Saturday, April 30, 2011

Geological Fun Fact of the Month - April

Alright, last month's choice seemed to be a little debated and this month's is related but hopefully not so controversial.



You can check out all the other Geological Fun Facts over at my website.

Friday, April 29, 2011

GeoJeopardy Fridays #44

Time for GeoJeopardy! Fridays, because classes are over so maybe I can get some work done.

- Dinosaur Lore -

The oviraptor's name means "stealer of" these, which might also apply to some fossil hunters  

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In diplodocus, these individual back bones were hollow, keeping the animal's weight to 12 tons
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Its two longer horns each could extend more than three feet

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Robert Bakker "heated" up paleontology by suggesting dinosaurs were homeothermic, also called this
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Term for a meat-eating dinosaur like the Tyrannosaurus, or the title of a 1993 Roger Corman film

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All the answers as well as any other previous GeoJeopardy! questions can be found over at my website by clicking the link.  

And if you enjoy this post as well as others, please consider subscribing to my blog via Google Reader or some other RSS feed so that way I better know my readership. Thank you.

Questions, images, and videos courtesy of j-archive.com

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

AW 33 is up now

Go check out the newest Accretionary Wedge (#33) over at Geologic Mountains in the Taconic Mountains. Here is the concept that was called upon for that topic:
I’ve always wondered how crazy other geologists have gone with incorporating geology into their homes, offices, gardens, etc. I know we all have a mini rock collection on the shelf, or a rock holding open a door but I’m thinking bigger. For example, I haven’t done it yet but when I build the next house, all the window sills will be made out of slate. Share your stories, descriptions, photos of your current or past geology-related embellishments and I’ll summarize.

News of the Day - Diamonds Produced from Booze

This is a rather older article that just came to my attention and it doesn't involve beer (which is of primary interest to geologists) but tequila. It turns out:
"tequila has the exact proportion of carbon, hydrogen and oxygen atoms necessary to form diamonds."
Awesome.

Scientists Turn Tequila into Diamonds

Monday, April 25, 2011

Evolution in Pop Culture

I have used the Futurama clip several times for an example that perfectly illustrates the missing link (including on my PhD exam). Well here is that clip (if it works) and a couple of others that illustrate evolution in Pop Culture.

This one is the one I mentioned from Futurama showing the human missing link.
futurama - evrim tartışması | izlesene.com

This one is from the Simpsons showing the evolution of Homer from bacteria to a "human".


This is from the Muppet Show on the episode I just watched where a Koozebanian is quickly evolving into Kermit.

An Unusual Study on the Great Salt Lake

So this topic marginally fits in with Geology but I found it interesting and it does involve learning so I will write is up here. Recently all over Salt Lake City, and even through large parts of Utah, there have been these billboards popping up (see picture below) that state that Jim Bridger discovered the Great Salt Lake with a website below it: JimBridger24.com.
Sorry for the blurry picture, I was trying to snap it while waiting for a light.
So, what really irritated me about this was that this is akin to stating that I discovered the Great Salt Lake because really, how many countless Native Americans lived and "found" the Great Salt Lake before any "white-man" was ever even here. Well I went to the website and they actually got me with what they were trying to do. It turns out this is part of a study done by the billboard company - Reagan Outdoor.

What they did is run a study to see how many of Utahns knew which non-Native American discovered the Great Salt Lake. They then ran this billboard advertising campaign for a few months to see if they can increase the number of people who know this. They will then run a second survey to see if this number increases at all (if they haven't already).

Since they called out (at least on the website) that they are looking specifically for non-Native Americans who discovered the lake, I think this is a very cool study. Not only for a billboard company, but it is a great scientific study on how people perceive all that freaking advertisements that are all around. Do we register it? Or does it all go beyond us and we couldn't care less what was on that billboard on our way home from work?

This is even applicable to geology because most people pass geology everyday on their way somewhere. Do non-geologists even register what they see or is it just a pretty landscape to them? Do geologists even register what they pass? If it isn't what they are currently studying do they care? (This is a rhetorical question, I assume they do but wanted to shoot that out there.)

Friday, April 22, 2011

GeoJeopardy! Fridays #43

Time for GeoJeopardy! Fridays, because it's Earth Day!!

- Rocks & Minerals -

Green serpentine, seen here, is made into a gemstone that's a common substitute for this one
  

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Kernite, a major source of borax, is named for Kern County in this California desert where it is mined

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The chief ore of iron, this mineral, is named for the fact that its powder, or the streak that it leaves, is blood red


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Carrara, Italy is famous for its quarries of this rock

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Obsidian is described as having this type of luster, from the Latin for "glassy"

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All the answers as well as any other previous GeoJeopardy! questions can be found over at my website by clicking the link.  

And if you enjoy this post as well as others, please consider subscribing to my blog via Google Reader or some other RSS feed so that way I better know my readership. Thank you.

Questions, images, and videos courtesy of j-archive.com

Friday, April 15, 2011

GeoJeopardy! Fridays #42

Time for GeoJeopardy! Fridays, because I am away at a conference so I am keeping busy.

- Geology -

The Mercalli scale measures the intensity of these from I to XII

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Geysers aren't common; major centers include Yellowstone, Iceland & this country's North Island

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This rock can be formed by the accumulation of shells or coral, but not from citrus fruit

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This 9-letter geologic science is the study of the movement & distribution of all the Earth's waters

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A 6-mile-wide caldera, or volcanic crater, is a highlight of La Palma in this Spanish Island group off Africa

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All the answers as well as any other previous GeoJeopardy! questions can be found over at my website by clicking the link.  

