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The Next Great Scary Story?

Stranded travelers aren’t the only ones cursing the volcanic ash cloud currently hovering over Europe. Kenyan farmers have been forced to dump many tons of Europe-bound vegetables and flowers, and food shortages have been reported in Europe and the U.S. Meanwhile, everyone from Whitney Houston to John Cleese is getting creative about transportation; non-celebrities are relying on social networking sites for alternatives. If this eruption is anything like the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora, there may be at least a few positive artistic side-effects. The resulting dismal weather of 1816 (the Year Without a Summer) caused famine and rioting, but also reportedly resulted in Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley‘s Frankenstein and John Polidori‘s The Vampyre.[%comments]