You are browsing the archive for February 2017 - Mountain Beltway.

28 February 2017

Unscientific America, by Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum

Unscientific America, by Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum

This is the second of the books about science communication / science in society that I’ve been meaning to read for years but never gotten around to. (The first was Randy Olson’s.) I’m now motivated to read them in light of the dramatic switch in the governance of my country, in hopes of gleaning lessons that will allow me to effectively promulgate reason and evidence-based decision making. The book documents …

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27 February 2017

Bedding / cleavage intersections at Indian Spring, Fort Valley

Bedding / cleavage intersections at Indian Spring, Fort Valley

A new outcrop in Fort Valley shows Devonian fossil-rich mudrocks overprinted by a tectonic cleavage imparted during Pangaea’s birth throes.

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25 February 2017

Concretions in the Millboro Formation, Fort Valley

Concretions in the Millboro Formation, Fort Valley

Some enormous concretions are encountered in a shale quarry in the central Fort Valley. Concretions like these are typical of the Devonian-aged Millboro Formation.

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24 February 2017

Friday fold: 3D model of kinked schist from Rhode Island

Friday fold: 3D model of kinked schist from Rhode Island

For your Friday fold this week, I present to you a 3D model of a sample of kinked schist from Beavertail State Park, Rhode Island. Spin it right round, baby: This is another sample from the structural geology collection of Carol Simpson and Declan De Paor.

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22 February 2017

The Magic of Reality, by Richard Dawkins

The Magic of Reality, by Richard Dawkins

I just finished Richard Dawkins’ book for younger readers and/or a general audience, The Magic of Reality. It’s a general-interest science education book, written in Dawkins-speak – very conversational and emphatic about key points. It consists of a series of chapters about different topics, with each chapter guided by a big question, like “What is a rainbow?” or “What are things made of?” or “Who was the first person?” Dawkins …

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21 February 2017

Q&A, episode 3

Q&A, episode 3

A reader asks about the use of zircons in isotopic dating, and the argument for submerged continental crust beneath Mauritius.

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20 February 2017

Making “Kate Tectonics”

Making "Kate Tectonics"

I recently discovered a terrific series of videos on YouTube called “Kate Tectonics.” Watch episode 2, “The History of Geology,” here, to get a taste of the series’ excellent production values and its hip, humorous style:   I asked one of the creators, namesake Katelyn Salem, to share a bit of information about the series: Who’s involved in the series? The credits seem lengthy! Can you give a bit of …

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17 February 2017

Friday fold: Buckled at Baltinglass

Friday fold: Buckled at Baltinglass

Garnetiferous beds from the aureole of the Leinster Granite east of Baltinglass, County Wicklow, Ireland (Declan De Paor’s senior thesis mapping area, 1973). Manganese-rich metasediments. The prominent ‘elasticas’ or fan folds (folds with a negative inter-limb angle) are superimposed on isoclinal folds: so the brownish layer at top and bottom are the same, though that is not obvious from the image. This is a sample from the structural geology collection …

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15 February 2017

Don’t Be *Such* a Scientist, by Randy Olson

Don't Be *Such* a Scientist, by Randy Olson

With the current political climate being what it is, I’m newly motivated to learn the best way to communicate science with the American public. I’ve decided to read several books on the topic that I’ve been aware of for years, but not yet made time for. The first is Randy Olson’s Don’t Be *Such* a Scientist. Olson has a unique perspective to apply to the question: he was a tenured …

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13 February 2017

Q&A, episode 2

Q&A, episode 2

A new edition of “science and nature question and answer.” This week: why Massanutten Mountain isn’t longer, and why you’re never going to walk on the Sun.

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