And if you enjoy this post as well as others, please consider subscribing to my blog via Google Reader or some other RSS feed so that way I better know my readership. Thank you.

Questions, images, and videos courtesy of j-archive.com

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dinos in Pop Culture pics

I used to do the Dino Pic of the Week, which slowly went by the wayside. Well now I am going to change that over to Dinos in Pop Culture pics to post some pictures of dinos when I get the chance.

These are from my trip to the College of Eastern Utah's Prehistoric Museum in Price, Utah. It shows the reconstruction of the famous Utahraptor, which was almost named the Spielbergasaurus (or something like that) since he is the one who envisioned it before it was even found (for Jurassic Park).



You can find all of the Dinos in Pop Culture pics over at my website.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Geological Quote of the Week

Here is a nice, straightforward one. No humor intended but a nice recollection from the past that I think still holds up today.
"In most of the sciences this deeper exercise of scientific thought requires for its successful pursuit artificial aids to the common senses of observation. Chemistry must have its purified acids and reagents, test tubes, and delicate scales for measurement of weight and volume. Mineralogy must have its chemical analyses, or optical measurements so fine that microscopes of highest power are essential tools for the investigation. Physics must have the most delicate measurements of time and space and weight. Botany, for the earlier stages of study, is fully equal to geology in these respects, but its scope is much less general, Zoology requires dissections calling for skill in manipulation, and in other respects is ill adapted to general classes. But precision in the intellectual processes of observation and reasoning can be cultivated in the use of geological facts to their highest and widest perfection, with scarcely anyaids to the normal faculties of observation. A couple of hammers, a pocket lens, a chisel and a few pointed steel tools for revealing fossils, a tape line, compass and clinometer are the few equipments that will enable the geologist to carry his investigations to almost any degree of thoroughness."
Williams, H.S., 1893, Geology as a Part of a College Curriculum: The Journal of Geology, v. 1, p. 38-46.

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Sunday, April 10, 2011

News of the Day

Palaeontologists Solve Mystery of 500 Million-Year-Old Squid-Like Carnivore
This is interesting. I could see where they got their conclusions from but I am not entirely convinced that this is the earliest cephalopod. It also indicates that early cephalopods were shell-less and later ones evolved the shell, which I think is counter to what one would expect. I'm not sure how the scientific community will see this in the long run.

Ancient fossils hold clues for predicting future climate change, scientists report

This is really interesting in that it shows that the Earth has not stabalized to the CO2 levels we are currently at. Once the climate stabalizes we are going to see significantly higher temperatures even if we were to stop the release of new CO2 into the atmosphere. I have a feeling the planet is going to be significantly warmer in the next 100 years than the majority of people are expecting.


Thanks to Jim Kirkland for notifying me of the articles.

Friday, April 08, 2011

GeoJeopardy! Fridays #41

Time for GeoJeopardy! Fridays, just because.

- Know Your Earth -

Giovanni Arduino classified rocks oldest to newest as primary, secondary & this, a term still used


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Temperatures range from about 2,000 to 8,000 degrees Fahrenheit in this part of the Earth between the crust & the core

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Essential minerals can give rocks their names: ferromagnesian minerals contain this &/or magnesium

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Change 2 letters in magnetism & you get this term for the formation of igneous rocks in the Earth's crust


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Named for the tiny time period that followed it, this interval covers 80% of geological time

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All the answers as well as any other previous GeoJeopardy! questions can be found over at my website by clicking the link.  

And if you enjoy this post as well as others, please consider subscribing to my blog via Google Reader or some other RSS feed so that way I better know my readership. Thank you.

Questions, images, and videos courtesy of j-archive.com

Monday, April 04, 2011

Dinosaur Scares the Bejesus Out of Some Kids

I was made aware of this by my sister-in-law where they were promoting the Walking With Dinosaurs show in Sydney. I really wanted to see the show when it came through Salt Lake City but it was waaaay to expensive, so we had to pass.

Pretty cool to watch the kids freak out, although I didn't know that it was a guy in the suit until this video. I used to think they were all animatronic dinosaurs. That took away from it a little because you could easily see the guy's legs since the dino's legs weren't attached. Cool none-the-less though. Hopefully it will promote some future scientists.

Friday, April 01, 2011

GeoJeopardy! Fridays #40

Time for GeoJeopardy! Fridays, because why not?
- Prehistoric Critters -

As the "avis" suggests, Argentavis' distinction was being able to do this, even at over 250 pounds

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The best guess on the purpose of spinosarus' sail was that by turning it the beast could regulate this


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The sharklike acanthodians were the first vertebrates with these; earlier ones had vacuum-cleaner mouths

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Fossils in Niger indicate the "super" type of this animal was the size of a bus; it often drowned its prey

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If Horton climbed his family tree, he'd go from elephant to stegodon to stegolophodon to this

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All the answers as well as any other previous GeoJeopardy! questions can be found over at my website by clicking the link.  

And if you enjoy this post as well as others, please consider subscribing to my blog via Google Reader or some other RSS feed so that way I better know my readership. Thank you.

Questions, images, and videos courtesy of j-archive.com