GeologicalScienceBlog - subjects include Geology, Climatology, Environmental Science, NASCAR, Beer, Property Rights, Random Thoughts, & Politics from a Christian Conservative/Libertarian/pragmatist viewpoint. As a Dad & Grandad, I am concerned about the overgrowth of government at the expense of freedom. Background - two degrees in Geology (BS '77, MS '90), started studying Geology beginning Senior Year of high school (1971 - 1972) <68>

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Tuesday Videos - Minerals Part 2 of 6

YouTube poster: mineguy101

Part 2 of a 1976 Series.

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Tuesday Videos - More Minerals info...Part 1 of 6

From mineguy101.

This is part 1 of a 1976 series (haven't had time to watch it yet). If it is good, will add more.

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Sunday, December 28, 2008

On the Road...

for a few more days.

We have been in OK and TX visiting family and I will be in Austin for a couple of days doing job training for a new, internet-based job.

Will try to resume some sort of schedule when we get back.

Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tuesday Videos - Paranoia or Prescience?

From EndTimesNews:

Watch if you will, decide what to make of this.

I went to his blog and scrolling through enough posts, amid the paranoia (or prescience, only time will tell) was the Anti-Semitism. In my moments of concern for the future, I do consider the notion that this monetary collapse was orchestrated and that there is a longing desire for a socialist world government. Hillary Clinton wants it. Walter Cronkite wants it. Ted Turner wants it.

There could well be some sort of world-government conspiracy, but I don't think it has anything to do with a particular religion.

Only time will tell whether the views on this video are paranoia or prescience.

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Tuesday Videos - Fred Thompson's Thoughts on the Current Mess

From Fred Thompson:

I wish that he had shown more enthusiasm in the President race.

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Tuesday Videos - Problems with Keynesian Economic Philosophy

From afq2007 and the Center for Freedom and Prosperity - with a Cato Institute narrator:

Just a little food for thought in these times.

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Tuesday Videos - More Global Warming Skepticism

From the Great Global Warming Swindle, Part I - From huhokay.

Despite what the Talking Heads and Politicians tell you, the science is not settled.

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Tuesday Videos - Volcanic Pyroclastic Eruptions

From jasonglidden1966:

A short video on pyroclastic eruptions, the type that composite volcanoes - such as Mount St. Helens, Mt. Fugi, Mt. Vesuvius, Mt. Etna, Mt. Pinatubo,... - are subject to. They are distinctly different from the Hawaiian/Iceland basaltic eruptions.

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Tuesday Videos - 12 Days of Global Warming

From Minnesotans 4 Global Warming:

By way of NewsBusters.

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Tuesday Videos - Global Warming, the Unsettled Science

CBC - Global Warming Doomsday Called Off

Set aside 44 minutes to get a better idea of the Skeptics' Viewpoint.

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Monday, December 15, 2008

Hopefully, I Was Not Gazing at an Allegory...

or a Metaphor (may Edwin R. Newman forgive me for not knowing the difference). It was bad enough looking at a dead Bald Eagle.

While tying up a few loose ends at the college today, a fellow teacher - who is a DNR Ranger - brought in the dead eagle. A local farmer had called him about finding the eagle under a powerline. It had probably been dead for less than 24 hours and thanks to the cool temperatures, it was fairly well preserved.

The ranger brought it into the lab to prep it for the trip up the road to UGA, for a veterinary necropsy (autopsy), to try to determine the cause of death. As it showed no sign of a gunshot wound or having been burned (by electrocution on the powerlines), his guess was that it had died (as have several others) from Avian Vacuolar Myelinopathy, a brain disease traced to a blue-green algae associated with the exotic (invasive) aquatic plant Hydrilla. The eagles eat the fish that eat the Hydrilla and/or blue-green algae. You know, the old Food Web thing.

What happens with the eagle after the necropsy remains to be seen. Our department chair was going to ask if it might be sent to a taxidermist for preservation and the ranger replied he would put in a word for us. Some dead eagles get sent to American Indians for use of their feathers in ceremonies, he replied. To which Susan, our department chair replied that she was 1/16th Cherokee, if that might help in gaining some "pull" as to where the eagle winds up. Whatever works.

