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

29 September 2017

Friday folds: soft sediment deformation in thin sections of MTD sandstone

The Friday folds are small soft-sediment deformational features within a dismembered, folded sandstone (a “ploudin”) from a mass transport deposit from the latest Devonian of West Virginia.

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22 September 2017

Friday fold: bend in a vesicular lava flow, Etna

It’s the First Friday of Fall! Here’s a sort of fold to help you celebrate: a section through a ∧ shaped bend in a vesicular basalt flow from the eastern flanks of Mount Etna in Sicily. It’s due to volcanic lava flowing rather than ductile deformation of a pre-existing solid rock (our usual habit with this feature), but I think we can appreciate it regardless:

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20 September 2017

Make It Stick, by Peter Brown, Henry Roediger and Mark McDaniel

This past spring, when I attended the InTeGrate workshop called “Teaching About the Earth Online,” one of the participants recommended the book Make It Stick, by Peter Brown, Henry Roediger and Mark McDaniel. Months later, the volume finally moved up in my reading queue to the top. It’s a fascinating account of the empirical research about how people successfully learn. I found it absolutely engaging and stimulating, in particular the …

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15 September 2017

Friday fold: Dextral asymmetry in a shear zone, Italy

The Friday fold comes from highly foliated rocks in a shear zone near Tyrol, Italy. It was contributed by reader Samuele Papeschi.

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13 September 2017

Life 3.0, by Max Tegmark

A new book on artificial intelligence (AI) has just been published. It’s Life 3.0: Being Human in the Age of Artificial Intelligence, by MIT physicist Max Tegmark. Tegmark was one of the trailblazing thinkers interviewed by James Barrat in his book Our Final Invention, which I thought was terrific, so I was eager to see what he had to say when writing for himself. I finished the audiobook version of …

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8 September 2017

Big earthquake in southwestern Mexico, M8.1

The M8.1 southwestern Mexico earthquake is discussed and placed in context.

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Friday fold: Ptygmatic folding in gneiss

I was transferring some samples into my structural geology cabinet last week when I found this beautiful ptygmatic (“intestine-like”) folded quartz vein. I thought it deserved some wider circulation. I can’t recall where it came from, but it’s beautiful, with a train of a dozen or so isoclinal folds. So I made the digital media you see below. Enjoy! Here’s a GIGAmacro of the sample (you need Flash enabled to …

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1 September 2017

Snow Crash, by Neal Stephenson

Well, I did it again: I read another Neal Stephenson novel. As noted in this space previously, I really enjoyed Seveneves, but was relatively underwhelmed by Cryptonomicon. In discussing these other books with friends, Snow Crash was recommended as the ne plus ultra of Stephenson’s style. In terms of coherence of plot and interesting characters and overall satisfaction, Snow Crash is up there with Seveneves, but I would still have …

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