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25 May 2012

Stages of numerical modeling

I’m currently working on some modeling for my thesis. For unrelated reasons, I happened to read a description of the K├╝bler-Ross model for stages of grief, and I realized that the cycle actually describes pretty accurately what the past couple of weeks have been like for me. Not only that, but it’s gotten to the point where even if I get my model to run, I’m immediately suspicious of the results. However, I guess since the model is running, I’ve made progress. That doesn’t mean I don’t still have issues.


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28 March 2012

If you were to wander into my office this afternoon…

…this is the scene you’d see playing out.


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29 February 2012

Survival geology for the space traveler

For your reading pleasure: a totally frivolous post based off musing I’ve been doing when I actually have time to sit down and watch TV.

Recently I’ve been on a scifi kick (and got sucked into watching episodes of Stargate: Universe online, which is a great way to see a whole series but a massive free-time sink). Interpersonal issues aside, the characters on SGU, who are stuck on an alien spaceship on the other side of the universe, spend a lot of time visiting new planets, looking for resources like food and water. Sometimes the main barrier to this is an alien critter that doesn’t like them much, but often they end up on deserted planets with little more than a “well, you can breathe and it’s not too cold” from the probes they send through first.


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28 October 2011

I get comments…

Usually the spam comments I get are the usual – trying to advertise or sell something or interest me in services of a sexual/pharmaceutical nature. But sometimes I get things that are, shall we say, bizarre. This one, I had to share:


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10 October 2011

Evil Geologist Volcano Lairs: Location is key

A little while back, the Geological Society of London Blog posted about the best volcanoes for evil scientist lairs. Erik Klemetti didn’t like the top 5 choices, and decided to reveal his own: Mount Erebus. I have to admit, having evil (penguin) minions and an isolated location is pretty good for a mad scientist. And lava lakes are cool (and hot). But if I’m going to be spending all my time in my evil scientist lair, the climate had darn well better be warm, because I spend enough of my time dealing with below-freezing temperatures here in Buffalo. No Antarctica for me! So my evil lair is going to be in the South Pacific on Pagan Island. Never heard of it? Here’s why it’s awesome:


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29 May 2009

So true

As a followup to my AGU posts, an offering from Surviving The World (my new favorite webcomic):


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14 May 2009

I wish I could have done this in my intro geo labs

Unfortunately, I highly suspect I would have had to spend a lot of time afterward avoiding irate parents and cell-phone-addicted students if I’d tried to chuck their gadgets out into the hall.


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5 May 2009

If I were a geologist on Star Trek…

…I could apply for a joint medical degree, because sometimes rocks need doctoring. …Sometimes a rock hammer wouldn’t be enough to deal with those really stubborn minerals. …I could give up hand lenses, thin sections, petrographic microscopes, microprobes, XRD, and point counting for this… (although a good geologist would never give up their hand lens) …It wouldn’t take me until the end of the episode to figure out that I …


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1 April 2009

Poor land-use planning and volcanoes

From So it looks like someone is already moving in on the new land created by the eruption of Hunga Tonga-Hunga Ha’apai near Tonga*. That’s right – with enough Pa’angas, you could own some of the newest land on the planet, if you don’t mind digging yourself out from under the tephra every few days. The article I found didn’t say much about who’s claimed the land, but it …


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24 March 2009

Sweet irony

Guess who isn’t commenting on the eruption of Mount Redoubt? Sometimes nature has really perfect timing.


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