[image credit NASA and Slate]
Sorry to shout but YOU REALLY OUGHT TO READ THE BLOG BAD ASTRONOMY. You don't even have to have an astronomical bent to appreciate it--author Phil Plait makes it of interest to laymen and scientists alike.
The photo above was taken by astronaut Chris Hadfield from the International Space Station and is of Italy. Phil Plait commented:
I love this picture: Looking down the throat of Mt. Vesuvius, surrounded by towns and cities. Over a half million people live in the “red zone” of the volcano’s blast region.
I find the photo almost mesmerizing. The connection to Ultrarunning is pretty tenuous: just the fact that where I run I do not have to worry much about natural disasters or dangers. Weather would be the only real concern; certainly not volcanic eruptions.