In 1883, a developing new technology for news-gathering was transatlantic undersea cable telegraph transmission, exposing the concept of global village. This is just one of the many contextual elements Simon Winchester delves into in Krakatoa: The Day the World Exploded, his riveting account of the gigantic Krakatoa eruption. Six cubic miles of matter were thrown as high as 24 miles. A 700-mph shock wave was sent around the Earth seven times. And a 125-foot-high tsunami wrought unspeakable devastation. Many thanks to my dad, for recommending such a sobering and interesting book.