Friday, October 28, 2011

GeoJeopardy! Fridays #70

Time for GeoJeopardy! Fridays, because it's almost Halloween!

- Earth Science -

There are 2 major ice sheets on Earth; one covers most of Antarctica & the other most of this island

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  The Bay of Fundy is famous for its range of these, the widest on Earth

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 This 19th C. chemist, famous for a burner, devised a still-accepted theory on how geysers work

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 The sling psychrometer & hair hygrometer are used to determine the relative amount of this

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The Earth is surrounded by the magnetosphere, which is shaped by this particle stream

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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, October 24, 2011

Friday, October 21, 2011

GeoJeopardy! Fridays #69

Time for GeoJeopardy! Fridays, because we have a current events question (sort of).

- Earthquake! -

The palace hotel in this U.S. city had to be rebuilt after it was gutted by fire following a 1906 earthquake

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  The center of this Nicaraguan capital was almost completely destroyed in a 1972 earthquake

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The standard scale is logarithmic, so an 8.0 has waves this many times larger than a 7.0

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The August 23, 2011 5.8 quake near D.C. really shook up the scientists in Reston, Virginia at the USGS, short for this

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Roman emperor Trajan was nearly killed in a 115 A.D. quake in Antioch, now Antakya in this country

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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

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Dinos in Pop Culture Thursday

Dinos in Pop Culture, where we highlight each week some of the more obscure instances of dinosaurs used in the pop culture realm to sell anything from slippers to wedding cakes.


This week we have a "Dino Sculpture". This was a gift from my advisor from his recent trip to Puerto Penasco, Mexico. It is created using just shells from the area there. Pretty cool.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Non-Open Access Journals - A Call for Reform

There has been a series of blog posts that I have been rather interested in and figured I would point them out to other readers. The topic involves Open Access Journals and scientists reviewing and publishing in them over the Non-Open Access Journals. The points are well made and I do agree with them, unfortunately I do not have any credentials of yet to be able to pick one side or the other. Basically I have to go where I can go, whether that is behind a pay fire wall or not to publish.

It seems to have started about here at SVPoW:

http://svpow.wordpress.com/2011/09/29/researchers-stop-doing-free-work-for-non-open-journals/

Then it continued on talking about Nature and Elsevier

http://svpow.wordpress.com/2011/10/15/nature-and-elsevier-on-peer-reviewing/

This was followed but a not really rebutal but reanalysis over at The Open Source Paleontologist:

http://openpaleo.blogspot.com/2011/10/should-we-review-for-any-old-journal.html

And a response to the last post is available back at SVPoW

http://svpow.wordpress.com/2011/10/17/collateral-damage-of-the-non-open-reviewing-boycott/


Whether you agree with them or not this is a very important issue. Especially as scientists become more global and journals should become easier to access. I know on campus I don't have as much problems as many scientists since my school provides me access to many journals that would be cost prohibitive if I did not have this access. Individual journal articles often cost $30-50 which is beyond absurd, and that's even before you know if that article has any content worth while to read. I believe this is something we can work towards, or at least make the current policies a little better.

Mike at SVPoW sums it up best:

"In the long term it is, unquestionably, to the advantage of all authors for open access to become ubiquitous."

Friday, October 14, 2011

GeoJeopardy! Fridays #68

Time for GeoJeopardy! Fridays, because it's time for a little geochemistry.

- The Style of Elements -

Humphry Davy named this element after potash, its much older name

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  The Chem Time Clock helps chemistry students learn the periodic table by using element's symbols in place of numbers. It's 1:35, or these two elements

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This element, atomic no. 17, is used as a bleach

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Make no bones about it, it's the fifth most abundant element in both the earth's crust & the human body

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For hundreds of years people have believed in the rejuvenating qualities of the Dead sea's black mud. Among its many components this element, symbol Mg, said to remove toxins from the skin. Makes you feel good.

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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

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Dinos in Pop Culture Thursday

Dinos in Pop Culture, where we highlight each week some of the more obscure instances of dinosaurs used in the pop culture realm to sell anything from slippers to wedding cakes.


This week is the fourth and final post about the Utah Hogle Zoo's exhibit Zoorassic Park. These are artistic pictures taken mostly by my wife of the various dinosaur animatronics scattered throghout the park.




UFOP Meeting Announcement - Brian Switek

Please join us for our chapter meeting on Thursday, October 13th at 7 PM in the Department of Natural Resources Auditorium, 1594 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City. Our speaker is Brian Switek who will give a talk entitled "Thomas Henry Huxley and the Dinobirds." Brian is a freelance science writer specializing in evolution, paleontology, natural history, and the history of science. He blogs regularly at WIRED Science's Laelaps and Smithsonian magazine's Dinosaur Tracking. He is also the author of Written In Stone: Evolution, the Fossil Record, and Our Place in Nature. Links to his website and blogs are listed below:

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Happy National Fossil Day

Go out and celebrate:

http://nature.nps.gov/geology/nationalfossilday/

Geology in SLC Pop Culture

I have noticed that around both the campus of the University of Utah and Salt Lake City in general that there are a lot of instances where geology pervades into the pop-culture/art displayed in various places. Here are some instances where book sculptures that are geology "related" are located at the Trax station located outside the SLC Library.

