"Novels are no use at all in days like these,
for they deal with people and their relationships, with fathers and mothers and daughters or sons and lovers, etc., with souls, usually unhappy ones, and with society etc., as if the place for all these things were assured, the earth for all time earth, the sea level fixed for all time." [more inside]
With growing fascination for the large land vertebratomorphs that are so startlingly diverse on Tatooine, I secured Imperial funding for an expedition to Tatooine, to survey the exotic megafauna and search for fossils of Tyrannodraconis that might further illuminate their evolution. My ensuing report
summarizes my trilogy of investigations and discoveries from this “holiday in the suns." [more inside]
A team of geologists and geophysicists have imaged the path
of a Pacific Northwest volcano
's molten rock, from the subducting slab
to the upper crust. [more inside]
An insider’s guide by a former young-Earth creationist [more inside]
is a celebration of women archaeologists, palaeontologists and geologists who have been doing awesome work for far longer, and in far greater numbers, than most people realize." [via
Massive earthquakes in Chile and Japan have been found
the dramatic increase in violent quakes around fracking's
largely unregulated wastewater injection wells observed in the Midwest in the past two years
, where injected water acts as a lubricant for geological faults
that were previously thought to be "dead" or stable for millions of years.
The Timeline of the Far Future
is a Wikipedia article which serves as a gateway to a ton of fascinating scientific topics on the far edge of human understanding: ~50,000 years from now the Earth will enter a new Glacial period
; ~100,000 years from now the Earth will likely have experienced a supervolcanic
eruption; ~10,000,000 years from now the East African Rift
divides the continent of Africa in to two land masses; ~20,000,000,000 years from now the Universe effectively dies due to The Big Rip
the United States sent to Mars found something
. It won't blow your mind
, but it's interesting
if you're into Mars geology
Researchers in the Earth Sciences and Art departments at Syracuse University melt basalt and make their own lava flows
for science and art! Here's the project's homepage
, including videos. via make blog
A history of the world. As seen from space. Over a really long stretch of time.
If the Earth is about 4.5 billion years old, and Pangea
split up only about 200 million years ago, what happened before then? I never knew that geologists could reconstruct the continents' movements from before
Pangea. Not only that, but they can give us a preview of what comes next.
Here's three possible ways the continents might be joined in 250 million years.
In the big picture, researchers from U.C. Lancashire have just finished
a model of the way the Milky Way Galaxy formed. [more inside]
In 1602, a cobbler strolling outside of Bologna discovered a colorless stone
with the curious ability to "accumulate light when exposed to the sun and to emit it in the darkness." His lapis solaris
was to be the chemical sensation of the century. [more inside]
At the beginning of last month, Scientific American unveiled a new network of 47 blogs with 55 bloggers
. Their latest posts can be found here
. [more inside]
SEED Magazine: Wealth of Nations
: "Shared natural resources underpin the global economy, but our current economic system does not acknowledge their worth. Can a major new effort to assess the costs of biodiversity loss force a paradigm shift in what we value?" [more inside]
Don't continue fooling yourself
. The earth is growing and expanding rapidly. Despite plate tectonics' popular acceptance in the 60s, Samuel Warren Carey
, the father of modern expansion tectonics, was publicly promoting his theories of an expanded earth
as late as 1981. One of the theory's most prominent modern spokesmen is comics artist Neal Adams
, who has created a number of informative videos
about a new model of the universe
that even manages to explain why the dinosaurs died out
. [more inside]
The Polar Discovery
team has documented science in action from pole to pole during the historic 2007-2009 International Polar Year, and covered five scientific expeditions
. The science projects explored a range of topics from climate change and glaciers, to Earth’s geology, biology, ocean chemistry, circulation, and technology at the icy ends of the earth. Through photo essays
and other multimedia
, they explain how scientists collected data and what they discovered about the rapidly changing polar regions. From the awesome folks at WHOI
Durango Bill's Home Page.
With topics that include: 3D end-to-end tour of the Grand Canyon
, the origin and formation of the Colorado River
, and examples of river systems that cut through mountain ranges instead of taking easier routes around them in Ancestral Rivers of the World
. [more inside]
is a unique search engine for science videos focusing on Physics, Chemistry, and Space. For example, things
to do with sulfur hexafluoride
. Still growing, the editors are presently indexing other scientific fields of study including Geology, Psychology, Robotics and Computers. Ever wonder why things go bang
"If almost every species on Earth was killed some 250 million years ago, how did our ancient ancestors survive
and evolve into us?"
