Eyjafjallajokull Continues to Piss Off Everybody Except Icelanders
Remember that movie Joe Versus the Volcano? It wasn't very good, but it featured a young(er) Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan before her lips got all Howard-the-Duck, and it was about a guy who thinks he's dying and offers to jump into a live volcano to appease the volcano gods. And even though that movie ends up taking some surprising twists and turns (I'm not going to spoil it for you here), the premise does makes a person wonder ... is there a time and place to offer up such sacrifices? Because this volcano thing is getting a little out of hand.
Most European flights have been grounded for going on five days. The airline industry has lost at least $1 billion so far in revenue. There is fear that weaker carriers may be wiped out completely, and that the European economy may suffer a long-term impact.
The air shutdown in the U.K. might even become an issue in Britain's general election on May 6, to the extent that Gordon Brown's cabinet has been discussing options -- including chartering cruise ships to rescue stranded Britons. A small group of courageous citizens took matters into their own hands and tried to pick up stranded passengers in inflatable speedboats, but French immigration denied them entry. F'ing French.
British airspace will remained closed until early Tuesday, said National Air Traffic Service, even though several airlines, including KLM and Lufthansa, have sent out successful test flights (without passengers) and say that authorities need to reassess restrictions.
Ash is now heading to Canada, where it disrupted flights at St. John's Newfoundland over the weekend. New York City is not immune either. Organizers of the Tribeca Film Festival say that several directors and stars may not be in attendance this week thanks to the volcano. And you know that the whole point of the Tribeca Film Festival is to get to mingle with directors and stars.
Plus nobody, but nobody, can pronounce Eyjafjallajokull.
Unsatiated, the volcano continues to erupt, with scientists fearing that it may set off an even more powerful volcano, Katla, on Iceland's southern coast. Folks in Iceland, which "has been largely spared the worst effects of the eruption," remain pretty chill about the whole thing. Though, really, if anyone is going to sacrifice themselves, you'd think it should be one of them. At least they have proximity.