Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Geo-Paleo Blogs from around the World (#1)

Well I figured I would start adding Paleo and Geo blog links to my website and sort of sponsor them here. The first blog that I found is from the UK and by a female Paleo student. You can check it out here:

http://www.ethicalpalaeontologist.com/

I will also be keeping a compilation list of blogs on the sidebar <---- (over there)

Monday, December 29, 2008

Friday, December 26, 2008

7 Stupid People

This is great. It is an Article over at Cracked.com which goes into a little detail about stupid people who have tried to sue the Scientific Method (and thankfully lost).

http://www.cracked.com/article_16896_7-stupid-people-who-sued-scientific-method.html

If you don't feel like reading the entire article here is a brief synopsis.
The lawsuits include:

1. A lawsuit stating the Large Hadron Collider was going to destroy the Earth by a botanist.

2. A lawsuit against testing to verify if voting machines work by the makers of the voting machines.

3. A lawsuit to redefine pi as a number easier to remember. (I see no problem remembering 3.1415926somethingsomethingsomething)

4. A lawsuit stating that water retained all the medicines that have been diluted in it, no matter how diluted the water was.

5. A lawsuit that vitamins cure AIDS. (you have to check out the picture on the page, it is classic)

6. A lawsuit by scientists against the government to change the status of polar bears from threatened to endangered and a countersuit by oil and steel companies to get it removed all together.

7. And a lawsuit against NASA for putting a 300 kilogram bullet into a comet which caused changes in the natural balance of the universe. (Best quote from the article "Which was awesome, because not nearly enough space missions are directed by Michael Bay.")

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Monday, December 08, 2008

National Parks Visit - Golden Spike

So our first foray into the wide world of Utah's National Parks is the Golden Spike National Historic Site. Why? Because it is close. And it was pretty fun, although in the middle of nowhere, literally.


The sign on the way into the park.


RR Crossing with the trains in the distance.



Me in front of the Jupiter



Veronica stopping the trains from colliding.



Veronica and I in front of the Jupiter.


The last rail laid for the Transcontinental Railroad.

You can find these as well as my other National Park pictures on my website Here.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

View from my Cubicle

Since I have such an awesome view from my workspace for once I figured I would post it. I have been here since August but this is the first time I thought to bring my camera and take a picture of it.

Housework - Building Bar

So I have been steadily working on the new house for some time and I wanted to publish some photos of my current project - the bar. Now the bar I built in my old house was far larger but I spent much less time on it. Hoping this one will not only be functional it would also blend in well with the wood work.



This first image is of the space that we are putting the bar. It is next to stairs going up into the rest of the house. The only problem is that the bottom half is a false wall covering the entrance to the crawl space. So I had to make the bar completely removable if someone needs to get under there. (Just in case of terrorists or republicans invade)



This is what the bar looks like that I added. I has some problem with the finish on the doors so that will need to be redone but I think it looks good so far. I tried to match the pattern of the walls with the doors but we wanted it darker so it would stand out a bit.



On the inside we wanted to use as a storage space for bar stuff (like cups and shotglasses) so I put in shelves. Not bad looking figuring the entire thing can be removed in under 5 minutes.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Prop 8 Debate

The Prop 8 Debate. (Hehe I rhymed)

Sometimes I don’t understand what people’s problem with this is, then I realize that in general people are stupid. I can understand their point of view. Marriage is a sacred religious term reserved for a union of a man and a woman. The bible stated in the Old Testament (kind of ambiguously if you ask me) that a Marriage (here to be defined with a capital “M”) is between a man and a woman since woman was made from man and in essence the Marriage combines them back to one.

Now if you understand American history you know about the First Amendment:

“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

AKA – Separation of church and state. This means that the government can not hinder nor condone any actions or practices made by any religion. Now I have already stated that Marriage is a religious term. SO, if the government were to acknowledge Marriage, this would go against the First Amendment.

Therefore the marriage (notice little “m”) acknowledged by the US government can not be the same Marriage acknowledged by the church (or whatever other religious institution you care to insert here). Hence we have 2 definitions of marriage (Marriage) in our society. The opponents to Prop 8 and other similar propositions simply do not understand this (or maybe they do and they are just bigots). They especially do not understand this if they are in favor of a civil union and not a marriage. But I’m sure even a lot of advocates for Prop 8 don’t understand this either.

So there are a couple of solutions to this.

1. Get over it.
- Not likely to happen.
- People have difficulty separating their faith from their government
2. The government stops recognizing marriage (Marriage) all together.
- Again, not likely to happen
- The government cannot be seen to favor one type of couple over another (this is called discrimination)
3. Thats all I can think of right now.

I am not voting to make Marriage in a church for homosexual couple possible. That is an entirely different matter up to the church or whatever religious organization you belong to. I am just saying to be a fair and just government that a marriage by the state should be allowed for both a heterosexual and a homosexual couple.

