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Posts

April 12, 2014

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7:44 PM | An homage to Ansel Adams: Moonrise over the Ballpark
Disclosure: I digitally altered the original. The moon was moved. Related posts:What is that building? tossing out of the light Indian Service Route 46
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5:53 PM | Geo 730: April 12, Day 468: Motion Blur
Not the best photo, but that's one of the risks of drive-by geology. It appears that this slump started slowly, and that maintenance crews initially didn't realize the entire base was mobile. You can see the attempts to patch the cracks in the old road surface, now completely torn asunder.Photo unmodified. July 10, 2012. FlashEarth location.
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5:30 PM | 2014 SkS Weekly News Roundup #15B
Asgard’s fire Can celebrities and prime time TV make Americans care Car, truck and airplane pollution set to drive climate change Climate targets: Australia can't be caught napping El Niño could grow into a monster, new data show Greenhouse gas emissions nearly doubled in first decade of 21st century How taking the 'perma' out of permafrost could accelerate warming IPCC explores the ethics and economics of fighting climate change IPCC: world must urgently switch to clean […]
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5:28 PM | East Anglia’s Giant Purple Blob
      This is a guest post by Luke Surl, a PhD student in the Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences (COAS) at the University of East Anglia, where he is researching the atmospheric chemistry of volcanic plumes. You can find him on Twitter, … Continue reading →
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3:17 PM | Crater Counting
Earth history, as recorded in rocks, begins about 3.5 billion years ago (with a few older outliers). Solar system history, as recorded on the surface of solid bodies, ends about 3.7 Ga (few younger outliers). So to study the earliest Earth, between 4.6 and 3.5 Ga, all we have to go on is the history of the greater solar system. And for that, our best tool is a crude one: counting craters. But you know, we made a lot of progress in geology, throughout the 19th and much of the 20th centuries, […]
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2:45 PM | The National Environmental Policy Act in western water
The National Environmental Policy Act – NEPA – is a weird bird. It’s one of the earliest of a suite of U.S. environmental laws that took shape in the 1960s and ’70s as environmental values grew into a substantive element of our nation’s politics. It doesn’t actually protect anything, but it does require the U.S. ...Continue reading ‘The National Environmental Policy Act in western water’ » Related posts:The shortcomings of the Endangered […]
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12:24 PM | Frame of Reference
Last night I went up on the top deck to get some fresh air and stretch my legs. There was a bit of a swell causing the ship to slowly sway from side to side, even though the movement was being damped by the thrusters roaring below deck. As I climbed the stairs I was aware of my body’s constant adjustment to the rhythmical movement of the ship. read more
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12:00 PM | “K” is for Karat, and Kandor
“K” is for the Agfa Karat. It’s also for Kandor, a silly little camera by Irwin Corporation. The Agfa Karat was designed for 35mm film in special ‘Karat-cassettes.’ Later models (post-WWII) did take the standard 35mm film cartridge. The lens … Continue reading →
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11:03 AM | Introducing VertFigure, a better name for vcd2svg
Five days ago, I released a program for drawing comparative figures of vertebral columns, such as this one from our neural-spine bifurcation paper. With my idiot computer-scientist hat on, I gave that program the startlingly unmemorable name vcd2svg — the reasoning being that it takes Vertebral Column Descriptions and translates them into Scalable Vector Graphics. In […]
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6:27 AM | tossing out of the light
I’ve quoted before Don DeLillo’s great description of how, at a night baseball game, under the lights, “the players seem completely separate from the night around them.” At our Albuquerque Isotopes’ home opener this evening, the players’ home whites seemed impossibly white, the grass seemed impossibly green, the sky behind the lights impossibly inky black. In ...Continue reading ‘tossing out of the light’ » Related posts:8-?-2 Notes […]
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5:35 AM | Out of the Valley of Death: What the Heck Happened at Ubehebe?
The geology at Death Valley National Park is naked and raw. Nothing is hidden beneath a soft matte of vegetation. It's in your face, all the processes of tectonism, volcanism, erosion, and deposition. Every era and most of the epochs of the geologic time scale are represented somewhere in the boundaries of the park. Not even Grand Canyon National Park can make that claim. On the previous day we had explored the oldest rocks in the American West, the contorted metamorphic rocks of the Black […]
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1:52 AM | SE-GSA meeting, Day 2
The Southeastern GSA meeting wrapped up today with a full slate of talks and posters. I spent a little more time in talks today, including several in a Paleontological Society symposium in honor of Richard Bambach. Bret Bennington and Myla Aronson … Continue reading →
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12:22 AM | office casual
The issue of "dressing more formally to advance in one's career" got a ton of comments on ask a manager recently. A vocal minority believed that "dressing for success" was outrageously superficial, sexist, and/or not the business of manager to give advice on. But most commenters thought that being overly shlubby/at the absolute minimum required by the dress code could be a hindrance to being taken seriously.The environmental biz is interesting in this respect because we have some folks who go […]

