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26 June 2012

Doctoral Regalia: MIT/WHOI Style

Almost three weeks ago I participated in the doctoral hooding and commencement ceremonies at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). During these ceremonies, I received my doctoral hood and my diploma, which I earned for my PhD in Marine Geology, a degree which was jointly awarded by MIT and the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI). During the course of planning for and participating in these ceremonies, I found myself fascinated …

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29 April 2012

Blast from the Past: Meteorite Graduation Gift

I feel very fortunate to have known Phil Plait aka “The Bad Astronomer” for many years, primarily through our involvement with the James Randi Educational Foundation (JREF). I twice worked as an intern for the JREF, and Phil used to be president of the JREF. Over the years, Phil has been very encouraging and supportive of  my scientific studies. I’m currently packing up my office as I prepare to depart …

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19 April 2012

Geology Word of the Week: T is for Time

def. Time: 1. What the clock (or the cesium atom) measures. 2. “The indefinite continued progress of existence and events in the past, present, and future regarded as a whole.” (From Google Dictionary). 3. “A finite extent or stretch of continued existence, as the interval separating two successive events or actions, or the period during which an action, condition, or state continues; a finite portion of time; a period.” (From …

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16 April 2012

Monday Geology Picture: PhD Defense

On Friday the 13th I successfully defended my PhD in Marine Geology in the MIT/WHOI Joint Program. For this week’s geology picture, here I am on Friday with my co-advisors Susan Humphris and Ken Sims at my post-defense party. Everyone has to call me Dr. Evelyn now… at least for a few days. Then everyone can call me just plain old Evelyn again. Once I recover from post-thesis exhaustion and …

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4 April 2012

PhD Defense!

Someone has been posting these signs all over the Geology and Geophysics Department at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution and the Earth and Planetary Science Department at MIT: I can’t believe that I’m actually going to defend my PhD next week. Honestly, it feels somewhat surreal. I guess I’d better make a presentation! And make sure I know my carbon cycle. MIT/WHOI Joint Program thesis defense presentations are open to the …

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29 May 2011

Just a Typical Sunday Morning Conversation at WHOI

I had an interesting conversation with one of the security guards here at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) just a few minutes ago. The conversation went something like this slightly stylized version: ************** Security guard: Do you know where Mary* is? I noticed her car wasn’t in the parking lot last night. Me: Hmm… haven’t seen her recently. Security guard: I know she’s been working in New York, so I …

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Just a Typical Sunday Morning Conversation at WHOI

I had an interesting conversation with one of the security guards here at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) just a few minutes ago. The conversation went something like this slightly stylized version: ************** Security guard: Do you know where Mary* is? I noticed her car wasn’t in the parking lot last night. Me: Hmm… haven’t seen her recently. Security guard: I know she’s been working in New York, so I …

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16 April 2011

Good Hotplate

On Wednesday there was a bad hotplate incident that melted two of my samples. As scary and destructive (for my poor Oman rocks…) as this incident was, I’m happy to report that there is some good resulting. I’ve filed a full safety report, and with the help of a safety person I’ve been in touch with Thermo Scientific, the company that manufactured the defective hotplate. Maybe it’s because Woods Hole …

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13 April 2011

Bad Hotplate

When it comes to laboratory safety, you should never cut corners to save money. A few months ago, I had a teflon beaker melt on a yellow hotplate which we had purchased for the lab to replace a hotplate that died. Unfortunately, when inexpensive hotplates “die” they tend to heat up very hot, which can be very dangerous. I’m not sure exactly what happens, but I think that over time …

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6 March 2011

Temporal Disconnect: An Underwater Oceanographic Institution?

Martha’s Vineyard oceanview, Cape Cod, November 2008. I was walking along the beach today in Woods Hole here on Cape Cod. I wanted some fresh air and felt like collecting some seashells. You always find the best seashells in the winter. There’s no one else on the beach, usually, so the biggest, most beautiful seashells will just be waiting for you there on the sand, perhaps tangled in some seaweed. …

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1 March 2011

Technology Anachronisms in Science

MacDiff program running in a Mac Classic environment emulator on my Windows XP netbook, January 2011. Ever since I starting doing geology research back in 2003, I have encountered technology anachronisms in science. I find these technology anachronisms intriguing, humorous, and- sometimes- frustrating. Often, the challenge of using technology in science is not keeping up with the latest-and-greatest technology but rather remembering or learning to use very old, outdated technology. …

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20 February 2011

A Million Random Digits

First page of random digits in “A Million Random Digits” book. Image taken from Amazon.com. Earlier this evening I met up with three classmates (all girls, by the way; my statistics class is about 90% female) to work on programming our latest statistics homework into MATLAB. Working in a group is easier as four pairs of eyes tend to catch code errors faster than one pair of eyes. Also, we …

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The Power and Beauty of Statistics

I am taking an applied statistics course this semester and very much appreciating and enjoying it. Some readers sent me a couple of videos about statistics, and I thought I would share them with you here. Enjoy! 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 Minutes Hans Rosling Video taken from YouTube. Here’s a link to a longer Hans Rosling video.

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The Power and Beauty of Statistics

As I have recently been writing about over at Skepchick, I am taking an applied statistics course this semester and very much appreciating and enjoying it. Some Skepchick readers sent me a couple of videos about statistics, and I thought I would share them with you here. Enjoy! 200 Countries, 200 Years, 4 MinutesHans Rosling  Video taken from YouTube. Here’s a link to a longer Hans Rosling video.

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18 February 2011

A Conversation with My Doctor

Last weekend I made a quick trip down to Tennessee to visit family since my great-grandmother recently passed away. I flew out of and back into Boston Logan airport. Before I headed back down to the little village of Woods Hole, I went to visit my doctor at MIT Medical– a facility that serves MIT staff, students, and their families. I had a somewhat entertaining conversation with my doctor. The …

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A Conversation with My Doctor

Last weekend I made a quick trip down to Tennessee to visit family since my great-grandmother recently passed away. I flew out of and back into Boston Logan airport. Before I headed back down to the little village of Woods Hole, I went to visit my doctor at MIT Medical– a facility that serves MIT staff, students, and their families. I had a somewhat entertaining conversation with my doctor. The …

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7 February 2011

Scientific Perspiration

Note that I originally wrote this essay during my first year of graduate school. Three years later, I still feel that I am an average graduate student. However, I also feel that since I started graduate school I’ve gained a large amount of confidence and greatly developed my knowledge in geology, chemistry, and mathematics. I have also been humbled. Although I know much, much more than when I started graduate …

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Scientific Perspiration

Before I started a geology blog, I used to sporadically blog about geology over at Skepchick. These days, I blog here at Georneys about geology, and I blog over at Skepchick about other skeptical and scientific things, such as the elusive tree octopus. Occasionally, I will re-post some of my old geology posts from Skepchick. I will also sometimes cross-post on both blogs. The post below originally appeared on Skepchick …

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28 January 2011

Brilliant Clutter

My home dining room table, cluttered with computer, papers, notebook, phone, and cat, Spring 2010. Some of the most brilliant, productive people I know have the most cluttered offices and homes. For instance, I know of one MIT professor whose office is a mess, though he always knows where to find things. Similarly, my friend and mentor James Randi has an office that is full of clutter. Randi doesn’t know …

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Brilliant Clutter

Before I started a geology blog, I used to sporadically blog about geology over at Skepchick. These days, I blog here at Georneys about geology, and I blog over at Skepchick about other skeptical and scientific things, such as why I am thankful for science. Occasionally, I will re-post some of my old geology posts from Skepchick. I will also sometimes cross-post on both blogs. The post below originally appeared …

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