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You are browsing the archive for 2016 February.

26 February 2016

Friday fold: Siccar Point video from BGS

The British Geological Survey just came out with a new video on Siccar Point, featuring some excellent drone video of the site (in very good weather!). In addition to the unconformity, one of the things you will appreciate about the video is an excellent end-on view of a plunging synform exposed just above waterline: You’ll get a much better sense of its shape by enjoying the motion of the drone’s …

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21 February 2016

Founding Gardeners, by Andrea Wulf

I just finished this book, about the botanical and agricultural predilections of United States ‘founding fathers’ George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, and James Madison. Three of these farmed and gardened in Virginia, one in Massachusetts. Some were federalists, others republicans who championed the rights of the states. Some were slave owners, others not. All saw gardening as foundational to a sustainable democracy. This history examines the revolutionary war and …

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19 February 2016

Friday fold: Catalina Island #3

Happy Friday – sorry to have not shared any folds with you last week. I hope these beautiful folds in Catalina Island meta-cherts will make up for it: As with the previous couple of Friday folds, this image is courtesy of Sarah Penniston-Dorland (University of Maryland, College Park).

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18 February 2016

Sand shadow

A couple of weeks ago, before a series of snowfalsl altered my daily work routine in a destabilizing way, I took a walk through the braided floodplain / gravel fan of Passage Creek, where it exits the Massanutten Mountain system near the state fish hatchery. There, no longer restrained by the steep walls of quartzite, the creek’s water can expand during flood times over a broad forested plain of channel …

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17 February 2016

Finding Abbey, by Sean Prentiss

Probably the most important book I ever read was Edward Abbey’s Desert Solitaire. It opened my eyes to a passionate, unapologetic way of living in the world, of embracing visceral experience of the natural world. It spoke to my heart in an authentic way, and changed my world view permanently. I was in college then. I went on to read everything Abbey wrote, and while none of it was as …

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3D virtual sample of gastropod-rich Reynolds Limestone

Check this out: It’s a sample of the Reynolds Limestone, a member of the Mississippian-aged Mauch Chunk Formation, chock full of gastropod fossils. The image here is a 3D model made with Agisoft PhotoScan, a 3D model rendering program. The only input was a series of ~32 photos taken of the sample at various angles and orientations. Alan Pitts then posted it to his Sketchfab account, a place for displaying …

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6 February 2016

The Story of Western Science, by Susan Wise Bauer

I have a great book to recommend today – a book that takes a “Great Books” approach to tracking the advance of western science through history. The book is called, straightforwardly, The Story of Western Science. Its author is Susan Wise Bauer, who writes with a confident erudition and a clear, solid style. She surveys key works in the literature that illustrate the development of scientific thought – all of …

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5 February 2016

Friday fold: Catalina Island #2

Happy Friday! Here’s another fold from Catalina Island, California – an antiform in metasediments, courtesy of Sarah Penniston-Dorland of the University of Maryland:

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4 February 2016

The Highlands Controversy, by David Oldroyd

While I’ve spent quality time in Ireland on previous trips, I’ve never been to Scotland. To me, it is terra incognita, and I am eager to explore it this summer.  It was with delight then, that I delved into David Oldroyd’s The Highlands Controversy, which at once tickled many parts of my brain: the structural geology part, the history of geology part, and the part that gets giddy with anticipation …

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