There are intersections of history and the force of nature; points in time where humans are reminded of their relative helplessness in the face of giant waves, the ground under their feet trembling, or winds that blow down everything in their path. Pompeii is a living testament to this interaction. In AD 79, Mount Vesuvius erupted and engulfed the entire city in hot ash. Walking through the remains of the old city and then up the slopes to the source of its destruction was a slightly surreal experience. Sometimes events come brush up right up against you, imploring you to think of your own relationship to your environment.