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14 February 2013

The Discovery Institute feels sorry for my students

Periodically, I get requests to use my images in publications. It’s very easy to find my photos, because I publish a lot of them on this blog, or on my NOVA website, and they always rise to the top of a Google image search. I got a distinctive one on Monday: Dear Mr. Bentley, My boss Dr. Stephen C. Meyer at the Discovery Institute is finishing up a book that discusses …


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13 February 2013

Comparative GigaPan viewing for edification and amusement

Our GIGAmacro photographic imaging system was built by Gene Cooper Four Chambers studio. They’ve also made a neat comparative GigaPan viewer available online. Here are 3 demonstration videos I just shot of how this sort of thing works: one macro sample of oolitic limestone, one of the flood/not-flood of Passage Creek, and one of a thin section Paul Karabinos imaged in both plane-polarized light and crossed-polars. [youtube=”″] [youtube=””] [youtube=””] What …


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11 February 2013

Some ductile deformation in Mosaic Canyon

Following the “monster” that was the Friday fold two weeks ago, here are some more folds in the Noonday Dolostone (“Dolomite”) in Mosaic Canyon, Death Valley, California: Zooming in on this isoclinal fold: Bedding traces annotated, highlighting the “similar” style of folding (hinge thickened; limbs thinned): A very different style of folding, observed a few meters away:


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8 February 2013

Friday fold: LIDAR view of the Weverton Formation along the Blue Ridge front

Dan Doctor of the US Geological Survey contributed this week’s Friday fold. It’s a lovely view of the asymmetric folds in the Cambrian-aged Weverton Formation (part of the Chilhowee Group, a Sauk-Sea passive margin transgressive sequence), exposed on the western flank of the western limb of the Blue Ridge Anticlinorium. It’s a LIDAR image, and it’s best viewed when draped over the scenery in a Google Earth view. Here’s a …


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7 February 2013

Extra credit

A quick poll: What do you think of extra credit as an option in teaching? I’m in the beginning stages of designing an online course, and because of inter-campus politics at NOVA, I’ll be co-designing it with a team of four other people, three of whom I know pretty well and totally respect. Still: one big philosophical distinction that we’re going to have to discuss is the question of whether …


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6 February 2013

Dinosaur footprints in west Texas

Everything’s bigger in Texas, even the footprints…


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5 February 2013

After the flood

After Passage Creek receded following last week’s flood, I went down to the bridge and the floodplain to have a look around. Here’s a little bit of what I saw… Let’s start at the bridge itself. The view is to the west, and Passage Creek flows north: On the other side of the bridge, looking back in the opposite direction (that is, to the east), you can get a better …


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4 February 2013

Do you believe in M.A.G.I.C.?

It’s time for an update from the Mid-Atlantic Geo-Image Collection! The rest of Team M.A.G.I.C. is finally catching up with Robin Rohrback-Schiavone, although in this case she’s got a handicap since our GIGAmacro rig has (once again) developed a bug. It’s a tricky bit of business keeping that thing happy – but it sure does make some purty pictures. We recently got it a new lighting system, which helps. In …


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2 February 2013

Frosty spikelets

Saw these porcupine-like ice spikelets this morning in a frozen puddle:


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1 February 2013

Friday fold: Mosaic Canyon Monster

While out in Death Valley with my Field Studies students last March, we encountered an extraordinary fold in Mosaic Canyon. Check this thing out: The rock is the Noonday Dolostone (“Noonday Dolomite” in mineralogically biased argot). It may be hard to make out what’s what there… So let me assist with a little annotation, tracing out the bedding: Wild, eh? That’s an extraordinarily messed up rock. “Goopey” is the adjective …


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