Category Archives: History

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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100 Years of Drift: Part 2

It’s been 100 years since Alfred Wegener proposed his idea of continental drift. Today’s blog continues the story we began yesterday – the tale of Wegener’s life and the development of his grand idea of mobile continents. This time, we’ll … Continue reading

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100 Years of Drift: Part 1

Fifty years ago, we finally figured out why the Earth has mountains. But one hundred years ago, Alfred Wegener had already offered an explanation – it took those extra 50 years for his grand idea to catch on. The continents, … 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

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The Third Lucasian Professor

Newton was the second Lucasian Professor, holding the position founded by Henry Lucas, Cambridge’s Member of Parliament. Newton clung to the job for 33 years despite his obnoxious manners and his heretical ideas about religion. He succeeded by hiding his … Continue reading

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Let’s Be Brief

You’ve seen barrels of oil listed as bbl (and sometimes bbls) of oil. And pounds as lbs.  And you’ve thought it’s just not right. Meanwhile, ounces are oz. while the shorthand for the plural of species, spp., somewhat resembles the … Continue reading

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