Friday, September 24, 2010

GeoJeopardy! Fridays

Time for GeoJeopardy! Fridays, because who can't use a little trivia while you're not doing work.

- The Good Earth -

Of 10%, 50% or 80%, the portion of an iceberg that floats above the water


Ruffles chips have these & so do ocean floors, but they're underwater mountain ranges


The eruption of this Indonesian volcano in 1883 was heard more than 2,000 miles away

Because it passes through a London borough, the Prime Meridian at 0 degrees longitude has this other name

From the Greek for "middle life", it's the era on Earth that ended with the demise of the dinosaurs


All the answers as well as any other previous GeoJeopardy! questions can be found over at my website by clicking the link. I am currently having problems loading up to the website so the new answers are not available but hopefully should be shortly.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

The Red Queen Hypothesis

I finished reading Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll for the first time a couple of weeks ago and while reading it I came across the infamous passage where the Red Queen Hypothesis (RQH) sprang from.

For anyone who does not know what the RQH is, it is a theory in evolution theory where both the predator and prey evolve simultaneously. As the predator gets faster the prey gets faster to get away and then the predator gets faster an so on. So the RQH basically states that you have to run as fast as you can to stay in one place.

So as a tribute to that hypothesis here is the portion of the book that that quote came from:

"It' a great huge game of chess that's being played - all over the world - if this is the world at all, you know. Oh, what fun it is! How I wish I was one of them! I wouldn't mind being a Pawn, if only I might join - though of course I should like to be a Queen, best"

She (Alice) glanced rather shyly at the real Queen as she said this, but her companion only smiled pleasantly, and said, "That's easily managed. You can be the White Queen's Pawn, if you like, as Lily's too young to play: and you're in the Second Square to begin with: when you get to the Eighth Square you'll be a Queen -" Just at this moment, somehow or other, they began to run.

Alice never could quite make out, in thinking it over afterwards, how it was that they began: all she remembers is, that they were running hand in hand, and the Queen went so fast that it was all she could do to keep up with her: and still the Queen kept crying "Faster! Faster!" but Alice felt she could not go faster, though she had no breath left to say so.

The most curious part of the thing was, that the trees and other things round them never changed their places at all: however fast they went, they never seemed to pass anything. "I wonder if all the things move along with us?" thought poor puzzled Alice. And the Queen seemed to guess her thoughts, for she cried. "Faster! Don't try to talk!"

Not that Alice had any idea of doing that. She felt as if she would never be able to talk again, she was getting so much out of breath: and still the Queen cried "Faster! Faster!" and dragged her along. "Are we nearly there?" Alice managed to pant out at last.

"Nearly there!" the Queen repeated. "Why, we passed it ten minutes ago! Faster!" And they ran on for a time in silence, with the wind whistling in Alice's ears, and almost blowing her hair off her head, she fancied.

"Now! Now!" cried the Queen. "Faster! Faster!" And they went so fast that at last they seemed to skim through the air, hardly touching the ground with their feet, till suddenly, just as Alice was getting quite exhausted, they stopped, and she found herself sitting on the ground, breathless and giddy.

The Queen propped her up against a tree, and said kindly "You may rest a little now."

Alice looked round her in great surprise. "Why, I do believe we've been under this tree the whole time! Everything's just as it was!"

"Of course it is," said the Queen: "what would you have it?"

"Well, in our country," said Alice, still panting a little, "you'd generally get to somewhere else - if you ran very fast for a long time, as we've been doing."

"A slow sort of country!" said the Queen. "Now, here, you see, it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run a least twice as fast as that!"

And a picture from my copy of the book that went along with the scene

Friday, September 17, 2010

GeoJeopardy! Fridays

Time for GeoJeopardy! Fridays, because who can't use a little trivia while you're not doing work. Sorry for the lack of other posts but school has been rather hectic lately.
- Geology -

This precious stone is crystalline carbon


This aluminum ore was discovered at Le Bau, France


You'll find stalactites and stalagmites in caverns made of various types of this sedimentary rock


Since it doesn't transmit an earthquake's S-waves, scientists believe this must be partly liquid


The process of coalification runs from peat to this type of coal


Friday, September 10, 2010

GeoJeopardy! Fridays

Time for GeoJeopardy! Fridays, because who can't use a little trivia while you're not doing work. And I am taking a breather for the week.

- Fun Wth Dinosaurs -

In 1902 in Montana, paleontologist Barnum Brown unearthed the first specimen of this dinosaur "king"


Hadrosaurus & Corythosaurus are among dinosaurs that had this type of bill, like a platypus


The oviraptor's name means that it stole these from other dinosaurs but new evidence suggests that it was misnamed


This 3-horned plant-eater's 10-foot-long head is said to be the largest ever possessed by a land animal


This dinosaur known for the bony plates along its back had multiple spikes at the end of its tail for protection


Friday, September 03, 2010

GeoJeopardy! Friday

Time for GeoJeopardy! Fridays, because who can't use a little trivia while you're not doing work.

- The San Francisco Earthquake of 1906 -

Estimates are that it would have measured 8.25 on the scale named for this man


Most of the destruction came from these that followed the quake


The quake was this fault's fault


This Italian tenor was in town to perform when the earthquake struck


This author from nearby Oakland surveyed the damage & declared, "San Francisco is gone"


Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Intro to Science - Day 1 question

So a new semester begins again and I have a new question to get my students to start thinking logically and in a scientific frame of mind. (my previous Intro question)

Which one of these boxes is not like the others? Explain your answer.

So far, out of the people I have asked (before my lab actually started):
      Undergrad - 1 answer which was wrong (did not answer the question)
      Brand New Grad Student - 2 answers both of which were wrong (did not answer the question)
      Finishing Masters Student - 3 answers all correct
      Finishing PhD Student - ~6 answers although needed to be coaxed to actually answer the question

My conclusions are that the more education you have the more you over think the question.