Monthly Archive: December 2012

Dec 31 2012

A Triumph for the Mount St. Helens Institute – And You

Mount St Helens Institute reaches 2013 Likes - huzzah!

Not long ago, I received an email from the Mount St. Helens Institute saying they were going to be posting my Prelude to a Catastrophe series as their Holiday Reading series, by way of trying to get to 2013 likes by 2013, and would I be at all interested in helping? And I was both …

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Dec 31 2012

Beauties, Beasts, and a Lesson Most of Us Don’t Want To Learn

This is a good read, an important read, and I’d like you to read it all. Gyzym is gentle but firm in explaining why movies like Beauty and the Beast can be jarring for those who didn’t realize that the fairy tale is actually a classic domestic violence scenario. That’s important to face. And for …

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Dec 30 2012

Sunday Song: The Bagpipes o’ War

I’m sorry. Yes, I know, there’s a great and noble history, and art, and skill, and all that, but when I hear this line: “Bagpipers play the tunes of war” I still burst out laughing. Every time. Something in me can’t accept bagpipes as instruments you’d go to war with. I suppose they do look …

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Dec 29 2012

Funkadelic Fungi the Reprise: Odd Colors

Amanita muscaria

Recently, I introduced you to some very lovely Amanita muscaria. Most of them were a bright, blazing red, like so: Some, however, were more sun-colored. We likes sun-colored things here in Seattle, considering how infrequently we get to see the thing that inspired phrases like sun-colored. Amanita muscaria comes in varieties, in fact, and this …

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Dec 28 2012

Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: Birds of Bothell, Plus Something Bizarre


It’s all juncos all the time around here in the winter, it seems. Well, crows, too, especially at dusk, when the place starts to look like a set for The Birds. I grabbed a pic for junco aficionados, and Trebuchet has a truly lovely little one he’d like to confirm his ID on:

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Dec 27 2012

Lava Butte, Oregon

Lava Butte from the lava trail

I last visited Newberry Crater, Oregon, and it’s flank cinder cone Lava Butte, in the summer of 2003.  Husband and I met up with his parents in a campground near Bend, and introduced them to volcanoes.  Newberry Crater is interesting to potter about — especially its Big Obsidian Flow — but it has such fascinating …

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Dec 27 2012

New at Rosetta Stones: I Laugh Heartily at Media Errors and Compose a Geopoem

It’s a holiday week, so I figured I’d take a holiday from serious bidness and do something fun. What’s more fun than poking fun at the media for getting things terribly wrong? I take apart three YouTube clips, two of them from august names in the informing-the-public trade, and compose a poem to help them …

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Dec 26 2012

Per Heliconia’s Request: Pretty Red Branches

Pretty Red Branches

No snowy Christmas for Seattle, alas. Just gray drippy skies. But winter isn’t all dull and drab. Yes, most of the trees are gray skeletons, but there’s plenty of evergreenery, and then there are the bushes whose branches blaze in the thin, cold light. Just like Heliconia requested! All right, so the leaves never really …

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Dec 25 2012

A Christmas Sermon by Robert Ingersoll

Something tells me that Robert Ingersoll and Bill O’Reilly wouldn’t have gotten along. I like that. I hope you’re currently surrounded by food, friends, and family (whether by birth or family you chose). For those of you stuck at work, I wish you an easy shift, and thank you! Did everyone get their gift from …

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Dec 24 2012

Holiday Gifts For You

"Sierra White" granodiorite

When I decided to go back to school to study geology, I really had to start at the beginning with the upper-division undergraduate courses, since my previous education had been in computer and software engineering.  The first class I took was Earth Materials, where I learned to recognize various rock types and incidentally fell in …

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