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Monthly Archive: December 2013

Dec 30 2013

Interlude: When Vehicles Become Part of the Geologic Record

The conversation might have gone something like this: Geologists: “Hey, boss person, we need to order vehicle parts and then destroy them. For science!” Boss person: “Ummm… okay.” The thing is, things happen to vehicles when they’re caught up in a directed blast. What the volcano did to them can tell us a lot about …

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Dec 23 2013

A Survivor’s Tale: “Half the mountain exploding over our heads”

One thing I love about blogging is hearing from readers, especially readers who have intriguing tales to tell. A bit ago, Timo5150 left a tantalizing clue that one such tale might prove extra-intriguing: I was living just outside Randle Washington when it erupted, 20.2 miles from it. From there it was more of a low …

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Dec 22 2013

Midwintering

Hoarfrost on my car's side-view mirror. It made the whole car look fuzzy and adorable. This close-crop makes it look silvery-dark and a bit grim.

Happy Belated Solstice! Twas yesterday, that day when the year reaches its extreme. In this hemisphere, it’s the shortest. We’re deep in the dark and cold. Seattle celebrated early with a bit o’ snow, the day before the darkest day.

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Dec 21 2013

Subduction is Seductive

geos subduction experts

This is among the many reasons geologists rock. Of course, that flat grassy field should be a bit more wrinkled…

Dec 19 2013

New at Rosetta Stones: Why Geologists Aren’t Worried About Ending Up on the Naughty List

Some of you may remember when I originally discussed why naughty geologists have no fear of what’s in their stocking, but you may enjoy it again – especially since there are added bonus pictures! Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to do something naughty so that Santa will fill my stocking with coal. Yay!

Dec 18 2013

The Cataclysm: “A Boiling Mass of Rock”

For most survivors of Mount St. Helens’s catastrophic lateral blast, the devastation was nearly silent. You would think that a wall of ash, hot gas and rock hurtling at a minimum of 100 kilometers per hour (62 mph), mangling vehicles and ripping down every tree in its path, would be loud, incredibly loud – but …

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Dec 17 2013

Dana’s Super-Gargantuan Guide to Atheist Books Suitable for Gift-Giving (Part II)

Image shows a kitten perched on an open book, looking as if it's reading, with the caption "Reading Rainbow."

We covered a lot of territory with Part I of our super-duper guide, and there ain’t many shopping days left. But we’ve still time for more of the specialized stuffage. Let’s go!

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Dec 16 2013

The Cataclysm: “I Was Just Instantly Buried”

A falling tent heralded catastrophe. Until the summer dry season comes, things in the Pacific Northwest are perpetually wet. Edward Smith and his companions, camped 18 kilometers (11 miles) north of Mount St. Helens, had set their tent on its side to dry out. At 8:32 am, an unusually strong wind gusted, again, and again: …

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Dec 15 2013

Dana’s Super-Gargantuan Guide to Atheist Books Suitable for Gift-Giving (Part I)

Photo of a cat lying atop books on a shelf, biting one. Caption says, "I am looking for a book I can REALLY sink my teeth into."

It’s about that time when we perpetual procrastinators begin to feel each grain of sand dropping through the narrow bit of the glass, innit? If you’ve left gift-buying a bit late, never fear! Books are easy, Amazon and other online retailers are quick, the local bookstore may even be stocked, and you can get someone …

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Dec 14 2013

Kitties Are An Enormous Help

Kirby lying atop the material for B's scarf. Note the typical feline expression, eyes half-closed by way of saying, "This scarf belongs to me, now, and I shall not relinquish ownership. Good day."

My brain is bleeding. You know those times when you’ve read so much of so many different things that you can feel bits of gray matter edging their way toward your ears, clutching the metaphorical hat and coat as surreptitiously as possible, hoping the hostess won’t notice their departure? Yeah. That’s my brain right now. …

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