Category Archives: History

December 20: Light Up Day

What are the odds that three important electricity developments should all occur on December 20th? Probably, statistically, rather good. So I’ll not make much of the coincidence. Impending winter darkness was not a likely motivator – in the case of … Continue reading

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Naming Schools after Nobel Laureates

The Washington Post recently ran a story about the late Abdus Salam, a physicist who won the Nobel Prize almost 40 years ago. The piece concerns the politics of naming a building at a Pakistani university in honour of a … Continue reading

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Going on Four (Billion)

A paper published last week in Nature, claims that life began at 3.7 (billion years ago). This is the latest in a rather faltering progression of our best guesses of the date life started on Earth. Biblical literalists are still … Continue reading

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Into Big Valley

A few days ago, I lamented that the lovely town of Big Valley is blessed with a Creation Science Museum. The museum is a single-room curio shop with a fossilized Teddy Bear and not much more. It’s a disappointing destination … Continue reading

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Mantle Plumes May Be Real (or maybe not)

Geophysicist Tuzo Wilson had a creepy daydream. He imagined himself lying at the bottom of a creek, looking up at water flowing overhead. He blew bubbles. They rose, were caught by the current, and drifted away. He came back from … Continue reading

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Cuba, America, and Oil

With America’s president visiting Cuba this week, I thought it might be helpful to re-post my story “Has Cuba Got Oil?” which I wrote in 2014.  It’s still valid. Cuba still has oil. But I argued that I doubt oil … Continue reading

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Broken Crystals

Every now and then, I write a short post on a long-dead geologist whom I had never heard of before, but have discovered that it’s their birthday anniversary. I do this because it forces me to learn something about someone … Continue reading

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