As I stood among a growing group of curious and respectful onlookers in the lab, I couldn't help but think about the national symbolism. I think you know what I mean, though I am unable to articulate exactly what I want to express, without becoming ineffectually verbose. If I so become inspired later, I will add to this post.

[Update: Early results from the necropsy suggest electrocution as the cause of death. It was a female Bald Eagle, BTW.]

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So Long, It's Been Good to Know Ya

Memo to the Honorable General Colin Powell;

We appreciate your past service to your nation in the military and in government. However, as it seems you have become disenchanted with the Republican Party, you are welcome to move the Democrat Party, anytime you wish. Don't let the screen door hit you on the way out.

Doug Powers at American Thinker shares his thoughts on the subject.



Sunday, December 14, 2008

Climate Hysteria Marches Onward

Has anyone noticed that despite a growing body of evidence of cooling in the last 10 years, the AGW Alarmists are growing more determined to get their agenda of cap-and-trade (or similar laws) passed? Barack Obama and his minions in Congress are anxious to get down to the business of stopping and reversing Global Warming. [Gee, I just thought they wanted to grab for more power, before the American people knew what hit them.]

I had been wondering about "when they were going to give up on it" in the face of the growing evidence of "nature doing its thing".

There seems to be an answer, now. Hennessey's View has this post, suggesting that the Alarmists have noticed the apparent cooling trend and they want to pass "their laws", so they can take credit for the declining temperatures. It is stated this way:

..."Obama and the left want to get CO2 laws in place so they can claim the laws stopped and reversed global warming."...

Hennessey continues:

..."Temperatures have been dropping for 8 years and have not risen in 11 years. Moreover, the coming winter could be one of the worst in recent memory. The Arctic Sea ice buildup is nearly equal to 1980 in extent and exceeds 1980 in density [click]. Already, the extent exceeds any in the past six years [click]. [Links in original post.]

Most people are “concerned” about anthropogenic global warming can’t spell CO2, much less know that temperatures are falling and sea ice increasing. Those people will accept that an Executive Order signed on January 21, 2009, reversed a 100-year global warming trend."...


..."Since the beginning, the goal of the global warming alarmists was to expand the role of government and to limit personal liberty. Global warming is just a convenient tool for advancing socialism, and Barack Obama is the first openly socialist president in the history of the Untied States–he will comply with the Central Committee’s orders."...

Here is a science blog discussion on the apparent correlation of the Pacific Decadal Oscillation, the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation, and Solar activity. Here is some more info.

Ultimately, only time will tell who is in charge, Mother Nature or politicians with computer models.

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Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Just a Thought...

Did Barack Obama "bring down" Blagojevich because Blago was getting too demanding and too public (careless) with his demands?

As for Blago himself, even this dumb redneck knows if the Feds are watching you, you keep a low profile. Is Blago that dumb or that arrogant?

And it seems that Obama is already lying about his involvement with Blagojevich, according to this Marathon Pundit post. American Thinker has this post on the same subject.

Are we surprised?

I don't know much about Miami, FL politics, but for other "southern cities", only New Orleans could even begin to hold a candle to Chicago for corruption, IMHO.

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Second Amendment Video Tuesday,...

So I can remember how to do this! All of these are Penn & Teller videos.

Penn & Teller are sort of like South Park. They hate Conservatives but they really hate Liberals. If you can get past the religion-bashing elements and cussing, they make some points. They are good at cutting through the BS.

Yeah, there is a theme here. More Penn & Teller to get the point across.

I'm on a roll here. More Penn & Teller.

Another Penn & Teller video.

One more Penn & Teller for the road.

The theme is freedom from tyranny, which is what a good Classical Liberal should have as a primary concern. Sometimes we have to resort to using imperfect messengers to get the points across.

[I hope I got the multi-part ones in order.]

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First Video Attempt

A vitally important issue, even for those that prefer not to personally own guns. It is about the preservation of freedom.

This NRA video is 10+ minutes long, but it is an important subject. Some folks think that "European ideas" are superior to American ideas.

Those that forget the past...

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Monday, December 08, 2008

This Blog's Readability - For What It's Worth...

blog readability test

Movie Reviews

Most of my "favorite" blogs fall into this category, including several that I know are more cerebral than mine, e.g., Blonde Sagacity, Michelle Malkin, Flopping Aces, the Jawa Report, Atlas Shrugs, Blogmeister USA. [Check the blogroll at right for the links.]