In essence my term for marriage is basically a civil union as defined by the state, but if that were true, the state would not recognize both a civil union and a marriage as two separate entities.

Sorry for my rant, but that is just my 2 cents worth.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dino Pic of the Week



I love it. This is the Wedding cake from my Grad School friend over at DinoChick.com. Needless to say this would never have flown at my wedding but I love it none the less.

Federal Deficit

Look what I just found from 1999, all I can say is HAHAHAHA

Monday, October 20, 2008

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Geology Fun Fact - For the Week of Oct 5th, 08'

Yea, I know. I haven't done this every week and I probably won't. But I will try to at least to alternate the Geo Facts and the Dino Pics.


Friday, October 03, 2008

VP Debate and the Environment

Ok, one of my major concerns as a geologist is the environment. So thinking of that, Governor Palin has come across as not only ignorant but down right backwards on her thinking. I think Biden's comment of "drill, drill, drill" hits the nail right on the head. Personally I think that instead of wasting time and money on more drilling we could spend the same time and money on renewable resources and get the return not only sooner but it would then be sustainable.

But the main focus of this rant is on Palin's comment to global warming at the VP debate:

IFILL: ... Let's talk about climate change. What is true and what is false about what we have heard, read, discussed, debated about the causes of climate change?

PALIN: Yes. Well, as the nation's only Arctic state and being the governor of that state, Alaska feels and sees impacts of climate change more so than any other state. And we know that it's real.

I'm not one to attribute every man -- activity of man to the changes in the climate. There is something to be said also for man's activities, but also for the cyclical temperature changes on our planet.

But there are real changes going on in our climate. And I don't want to argue about the causes. What I want to argue about is, how are we going to get there to positively affect the impacts?

We have got to clean up this planet. We have got to encourage other nations also to come along with us with the impacts of climate change, what we can do about that.

As governor, I was the first governor to form a climate change sub-cabinet to start dealing with the impacts. We've got to reduce emissions. John McCain is right there with an "all of the above" approach to deal with climate change impacts.

We've got to become energy independent for that reason. Also as we rely more and more on other countries that don't care as much about the climate as we do, we're allowing them to produce and to emit and even pollute more than America would ever stand for. So even in dealing with climate change, it's all the more reason that we have an "all of the above" approach, tapping into alternative sources of energy and conserving fuel, conserving our petroleum products and our hydrocarbons so that we can clean up this planet and deal with climate change.


How does that even make any sense? If somehow McCain wins, he better not die.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Moving to Utah - Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

Ok I know we moved to Utah several months ago but I just got the pictures organized. Here are some of the National Park pictures for Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore. As I mention before, Veronica and I are trying to visit all of the National Parks so this knocks another one off the list. Eventually I will tally up how many we have been to.


Here I am walking Twix and Aikman down to the beach.



Twix looking at the nice water.



Veronica, Twix and Aikman posing.



Veronica and Aikman walking down the shore.


Veronica and I


Twix Attacking the waves. Unfortunately we had to leave her on her leash due to park rules.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Presenting Our New Dog - Jackson



Ok, so we went to buy dog food the other day and they happened to be having what they called a "Super pet adoption". I thought they could fly or something. I was apparently wrong. But anyway by the time I locked the car Veronica was already in the middle of a swarm of puppies.



Well I saw this one puppy that looked so sad in his cage and he was the same puppy they had up for adoption over a month before. Well we ended up taking the dog for a walk and I still felt really bad for him because he was 7 and it was likely he was not going to get adopted. So we decided to take him home. Well afterwards I found out he was in a foster home at the time so I felt less bad than before.




Well now that we have him home. He seems to be slowly adjusting. He is much higher energy than either Twix or Aikman so it is a big adjustment for us all. Twix still is not sure what to do with him. She is the alpha of the family but Jackson is trying to take over so Twix is very unhappy. But hopefully she comes around soon.




Geology Fun Fact - For the Week of Sept 14th, 08'


A compilation of all the Geo Facts of the Week can be found at http://dinojim.com/Geology/GeoFun/GeoFacts.html

Monday, September 15, 2008

Dino Pic of the Week, for the week of Sept 14th, 08'


This picture was taken at the Museum of Science at Boston, MA. The T-Rex is on the floor below in the dino section but you can get a pretty cool view of it from the upper floor.


Saturday, September 13, 2008

Geology Fun Fact - For the Week of Sept 7th

As with my dino pic of the week I started this a while ago on my website and it kind of fell by the wayside. Well I hope to start it up again. This will be my "Geoact" (A.K.A. Geology Fun Fact). Then I will also compile all these on my Geoacts portion of my website.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Dino Pic of the Week - For the week of Sept 7th

I figured since the title of my site is "Dino Jim" I should actually represent some dinos. Well I am starting a Dino Pic of the week segment here on my blog.



