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>

Monday, March 29, 2010

What I'm Doing Right Now...

Aside from my full-time Geology job and my part-time teaching...[Updated on 4/16/10]

What I am doing right now includes (when time permits, largely on weekends):

1) Retyping/rewriting my Master's Thesis (from 1989) and scanning the photos and related 35 mm slides. (It was probably one of the last theses typed on an electric typewriter). Because of the binding, scanning all of the text would be a hassle.

The reason I am doing this is to be able to send some info to a vulcanologist with the Hawaii Volcano Observatory. A while back, he contacted me with information relating Hawaiian volcanic shatter rings with the Quaternary "explosion-collapse" craters that I studied in the Aden Basalts, in southern New Mexico. In other words, he thinks that the five craters I described are probably "shatter rings".

My thesis advisor and I had scoured the literature available in the middle and late 1980s and found no references pertaining to these craters, characterized by an encircling rampart of boulders and a collapsed central floor. If I can secure his permission to reference his work, I may work up an abstract for a GSA meeting next year, if it doesn't conflict with a more substantial publication he has in the works.

2) Continuing the work on my science-photo CD. For the last 8 years I have been compiling a database of photos to use in my Geology and Environmental Science lectures. At this time, I am trying to fill in some missing categories. There are currently 900+ photos applicable to Geology, Biology, Weather (clouds), and Environmental Science.

I am greatly looking forward to going back to NJ and NYC this summer to get some photos of the glacial features of Central Park and maybe some of the terminal moraines on Long Island. Maybe I will get some good photos of the Palisades of the Hudson and some of the coastal features of New Jersey, including Sandy Hook. I would also like to collect some samples of the garnet beach placers on Long Island, i.e., heavy mineral sands dominated by garnet fragments.

3) Continuing work on a compilation of Cretaceous & Tertiary well logs from Burke County, GA. This began 10+ years ago while a co-worker and I were working on a state geologic survey project in the vicinity of the Savannah River. My friend is a well-known Gulf Coastal Plain stratigrapher and his detailed well-log descriptions were too voluminous to put in the original reports and our goal was to produce a separate report, which would hopefully resolve some of the stratigraphic nomenclature and correlation issues between this part of Georgia and adjacent South Carolina. [If memory serves me correctly, my friend logged about 13,000 feet of core for the Tritium Project.]

With my friend's retirement to Albuquerque a few years ago, it has hindered work on this paper (he was actually here a couple of weeks ago, looking at other Coastal Plain cores and rewriting well logs - once a stratigrapher, always a stratigrapher). If we ever get this paper finished, even if it doesn't get published, if we can print a few copies onto CDs and send them to some local colleges that might be interested, at least someone would have access to the descriptions to the cores for future projects.

4) Learning the "Ins and Outs" of Google Earth in tying GE images to visited sites and sample locations. As for the sample locations, my junior college is building a sand sample collection, i.e., various beach, river, and dune sand samples and I would like to be able to tie location maps (and descriptions of source area geology) to the individual sand samples.

5) Revisiting the trace fossils I found in the Permian Cloud Chief Formation in Southern Ellis County, OK. Originally found in July, 2007 and ID'ed as "Arthropod locomotion marks" by the Oklahoma Geological Survey, I recently did an internet search and determined that these are very likely Arthropleurid trackways. Only one side of each set was preserved, perhaps because the centipede-like creature was wider than the individual rock slabs. Though I hope to revisit the area again to do some more collecting and documentation, I doubt that it will be this summer.

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Sunday, March 28, 2010

What a Geologist Sees - The Series Thusfar...

[Periodically, this post will be brought to "the front of the line". Especially when I am too busy to finish a new post.]

Just some brief "geothoughts" to accompany posted photos.

