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5 June 2011
Another posting delay…because the rest of the cross-country road trip went fine, but the food poisoning at the end of it didn’t. Once I’m off the lovely drugs and can think straight again, I’ll put something with more substance up. In the meantime, here are some more photos from the road:
12 May 2011
Visiting my folks is always an opportunity for me to look through all my old stuff (mostly with the aim of cleaning it out of the attic so the ceilings don’t collapse). But books tend to be exempt from the cleaning sprees, and I usually come across something that I loved as a child and would still like to keep on my bookshelves. Often, these are geology- or volcano-related; since I’m taking a few days off from research, I thought I’d point out some great leisure reading titles for kids (and adults). And I don’t just mean the slimmed-down generic “Geology” or “Volcanoes” subject guides that come in series, but some unique books that I remember piquing my interest in Earth science.
26 March 2011
The Bureau of Land Management is responsible for maintaining the public lands which don’t fall under the purview of the Park Service – which is more than 253 million acres spread over the entire country. They also maintain an Image Library with great photos of the holdings, as well as preservation, wildlife and fire management activities. There are a lot of geologic features in these photos, but it takes a bit of digging to find them (unless you know the name of the area you’re searching for). Here are some highlights:
27 February 2011
As a novice rock climber who’s also a geologist, I’m just as interested in the rock I’m climbing as the route. The type of rock you’re climbing on can have big impacts on the difficulty of the climb, since the way that a rock weathers and erodes determines what kinds of holds are available, whether there are cracks or ledges, vertical faces or overhangs, and what safety concerns you should be aware of. I haven’t had a huge amount of experience with outdoor climbing, but from the scrambling I’ve done on mapping excursions, I certainly know which rocks I prefer to climb on – but what do more experienced climbers prefer?
20 January 2011
After watching Dr. Neil DeGrasse Tyson talk about traveling to Mars on PBS’s NOVA scienceNOW – which I almost missed last night! – I wanted to see how else I could catch programs on Earth science. More and more programs are being offered online, some very soon after they’re aired, so I thought I’d take a quick look around and see what’s available for a grad student who doesn’t necessarily have the energy to stay up late watching TV.
Here’s a breakdown by provider of some of my favorites (short and long), with summaries from their respective websites. I won’t say that they’re all totally scientifically accurate, but most of them do a pretty good job, and some may be useful for teaching purposes as well as entertainment.
2 December 2010
One of my favorite ways of thinking about Earth science is to compare it to a crime investigation, particularly along the lines of Sherlock Holmes, where the investigator gathers minute detail into an encompassing explanation. That’s why I was intrigued when Oxford University Press approached me about reviewing a new book that they’re publishing, The Planet in a Pebble.
30 October 2010
Lee Allison at Arizona Geology deserves credit for inspiring the last movie in the Frightfest series – in his post from June about the Piranha 3D movie, he also mentioned The Monolith Monsters. Again, it’s another 1950s movie I haven’t had the chance to see, but I’ll definitely have to remedy that if I can…guess what’s next on the Netflix queue? With a title like that, though, I couldn’t resist …
28 October 2010
All right, so Fantasia probably isn’t the first thing you think of when the topics of horror movies or geology come up (and I’m not talking about the whole movie, so I’m cheating a bit with this one). But I am talking about the excellent Night on Bald Mountain sequence, where the animators set Modest Mussorgsky’s composition of the same name. I loved Fantasia as a child, and still do …
7 March 2010
Some great news from Geospectrum – the latest Ed Roy Award winner is Jason Pittman, the lead science resource teacher at Hollin Meadows Elementary School in Alexandria, VA. This has me completely excited, because Hollin Meadows was the first elementary school I attended, and it’s literally steps from home. It’s a math and science focus school, and it’s one of the first places I started getting excited about geology. (I …
5 February 2010
On Wednesday the volcanology lab groups here at UB had a discussion about basaltic eruptions, particularly at Paricutin and Jorullo volcanoes in Mexico. The first thing I was reminded of on hearing the name Paricutin was not a geological fact, but a childhood memory – one of watching Reading Rainbow, actually. Reading Rainbow, if you aren’t familiar with it, was one of the best children’s shows out there. Sadly, it …