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Happy Darwin Day!

February 12, 2010
Time flies. Why, I feel like it’s only been a year since we last celebrated Charles Darwin’s Birthday [/bad joke]. Anyway, I don’t have much for this year except for a comic I found somewhere online (can’t remember where off the top of my head).

Oh, it might have been from Facebook. If anybody hasn’t joined the group “I Bet We Can Find 1,000,000 People Who DO Believe in Evolution Before June“, today might be a good day. And yes, there has been ample comment on the word ‘Believe’. I’m willing to let it slide and mentally swap ‘Believe’ with ‘Accept’.

This is cross-posted at my original site.


Coming soon…

September 28, 2009


I’ve been geo-blogging for about 2 years now, and I am getting a bit fed up with the limitations over at blogger. So I am thinking of setting up shop here at ITV v.2.0. Nothing much is over here yet, I am still debating whether I should go through with “the move” or not, but feel free to peruse my old Blog, In Terra Veritas, in the mean time.

The Fatal Law of Gravity (repost)

December 5, 2008

This is a repost from Classic ITV, follow the link to see the original posts and comments

I just got out of a marathon meeting with my advisor, and I am still a bit out of it (seems like some of the work I spent a couple of months on is now no longer required). On the one hand I can see this making my Thesis clearer and more concise. On the other, I just wasted a bunch of time I could have better spent graduating. So, I am in the mood to “dump” on those lovable wackaloons who have been giving Eric and Brian grief. I don’t think I will re-cover the same grounds they have. Especially since they have done a far better job than I think I would be capable of. Instead I am going to cover the problems that expanding earth has with GRAVITY. I have seen two sides that expanding earthers like to use to argue about gravity. One camp argues that the mass of the earth is constant, and the earth is just getting less dense. Another camp argues that the mass of the earth is growing, and holds the earth’s density constant. Surely, we can resolve such a fundamental difference by just saying “Hey, the Earth is not expanding, look at all the data”. But that would defeat the purpose of this post and my childish poking fun at the stupid.

Read more…

Ouse-ing over York

September 30, 2008

As I previously mentioned, it was a very wet month of August over in England and Scotland. This was illustrated by the river Ouse (pronounced “Ooze”) overflowing its banks and flooding the little (well not so little) burg of York. Needless to say, FEMA was nowhere on scene (rimshot). Following are some of the pictures I snapped while we were passing on through the town.

This is a picture taken from the bridge which crosses the river in central York: This is a walkway that leads down to the canal, now it literally leads down to the canal:
Here is a local park, and some ducks (the ducks don’t seem to mind… self centered ducks…):
One of the many roads that lead on down to the river:
I assume (though I could be wrong) that this measures how high over flood stage the river is. Here it is ~9ft over flood stage, though it was several feet higher before we got there:
Also taken from the bridge in the middle of town, the building in the center of the shot is furiously pumping water out of its mail slot.
An underground parking structure. Notice the high water mark. I am curious just how many cars were ruined do to the river Ouse:
Another shot of the river over-flowing:

Siccar Point

September 29, 2008

One of the things I was most excited about for this trip was a chance to visit Siccar Point. When we were in the area, the weather couldn’t have been better. Unfortunately, it was one of the wettest Augusts on record, so it was very wet and muddy. I hiked down to within about 30 m of actually standing on Hutton’s Unconformity before (after slipping twice in the mud) I thought better of going the whole way.

After I hiked back to the top, I had a newfound respect for just how tough Hutton was. I figured he must have hiked down this near vertical slope in the gentlemanly garb of the day (in his 60s as well), and here I was slipping and sliding in jeans and hiking boots. Then my dad informed me that Hutton used a boat. Now I just think that Hutton was better prepared (and…. probably tougher than me).

Anyway, I guess now is the part where I show the pictures I took:

Our first hint that it was going to be a bit sloppy out in the field. The creek was flowing over the little bridge, though the prescence of a raised foot bridge suggests this is a common event:

This is taken from Pease Bay, where we stopped off before visiting Siccar Point. We decided it would probably be easier to look closely at the Devonian Sandstone here:
A closeup shot of the Devonian Sandstone. This has been interpreted to be deposits from a large river flowing into a standing body of water:This was taken on the way to Siccar Point. It is looking back towards Pease Bay. I just thought it was a nice scenic shot: This was my first look at Siccar Point:

This is Siccar Point. I crawled down a bit further than I was when I took the photo. See where you can’t see the fence line anymore, that is where I stopped. It got a lot steeper, but it was just as muddy (about 20-30m above those friendly rocks).This is a zoomed in shot of the angular unconformity. The gently dipping red sandstone (middle left) is overlying the near vertical gray graywacke (which is everywhere else in the shot really):
Well that is all for my first trip to Siccar Point.

Edinburgh, Geology’s Ancestral Homestead

September 28, 2008

One of the things that I have noticed about UK cities is that they all seem to have, at their heart, some neat geological feature. In Edinburgh’s case, it is a volcano. Edinburgh castle is built atop a batholith that cooled during the Mississippian (~340 Ma old).

Features of this volcano are present throughout the landscape. This includes Salisbury Crags (or Craigs, I have seen it both ways). The crags are columnar basalts which are interpreted to be a sill associated with the Mississippian volcanism. Anyway, following are some of the pictures I took within the city of Edinburgh. If our major cities incorporated more geology, I think I wouldn’t avoid them.

Below is a complete picture of Edinburgh Castle, including the batholith peeking out beneath the castle:Below is a close-up of the castle. The basalt is a bit clearer in this photo:
The Salisbury Crags (taken from a tour bus). At some point, I would like to come back and go for a hike on the trail around the Crags:A close up of the columnar basalt at the Crags (also taken from a bus):

Lo Siento! means I don’t want to cause an international incident.

September 17, 2008

I have been here in Spain for a few days now (attending the EuroEnGeo 2008 conference). So this post is a little ahead of where I left off my previous line. I have a couple of photos from York that I will post, as well as a summary of my trip to Siccar Point, but I forgot my SD card back in my room, so I will just wait on those two.

I will comment that Spain is very beautiful, though very dry (it would fit in well with Colorado). And I have fortunately not caused an international incident yet, which I was a bit concerned about since I didn’t know how to say “I’m sorry” until just a few minutes ago.

The time zone change is very odd though, I am west of England, but I am an hour ahead of them. I imagine it is even more dramatic in Portugal and western Spain. So I have been getting up well before the sun rises, and am usually gearing down to go to bed as the sun is setting (though that is when dinner usually starts). Culture shock aside, I have enjoyed the trip and have only a short time before I must return to the crashing economy of the States. Hopefully, the airline I am on will hold out (I don’t know if people State-side have heard about the 3 commercial airlines going under (at least one was considered quite sizabe, I haven’t heard commentary on the size of the others) in the short time I have been here). Soon I will leave behind the stories of Gordon Brown’s troubles as PM, and I will experience my own troubles regarding the terrifying possibility that Palin could be one heartbeat away from the presidency (why the polls still show the Reps doing okay is an absolute mystery).

To sum up this ramble:

  • posts about the flooding in York and my trip to Siccar Point are forthcoming.
  • I will sum up what I have gathered (and my impressions) from the euroengeo conference (keep in mind I am just a humble sed/strat guy. not an engineering geologist)
  • I might talk about some of the things I did around Madrid (unfortunately no cameras allowed at the art museums so pictures will be sparse).
  • And then I will probably go back to my sporadic posting schedule (especially since I just checked through ~100 emails in my inbox, mostly junk but I did come across a rather important message regarding paperwork for graduation).