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This week's theme: words to describe the Earth's features.

fumarole (FYOO-muh-rol) noun

A hole or vent in a volcanic region from which hot gases and steam are emitted.

[Via Italian or French from Latin fumariolum (smoke hole), diminutive of Latin fumarium (smoke chamber), from fumus (smoke).]

Picture of a fumarole.

-Anu Garg (garg AT wordsmith.org)

"Travel further round to the south to Fumarole and experience a sauna -- nature's way." Therms of Endearment; Daily Record (Glasgow, Scotland); Dec 29, 2001.

"Pop open a bottle of champagne and pour yourself a glass. Take a sip. The elegant surface fizz -- a boiling fumarole of rising and collapsing bubbles -- launches thousands of golden droplets into the air, conveying the wine's enticing flavors and aromas to tongue and nostrils alike." Gerard Liger-Belair; The Science of Bubbly; Scientific American (New York); Jan 2003.


A society that presumes a norm of violence and celebrates aggression, whether in the subway, on the football field, or in the conduct of its business, cannot help making celebrities of the people who would destroy it. -Lewis H. Lapham, editor and writer (1935- )

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