Unidentified Flying Dinosaur: Life Among the Lilies

You know what I love about waterbirds? The little buggers are easy to photograph. Well, relatively. When you’re standing on the boardwalk at Juanita and they’re out amongst the riot of vegetation that thrives in the shallow end of Juanita Bay in the summertime, they can sometimes be a bit hard to spot. Like so: [Read more…]

New at Rosetta Stones: Geology on Mars!

Wanna do some geology on other planets? Sure you do! I’ve dropped by Mars, where some recent discoveries show the planet has a rich geologic history. And we may have found evidence for microbial life! That last one’s really tentative, but imagine how awesome it’s going to be if that turns out to be the case. I love being alive in a time when we’re making first-ever discoveries, finding things no other humans have ever seen before.
In other news: the Cantina Pledge Drive continues! Thanks to those who’ve donated so far, I’m fed through the month, and my car payment and insurance are covered. I’m still trying to make rent, so if you have a bit to spare and wish to support my blogging, please click the donate button below. Thank you again, my darlings!

Please help keep the verdad flowing!

Flat Earth Nonsense Abounds, I’m Afraid

You’ve probably seen Neil deGrasse Tyson thoroughly school the rapper who thinks Earth is flat. It may be a bit astonishing, realizing that there are people in this modern age who honestly believe in a flat earth. I mean, even most creationists admit the thing is round. But flat eartherism still abides. And if you want to understand why, I’ve got just the book for you.

Image is the cover of Flat Earth: The History of an Infamous Idea, which has a line drawing of the earth from one of the poles.

My review is here, and you can click the image to purchase.

You may also be interested in the story of Wallace’s Woeful Wager, in which our own Alfred Russell Wallace – yes, the co-discoverer of evolution – got suckered into a bet with a flat earth fraud.

Flat earthers will always be with us, I’m afraid. Some out of ignorance, and some because so many people just enjoy being contrary assholes.

Image shows Neil deGrasse Tyson in front of an image of a planetary nebula or similar, holding a microphone. The caption says "Brace Yourself. Knowledge is coming."

Adventures in ACE XVII: “Satan is Like an Iceberg” and Other Important Earth Science Facts

You know, I laugh, I do, when I’m reading these creationist textbooks, and I see the ridiculous religious bullshit being passed off as important facts about earth science. And then I recall the important fact that children are actually being taught that this shit is Genuine Science™, and my laughter dies.

And ACE is pretty much the worst. This section of ACE PACE 1087 demonstrates why. [Read more…]

Creationists and Their Tricksy Ways

So, I was going to write you a post about, I dunno, something. It would have been awesome, possibly even stunning or life-changing. But I stopped by Libby Anne’s whilst I was taking a break, and any ideas I had for a post went right out of my head, because you really need to read her post right now.

In it, she describes her evangelical creationist mother sending her granddaughter some books. And one of them was a “science” book for kids. You want to know how creationists manage to come across as credible to folks? You’re about to get an inside look: [Read more…]

Your Cascadia 1700 Post is Here!

316 years ago today, the Cascadia Subduction Zone ripped along its entire length. The megathrust earthquake destroyed native villages along the Pacific Northwest coast of North America, and inspired generations of stories of the devastation. Across an ocean, people in Japan suddenly found their towns flooded and their homes washed away by a tsunami that came out of nowhere. Here is the story of Thunderbird and the Orphan Tsunami.

Unfortunately, I didn’t have time to do enough research and craft a proper fictional piece about it. But I now have enough resources to do that for next year. So for the next anniversary, we shall have a nice fantasy tale –  probably novella length, even. And once I get my Patreon set up at last, my wonderful patrons will have the first look as I write it!

Mystery Flora/Cryptopod Double-Header: Dragonfly Flowers

We’ve not had a mystery about here for some time! Let’s remedy that with a double-header. I’ve been busily editing photos from the summer whilst I watch Jessica Jones, and I have some lovelies for you.

Image shows some water flowers from above. They are long, thin clusters of tiny, pale pink flowers, with long, narrow green leaves.

Mystery Flora I

As you can see, these tiny buds were barely opening. But the bees were already busy with them.

Image shows a few stems of the flowers standing vertically. A bee is wrapped around one of them.

Mystery Flora II

These lovely flowers filled the wetlands around Juanita Bay last July. They definitely seem to like to keep their feet wet. [Read more…]

Are You Interested in the Cascadia 1700 Earthquake?

So, Tuesday is the anniversary of the 1700 Cascadia Earthquake and tsunami. Would you lot be interested in me writing up a little something about it? Let me know! If I get a good response, I shall do some research this weekend and write you something fun and interesting.

In other blogkeeping news, I am basically out of the office until Monday. I have posts scheduled to go, but I’m not cleaning out the moderation queues or responding to much until then. A few monitors will alert me if things get out of hand, and I’ll release deserving souls from moderation purgatory on Monday. I’ve set aside time for fiction writing, y’see, so I’ve told the real world to bugger off. Facebook is the only exception, so if you’re dying for more Dana, follow me there.

In other other news, it’s been so long since I’ve thought of anything related to words sounding like soul outside of the soles of shoes that I temporarily forgot how to spell the word meaning “spirit” or whatever. LOL.

See you soon, my darlings!

Image is a hand-drawing of the Juan de Fuca Ridge (spreading center), the Olympic Mountains (accretionary prism), Puget Sound, and the Cascade Mountains (magmatic arc).

A rough diagram of our subduction zone. Don’t laugh. I had to draw it by hand. Definitely not to scale, but you get the idea.

New at Rosetta Stones: Potential Disasters!

You’re all in the mood for some mayhem, right? Head on over to Rosetta Stones and check out the fine selection of fine potential geology-related disasters I’ve chosen for you. Included:

  • The reason why even evil dictators need geologists
  • The definitive answer as to whether Yellowstone is about to kill us all right now
  • And ten volcanoes that should leave you in a cold sweat.


Adventures in ACE XVI: Holy Hydrosphere, Bibleman!

Can you believe it’s been six months since we last deconstructed the dreck that is Accelerated Christian Education? I’ve been preoccupied with A Beka and BJU, because they’re more challenging. But ACE brings a unique je ne sais WTF that no other Christian textbook company can even approach, so let us return to ACE PACE 1087, and stare agape at the ways they mangle science for the Lord.

They’re on about Areas of the Hydrosphere now. The ACE writers think it’s more interesting if they have absurd characters babbling to each other, so they’re feeding us what one might loosely refer to as facts via a father-son babblefest. Little Ace is eager to show off his knowledge to dear old Dad, but he leaves out the fact that all water, including the frozen and subsurface stuff, is part of Earth’s hydrosphere. So while he gets points for mentioning oceans, seas, lakes, and rivers as major components thereof, I’m docking him for neglecting groundwater and glaciers, which account for enormous amounts of the planet’s water. In fact, if you only want to cover “major” water bodies, you’d best be leaving lakes and rivers out, as they account for only about 3% of the earth’s fresh water. Groundwater is 30.8%, while glaciers are a whopping 68.9%. And yeah, groundwater pumping and anthropogenic climate change are shrinking both sources fast, but a) not that fast and b) the Real True Christians™ behind ACE probably don’t believe humans have any impact on God’s Perfect Creation anyway. So we’ll chalk that failure to mention important bits up to incompetence. [Read more…]