Adventures in Christianist Earth Science Education XIV: Wherein We Row Our Creationist Boat Gently Down the Streams

At last we leave the vasty deep behind and sail upon the streams and lakes of the world. Alas, we’re still stuck on the S.S. Earth Sciences 4th Edition. A Beka’s Science of the Physical Creation only talks about freshwater features in the context of weathering and erosion. I’ve peeked ahead at that chapter, and I can assure you we’re in for some serious creationist fuckery there. The open question is: can it out-Christianist the Christianist experts at ES4? Stay tuned to find out! [Read more…]

The Dogs Apparently Think I’m a Dog Person

I’m sure the Christian Patriarchy Enthusiasts will put this down to me being an unmarried female of a certain age, but I think it’s because apartment living and frequent geotripping gave me a whole new appreciation for self-sufficient animals. But either way, it’s true: the older I’ve gotten, the more I’ve become enthusiastic about cats and meh about dogs. I mean, I like dogs. They’re okay. Some of them are even awesome. But, in general, I’d rather leave ’em than take ’em.

This attitude has not impressed the dogs who live in this house. [Read more…]

From Fiery Flow to Cool Art

Humans have a long tradition of taking rocks and making pretty things with them. Usually, when you think of sculpture, you think of marble, right? I mean, of course, marble – marble’s a wonderful stone for sculptors, very hard and yet amenable to people carving and polishing it.

If I asked you for an igneous rock suitable for making art with, what would you give me? Big ol’ chunk of something in the granite family? Good choice! Polishes up a treat, that does, and it’s very monumental. [Read more…]

A Disaster, or an Opportunity

Egads, wot a day. We had an all-day party here at the house, which went from 1 in the afternoon until 2 in the ay-em. I cut out for a few hours to watch the UFC event at B’s house, and that was also incrediballs. Every fight was a finish, which is virtually unheard of for a pay-per-view event – those had a run of boring. So yep, excitement city. And I had to clean the litter box in the midst of it. This is my glamorous life and I’m sure you envy me mightily.

Anyway. Very tired now, but I wanted to pop in and relate something the awesome entomologist guy, Don, said as we talked science, the universe, and everything. We were discussing the aftermath of the May 18th eruption. And he mentioned an insight he’d had hiking there in the years after. Lupines were among the first plants to colonize the blast zone, and there’s a particular caterpillar or some such that feeds and lives upon them. I wish I could remember what, but I was exhausted and slightly sloshed at that point, so. Anyway. The area he hiked through was teeming with lupines and a far bigger population of these particular arthropods that normal. And he said he realized that what was a complete disaster from other perspectives happened to be a Golden Age to these little dudes. They’d had to put up with just the occasional lupine dotted here and there before. Now, they had all the lupines they could possibly want. The world, from their perspective, had improved immensely. [Read more…]

I Brought Ye Some Baker

We almost didn’t. Ya’ll can thank B for your Baker photos today, because he’s the one who said, “Let’s do it.” See, when we got up Friday morning, the cloud cover was thick and low. Weather.com promised me partly sunny skies at Mount Baker, but I hadn’t any faith, especially not with the Cascade foothills covered in clouds. I was ready to give it all up and head to Larrabee State Park instead. But B wanted Baker, and he convinced me to take a chance on it. So up we went.

We stopped by Nooksack Falls first, to kind of warm up, and to give the clouds a chance to burn off. We had a magnificent time. We were the only ones there for most of the time, and we got lots of photos of the top of the falls, and of the side creek bringing in a huge load of sediment. Here’s one of the prettiest pictures, which was taken when we were walking beside the falls on the way to the car. This is at the top, as the water begins its downward plunge:

Image shows water falling over a polished ledge of volcanic rock. Some of the water is falling in a thin white veil; beyond that, the water is deeper and has a lovely aquamarine color. Where the water is landing, it is churning whitewater.

Look at all those lovely colors and textures!