Granted some of the books are pretty loosely related to geology, but I thought it was still fun.

The Big Rock Candy Mountain (This is actually a book?)


The bible of the evolutionary biologist The Origin of Species.


Under the Volcano (I bet it's hot)

Here is a view of the entire sculpture. Sorry it is a little washed out, it was pretty bright that day and my ipod apparently couldn't handle it.
UPDATE: Here is a better photo that isn't as washed out.


Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Guest Post - Cool US Dino Dig Locations

Are you an avid paleontologist?

If you’re wondering where dinosaur fossils have been found, you’ll be thrilled to hear that the most varieties of dinosaurs have been found here in the United States. However, if you’re looking for the location with the highest concentration of dinosaur fossils, you’ll have to go north to the Dinosaur Provincial Park in Alberta, Canada.

While studying dinosaurs is fun, there’s nothing like looking for fossils in real life. Dinosaur museums make great family adventures, and dino digs are a memorable way to learn about how true paleontologists discover and handle fossil finds. Trained excavation specialists use fun tools like:
  • Picks and shovels
  • Awls
  • Dynamite (you will just get to see someone else use it, but you will get to see how it’s done)
  • Crowbars
  • Drills
  • Screwdrivers
  • Brushes
  • Brooms
If you go on a dino dig, you’ll learn to appreciate how rare it is to find a fossil in good condition and how difficult it is to remove the rock and dirt without hurting the fossil. You’ll learn about fossil cleaning and preservation, too. Then, when you get back home, you can look for your own fossils. You never know what’s buried in your own back yard!

If you want to go out for a real dino dig, there are several places you can get your hands dusty and unearth some real fossils.

The Wyoming Dinosaur Center and Dig Sites
Thermopolis, Wyoming
This Dino center has over 80 digs spread out over a 500-acre span. You’ll get a real dig experience, complete with sand, sun and dirt.

You can sign up for an all-day expedition anytime during the dig season (late spring to early autumn). The digs take place every day of the week, and each dig lasts from 8:00 in the morning until 5:00 in the evening. You’ll attend an orientation at 8:00, be transported to the dig site at 8:30, and will work onsite all day. The program provides lunch, drinks, tools, and transportation—all for a cost of $150 per adult and $80 per child. If you are under the age of 18, you must have an adult accompany you.

PaleoAdventures
South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana
This dig group offers one-day and two-day dig packages in a variety of privately owned dig sites. You’ll get the full experience, overseen by professionals. Each day is an 8-8 operation, meaning you’ll be digging for a full 12-hour day. Costs are $150 per adult and $125 per child (must be over age 8 to participate) for a one-day trip and $250 per adult and $200 per child for two-day trips. Lunch, tools, and transportation to and from dig sites are all provided.

Museum of Western Colorado
Grand Junction, Colorado
This group offers everything from half-day digs to five-day dig and rafting expeditions (lodging and meals included). Kids as young as age 5 can participate, if accompanied by an adult, and kids 16 and older can attend some of the programs independent of adult supervision. Prices vary widely according to package deals, but every dig package includes a supervised, actual hands-on dig experience.

The Mammoth Site
Hot Springs, South Dakota
As if the Badlands themselves weren’t inspirational enough, this dig site and museum will provide an authentic dig experience for you and your family.

You can tour the museum and an active dig site, but if you want to participate, you’ll have to volunteer with Earthwatch. You have to be 16 or over to apply, but if you qualify as an Earthwatch volunteer, you can be part of a 4-week team that works on the dig site in July of each year.

Dinosaur State Park
Rocky Hill, Connecticut
Here you won’t get to participate in an actual dig, but you can make your own plaster castings of real dinosaur tracks. This site is the largest collection of dinosaur tracks in the United States.

If you can’t find a dig near you, start saving for a trip! You’ll make memories that will last a lifetime.  

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Bio:
Leah Landly is the community manager for BluWiki, an informational Wiki service and free web publishing platform. She covers many topics and answers popular questions like, how to look attractive and how to get rid of black eye circles.

Friday, October 07, 2011

GeoJeopardy! Fridays #67

Time for GeoJeopardy! Fridays, because winter has reared it's ugly head.

- Earth Science -

An analysis of seawater shows that about 78% of the total solids are this one mineral

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  It's a fracture of the Earth's rocky outer shell where sections of rock slide against each other

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Larger than dust, this particulate matter from volcanoes ranges from .01 to .16 inches in diameter

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From the Latin for "flowing together", it's where 2 or more streams flow together to form one

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This electrically charged layer of the atmosphere makes long-distance radio communication possible

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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, October 05, 2011

ETP - I'd Rather Be...Rock Hounding T-Shirt

I'd Rather Be...Rock Hounding.

This is next T-Shirt design for "I Support ETP: The Ethical Treatment of Paleontologists", a kind of cross Geo/Paleo shirt.

And a closeup of just the image.


If you would like to Support ETP, then head over to our Facebook page and click the "Like" button now. We are a small but ever expanding group of avid paleontologists dedicated to the preservation of our ethical integrity.