Sorry Two Dogs.

Of the ones I have checked, so far, only Moonbattery, Newsbusters, Right Wing Nuthouse, and Lifelike Pundits come out as "Postgrad" and Brainster comes out as College Undergrad.

[OK, I found one more in a category not yet seen. Lounge of the Lab Lemming rated "Genius".]

For what it is worth.

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So What is Next for the Enviro-Moonbats?

Declaring that we have no right to exploit sunlight's waves and photons to produce photovoltaic electricity or solar heat? Or declaring that putting up windmills disrupts the natural flow of air currents through mountain passes?

It may not be so far-fetched.

American Thinker has a post relating the spread of "Earth rights" laws (or "Wild Law"), wherein rights are extended beyond the human realm. We are well familiar with "animal rights", this will include "plant rights", perhaps "protozoan and virus rights", as well rights for rocks and other inanimate earth objects. Perhaps they would ban the antibiotics I am taking for my sinus infection/bronchitis, just to save a few microbes that "simply want to live and pro-create".

[Does this mean I could be civilly or criminally cited for breaking open a rock to look at a fresher surface or splitting a piece of shale to look for fossils on the bedding planes? Will my front-yard rock gardens (and mineral/fossil collection) be "liberated" by PETRAM - People for the Ethical Treatment of Rocks and Minerals?]

From the American Thinker article, expanding from the concept of "social justice" (which is sometimes a cover for revenge, a la Reparations,:

..."The freeing of nature from enslavement by man is their main objective for this period. Other goals include upholding the right of rivers to flow unimpeded, safeguarding the dignity of plants and consideration for the sensitivities of animals."...

The article continues:

..."If this sounds far-fetched, recent developments indicate that this phenomenon is clearly on the horizon. Wild Law - a concept that acknowledges that the elements of nature have rights and that humans exist on an equal plane with other members of the "Earth Community" - is gaining acceptance. Wild Law recognizes the rights of forests to remain unlogged, mountains to remain intact, a bog to resist a drainage project and polar bears to sue for air degradation."...

As granite boulders, pine trees, and polar bears are currently ineligible for law school, they are not available to plead their own cases in an International Court Environmental Law (which some have called for, perhaps not under that exact name). So they will have to find some human advocates, of which there is no shortage.

In discussions of the concept of "animal rights", Rush Limbaugh has repeatedly pointed out that part of the absurdity is that animals do not respect each other's rights or ours. I can guarantee you, from my experience, that neither do trees (except maybe one exception). I can think of a couple of Japanese maple trees that have suffered attacks from other trees. To say nothing of the attacks on our homes during ice storms and tornadoes. Some close friends had their home flattened by four tulip poplars during a "downburst" (they had retreated to their basement). [I don't suppose these legal "nature advocates" are willing to work both sides of the street by suing the fallen poplar trees.]

The American Thinker piece continues:

..."Meanwhile, in Ecuador, Leftist president Rafael Correa recently pushed for the ratification of a new constitution that grants equal rights to nature on par with humans. It states, "Natural communities and ecosystems possess the unalienable right to exist, flourish and evolve within Ecuador. These rights should be self-executing, and it shall be the duty and right of all Ecuadorian governments, communities, and individuals to enforce these rights."

This means that forests, rivers, air and islands now have rights. All life forms enjoy constitutional and legally enforceable rights to survive and prosper. Natural resources can no longer be employed or "oppressed" for the benefit of humankind. Land development, fishing or mining can be interpreted as a violation of the fundamental rights of nature. Farmers, loggers, and fishermen can be effectively sued and their activities halted by the whims of environmental groups even if they claim ownership of the property in question. Damages can be assessed to an ecosystem much the same way compensation for injury is awarded to a person."...

So at the whim of a politician, activist, environmental lawyer,...they can selectively shut down any resource-retrieving business. Even food production. There are "deep ecologists" that long for a smaller Earth population (Ted Turner, included). So as to avoid the mess of nuclear weapons, they can selectively starve entire regions or Third World nations by stopping fishing and farming efforts. Josef Stalin would be proud.

