdown than the things you’ll find in mainstream media. Brickhousechick Gets Arrested

And a big thanks to Julie Glover for pointing me to this gem. If this guy doesn’t give you a smile, not much will. One Man Dances Like Nobody’s Watching . . . While Everyone Is.

All the best to all of you for a week of pampering.

Piper Bayard

Pictures from the Flood Zone

Until last week, I didn’t know what a flood looked like. In fact, before this past week, I had the complacent notion that the world would stay pretty much as it was when I was born, at least for the duration of my time on it. After all, how often does a 500-Year Flood actually happen in MY lifetime? And while I’ve long understood that the most apocalyptic events of our personal lives can happen in an instant, I had never seen how quickly such changes can happen on our planet.

This was a sidewalk near Erie, Colorado, with a bridge well over a small stream. The water had topped it during the night, and large parts of the sidewalk are gone.

Foot Bridge Under Flood (c) Piper Bayard

Foot Bridge Under Flood
(c) Piper Bayard

Normally, this bridge over the Left Hand Creek in Longmont, Colorado, has 8’6″ clearance over the sidewalk that runs underneath it next to a shallow stream. As you can see, there is a reason that bridge above it is so wide.

Bridge over Left Hand  Creek (c) Piper Bayard

Bridge over Left Hand
Creek
(c) Piper Bayard

And this is the scene downstream from that bridge. The neighborhood next to it was evacuated in preparation for a release from the dam above at Nederland. Normally, there is a foot path where this raging river is. Note the uprooted tree.

Left Hand Creek during the flood of 2013 (c) Piper Bayard

Left Hand Creek during the flood of 2013
(c) Piper Bayard

Up the road, the town of Lyons was devastated. No one was being allowed up the canyon toward Estes Park, but check out the water line on this building at Leukonen Brothers Stone at the edge of town. The owners had already cleaned out the mud next to this office, but a few feet out from it, their inventory was half buried in several feet of muck from the nearby river.

Water Level at Leukonen Brothers (c) Piper Bayard

Water Level at Leukonen Brothers
(c) Piper Bayard

Before last week, this was a flat pasture with a solid dirt road running through it.  A small stream passed under a bridge a hundred yards away. The river broke its banks upstream, flooded the pasture, and took out this stretch of road. The gap is about 100′ across and 15′ deep. There’s a free hanging gas line stretching across the gap, creating the ripple to the left of the picture. Below is a massive electrical pole. I’m afraid the picture doesn’t do the depth justice.

Former Road, New River (c) Piper Bayard

Former Road, New River
(c) Piper Bayard

This is the new river downstream from the washed out road. The day before, it stretched across the entire area in the picture, flooding houses downstream in a plain roughly 1/3 of a mile wide.

New River, Former Pasture (c) Piper Bayard

New River, Former Pasture
(c) Piper Bayard

This is another river that re-routed near Left Hand Canyon, just outside of Boulder. Its bridge is a couple hundred yards to the left, relatively unharmed.

New River Path Near Left Hand Canyon (c) Piper Bayard

New River Path Near Left Hand Canyon
(c) Piper Bayard

And the picture of the day — when life gives you mud, have a mud race. Well played, Boulder. Well played.

Boulder Mud Race (c) Piper Bayard

Boulder Mud Race
(c) Piper Bayard

As I traversed the area, I saw furniture drying on lawns and spoke with numerous exhausted workers restoring gas and water, as well as National Guard soldiers securing dangerous areas. Above me, the Chinook helicopters made their rescue runs, still hard at work rescuing those who are stranded in the mountains. No whining, and no slacking. Just the steady press and determination that we will push through this to better days.

For more pictures of the flood zone, see Susie Lindau’s excellent coverage at Susie Lindau’s Wild Ride. Storm Chasing Through Boulder’s 100-Year Flood

All the best to all of you for facing life’s overnight changes.

Piper Bayard

The Science of the Inevitable Taupo Apocalypse by FIRELANDS Apocalypse Blogger Challenge Winner MJ Wright

Holmes and I are delighted to welcome Piper’s FIRELANDS Apocalypse Blogger Challenge Winner MJ Wright. MJ is one of New Zealand’s most published historians and writers and a heckuva nice guy. His latest release, the Bateman Illustrated History of New Zealand by Matthew Wright, is available now through Fishpond for New Zealand readers. For those of us who do not live in Lord of the Rings Land, keep an eye out for it on Kindle, Kobo, and iPad.

Bateman Illustrated History of New Zealand by Matthew Wright

In addition to a guest post here today and a month-long seat of honor at the upcoming Bayard & Holmes website blog, MJ is today’s featured blogger at Social In Worldwide, Inc., the premier Twitter-driven news and events network of the nation. In fact, I twisted his arm and convinced him to come on board as one of our Social In team.  Look for more of MJ’s excellent work over at Social In DC or at one of the many Social In sites across the nation. Follow MJ on Twitter at @MJWrightNZ.

