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Vesuvius Erupts

August 24, 2005

Well, it did, anyway. 1,926 years ago today. At lunch time. Most people forget that 20,000 people lived in Pompeii, and only about 2,000 died. That meant that 18,000 people saw the top blow off Mount Vesuvius and wisely ran like hell.

The 2,000 who remained must have been the ancient equivalent of those people who stay in their shoreline houses as Class Five hurricanes approach, already up to the armpits in sea water, and tell news crews, "Nah, we're gonna stay and ride this one out. We got canned food."


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