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Through May 17: "Living In The Shadows: Volcanoes of Washington

Washington State History Museum

Volcanoes have been impacting, even physically redesigning, the Puget Sound region for millennia. Photo credit: Christian Carvajal

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On May 18, 1980, at 8:32 a.m., where were you?

Memories of the 1980 Mount Saint Helens eruption informs our knowledge of clear and present danger in the shadows of our dragons next door. That fact is made unnervingly clear by a new exhibit in Tacoma's Washington State History Museum. Kudos to whoever had the dramatic idea of funneling audience members past a mockup of a 1980 living room, complete with vintage color TV. The television's running an episode of KOMO 4 News from that spring afternoon. The broadcast transports middle-aged viewers back in time while acclimatizing younger museum visitors. From there it's on to a display of mind-boggling physical destruction, in which a tree has been warped into a claw and the pyroclastic impact of tons of blazing mud crumpled a metal truck door like an aluminum soda can.

Read Christian Carvajal's full feature on "Living In The Shadows: Volcanoes of Washington" in the Be Northwest section.

"LIVING IN THE SHADOWS: VOLCANOES OF WASHINGTON," 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday-Sunday, Jan. 31-May 17, Washington State History Museum, 1911 Pacific Ave., Tacoma, $8- $11, 888.BE-THERE

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