April 11, 2014

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10:55 PM | Ohio Tightens Fracking Regulations
Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) is the well-publicized process by which "tight" rocks can be made to produce oil and gas. It involves explosives, and in a handful out of approximately a million cases small earthquakes have resulted as existing stresses in unmapped faults were released. One of those exceedingly rare cases happened in Ohio last month, and the authorities revised the regulations today to ensure greater caution when the signs arise again. Now, when permits are issued for drilling […]
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8:29 PM | Unstirring the Himalayan Pot of Mashed Mountains
New work shows how the highest mountain range in the world is not so much a tectonic train wreck as a shuffled pile of crumbly crustal dominoes.
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7:40 PM | Natural Noah's Arks on Earth
Many animals and plants hold on to existence in fragments of their former homelands, surrounded by a flood of human farms and homes.
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7:31 PM | Intro Astronomy Class 9: Titan, Uranus and Neptune Systems
Examine Saturn's moon Titan and explore the Uranian and Neptunian systems in this video of class 9 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.
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7:28 PM | Intro Astronomy 2014. Class 8: Icy Galilean Satellites, Saturn System
Explore the icy moons of the Jupiter System and tour the Saturnian system in this video of class 8 of Bruce Betts' Introduction to Planetary Science and Astronomy class.
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5:19 PM | Geo 730: April 11, Day 467: Sunken Grade
After departing Agate Beach, we drove north past Beverly Beach and Otter Crest. I believe this road... disruption... was just before the pullout to Beverly Beach. It's a bit counter-intuitive; we're facing north, so the ocean is to our left, but the slump movement was clearly to the right. I'm pretty sure what happened here was the result of erosion in a stream off to the right, hidden in this perspective. Coast range sediments in this area weather quickly in our mild, moist climate, and mass […]
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5:08 PM | Curiosity update: Initial reconnaissance of the Kimberley, sols 585-595
Curiosity has been busy performing a survey of the Kimberley, walking the length of the outcrop and taking enormous quantities of photos. The team is now ready to go in for a closer look, and maybe even to drill.
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4:10 PM | Dino-Killing Asteroid Dwarfed by Earlier Space Rock Crash
Scientists have reconstructed a long-ago asteroid impact that makes the strike that wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago look like a playful chuck on the chin.
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3:46 PM | Shorter list for gamma-ray telescope sites, but no home yet
Where will host the world’s next generation ground-based γ-ray detector, the Cherenkov Telescope Array? The answer is, still no one knows. But a panel of funders have narrowed the field following a meeting in Munich, Germany, this week.  Read more
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3:07 PM | Measuring NEP
Some under- and post-grad students recently asked me to explain how to measure NEP in cryoconite holes, and this post represents a brief overview on their behalf – apologies to other readers […]
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2:55 PM | Planetary Meeting Travel Grants (PhD students)
Uwinga will award 10-15 travel grants, up to $1500 each, to graduate students studying planetary science and/or exoplanets and completing their PhDs in 2014. Applications are due no later than  April 30, 2014, and you can find the application form here. Filed under: planetary science Tagged: conference travel, grants
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2:46 PM | Take Ownership Of Your Health
I did a sleep study a couple months ago. I’ve had sleeping issues my entire life. My parents stopped giving me naps as a toddler because I would stay up until midnight. When the naps stopped, I still stayed up until midnight. I won’t bore you with the complicated details of my sleep habits, but…
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2:21 PM | Lords of the Past
With life, legged and finned, Earth had been teeming, Slitherers, predators, graceful trees tall … Now, of these species, we are only dreaming: Glossopteris, trilobites, eurypterids, all.
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1:19 PM | World Wildlife Fund’s Dr Brendan Fraser on improving fish diversity and conservation agriculture in Mozambique
Dr. Brendan Fisher is a research scientist at the World Wildlife Fund. His research and fieldwork lie at the nexus of conservation, development, and natural resource economics. Brendan is the author of over 50 peer-reviewed articles on topics such as poverty, human welfare, ecosystem services and biological conservation, and the co-author of two books, Valuing Ecosystem Services (Earthscan, London, 2008) and A Field Guide to Economics for Conservationists (Forthcoming, Roberts and […]
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12:52 PM | Friday fold: kink from the Billy Goat Trail
My student James O’Brien took this image of a kink band along the Billy Goat Trail, downstream of Great Falls in Maryland’s metamorphic Piedmont province. A lovely little structure, don’t you think? Thanks, James! Happy Friday, all.
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12:23 PM | Away from home: Collaboration in a global organisation
The ‘Away from home‘ blogging series features Indian postdocs working in foreign labs recounting their experience of working there, the triumphs and challenges, the cultural differences and what they miss about India. They also offer useful tips for their Indian postdocs headed abroad. You can join in the online conversation using the #postdochat hashtag.  Read more
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12:03 PM | “J” is for Jiffy
“J” is for the Jiffy Kodak The Jiffy Kodak is a fairly common camera with a pop-out front that took roll film. Many of the Jiffy Kodaks have an art-deco flair. The Jiffy Koday Six-20 took 2.25 X 3.25 inch … Continue reading →
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