This picture was taken outside of the dinosaur ride in the Animal Kingdom at Walt Disney World. The dino depicted is the same one from Disney's Dinosaur, the Iguanodon Aladar

Monday, August 25, 2008

Fantasy Olympics Update

Well the Olympics are over (tear :'() and my Fantasy league is obviously over. Meaning of course that I have time to do other things, like get the house ready for my Mother-in-law. Anyway, Since I had Phelps on my team I won my division, The Jim Thorpe Division, although not by much (3 points). Thats part of the problem having 3 out of 12 people not do anything for your team whatsoever. But overall through all of the leagues I tied for third (although the tie-breaker demoted me to fourth). So all in all not bad. This is my team and the points that they scored. (3 for gold, 2 for silver, 1 for bronze):

1. Michael Phelps - 24
2. Nastia Liukin - 10
3. Jeremy Wariner - 5
4. Matt Emmons - 2
5. Raj Bhavsar - 1
6. David Boudia
7. Margaret Hoelzer - 5
8. Kerri Walsh/Misty May-Treanor - 3
9. Laura Wilkinson
10. Sarah Hammer
11. Samantha Peszek - 2
12. Julia Smit - 3

I had a blast doing it and this is definitely something I will be doing again in the 2010 for Vancouver.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Fantasy Olympics

Ok, so I know it has been a little while since my last post but I have been a little busy. First updates about me.

1. I got hired by the URS office out here in Salt Lake City. So now I don't need to be supported by the New York office anymore (Which it was awsome of them to do) but I also get a 40% raise. YEA!!!!. So I will basically be doing the same type of work (GIS and Geology) but on a wider range of topics.

2. I joined a Fantasy Olympics team. You can see my team HERE. This is pretty cool. You pick 12 players and 1 tie breaking country. Each medal the person wins you get points (3 for gold, 2 for silver and 1 for bronze.) And the most points at the end wins. I had a first round draft pick so I get Phelps. No money for competing but it is really cool, I get to cheer on my team. I am also in two other competitions for the Olympics, one at NBC.com and the other at ESPN. So I have been pretty busy trying to keep everything in line. It is the only sporting thing I follow so I need to take advantage of it when it is around.

3. The Clone Wars opens Thursday night and I have my Midnight showing ticket. The other love of my life STAR WARS opens with a new movie and I will be there from the opening second. YES!!!.

Ok thats all for now. I will hopefully update posts with out trips that we have been taking around the lovely state of Utah. Most likely those will go up when Veronica goes back to being on call towards the end of August.

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

I'M BACK!!!!!!

Ok, I'm back. It has been sometime since I updated my blog but I figured I should update since I have so much to say. This post is basically going to be about me and then I will create subsequent posts of random things.

First off I am 27 years old and am married to one of the most wonderful women in the world. We have recently moved out to Salt Lake City so that she can start her residency while I hope to go back to school and finish my PhD at some point. I obtained my Bachelors in Geology at SUNY Genseo in NY and my Masters in Geosciences at Texas Tech University in Lubbock. My research interests lie mainly in vertebrate paleontology but I also enjoy geology in general and love to teach people the joys of geology. In that vein I started my own website so that when I start teaching again it will be up and ready for me to use. It is here at Dinojim.com.

Moving out to Utah will be a lot of fun once my wife starts having some free time (apparently residency means you work a lot). We have been trying to visit all of the National Parks and since we have never been to any out west this gives us a great base of operations.

My other interests as can be gathered from my website include Star Wars, reading, and generally trying to improve myself. In this light I have been trying to read the 100 Greatest Books Ever Written (it needs to be in caps, its a long list). For that I found 4 different lists that total about 306 books. I have been working on that since 2003. My wife and I have also been trying to watch the 100 Greatest Movies which thankfully, takes a lot less time.

My love of Star Wars has caused me to become obsessive over the "Expanded Universe" which is all of the stories in the Star Wars Universe. And since I want to read all of them, I have been collecting everything and anything that has a Star Wars story in it, like books, comics, and video games. All in all, an expensive hobby. But I love it.

Currently I work as an environmental scientist that specializes in GIS. Although I am mostly known for my GIS work I also do a great deal of geology. My main focus of work is with the West Valley Demonstration Project which is a former nuclear reprocessing facility about 40 miles south of Buffalo. I monitor the groundwater and make maps for them. Thankfully they must have liked me enough to fund me even after I moved out to Utah, and I love the work so it is great for me. I would go into more of a description of what I do but I might get in trouble, so I won't.

If that isn't enough I am also trying to write several books. One is a sci-fi book about time travel that I am about a third of the way through the first draft. Another is in the planning stages and it is about science and religion that I am writing in conjunction with my good friend Steve once he gets some free time (he just earned his PhD and just got a job, busy busy). And the last one needs more background information and a plan. It is about using geology movies as teaching tools. Not sure how that one will work yet though.

I think that is everything for now. My current hobbies include trying to get out and do more outdoorsy stuff like hiking and visit some great National Parks and reading (I'm in Tom Jones now, but almost done.) I will update more as things come up.