April 17, 2015

6:15 PM | Star Wars teaser far too tame
 The second biggest thing to hit the internet yesterday was the new Star Wars teaser. Like many, I clicked the link with interest.  But as a planetary scientist, I was disappointed from the first scene (via io9). This is a wrecked star destroyer, half buried in desert sand.  The obvious implication is that the spacecraft has left space and crashed.  Is this realistic?  luckily, physics, and

April 15, 2015

1:06 PM | The expat Chestnut
The story of the American Chestnut is a real-life ecological morality play, that I have been familiar with ever since I was young enough to recognize the red moldering logs for what they were.  Whole books have been written about the destruction of Chestnut forests, and internet summaries abound. Since then, I have moved to Australia, settled down, and, in due course, bought a house and

April 05, 2015

1:37 AM | Are Dogfish Running the Food Web?
When spiny dogfish come up in conversation, it’s usually in reference to their supposedly ravenous appetites and the possibility that they’re eating other, more economically valuable species out of the ecosystem.  Luckily for the very beginnings of my research career, this has lead to a lot of interest in their feeding habits and interactions with […]

April 01, 2015

11:20 AM | Book review: The Wife Drought
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March 29, 2015

11:45 AM | Geosonnet 27
Selenium is sulfur’s sober mate, Not lost to vapor bubbles of the mind In rock or water, should one saturate They stay together, besties of a kind. Se cannot be photosynthesized To form selenate in anoxic seas From fractionation, we hypothesize an oxic whiff in late Archean breeze. The isotopic signal is preserved when anions are partially reduced. Complete reduction, ratios are
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