When we may be perched on the threshold of a 20-30 year-long cold period (see here), Leftists are hard at work impoverishing us for the purpose of control. They have had enough of this free-market, self-governance crap. It is their time.

Cap and Trade (of a component that measures 0.0385% of the atmosphere) is just a beginning. Using stronger laws to stop (or bankrupt) anyone with the audacity to build a coal-burning power plant is just a beginning.

I consider myself a Conservationist, I recognize the reasons for concern over Tropical Deforestation and encroachments of other fragile areas. [As rich as Tropical Rainforests are, they survive on a very thin "O" and "A" layers of the soil profile. When widespread disruptions occur, those thin layers are easily washed away, leaving behind a heavily-leached subsoil with few of the nutrients that plants need to re-establish themselves.] I believe that some areas should be put aside or at the minimum, there being restrictions placed upon their use.

At its very base, it is a control issue. The conundrum we face is that we have to have a viable, fossil-fuel based economy now to develop those new technologies that will save us energy in the future. Handing over sovereignty of a local, regional, or national scale to those that despise us will not get us to where we need to be.

Finally, elevating trees, rocks, etc. to the same level as humans devalues human life. Maybe that is what they want. I doubt that very many of these "environmental rights" advocates would call themselves "pro-life".

It is the natural progression for government to seek more power at the expense of the people. As on other fronts, it requires vigilance.

Paranoia or Prescience?

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

67 Years Ago, It Was a Sunday, Too

Attached above is a article about Pearl Harbor. If I find some others during the day, I will link to them.

[In the meantime, I will try to survive the sinus infection and bronchitis that flared up yesterday.] Cough, cough.

[Update: Here is an American Thinker post on Pearl Harbor Day.]

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Wednesday, December 03, 2008

A Change in the Seasons...

actually it was last Friday (though you may not have been aware of it).

With a seeming early arrival of cold weather (darn that global warming), I declared it to be "Chili Season", so I could commence to making nature's perfect food. It also serves to provide an excuse to have a beer while making the chili, in case I put too much jalapeño (or something else hot) into the chili. I just keep tinkering with it until I am satisfied with the flavor.

Meanwhile, my daughter and son-in-law got "ahold of something" in a restaurant that made them sick for a couple of days, so they were in no shape to enjoy the chili (besides, it seems that anything with tomatoes makes my daughter nauseous during her pregnancy). Though I love her, I just can't see making chili without any form of tomatoes. I know some people do, but "it just don't look right". In the eyes of some Texans, I am already a heretic for putting beans into my chili, I don't want to make the karma worse by leaving out tomatoes [to say nothing of the pickle relish I use in achieving that sweet/hot flavor that leaves the "pleasant burn"].

[Update: An "oops" clarification. Well-prepared, shredded pork barbeque is "nature's perfect 'pure" food, while chili is "nature's perfect 'composite' food. I thought I should make that clear.]

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The Only Thing Missing is WD-40

In last Sunday's paper, the strip Non Sequitur, by Wiley Miller, was quite amusing. For a clearer view, go here.

If you have sworn off leftist newspapers (as I generally have, except for Sunday) and are not familiar with this comic strip, it represents a satirical look at life from a Coastal Maine point-of-view, of course with a New England accent to the dialogue.

Though the strip sometimes (often?) "tilts left", because the satire has that "element of truth" needed to be funny, I tend to appreciate it, even if it skewers some sacred cows, from time-to-time. I appreciate the satire of Berke Breathed, but not the sarcasm of Garry Trudeau. Though it may be a fine line, I can see the difference. As explained by a high school English teacher, satire is like a scapel that "carefully cuts away at the bad", while sarcasm is "slashing wildly with a knife, cutting both the good and the bad".

This particular strip features Eddie the lobstahman relating a visit from a time traveler from 10.5 million years into the future. The chrononaut (time traveler) comments that it wants to "observe humankind at their peak before the mass extinction event." and to collect some artifacts "that represent the greatest accomplishments of human existence.".

The last panel shows Eddie telling Flo (at the Offshore Diner) of the items he gave to the visitor - a bottle of Shipyard Ale and a roll of duct tape. That sounds like a couple of winners to me, but a commenter decried the omission of WD-40 as an invention equal in standing to duct tape (I agree).

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