Monthly Archive: October 2012

Oct 21 2012

OSU Geotour Supplemental I: A Fire and Water Theme

Petrified wood in sidewalk concrete, outside the Interzone coffee shop, Corvallis, OR.

A few weeks ago, Lockwood took me on his Oregon State University geology tour. He’s written it up for ye, and I’ll just pop in a few (billion) photographs so you can do more of a sort of virtual tour thing. I’ve got so many photos I’ve decided to break it up into parts so …

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Oct 20 2012

Geopuzzle: Cheshire Cat

Cheshire Cat outcrop panorama. Best I could do with all the alders in the way. Sorry.

I’d actually hoped to write this one up myself, but Lockwood beat me to it. Here’s the Cheshire Cat puzzle Aaron and I solved on the Quartzville trip. Think you can find the answer faster than we did? Smile If you Like Earth Science Week: Cheshire Cat! (Clues 1 & 2) Cheshire Cat! Clue 3 …

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Oct 20 2012

Saturday Song: [Learning] Japanese

It turns out that one (not particularly efficient) way of learning Japanese is to spend a whole day reading haiku based around the same theme. After a while, even though the translations are loose at best, you begin to pick out particular words and know what they mean. I can now say “red dragonfly.” Aka …

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Oct 19 2012

Mystery Flora: Anticipating Snow or White Weddings?

Mystery Flower I

Our Goldener Oktober confused the hell out of our local plants, imported and domestic. I’ve seen a lot of things burst into bloom that probably shouldn’t have done. I’d swear, for instance, that the hedgy sort of bushes along one of our local streets bloomed once already this year, but when I bopped by them …

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Oct 18 2012

One of Our Best Bloggers Needs You

Greta Christina is one of the writers I respect most in the world. She recently became a full-time freelance writer, and it seems the world has been out to get her ever since. Her father died just a few weeks ago – then she was diagnosed with endometrial cancer early this week. It’s not the …

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Oct 18 2012

“The Largest Historic Gravitational Slide Known”

That’s what this is: one helluva huge debris avalanche. Thing goes nearly fourteen miles down the Toutle River Valley. It’s bloody ginormous is what it is. That’s it, there in the brown, on this lovely little map. We all focus on the bits of St. Helens that went boom: do we really give the bits …

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Oct 17 2012

Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: Positively Volcanic


I’ve never gotten so fortunate with birds in Oregon before. Quite a few actually stopped long enough for photo ops this time, and some even did interesting things for the camera. Some are even in focus. This one isn’t so much, but it’s the most intriguing of the lot. It landed in a tree some …

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Oct 16 2012

Learning the Language of Rivers I: A History of Confusion

The Colorado Rivers runs through it. No, seriously, if you click to embiggen, you'll see a microscopic bit of water in that hole in the center. Also, there is a watercourse leading up to it. It hasn't got water in it just now, but this is the high desert, baby, yeah. Actually, low desert where that is, because it's almost a mile down. This was my first youthful impression of rivers. No wonder they are mysterious and inaccessible to me. Image courtesy Cujo359.

I don’t grok rivers. Some folks seem to understand them on an almost instinctual level, whether they grew up intimate with them or developed that relationship later in life. That’s not me. My experience with rivers runs thusly: they’re gashes in the landscape with rocks in, where you have to watch for flash floods; the …

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Oct 15 2012

Monday Music: Help a Choir Out

Some might be surprised to find out, but I sang in concert choir in high school. It was full of personalities, so to speak, and always had some drama going on. Most of us (self included) had voices of indifferent quality at best. And we were hormonal teenagers who were often too distracted to follow …

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Oct 14 2012

Cryptopod: Blackbody on Blackberry

Cryptopod I

Right. First order of bidness: we’re renaming the “Cryptoinsect” thing because some people apparently can’t accept chucking in any old arthropod under that title. Rather than argue technical versus lay terms and such, we’ll just say “Cryptopod” and be done with it. It’s easier to say and I can sneak sea creatures in under such …

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