Tag Archives: history

We Love Comets… but it wasn’t always that way

So, today we kissed a comet. Many of us shared the excitement of the European Space Agency’s successful landing. Something built on the Earth is now sitting on a comet, traveling at 135,000 kilometres an hour, heading towards an even … Continue reading

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The Age of Man?

Well, this is not the Age of Aquarius. Last week, geologists met in Berlin to discuss  renaming our current geological epoch – the Holocene. They say it began when the ice age ended, 11,700 years ago. The geologists in Berlin … Continue reading

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Pope Francis and the Magic Wand

Pope Francis has been in the news for the past few days. The pontiff has a habit of saying what he’s thinking and he sometimes does this at surprising venues. This time he was speaking at the unveiling of a … Continue reading

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Shutting Down the Plumes?

Near an Indian Ocean island that regularly exhausts smoke and lava, a group of scientists are trying to unravel one of the great mysteries of the Earth. Their riddle involves the planet’s largest basalt field, dinosaur extinction, and the birth … Continue reading

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Bad Russian Science

My daily Geo-calendar reminds me to consider events in the evolving history of Earth Sciences. Yesterday’s little blurb on that calendar commemorated the birth of Vladimir Belousov (1907-1990), the Soviet-era geologist who stopped plate tectonics, at least in his country. … Continue reading

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The Bad Luck of Extinction

Bad genes or bad luck? That’s the subtitle of Extinction,  David Raup’s romp through Earth history from his viewpoint as a preeminent palaeontologist. Raup (along with colleague Jack Sepkoski) became somewhat well known for their theory that extinctions occur in … Continue reading

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Hot Ash

Yesterday’s news out of Japan was the unexpected eruption of a volcano. Hikers – some of them weekend strollers taking pictures of fall colours – were overtaken when the sleeping volcano expelled its nasty breath. Witnesses said that they thought … Continue reading

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Those who can’t, teach…

Today, September 25, would be the 171st birthday of Thomas Chrowder Chamberlin. A discouraging character to honour. Born in 1843, by 1900 his ideas about science education and the scientific method came to dominate American science. Not all of his … Continue reading

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Popular, but Wrong

We don’t usually celebrate a man’s death, and we are not doing that here. But William Matthew (1871-1930) died on this date in 1930, and his appearance on my geo-calendar was a reminder to me to think about this popular … Continue reading

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The Bright Side of Solar Flares

Electronics destroyed. Skin radiated. Mutations. Cancer. And if the GPS is down, how will anyone find their way home? But there is a bright side to solar flares. And that would be last night’s light show. For those of us … Continue reading

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