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You are browsing the archive for November 2013 - Mountain Beltway.

27 November 2013

The Meaning of it All, by Richard Feynman

Another week, another audio book. In this case, it didn’t even take a day – the two and a half hours of philosophizing lectures from celebrated physicist and oddball Richard Feynman make excellent listening. One of the reasons it works so well, I think, is that the material was originally delivered as a series of three lectures by Feynman. These were then transcribed into book form, and then read aloud …

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26 November 2013

Geology of RdV vineyard and winery

Last month, I led a fun new tour for the Smithsonian Associates: an all-day tour of the geology of Virginia wine country. Wine-making is a bigger-and-bigger business in Virginia these days, and I’ve been exploring it on and off over the past few years, ever since participating on a wine-themed geology field trip through the Geological Society of Washington. So we got a bus, and I waxed on about the …

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25 November 2013

Monday macrobug: Baxter spies a wheel bug

We were out on the deck the other day when Baxter spotted a wheel bug. He can say “bug” now, and this was such an occasion. The kid’s a chip off the ol’ block! He has a good eye for the bugs.

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22 November 2013

Friday fold: metagraywacke from the Billy Goat Trail

Here’s a sample that my Physical Geology students see on their field trip to the Billy Goat Trail:

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21 November 2013

West Texas / NOVA field exchange in spring semester

Spring break field course: GOL 295  Regional Field Geology of west Texas: March 8 to 15, 2014, and Appalachian Geology: May 19-24, 2014. West Texas and southern New Mexico showcase tectonic, sedimentary, geomorphic, and volcanic features which provide world-class examples of geologic processes. Students in this course will travel to El Paso, TX, and complete field studies of locations in Carlsbad Caverns, the Rio Grande Rift, the Franklin and Guadalupe …

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Giant oyster fossil (?) from Ecuador

My mother-in-law collected a cool oyster for me: She found it down in Ecuador; I think on the beach. She says it’s a fossil, but I haven’t been able to identify it at all, as either ancient or modern. Anyone know?

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20 November 2013

First shots from the Fort Bentley wildlife cam

I was hoping for some more exciting wildlife than this… Three tufted titmice – Not what I was shooting for. Instead, I was hoping to catch sight of what I initially inferred must be a flying squirrel nesting under the eaves of the house. But I guess not – must just be a mouse in the wall…

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19 November 2013

Adrift On An Ice Pan, by Wilfred Thomason Grenfell

This very short narrative (hardly even a proper “book” in the modern sense of the word) is by the survivor of a wretched ordeal, as the title suggests, off the coast of Newfoundland in 1908. I consumed the audiobook version, as a free download from my public library, and finished it in a single day’s commuting, with time left over for a podcast or two. The deal is this: The …

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18 November 2013

Monday macrobug: Crab spider

Good Monday to you! Here’s a crab spider, perched on a threaded screw that’s part of a baby gate on our porch: A closer look: I like crab spiders. As with jumping spiders, I don’t find them especially heebie-jeebie-inducing.

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15 November 2013

Friday fold: Ventura Avenue Anticline

A guest post today for the Friday fold from my former student Naseem Naghdi, who’s now in southern California: The Ventura Avenue anticline is a fault-propogated fold and is located in the core of (Conoco’s) San Miguelito oil field, which is on the Ventura-Rincon anticlinorium. Carbon dating of seashells have indicated that the terraces range between 1800 – 5600 years old and it was deposited from deep marine turbidity currents. Sea …

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