Friday, February 26, 2010

Whale of a Theory?

I was reading an article for class the other day and I found this rather amusing quote in it. It is from a book called The Geology of Capitol Reef National Park by Michael Collier from 1987. Keep in mind that this book is from 1987, not 1967.

Let me rewrite this one so that is can be searched on the Internet as well:
"The subterranean engine driving this motion is as much a mystery to us as it was to Dutton although geologists and their side-kicks, the geophysicists, have cooked up a whale of a theory lately, called plate tectonics."
Also quote worthy is another quote I found in an article I picked out for my Depositional Environments class to read.
“Forms a smooth or slightly irregular slope, except where it forms a cliff…”

Blakey, R.C. 1973. Stratigraphy and origin of the Moenkopi Formation (Triassic) of southeastern Utah. The Mountain Geologist. v. 10, pp.1-17

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

SEM Update

So I sent off the APEX form to get my free SEM image (scanning electron microscope image, they want me to say scanning electron microscope instead of SEM. I mean really, does anyone who wants an SEM image not know what it means, and if you don't know what it means, you likely don't want or need one.) Anyway, I sent it off and it included the form above and a small portion of the rock I showed last week. This isn't the completed form because I prefered not to have my address and info spread across the internet. But we will see how quickly this turns around and how well it turns out.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Free SEM (Scanning Electron Microscope) image anyone?

So I was recently contacted by a person named Jeffrey from ASPEX, a company that produces Scanning Electron Microscopes and as a gimic he wanted me to mention that they have a promotion going on for a free SEM image of your choice. All you have to do is send in a sample and they will post the image to their website for all to see. Here are the exact details:

"People can send us any mineral or rock, or even a dead insect...anything they want to see a picture of under a powerful microscope. It's pretty cool. Once we receive the samples, we'll notify senders of their results via email. You can view other reports we've done here:"

Seems interesting so far so I emailed him for some more info and he sent me back the submission process:

Here's how the free sample offer works:

You'll need to instruct your readers to download and print
this form from the ASPEX website.
They'll fill out the form and mail it along with the sample they want scanned to:

ASPEX Corporation
Free Sample Submissions
175 Sheffield Dr.
Delmont, PA 15626

Once ASPEX has completed the scan, the images and report will be posted on
ASPEX's website here.
It should take about 2 weeks for the results to post to the ASPEX website, and we will also notify submitters via email. Samples scanned for free will not be returned.

My Turn

So I figured, what the hell. I'll give it a try.

Below is a picture of the sample I am going to send. I'm not entirely sure what it is but it seems to be a piece of basalt with some yellow quartz crystals growing on the inside, similar to a geode. The plan is to fill out the form today then I will follow up with posts as I get the materials and send out the sample. So lets see how this goes.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Darwin Awards - Geology Strikes Back 4

Next up on the Darwin Awards:

This Darwin Award is geological because because the slope gradient, snowpack, and weather combined to create a natural disaster. Avalanches are geological events, even when aided by stupid people.

Article courtesy of Krista Mugavero

Friday, February 05, 2010

Some things I learned as a PhD Candidate - 1st Semester

So beginning my second semester as a PhD candidate has caused me to think back on some of the more unusual aspects of things I may have learned over the semester. Also some added tidbits here and there.

1. SLC is hazardous to your health
2. PhD comics are very funny and eerily accurate
3. There are advisers that care what you want to do
4. People will complain about anything
5. Reading 8-10 articles a week is a lot
6. Mexico in November can be really freaking cold
7. When someone tells you you should probably not drive on that dune road, you should listen to them.
8. When deflating a tire to 10 psi to get out of said dune, 0 is technically closer to 10 than 30 is, but that doesn't make anyone feel better when you now have a flat tire
9. Arizona can also have snow in November
10. 3 1-credit classes does not equal 1 3-credit class
11. Nobody really understands what a 1 credit class should be
12. Taking 5 classes does not leave time for personal research
13. When people ask you what you are doing all follow-up questions are unanswerable since you haven't actually started anything
14. When you make something up to an undergrad they believe you
15. When you make something up to your advisor you usually have the beginnings of a debate
16. Free time is a luxury
17. If you read a graph with a random scattering of points on it (article, presentation, whatever) someone will undoubtedly put a line to these random points and then try to interpret them
18. Personal reading time becomes rather scarce

TV Shows of choice for the semester
1. Battlestar Gallactic
2. Beast Wars

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Darwin Awards - Geology Strikes Back 3

Next of the Darwin Awards:

Geology strikes back against these thieves because as they were making their get-a-way they decided to choose a dangerous steep slope that was made of granite, where it had rained the night before, and it is a common fact that rocks are slippery when wet.

Article courtesy of Robert Mrdutt

You can check out the complete collection of Darwin Awards: Geology Strikes Back at my website.