Let’s Play Spot the UFDs

We get to see how sharp your UFD-spotting skills are, and see if you can actually identify a few dots. You guys are wizard: betcha you can do it.

All right, first you gotta spot the UFDs in this lovely nature scene:

Image shows the snow-capped Olympic Mountains, the Kitsap Peninsula, and part of Puget Sound.

I solemnly swear there are UFDs in this photo.

I know, it’s not really fair, is it? Huge photo, itty bitty birdies. But I have complete faith in you. My faith is extra-special, as I am an ordained minister. How’s that feel, my darlings? Or should I say, my meatballets?

Okay, yes, you’re allowed to slap my hand with a wet noodle when next we meet. That was a very bad joke.

All right, try your luck with this photo. [Read more…]

God’s Old Earth Curriculum: Introduction

One of the resources I use for our AiCESE articles is a site called Old Earth Ministries. Their tagline is “It’s An Old World After All!” They’re definitely not secular: go to their site, and you’ll see it peppered with Christian apologetics and pleas for you to become a Christian. They represent a variety of old earth creationist viewpoints, and so it’s a bit of a hodgepodge. They describe themselves as mainly “Progressive Creationists,” which will make the biologists scream in frustration:

This view accepts that God created each species of plant and animal as a unique creation, without the use of evolution, and the days of creation refer to a long periods [sic] of time.

Yeah, some folks just can’t stomach evolution. I find it sad that their interpretation of faith allows them to accept most of modern science, but when it comes to evolutionary biology, they fall at the fence. Their God can apparently use allegory for lotsa stuff, but heaven forfend there weren’t a literal Adam and Eve. Unpossible!

Image is a green poster with the British crown and the words "Keep calm and deny evolution."

Image courtesy God of Evolution (CC BY 3.0)

[Read more…]

Holy Schist! Time’s Running Out!

We’re down to the last couple of online shopping days before Christmas! If you were planning to give some Holy Schist or Gnaughty and Gneiss gifties, it’s time to getcher order in. You were totally planning to get some, right?

Image shows a variety of Dana Hunter's Gneiss Schist products arranged with a stocking. A starburst says "Act now!"

Want to make extra-sure you’ll get all your gifties and still have plenty of time to wrap? You can! Order 3 or more items, and you’ll get a free upgrade to Priority Mail. According to the Post Office, that’ll get your stuff to you within 2-4 days, giving you a little more time to get it stocking-ready.

[Read more…]

New at Rosetta Stones: Georneys with Evelyn!

I’ve put up a tribute to my Geokittehs coblogger and awesome friend Evelyn. Some of those georneys will be new for you; some like looking through old vacation photos and enjoying all the fun again. Also, there are gift ideas at the end! So if you’re still trying to figure out what to get your geologist buddies for Christmas or other gift-exchanging holidays, she’s gotcha covered on the bigger stuff. And I’ve gotcher stocking stuffers right here. No worries!

Image shows Evelyn sitting in a gravel road with a cocker spaniel/Shi Tzu mix.

Evelyn and Dingo on the Garnet Road.

Cryptopod: Serpentine Butterflies

I’m pretty sure they’re butterflies, anyway. Dunno: you lot are the experts in such things:

Image shows a chunk of gray serpentinite with a bit of rust-red staining, pebbly ground, and two brown moths.

Cryptopod I

I know the rocks they’re on and around is serpentinite, which isn’t always green. At Patrick Creek, in northern California, quite a bit of it is this lovely silvery-gray sheen with fabulous colors splashed through it. Pretty amazing what rocks get up to in a subduction zone. I’ll be going in to that soon, as I have twelve trillion pictures with moths and serpentinite and so will save some for after you’ve identified our beauties.

[Read more…]

Holy Schist! It’s Almost Christmas! Getcher Gifties Nao!

Remember how you were planning to get some great geological gag gifts, hand-collected, hand-crafted, and in some cases, hand-blessed? You know how you’ve been intending to get that done, only

Image shows a wee Douglas Squirrel in a tree.


And now it’s only ten days before actual Christmas, which means time’s running out!

Image shows a cat looking shocked, with its mouth open. Caption says, "OH NOES!"

Never fear! There’s still time! There’s still plenty o’ great stuff in stock! Just look at the bounty you could have, and right in time for Christmas, too!

Image shows a variety of Gnaughty and Gneiss cards and Holy Schist, with a stocking.

Awesome geological gifties!

But hurry! Shipping time is 3-6 business days, so you gotta act fast to ensure somebody gets a little gneiss coal in their stocking, or ends up shouting “HOLY SCHIST!” in front of Grandma! Order nao!

Giving up on gifts? Going the gift card route? Get yourself a Gnaughty or Gneiss card to present it in! That way, it totes looks like you had it planned all along.

Image shows a cartoon Santa head, looking pensive. Santa's hat has a rock hammer on the white brim. Thought bubble says, "Gonna find out who's..."

Geologist Santa card cover.

There ye go. Shopping all done, gifties on their way. How easy is that?

Let’s Do the Time Warp Again: Newly Discovered Images of Mount St. Helens Pre-Eruption Will Leave You Stunned

The universe is a funny ol’ place sometimes. You’d think a photographer would develop a roll of film shot while flying around an actively erupting volcano, but Reid Blackburn put this one aside. Perhaps he thought he’d get to it later, and then forgot in all the excitement. Besides, he had other great images from that day. So that roll of Mount St. Helens film remained undeveloped.

He might have thought of it after the cataclysmic eruption of May 18th, mere weeks later. Fresh images of the volcano pre-decapitation would have come in useful. But he died that day. What was thought to be his only roll of undeveloped film perished with him, too damaged by the incredible heat of the blast cloud to yield its images. [Read more…]

The More Things Change: Creationists and Their Lying Lists Edition

This is why history is so fascinating to me: I get to learn that creationists have been using the same dishonest tactics for at least 96 years. I’m reading Ronald L. Numbers’s The Creationists, and on page 66, I come across this paragraph from William Louis Poteat, responding to creationist T.T. Martin’s list of “twenty-one really great scientists in the world” supposedly rejecting evolution:

Two do not appear in the biographical dictionaries, five are misrepresented, seven won reputation in other than biological fields, and six have been in their graves more than forty years, two of these having died long before Darwin’s great book was published. One lone biologist is left to support the thesis that the doctrine of evolution is discarded by the science of today. And this man’s position is so peculiar that he is usually mentioned as the single exception to the universal acceptance of evolution by biologists of responsible position.


Image shows a cat lying in front of a notebook and pen, looking up at someone off-camera. Caption says, "I've reduced your list to reputable evolutionary biologists only. Alas, it is blank."

This is laughably familiar to anyone who’s been following the creation-evolution wars for more than ten seconds. The Discovery Institute, that laughable bunch of assclowns polluting my fair city with their ignorance, likes to put out a list of “scientists” who supposedly “Dissent from Darwinism.”

Cast your mind back to 2001, when DIsco clogged up some major newspapers with a cunning advert trying to convince the public that scientists totes don’t like evolution! See how they spun: [Read more…]

Mystery Flora: Amethyst Bloom

Here’s a wonderful little tricorn flower for ye. This beauty was blooming in Icicle Gorge in May of 2013. Made the forest floor fairly pop, I can tell you.

Image shows a short but large flower with three large, spade-shaped leaves and three long, narrow petals. A green bracht looks like a fourth petal.

Mystery Flora I

I’ve mentioned before how much I love the flower-friendly Pacific Northwest. I especially love the way so many flowers grow happily beneath the forest canopy, so that I can photograph them even when it’s spitting rain, as it was that day. [Read more…]