Congratulations on your win, MJ! We’re so pleased to welcome you here to Bayard & Holmes and to the Social In family.

Author/Historian MJ Wright

Author/Historian MJ Wright

The Science of the Inevitable Taupo Apocalypse

By MJ Wright

A couple of weeks back I read Firelands, debut dystopian thriller by US author Piper Bayard. To call the book fantastic is an understatement. I was hooked from the first pages, dropping the book I was writing myself, despite looming contract deadline, so I could keep reading.

A photo I took a few years ago. Taupo. Not a placid lake filled with trout. Well, it is. But it's also the caldera of one of the world's biggest supervolcanoes. Uh - yay.

Firelands is set in a post-apocalyptic future where the United States has become a theocratic dictatorship – a provocative setting that makes the novel far more than just Hunger Games for grown-ups. Firelands is in a class of its own. A wonderful, insightful, thoughtful and exciting story.

Bayard’s instrument of doom is a supervolcano – Taupo – that casts the world into darkness.  A scenario that’s not just plausible. It’s already happened at least twice.

I live within 260 km of Taupo’s Hatepe vent, so I thought I’d post about the historical apocalypse while scrabbling for my asbestos suit, hard hat and breathing apparatus.

On the face of it, Taupo is a lake with thermal district. The full name is Taupo-nui-a-Tia; ‘the great cloak of Tia’, referring to a flax cloak of the rangitira Tia. It’s often mispronounced. The first syllable rhymes with ‘tow’ as in ‘towing along’. Technically, Taupo should also have a macron over the o, indicating a long vowel. In IPA terms it’s‘tau-poh, which is close.

Photo taken by my wife one day in early 2005 of the Orakei Korako thermal zone just north of Taupo.

Pakeha (white settlers) got to know it in the 1840s. Donald McLean, the dour, God-fearing Presbyterian Scot who trudged into the district in 1846, saw a Christian apocalypse, confiding to his diary that ‘No person could see this place without feeling intensely the awful end of a miserable sinner, when committed to his last home; and may God in His providence prepare us all for such a serious change…’

The science behind that hellish setting emerged only as vulcanology developed through the twentieth century.

Turns out the lake is a caldera, part of an immense volcanic field stretching from Mount Ruapehu  to the Whakatane underwater volcano. The field has erupted many times. White Island is active now, monitored by a webcam and plastic dinosaur.

Geothermal steam from the Taupo system is used to generate power - up to 13 percent of the North Island's needs, in fact. The techniques were developed right here in New Zealand.

Geothermal steam from the Taupo system is used to generate up to 13 percent of the North Island’s power. This is my photo of the Wairakei station. The techniques were developed  in New Zealand.

All are dwarfed by Taupo itself, the centre of the system. The last eruption around 180 AD, from the Hatepe vents near the south of the lake, was modest by Taupo standards, but still cast the world into shadow.

The Oruanui eruption, Taupo, 26,500 BP. From http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Taupo_2.png

The benchmark remains the Oruanui eruption 26,500 years ago  (earlier analysis cited 22,690 ±230 BP), to the north of the current lake and the world’s last eruption to score 8 on the Volcanic Explosivity Index – the maximum. Back then, the lake was different, known to paleogeographers as Lake Huka. In 2012, PhD student Aidan Allen discovered the trigger for this cataclysm was likely an earthquake.

The eruption blew out the current lake bed – and more. Everything in the central North Island was destroyed by a fall of ingimbrite some 200 metres deep. Then there were devastating floods. Even the major river, the Waikato, changed its course. Ash fell  as far away as the Chathams.

It was a world cataclysm. Although debate continues over specific triggers for Pleistocene glacial cycles, there is evidence that the worldwide glacial maximum that began 26,500 years ago was pushed, in part, by this eruption. In New Zealand, certainly, a warming period prior to the eruption came to a dead stop afterwards.

Oruanui may not have caused the glacial cycle alone – but  it made things worse. Humanity was nearly wiped out in the deep cold that followed. The downturn seems to have been the last blow for Neanderthals, our cousin species already reduced to the edge of extinction at Gibraltar. It destroyed a nascent H. Sapiens agricultural revolution among the Gravettian culture in what are now Russian steppelands. Had that not been cut short, civilisation might have been with us 20,000 years earlier.

This was the apocalypse, Pleistocene style.

And to give that perspective, the Oruanui blast was itself dwarfed by the Whakamaru eruption in the same zone, 254,000 years ago.

We’ll have warning before the next one. Taupo is monitored by New Zealand’s Geological and Nuclear Sciences department via GPS and seismographic stations. No rubber dinosaur, but hey…

Hopefully it won’t happen in our lifetimes. Because when it does, it will bring the apocalypse. Certainly for New Zealand, maybe the world.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2013