Yesterday afternoon marked the start of the Society for the Study of Reproduction 2008, a 1,000 attendee meeting held this year in Kona, Hawaii. It’s a beautiful place for a meeting on sex, to be sure, but looking at these videos of the 1959 eruption of Kilauea, I became just a little less confident about the status of a vent that recently began spewing toxic sulphur dioxide across much of the island state (and leaving the Konaa bit smoggy-or in the local parlance “voggy”). But volcanoes are all about rebirth of the living rock, a fitting setting for reproduction, and the people on what’s commonly known as the big island have mustered the fortitude to stick around on an active volcano for generations. To prove to myself that I had the same, I took a stroll across what was that molten lake only 50 years ago. It’s still steaming hot and only two miles from the vent that opened up this spring.
I’ll be reporting back soon on what has already shown itself to be an ecclectic mix of talks.