British diplomat William Hamilton
(whose 2nd wife Emma is perhaps best known for having a scandalous public affair
with Horatio Nelson) loved volcanoes
. His 1776 book Campi Flegrei: Observations on the volcanoes of the two Sicilies
* used stunning hand-coloured
illustrations by Peter Fabris to demonstrate to the scientific world
that volcanic processes can be beautifully creative
as well as horribly destructive
. [via this post at the nonist, which, in case you hadn't noticed, has been really great lately] [more inside]
There are holes in the earth's crust!
It turns out that the ozone layer was just keeping up with the Jones's; in the middle of the Atlantic ocean, there is a patch of several thousand square kilometers where the mantle is exposed. 'The team of scientists from Cardiff University stress there is no need for the public to panic about the giant hole even though they describe it as "a gaping open wound in the Earth's skin".'
The scientific team
departs today to investigate the hole. They will be detailing their progress on a blog
. And you can ask them questions
about their project, which they may answer online.
The site design is somewhat unfortunate, but The Virtual Cave
features lots of photos and information on, well, caves and cave formations
. We've all heard of stalagmites and stalactites, but I'd never heard of cave draperies
or cave pearls
before. Then you've got your helictites
, your aragonite
, and your splash stalactites
(found in lava tubes
). And they've got a Show Caves Directory
of caves in the United States that are open to the public, with addresses and contact information by state
was the 17th century's Jesuit version
of the über
geek. His scholarly attentions were drawn to egyptology, astronomy, magnetism, languages, optics, music, geology, mathematics and many many other pursuits. The "dude of wonders"
invented novel machines such as the mathematical organ
and magnetic clock
, established one of the first museums, published about 40 academic works (with beautiful accompanying illustrations
) and was globally revered as one of his time's greatest intellectuals. He is also the main link in the Voynich manuscript mystery
The Stellwagen Bank National Marine Sanctuary region
is under the ocean, off the coast of Massachusetts. For 11 years
geologist Paul Valentine has been mapping this area. Sea floor maps
are available. Also, there are many images
of features such as glacial valleys
. Other photographs
show underwater life.
Instead of liquid water, Titan
has liquid methane. Instead of silicate rocks, Titan has frozen water ice. Instead of dirt, Titan has hydrocarbon particles settling out of the atmosphere, and instead of lava, Titanian volcanoes spew very cold ice.
Can we predict volcanic eruptions?
PBS aired a NOVA program called "Deadly Shadow of Vesuvius"
in 1998 which suggests that we can by monitoring small scale earthquakes which "swarm" as an eruption approaches. Why is this important now? Look at this map
, which indicates the occurence of over 40 earthquakes
under Mount St. Helens just today, with 10 being over 3.0 on the Richter scale. The Pacific Northwest Seismograph Network has issued a series of alerts
with more detail. National Geographic is reporting
that an eruption is imminent.
Quake to hit LA "by September 5,"
predicts a geophysicist at UCLA's Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics. Some skeptical, while others say it's not junk science.
Bus-size jade boulders found in Guatemala
Great NY Times
story [Google'd here
] of archeologists tracking down a mother lode of translucent blue jade after it was exposed by a hurricane. The vein solves the mystery of where the ancient Olmecs
got the jade for beautiful carvings like these
. Olmec civilization, famous for its colossal stone heads
, is itself considered something of a mother lode for later Central American peoples like the Maya. Meanwhile, some scientists in Guatemala are digging up things that are much less fun
Next Thursday, NASA will announce the discovery of huge water ice oceans on Mars
. Lying less than a metre beneath the surface south of 60° latitude, the water ice reservoirs if melted would form an ocean 500m deep covering the entire planet. NASA insiders believe these findings could result in a manned landing within 20 years.
50 foot long single spar crystals
found in a Mexican cave 1,000 feet below the surface! Smithsonian has links to other related sites. This one has pictues.
More pictures can be found in the April 2002 print issue of Smithsonian.