Science: Steam of the Fire Goddess

Near the Bay of Plenty on New Zealand's North Island is an uneasy, earth-quaky land full of hot springs, geysers, active volcanoes and puddles of boiling mud. Trying to tap the power of this natural boiler, government engineers have dotted the area with wells, out of which steam pours with a screeching roar that makes jet engines sound like whippoorwills. Last week six of the screaming jets had been harnessed to a turbine and were generating 6,400 kw. of geothermal electricity.

According to native Maori legend, an ancient chief named Ngatoro-i-rangi got caught in...

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