One hundred years ago*, a ship sideswiped an iceberg on its way across the ocean, and the Titanic legend was born. Speaking of legend, James Cameron’s film was so sweeping and dramatic that some folks think it must have been entirely fictional. But it was based on a true story, right down to the Heart of the Ocean.
Apr 29 2013
Apr 28 2013
Okay, all you geeks, here’s a little something a damned good friend at work turned me on to:
Seriously. Law and comic book worlds. Law as it pertains to superheroes, supervillains and other comic denizens. This is awesome. I’m a huge advocate of using stories and story worlds to teach other things. I learned a lot of my science and developed a burning passion for it partly through people who wrote books discussing the science of Star Trek. I learned to appreciate philosophy by reading essays by philosophers exploring the philosophy of Middle Earth and Batman. So why not learn a little law by reading what lawyers have to say about how laws would work in comic book universes?
Click the banner if you’re with me on that.
This is bloody brilliant, and I hope they turn it in to a book.
Apr 27 2013
Geologic language is very conducive to puns. It’s inevitable: you get two geologists together in the same room, they’re gonna let loose with some geo puns. It’s as certain as gabbro being called “black granite” by purveyors of quality countertops.
And we can keep it up past the point of reason. But we’re very gneiss about it.
Blue: I like rocks! I am a nerd!
Black: likes this
Purple: Geology rocks.
Green: Don’t take it for granite.
Green: Shale I continue?
Purple: Of quartz.
Green: Igneous is bliss.
Blue: Wow! I love this convo! Thanks for being so gneiss.
Green: It was sedimentary, my dear Blue.
Orange: You’re definitely one of the boulder people I know!
Yellow: Groaning!!!!! lol
Red: Don’t let erosion wear you down!
Cyan: Oh Blue, if you weren’t such a dol-i-mite make more fun of you!
Purple: I gravel at your feet, master of puns.
That is made of epic win. There’s some in there I hadn’t even heard! I’d better start rocking it, or someone might bring the hammer down.
(Thank you, I’ll be here all week…)
Apr 26 2013
No, I’m not going to show you what “this” is. I’m going to make you go look. It’s got to do with cats, ducklings, a shark, and a Roomba. You’re totally going to go look now, right? Swallow what you’re drinking first.
Apr 25 2013
This is one of those things that every skeptic should have handy at all times. Happily, there are t-shirts (use the drop-down for a variety of styles, including women’s. Yay different styles and colors!).
Anyway, here’s the diagram:
Visit the link, and you’ll find one in Croatian, one in Italian, one in Spanish, and another that includes conspiracy theories. I bloody love this thing! I’ve gone ahead and ordered one on a snazzy shirt. I’ll post a picture of me strutting round in it when I get it. Should I wear it to one of the local fundie churches and bring my Skeptic’s Annotated Bible? Or would that be too obvious?
Apr 25 2013
We’ve got our next Pioneering Woman in the Geosciences up: Mary Horner Lyell. Yes, married to that Lyell. Some of you may not have known she was a fine scientist in her own right. It was hard finding information on her, but I did manage to draw together enough for a sketch, and I think you’ll like her quite as much as I do. Go introduce yourselves.
Apr 24 2013
All of this is true:
Aside from that wonder of birth stuff. Sorry, but I find it more icky than inspiring. What I do think is wonderful is that the squalling bundle of raw need that rips its way out of a woman kinda like something from Aliens ends up becoming a small mobile science question generator. I love it when kids reach that age where everything is wonderful and they want to know why. I love it when a few of them never lose touch with that child within them.
This is why things like creationism and “intelligent design” make me so angry. They destroy that sense of wonder. They hollow it out, and fill the void with bullshit. They destroy that child asking why. That, I cannot forgive them for.
Let the world fill with skeptics. Let wonder never cease. Let us never hear a “Because” without asking “Because why?”
Apr 23 2013
Few places on Earth are so full of geological mayhem as a subduction zone. Life in the interior of a continent in no way prepares you for the chaos you’ll encounter when seafloor dives under continent. Where I grew up on the Colorado Plateau, the geology’s like a lovely layer cake: nice horizontal slabs of schist and sandstone and sediments from ancient seas stacked neatly one after the other, with a volcano on top. Washington state is also like a layer cake: one that had a tiramisu jammed in with it, and some mystery dessert stuffed into the last empty space on the table, and then the whole table got caught in an argument between a steamroller and a bulldozer, leaving a jumbled mass only just barely recognizable as bakery products – with a volcano on top.
USGS geologists describe the rocks in the Chilliwack Terrane as “Highly folded and commonly upside down.” That’s one of the better behaved bits, mind. Some of the rocks in the Northern Cascades are so messed up that geologists can only describe them as a mélange – a mixture.
It’s madness. And in less than a hundred miles, I’ll show you some of the wildest crustal contortions you ever did see. We’ll go from a beach that has got deep ocean floor stuck atop it to a place 2,000 feet up where plutons of contentedly crystallizing magma endured the twice-baked potato experience. On our way, we’ll cross something on the order of eight different terranes, bits of crust that belonged elsewhere before they found themselves emigrating to America.
Apr 23 2013
Hey, look, Rosetta Stones is now just over a year old! Outstanding! I think that means I can start filching from it now, and reposting stuff here for those who missed it, or would like to relive the adventure again. Don’t worry, I’ll be subjecting Rosetta Stones to the same treatment, so if you have a few favorite posts from ETEV’s past, you’ll probably see those come round again.
Right, then. Onward, ho. Our first selection will be a reprise of my very first written piece for Scientific American, which appeared on the guest blog over a year ago. From there, the stars! No, wait, those aren’t particularly outcrop-rich and a little too hot for field work. Right. From there, the planets! And the moons! Geronimo!*
*+10 Geek Points to those who know where “Geronimo!” comes from.
Apr 22 2013
Happy Earth Day, my darlings! I’m very happy to showcase a website chock full of simple and fun ideas for making a difference. I hope you get lots of excellent ideas, and have a good time helping kids help us save the planet.
Earth. It’s where we keep all our stuff.