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You are browsing the archive for 2018 February.

26 February 2018

How Democracies Die, by Steven Levitsky and Daniel Ziblatt

The authors of this essential study are both scholars at Harvard University. They specialize in studying the decay of democratic governments and societies, one in century-ago Europe, and the other in half-century-ago years ago Latin America. They spell out the structure of authoritarian takeover across these different contexts, and then turn to our situation in 21st century America. This book could not be more timely, more relevant, or more essential. …

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23 February 2018

Friday fold: some Google Earth views of Namibia

We return today to the scene of last week’s Friday fold, for it turns out that you can see some additional awesome folds from outer space (via Google Earth). Do not adjust your monitor: these patterns mean show up a stark and wavy reality!

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21 February 2018

Born a Crime, by Trevor Noah

Trevor Noah is a South African stand-up comedian who rocketed into American awareness when he was selected as the successor to Jon Stewart as the host of Comedy Central’s news program The Daily Show. This book is Noah’s autobiography of growing up in South Africa, at first under apartheid, and then in the new post-apartheid era. It is the best account I’ve read of the institutional and cultural structure of …

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16 February 2018

Friday fold: Zerrissene turbidite system, Namibia

The University of Maryland’s Jay Kaufman makes our Friday fold happen by sharing some images of folds from the Zerrissene turbidite system of northwestern Namibia.

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15 February 2018

Other Minds, by Peter Godfrey-Smith

The Octopus, the Sea, and the Deep Origins of Consciousness is the subtitle of this fascinating, extremely approachable book. Paraphrasing Thomas Nagle, it asks “What is it like to be an octopus?” The author is a philosopher by training, but he does a fantastic job as a science writer, too. Anecdotes about encounters with cephalopods while diving are mixed with careful, deliberate, dejargonized descriptions of the scientific studies that have …

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13 February 2018

S-C fabric in limestone, Camerino, Italy

Some scaly Italian limestone shows off two foliations (S and C) which reveal the kinematic motions that built the Apennines.

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12 February 2018

Time and Again, by Jack Finney

In the epilogue to 11/22/63, Stephen King’s time-travel novel, he made an explicit point to laud Time and Again by Jack Finney as “the” time travel novel. I figured I should check it out. Here’s my report. This is a book that was written in the late 1960s, and feels like it. The writing is fine, with a particular strength being its rich, detailed descriptions. The social mores it assumes, …

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9 February 2018

Friday fold: Taiwanese metasediments

This Friday, in search of a Friday fold, we head to Taiwan, not far from the epicenter of this week’s destructive earthquake(s).

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8 February 2018

A spectacular display of Earth science in the Alabama Hills

A detailed examination of an elegant photo of the eastern front of California’s Sierra Nevada, from the perspective of the Alabama Hills. How many different geologic phenomena can be packed into a single image? Let’s find out!

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7 February 2018

A GigaPan teaching collection of relative dating imagery

Callan unveils a collection of 56 super-high-resolution images showcasing various principles of relative dating, aimed at a general education audience like undergraduate Historical Geology. He also offers a suggested lesson plan structure for instructors wishing to utilize the images.

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