Category Archives: Culture

Wegener’s Death and Drift’s Hiatus

Over the past few days, I’ve written about Alfred Wegener’s continental drift theory, which is celebrating its 100th year as a spunky idea that explains a lot of our geology. From mountains to earthquakes and deep sea rifts to island … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Culture, Exploration, Geology, People, Plate Tectonics | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

100 Years of Drift: Part 4

Today, we continue with Alfred Wegener and his continental drift theory. Today’s piece will not be pretty. At times, suppression of Wegener’s idea was ugly. There are a lot of reasons for the vilification. He was an outsider, a meteorologist … Continue reading

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100 Years of Drift: Part 3

In today’s blog post, we continue our story of the development of the theory of continental drift – an idea which just celebrated its 100th birthday. Before Alfred Wegener’s 1915 book on contintents in motion, a few others had the … Continue reading

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Throwing Spitballs in Geology Class

Chemistry Lab: Tie you hair back. Wear lab coats and safety goggles! Physics Lab: Get assistance before lifting wave tank. Use sturdy shoes! Biology Lab: Always wear goggles, rubber gloves, and face mask! Geology Lab: Here’s a rock. Take turns … Continue reading

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Have Geophysicists Found Suleiman the Magnificent’s Heart?

What does a geophysicist do? Almost everything that involves looking beneath the soil. Geophysicists study everything from buried tombs to the boundary between the Earth’s inner and outer core. They perform a sort of fancy X-ray magic which can include … Continue reading

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A 2015 Review

I wish there were two of me. I’d write twice as much or twice as often. As it is, I was able to post 81 times in 2015. That’s certainly not as prolific as some of my favourite bloggers. But … Continue reading

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A Glowing Holiday Gift

Christmas Eve, 2015. A bit late to buy The Gilbert U-238 Atomic Energy Lab for your favourite budding young nuclear physicist. 65 years too late. It’s hard to imagine that Dad could once easily buy uranium, radium, and all the … Continue reading

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Drilling into Hell . . . enjoy your visit!

Yesterday, I wrote at length about the many disastrous expensive attempts scientists and engineers made in their quest to collect material from the mantle. So far, they’ve all ended far short of their target. Drilling through crust material (granite on … Continue reading

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Drilling into Hell . . . almost there

Chasing gold, humans have dug tunnels almost four kilometres into the Earth. Oil men have drilled down ten kilometres, but with occasionally disastrous results. Money is a strong motivator, but scientific curiosity is even stronger when measured in meters of … Continue reading

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Drilling into Hell

They’re going to drill into the Earth’s mantle. This has been an unachieved goal of Earth scientists for decades. This time they really mean it. No stopping before they get the job done. Over the next three days, I’ll look … Continue reading

Posted in Culture, Engineering, Exploration, Geology, History, Oceans, Religion | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments