Category Archives: People

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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Tunguska’s Kulik

Leonid Kulik is probably another geologist you’ve never heard of. Well, it’s his birthday anyway, and here’s your chance to add a new name to your fact file, just in case you get that call from Jeopardy and the Remarkable … 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

Posted in History, How Geophysics Works, Non-drift Theories, People, Plate Tectonics | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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

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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 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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Made of Stardust

Today, I am remembering a childhood hero, astrophysicist/author Carl Sagan. I was 12 when I bought his first book, Planets, from the Life Science Series. I paid for it from money I earned picking potatoes on the family farm in … Continue reading

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