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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 (52 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 …

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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.

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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.

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 …

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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 – …

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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 …

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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.

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