Phase 1 -
Part 1 - Grand Canyon, sedimentary layers, unconformities.
Part 2 - Colorado Plateau, sedimentary layers, unconformities.
Part 3 - Georgia Piedmont, igneous geology, granite, xenoliths.
Part 4 - Georgia Piedmont, river gravels, topography changes.
Part 5 - Georgia Piedmont, alluvial fans, sediments.
Part 6 - Southeast New Mexico, oil wells, drill rigs.
Part 7 - Georgia Piedmont, diabase igneous dikes.
Part 8 - Diagnostic Mineral Characteristics - cleavage.
Part 9 - Georgia Piedmont, saprolite vs. fresh metamorphic & igneous rocks.
Part 10 - Georgia Piedmont, river gravels, topography changes.
Part 10B - Georgia Piedmont, river gravels, topography changes.
Phase 2 -
Part 11 - Appalachian/Cumberland Plateau, limestone, Silurian fossils
Part 12 - Georgia Coastal Plain, water well construction
Part 13 - Southern New Mexico Quaternary Volcanics, Kilbourne's Hole, base-surge deposits
Part 14 - Southern New Mexico Quaternary Volcanics, Kilbourne's Hole, volcanic bombs, xenoliths
Part 15 - Xenoliths & other rock inclusions
Part 16 - Industrial uses of mica
Part 17 - Florida Coastline, external sedimentary structures, ripple marks, raindrop impressions
Part 18 - Southern New Mexico Quaternary Volcanics, Aden Basalt features
Part 19 - Glacier National Park, structural geology, thrust faults
Part 20 - Colorado Plateau, Monument Valley, sedimentary layers
Phase 3 -
Part 21 - Base Level, gradient, erosion, deposition
Part 22 - Base Level, gradient, erosion, incised meanders, Colorado Plateau
Part 23 - Providence Canyons, Ga., erosion, Cretaceous sediments
Part 23b - Providence Canyons, erosion, braided streams
Part 24 - Spheroidal weathering, weathering, erosion, granite
Part 24b - Spheroidal weathering, weathering, erosion, ash flow tuffs, City of Rocks, NM
Part 25 - Construction sites, erosion, mass wasting, deposition
Part 26 - Bisti Badlands, Cretaceous fossils, San Juan Basin, fieldwork
Part 26B - Bisti Badlands, Cretaceous fossils, plant fossils, permineralization
Part 27 - 100 Things a Geologist Should See or Do
Part 27B - (un-numbered) Things a Geologist Sees or Would Like to See
Part 28 - Shale, mudstone, claystone, siltstone, sedimentary structures
Part 29 - Hawaiian volcanic structures, shatter rings, Aden Basalts, New Mexico

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Friday, March 12, 2010

Why Modern Liberals Ain't...A World Where Tolerance Only Goes One Way

Not two ways as most open-minded people understand, i.e., in their world, tolerance is not a two-way street.

According to this CNSNEWS article:

"Chai Feldblum, the Georgetown University law professor nominated by President Obama to serve on the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, has written that society should “not tolerate” any “private beliefs,” including religious beliefs, that may negatively affect homosexual “equality"."

Focus on those words..."Should not tolerate any private beliefs". Private beliefs.

Damn the thousands of years of cultural evolution that have given us our mainstream Judeo-Christian culture. Damn the thousands of years of the promotion of sustainable, healthy behaviors, such as traditional marriage, fidelity, moderation...

Should not tolerate...

Muslim beliefs. Christian beliefs. Jewish beliefs. Mormon beliefs. The biological notion that there are two genders for a reason.

Disagreement is not hate.

Liberals/Progressives believe that the "persuasion of power" (from the barrel of a gun) can be used to make humanity "perfect". No dissent from the agenda is allowed. The internment camps await. Independent thought will result in re-education. [Don't think that it can't happen here.]

Never mind that most Americans - including most Christians - believe what goes on in private, behind closed doors - between consenting adults - is between them and God, i.e., that it is not our business.

That is not good enough. We are not even allowed to disagree when they force it on us in public. We are not even allowed to decide when and how to instruct our children about such behaviors, i.e., when is the appropriate age? It is different for each kid. And it is our responsibility to decide "when it right".

So, do you suppose it is that out-of-control hedonism is one of the reasons Muslims hate the West? Because they are concerned about the corruption of their kids? [I am not endorsing any sort of Muslim phobias and brutal overreactions.]

But do you suppose that our government is going to target Muslims for enforcement of related regulations? Nah, it is so much easier to bash Christians and Jews. Despite what Rosie O'Donnell says, I don't think Christians and Jews will blow up their own children in order to kill other people, as do some Muslims.

When you choose to engage in behaviors that are contrary to biology and/or traditions, isn't it a little arrogant to demand that society bow down to your wants? Part of having an organized culture is an understanding that every human relationship has rules. If you are going to break those rules, if you choose to be public about it, then you have to deal with the consequences.

But somehow - with enough government power behind you - you can just do away with those consequences. And damn anyone that mentions consequences.

Disagreement is not hate, but it is in their world. Big Brother will be watching and taking notes.

Should not tolerate any private beliefs...

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

It's Bragging Day...


My grandson Ben is one year old today. I wish I could hold him, but he is in NJ. So it goes.

The photo is from when he was almost 10 months. He started walking at 11 months.

I had a couple of wonderful Grandpa moments when we were there for Christmas. One of them was when he was sitting on the floor and I was walking by, he reached his arms up as if to say "pick me up". Aw. (Of course I picked him up.)

The second one was when my daughter was vacuuming his room and I was holding him, he laid his head on my chest as if to get a little closer (he hates the vacuum cleaner). Aw.

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