Friday, February 29, 2008

Journey to the center of the Earth

Well, I might be making my submission to the Accretionary Wedge a bit early. I just received an e-mail from Earth Science Week (AGI) and they are advertising for a movie called 'Journey to the Center of the Earth - 3D.' It is a remake of the Jules Verne classic starring Brandon Frasier. While the book may be good for entertainment purposes, I'm not sure this movie will have much relation to geoscience education (i.e. reality). AGI says they will be developing a booklet of geoscience information and activities and will use the movie to explore “science fiction and science fact.” If the booklet is done well this could be a great learning opportunity, assuming the booklet is widely distributed and people read it. The skeptic in me says most people going to see the movie will not read the pamphlet, but the optimist hopes they will. I have not been impressed with the Earth Science Toolkit they sell for Earth Science Week (all flash, no activities - the web site is infinitely more helpful), but hopefully this pamphlet will address specific points about what the center of the Earth is actually like. Maybe they can even try and correct the geologic misconception that the mantle is liquid. I guess we'll have to wait and see when the movie and pamphlet comes out mid-July.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Things that made me go hmmmm?

Well, I was inspired by Geotripper on my flight from Bozeman, MT to Seattle, WA to take a few pictures. The skies were clear, the sun was up, and I was awake. As I stared out the window I realized my camera was in our carry-on and it would be the perfect opportunity to test my aerial photography skills. Besides features that I easily recognized, there were a few features that made me go "hmmmm." It only took me a minute or two to figure out what was going on by looking at the surrounding topography.

First, I managed to get a nice picture of the Montana Fold and Thrust belt. Just off to the left is one of the last thrusts to propogate out into the foreland basin.

Second, we came across what looked like rolling fog (it was first thing in the morning so fog was possibe). But, knowing the elevation and the season it had too be clouds. The elevation of the mountins was so high, it was neat to watch the clouds move around the mountains and down the valley.

Third, I saw all these meandering lines in the forest. I guessed they were logging roads and sure enough they led to clear cut swaths but in others places there was selective logging. It was amazing how much logging was going on in this area.

So even without a GPS on the plane I was able to figure out where I was and spot some interesting details from the plane. It was the most fun I've had on an 8AM flight. (I am not a morning person!)

And, just to make everyone jealous, I am in Vancouver skiing at Whistler-Blackcomb. Here's a picture of one of the cornices we dropped before tearing it up in the bowl. This is our friend Brodie who came all the way from Peru. Woohoo! Ok, off to the pub! Hope everyone else is having fun too.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Evolution for Guiness

As a scientist and prodigous beer drinker, I couldn't pass up the opportunity to pass this video along. Hat tip to Laelaps.