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17 May 2019

Friday fold: Found folds

This week, for Friday folds, I offer up some random folds that have passed my perceptual transom this week. First up: In the new Netflix series Our Planet, in episode 7 (Fresh Water), an anticline/syncline pair makes a brief appearance as David Attenborough discusses glaciers as a reservoir for fresh water. Here is a screenshot: I’m not sure where this is in the world: Greenland? Antarctica? Let me know in …

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25 April 2019

How We Got To Now, by Steven Johnson

I was very impressed with Steven Johnson’s The Invention of Air when I read it last summer. So recently, I decided to sample another of his books, this one a six-part microhistory about innovations that altered the course of human history. The six are: 1) cleanliness/hygiene (specifically in medicine and drinking water), 2) measurement of time, 3) glass (think lenses!), 4) understanding of light, 5) refrigeration, and 6) the recording …

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20 June 2016

Cushendun Conglomerate of the Cross Slieve Group, Northern Ireland

Want a geological irony? Here’s one! You’re looking at a rounded boulder of Cushendun Conglomerate, a Devonian “Old Red Sandstone” unit (Cross Slieve Group) exposed at Cushendun Caves, Northern Ireland, U.K. The irony lies in the repetition of history – a tumbling environment of high water energy, rounding cobbles and boulders and depositing them, in order to make the conglomerate. And now, ~400 million years later, history repeats itself, with …

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16 November 2015

“Making North America,” episode 3: Human

The PBS series NOVA has a new three-part series called “Making North America” that premiered two weeks ago. Hosted by the director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, Kirk Johnson, the series explores the tectonic assembly of terranes that resulted in the bedrock of the continent, the panoply of diverse creatures that have dwelled here in the past, and the human prehistory of our continent. I was …

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6 November 2015

“Making North America,” episode 2: Life

The PBS series NOVA has a new three-part series called “Making North America” that premiered last week. Hosted by the director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, Kirk Johnson, the series will explore the tectonic assembly of terranes that resulted in the bedrock of the continent, the panoply of diverse creatures that have dwelled here in the past, and the human prehistory of our continent. I was …

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29 October 2015

“Making North America,” episode 1: Origins

The PBS series NOVA has a three-part series coming out next week called “Making North America.” Hosted by the director of the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of Natural History, Kirk Johnson, the series will explore the tectonic assembly of terranes that resulted in the bedrock of the continent, the panoply of diverse creatures that have dwelled here in the past, and the human prehistory of our continent. I was given …

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