You are browsing the archive for December 2015 - Mountain Beltway.
31 December 2015
2015 Yard List
It’s that time of the year – a time to state my “yard list” tally for the previous year. I have been posting this list every year since I moved to the Fort Valley: 2012 (39 species) 2013 (51 species) 2014 (58 species) In 2015, we had 65 species of birds spotted and definitively identified in our yard. In order of first appearance, they were: Carolina wren Dark-eyed junco American …
29 December 2015
Serpentinite mélange on Marshall’s Beach
South of the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, there are beachside exposures of serpentinite mélange: tectonically sheared-out former oceanic crust accreted to western North America as part of an accretionary wedge.
28 December 2015
Corona Heights Fault, San Francisco
At the end of the AGU Fall meeting, Callan visits the Corona Heights “mirror” fault, renowned for its gorgeous slickensides. Explore the site in photos in GigaPans.
27 December 2015
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies, by Nick Bostrom
How much thought have you given to the consequences of achieving an non-biological intelligence? If you’re like me, you’ve thought about the notion in a Hollywoodized sense, but once you get out of the cinema showing the latest Terminator film, you might not dwell on the topic too much further. I’ve given artificial intelligence (AI) a little more thought than that in the past six months, largely spurred on by …
24 December 2015
Cryptonomicon, by Neal Stephenson
Because I was impressed with Seveneves, I decided to make my next read another novel by Neal Stephenson. There are several highly-praised options to choose from, but the one that came to hand first in the library was 1999’s Cryptonomicon. It’s a monster of a tome, clocking in at just over 900 pages, which is a good reason you haven’t seen any book reviews from me in this space over …
23 December 2015
Four new GIGAmacro images of sedimentary rocks
It’s been a week and a half since Mountain Beltway has seen any publishing action, given the overlapping timesucks of the AGU Fall Meeting and the end of the semester. But now I’m back in the Appalachian mountain belt, and my grades are all in, and I have time to think about indulgences like blogging again. Let me make up for it now with a suite of four new macro …
11 December 2015
Friday fold: Nice gneiss from Salt Lake, Utah
Another guest Friday fold… this one from my colleague Tiffany Rivera of Westminster College in Salt Lake City, Utah, the one who brought you yesterday’s thrombolite pictures… Tiffany writes that these shots come from a man-made boulder field / berm along the lake. The boulders were these beautifully folded gneisses. Antelope Island exposes some of the oldest rocks in the Salt Lake valley, but I don’t know the geology out …
9 December 2015
Thrombolites of the Great Salt Lake, Utah
I saw mention of thrombolites exposed along the shore of Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake the other day in my Facebook feed; because the description cited a professor at Westminster College in Salt Lake City, I prompted my friend and colleague Tiffany Rivera, also a geology professor at Westminster, to go check it out and get me some bloggable photos. As it turned out, she already had – …
8 December 2015
Considering the Spechty Kopf diamictite
I have known for a long time about a diamictite in the latest Devonian part of the Appalachian stratigraphic sequence, since it is exposed in the lowermost part of the section (western end of the outcrop) at Sideling Hill, Maryland. When I led field trips there, I talked students through the multiple possible origins for diamictites (sedimentary rocks that are poorly sorted, with significantly “outsized” clasts “floating” in a finer-grained …
4 December 2015
Friday fold: interference patterns on Elba
Samuele Jæger Papeschi shares one more fold with us: some deformation here… type III (Ramsay…) interference pattern in Cretaceous calcschists… Cavo, Elba Island Awesome! I hope everyone has a great Friday.