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Monthly Archive: December 2013

Dec 13 2013

Tough Kittehs and Cowardly Goggies

Our own Heliconia sent us this bit o’ hilarity. I about died laughing. Misha only wishes she could do this to dogs. But Misty, the ginormous husky we lived with for a time, had too thick an undercoat to be impressed by a snarling, spitting cat with no front claws. Despite the teeth. Bonus: cats …

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Dec 12 2013

New at Rosetta Stones: A Selection o’ Books for the Geology Buffs on Your List

Do you need book suggestions for that person-interested-in-geology? Do you need to know what to get people in order to turn them into rock fanatics? I’ve got ye covered over at Rosetta Stones! Enjoy, my darlings.

Dec 12 2013

Needle Ice Mania: Nature Is Art (Even When Attempting to Freeze You to Death)

Ah, winter. Ah, week-of-sub-zero-temperatures. You know, we’re used to chill in Seattle, but we’re not used to day after day after day after etc. of freezing cold. The moderating influence of the nearby ocean generally keeps us from being uber-icy. But then comes a cold snap, and it seems like the whole place freezes solid. …

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Dec 11 2013

The Cataclysm: “That Whole Mountain Range Had Just Exploded”

A few seconds after the beginning of the directed blast, life within roughly ten kilometers (6.2 miles) of Mount St. Helens within the blast zone was about to be extinguished. “Directed blasts,” Rick Hoblitt, Dan Miller, and James Vallance wrote in their 1981 paper on the blast deposits, “typically devastate large areas… and kill essentially …

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Dec 10 2013

The Red Waterfall at the Scene of a Volcanic Disaster

Image is a close view of the red-stained streak left by a waterfall that plunges down a bare ridge within the blast zone at Mount St. Helens.

I was going to save this photo for when I’d had time to go back through my recording of the ranger talk and recall what it was the ranger said about it – iron staining? Bacteria? They don’t know? But some of you wanted a larger image of Mount St. Helens’s lovely red waterfall, and …

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Dec 09 2013

The Cataclysm: “A Sudden Exposure of Volatile Material”

The cryptodome growing within Mount St. Helens sowed the seeds of its own destruction. Had it been a small thing, it might have become a younger sibling to Goat Rocks. Pacific Northwesterners might have seen a few displays of volcanic fireworks, another dome added to the edifice, and a return to serenity. It hardly would …

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Dec 08 2013

Sunday Song: Assholes

Image is of a cat smacking a small dog in the face. Caption says, "Good day, sir. I said GOOD DAY!"

So last week saw us treated to Elan Gale’s made-up saga, in which a woman annoyed people and he, Bwave Hewo, descended from the dizzying heights of being responsible for shit-sandwich television such as The Bachelor and proceeded to demonstrate how he believes that bullying sick women will make our social ills go away. Also, …

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Dec 07 2013

Interlude: “To Paradise With Pleasure Haunted With Fear”

A serene terror loomed outside my schoolroom windows. I went to school at the foot of a mountain made of dacite, the same kind of magma that blew Mount St. Helens apart. If I’d known that then, I probably would have had to change schools. I’d seen the eruption on television and read about the …

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Dec 05 2013

New at Rosetta Stones: We’ve Reached Johnston Ridge!

Topo model of Mount St. Helens at Johnston Ridge Observatory. Those red streaks cascading down her flanks aren't lava, they're lahars.

Part V of our Mount St. Helens field trip guide is up. Go for the views, stay for the super-awesome topo maps with lights showing various bits of the eruption!

Dec 04 2013

Interlude: “Lateral Blasts of Great Force”

One of the most surprising aspects of the May 18th eruption of Mount St. Helens was the devastating lateral blast that ravaged such a large area. We’ll be spending the next few posts on that subject. It’s a complicated aspect of a very complex eruption, so before we dive in, let’s have a look at …

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