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You are browsing the archive for 2020 February.

28 February 2020

Friday fold: sandbox

The Friday fold is a lovely little sandbox analogue model by Prof. Marco Martins-Ferreira, who posted it on Twitter this week:  As deformation proceeds, you can see the layers develop folds that then morph into faults, shoving deeper layers atop more shallow strata. As a bonus, you can hear Marco’s baby cooing in the background! Here’s a stabilized, sped-up version, courtesy of Anna Williams:  Happy Friday, all!

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17 February 2020

A Closed and Common Orbit, by Becky Chambers

This is the second novel in Chambers’ Wayfarers science fiction series, but it’s very different in plot structure from the first, The Long Way to a Small Angry Planet, which I reviewed a couple weeks back. In this sequel, two of the characters from the first book, one minor and one major (but with her memory wiped clean), settle into a comfortable galactic backwater. As the novel unfolds, the backstory …

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14 February 2020

Friday fold: Miocene slump in Anza-Borrego

Today’s Friday Fold comes from Edith Carolina Rojas, the dynamic geology professor at The College of The Desert in Palm Desert, California. She’s an awesome person, and also the sense of scale in this amazing image: Edith shares that this gorgeous structure is an anticline is located in Split Mountain Gorge in Fish Creek Canyon. It’s a gigantic gravity-slide fold due to soft sediment deformation in the Latrania Formation. Wow …

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12 February 2020

History of Science: Antiquity to 1700, by Lawrence Principe

My most recent commuting audio has been this course from The Great Courses: Johns Hopkins professor Lawrence Principe‘s History of Science: Antiquity to 1700. I checked it out from my local library: 36 lectures, each about 30 to 45 minutes long. I found it quite interesting, well-paced, and insightful. Principe is an organic chemist-turned-historian-of-science, and he recounts key developments in the way people thought about “natural philosophy” (it wasn’t dubbed …

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10 February 2020

The Pentagon’s Brain, by Annie Jacobsen

This book is a comprehensive account of everything unclassified that DARPA and its predecessor ARPA, has ever done. The subtitle is: “An Uncensored History of DARPA, America’s Top-Secret Military Research Agency.” It begins with testing nuclear bombs at Bikini Atoll in 1954, where theoretical calculations about the Castle Bravo bomb’s explosive yield get a sobering reality check: it was more than twice as powerful as had been anticipated! Oops. The …

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7 February 2020

Friday fold: Kings Canyon

The Friday fold shows disharmonic crumpling in marbles of the Boyden Cave Root Pendant in California’s Sierra Nevada. The GigaPan image displayed is part of the digital legacy of Ron Schott, who passed away a year and a half ago.

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