That sublime brown rock is 180 million years old, erupted in a Jurassic ocean, according to Ron Tabor. That’s some pretty super-awesome stuff, and some of the oldest rock in Western Washington if I remember right.

This seems like a great place to come on a hot day, because it was a warm day and we nearly froze. So we didn’t linger. We headed up the mountain, and were cheered by a few sunbreaks. Then, by the time we’d reached Heather Meadows, we were in bright sunshine. Sure, there was a bit of haze in the air, and yeah, there were so many clouds to the east that you couldn’t see off the slopes, much less out across the valley, but it was a lot better than expected. We stopped at the Visitor’s Center, where the ranger on duty told us that Artist’s Point was completely clear of snow, and I screamed for joy, because that meant we could do the Table Mountain hike. [Read more…]

Drool-Worthy Geology at Whatcom Falls Park

Sometimes, having your plans fall through is the best possible thing. B and I headed up to Mount Baker yesterday to get you all some lovely volcano photos. Alas, the haze in the air was so thick you couldn’t see across a lake, so voluptuous volcanic vistas were not in the cards. The weather was cool enough for some Puget Lowland adventure, though, so we picked a park and went hiking.

We were lucky enough to discover Whatcom Falls Park, which is along short little Whatcom Creek. It’s not at peak flow right now, so the waterfalls aren’t as majestic as they are in other seasons. However, this is a prime time to see the geology of the stream bed. It is bloody spectacular. [Read more…]

Cryptopod: Squirmy Water Wormies!

B and I were going to visit Mount Baker on Thursday, but the haze in the air was atrocious. The views were severely compromised. So when we reached Bellingham and nothing had changed, we decided to modify our plans – after all, we were staying overnight and could go up next day. We searched around for suitable parks to play in, and found Whatcom Falls Park. People, this place is made of awesome. It’s probably even more awesome when the water levels are high, but seeing it with the creek so low is also mega-awesome, because you can walk out on top of the big waterfall and see what the water has done to the delicious sandstone. I’ll be showing you that quite soon.

Another super-awesome thing you may see is a shallow green puddle full of red squirmy worms. If you don’t like worms, this won’t be super-awesome. But if you do, you’ll squee, and then you’ll crouch down and take photos. [Read more…]

New at Rosetta Stones: Let’s Take a Scientific Trip to Seattle’s Seward Park!

I have, at long last, begun the Seattle adventure series requested by Rosetta Stones reader Galway. This trip, we’re visiting Seward Park, and all of the delicious geology within. There’s plenty of other science there for those strange people who don’t get really excited by rocks. Enjoy!

Stay tuned, for if all goes as planned, I should have some delicious photos from Mount Baker for you tomorrow, my darlings. And Misha’s had some adventures of her own she’ll share with you very soon. Also, too, there is a ginormous party going on at our place on Saturday, with some astonishingly awesome live music acts and an actual entomologist, so I’ll likely have photos and videos from that shindig for you once I’ve recovered. Swag will be forthcoming to those who asked for it, I swear, next week without fail. Thanks for your patience!

Do you want to know how devoted I am to you? [Read more…]

Trapped – Escape Chapter 5: “Linda’s Flight to Freedom”

In our last installment of Escape, we watched Carolyn’s sister Linda flee the FLDS cult with her friend Claudel, despite the threat of losing their families and being condemned to the worst portions of hell. In the last half of this chapter, we’ll see that running from the FLDS is one thing. Hiding successfully is quite another.

When women flee the FLDS, they’re hunted down like fugitives on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted list, only with less of a chance to evade capture. Linda and Claudel only manage a few days of freedom before they’re tracked and surrounded by a posse of their male relatives. The woman they’re staying with has to call the police to get rid of them, and even when told by the cops that the girls are legal adults and can do whatever they want, so scram, Linda’s dad won’t leave until he’s talked to her. She finally relents when he promises to leave her alone after they’ve spoken.

Pro tip: when an abusive asshole or a cult authority tells you they’ll stop bothering you if you’ll just talk to them this once, they’re lying. So, y’know, don’t bother. [Read more…]