Category Archives: History

Monkeys on Trial

The monkey trial.  It was 90 years ago. We know the key players – the fabulously successful criminal trial lawyer who defended Scopes (but lost) and the 3-time Democrat presidential candidate (and erstwhile preacher) who attacked Scopes (and won). It … Continue reading

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Scotland’s Verbose Expounditor of Geological Logorrhea

James Hutton (1726-1797), Scotland’s most celebrated geologist, had a way with words. A rather awful way with words. But his scientific brilliance is uncontested. He is credited with moving geology away from the La-Z-Boy recliners of seventeenth century drawing rooms … Continue reading

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Paying for Physics

Over 300 years ago, the world worked a lot like it does today. A man writes a brilliant book, but he’s a recluse and lacks charm. He wants to get his science club to print his book, but the  members … Continue reading

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Harry Hess and the Sea’s Floor

What does a commander of a World War II assault transport ship do in his spare time? If the captain is Harry Hammond Hess, he would be gathering geophysical data enroute to Iwo Jima. Later, he would use the data … Continue reading

Posted in Biography, Exploration, Geology, History, How Geophysics Works, Oceans, Plate Tectonics, The Book | Tagged , , , , , | 12 Comments

Mount St. Helens Day

Today is one of those trigger dates that remind me of how small I really am, a day that invokes memories of my life in younger years. Somewhat like September 11, 2001. (I was on Crowchild, heading towards work in … Continue reading

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Isostasy Man

Since it was Major Clarence Dutton’s 174th birthday yesterday, I thought I’d give him a nod for creating a simple geological concept that almost every geo-freshman finds impossibly confusing. Isostasy should be as easy to understand as a melting iceberg … Continue reading

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Solid to the Core

The Earth is like a chocolate-covered cherry. A bit bigger and harder to eat in one bite, but there are similarities. Like a cherry, the core is solid, but floats in a liquid. Next comes a thick layer of creamy … Continue reading

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The Man on the Moon

Eugene Shoemaker is the only man on the moon. It’s his birthday, he would be 87 today, but he won’t know it. Shoemaker has been dead for almost twenty years. His ashes have been on the moon since 1997. Unless … Continue reading

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A Life Well-Lived

Two years ago this week, one of our greatest scientists quietly passed away. Although among the world’s unheralded heroes, the life of Lawrence Morley deserves our attention. He helped prove plate tectonics, but in a fluke too common in science … Continue reading

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The Painfully Seated Camel

Camels often sit down mighty painfully. Perhaps their joints creak. Perhaps early oiling might prevent permanently hazardous aging. Or perhaps these sentences are just simple mnemonics and we are trying to remember the names of the geological periods.  Here they … Continue reading

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