Friday, November 25, 2011

GeoJeopary! Fridays #73

Time for GeoJeopardy! Fridays, because in honor of Turkey day, here are some extinct animals.


- It's Extinct -


They include Mount Shasta in California & Kilimanjaro in Africa
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  Known for its overbite, this prehistoric cat could be found throughout much of the world


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 These birds became extinct on Reunion Island about 1750 & on Rodrigues Island about 1800

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  Coccolithophorids that lived 70-100 mil. yrs. ago fossilized to form this famous seaside site in England


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Known & named for its 3 horns, this dinosaur became extinct at the end of the Cretaceous Period.

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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, November 24, 2011

Dinos in Pop Culture Thursday

And we have a special edition this week. Happy Thanksgiving. Hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving Dino.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Monday, November 21, 2011

Damn Big Pieces of Salt


Here are a couple of salt cubes that are displayed in the Geological Sciences building at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland. Sorry for the lack of scale but the display is ~6 feet across. Unfortunately I did not have time to visit the salt mine but these come from one of the largest salt mines in the world - Wieliczka Salt Mine. Imagine these salt cubes being sprinkled on your food. I thought these pretty cool and I wanted to share them.

Friday, November 18, 2011

GeoJeopardy! Fridays #72

Time for GeoJeopardy! Fridays, because it's a lazy day so far.

- Rock -

More than half of sedimentary rock is this type from which oil & natural gas can be obtained
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  Trachyte & rhyolite are the most common varieties of this porous igneous volcanic rock

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 On average rocks consist of 46.5% this gaseous element

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 In its purest form, this rock used in the cement industry contains only calcite

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Chert, a hard, dense sedimentary rock, is called jasper if it's brightly colored, & this if it's dark

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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, November 17, 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 a pin my wife saw and figured was appropriate.

Friday, November 11, 2011

GeoJeopardy! Fridays #71

Time for GeoJeopardy! Fridays, because it's 11-11-11 so thank a Veteran today

- Volcanoes -

About its eruption in 79 A.D., an observer wrote that "broad sheets of fire and leaping flames blazed at several points"

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  At least 57 people died as a result of this U.S. volcano's May 18, 1980 eruption

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 This youngest surface volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii has distinctive lava formations like Pele's Hair

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 In 1908 members of Ernest Shackleton's expedition became the first to climb this continent's Mount Erebus

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This lake lies in a caldera formed when Oregon's Mount Mazama volcano collapsed 7,000 years ago

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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, November 10, 2011

UFOP Meeting Announcement - Joshua Lively

Please join us for our chapter meeting on Thursday, November 10th at 7 PM in the Department of Natural Resources Auditorium, 1594 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City. Our speaker is Joshua Lively, a graduate student at the University of Utah Department of Geology & Geophysics. His talk is "Baenid turtles from the Kaiparowits Formation of southern Utah: Implications for Laramidian biogeography."

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

SVP Annual Meeting - Thoughts and Reflections

I got back from the SVP (Society of Vertebrate Paleontology) conference Sunday night and I feel like I have a few things to say about it. This was my first SVP ever, even though I did my Master Thesis on vertebrate paleontology, and I must admit I wasn't really sure what to expect. I have been to multiple GSA's (both annual and regional) and over the summer I went to a smaller international workshop for ichnologists (trace fossil workers) and I assumed it would be similar to the annual GSA meetings.

I was wrong.

I also assumed that the meeting with a bunch of vertebrate paleontologists would be similar to a conversation I had back in 2009 at GSA. The unnamed paleontologist from the interaction was at this meeting as well, as well as several others that I knew to have a similar attitude. So, in general I did not put my hopes too high for this convention. I looked forward to meeting old friends and maybe learning some new information but I wasn't looking forward to spending time with a group of people that seemed to me, at least in my limited experience, to contain a bunch of arrogant bastards.

I was proved even further to be wrong.

In a nutshell, the conference was great. I spent time with a lot of old friends, even one I hadn't seen in 13 years. I met a lot of really cool new people. I spent time with some famous paleontologists who actually turned out to be really cool, laid back people. The conference was also large enough that I could avoid the said arrogant bastards. Because you know they are there. Everyone knows who they are. I think they even know it and just don't care. But they are a much, much smaller subset of the vertebrate paleontology world than I gave it credit for. And the conference was small enough that you could find someone you were looking for. Unlike GSA, where there is no chance in hell you're going to find anyone without prior arrangements, most people here just hung out in the exhibit hall until the someone they were looking for passed by.

This meeting has left a good impression on me about vertebrate paleontology and has created an urge to get back into the field. I still love what I am doing now (behavioral evolution using trace fossils) but I feel an old door has been reopened. I was also urged by several people to publish my Masters Thesis, so that will be my springboard back into the world of VP, hopefully relatively soon.

I did have some complaints though that I feel need to be voiced. The fact that a meeting this size did not include internet is beyond me. The hotel apparently offered it for $25 a day for the whole hotel or $15 for in the room but it was schoddy at best. So the one day my roommate got it he cancelled it. The second thing is the poster session. There was no reason to have such little space between rows of posters. There was plenty of room in the convention center to be able to expand it a little. It was to the point that during the poster session you couldn't walk up and down the rows of posters because there was so many other people there. There was even space on the one end of the poster boards to expand into and release the tension a little but it never happened.

Other than that, SVP went pretty well. There was a slew of talks, both good and bad. I saw a couple of memorable ones for both reasons. I thought the venue was good. There were plenty of things do in Vegas outside of the convention. Although the second hand smoke was a killer, as I am still coughing it up 3 days later. And I made a lot of new friends. Both those that I was "friends" on facebook before and never actually met and new people that I just met for the first time in Vegas.

Overall, I give it an A- and it has been ranked above GSA in my mind as a must-do event.