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HiRISE: Slip-n-slide

Red Planet Report | 26 February, 2015
Slip-n-slide. Beautiful Mars series....
Categories: Reports; Beautiful Mars; craters; High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment; HiRISE; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; mass wasting; MRO; NASA; University of Arizona;

Becoming a Scientist ~ A Very Short Introduction to Keith Stewart Thomson

It was inevitable that, after I discovered the Oxford University Press' Very Short Introductions (VSI) series, I would discover the preeminent evolutionary biologist Keith S. Thomson.  I should have known about both the series and the scientist lo...
Categories: Keith Stewart Thomson; Oxford University Press; Very Short Introductions;

Climate Oscillations and the Global Warming Faux Pause

RealClimate | 26 February, 2015
No, climate change is not experiencing a hiatus. No, there is not currently a "pause" in global warming.
Categories: Climate Science;

Tutorial 29, Appendix B: good, bad, and ugly titles of Matt’s papers

Last October, Mike posted a tutorial on how to choose a paper title, then followed it up by evaluating the titles of his own papers. He invited me to do the same for my papers. I waited a few days to allow myself to forget Mike's comments on our joint papers - not too hard during my fall anatomy teaching - and then wrote down my thoughts.
Categories: I'm stupid; Science communication; Tutorial;

Memorable Snowfall Hits Deep South, Skirts Big CIties

Dr. Jeff Masters' WunderBlog | 26 February, 2015
A quick-moving snowstorm zipped from northeast Texas to southern Virginia in little more than 24 hours, leaving some parts of the Deep South with more snow than they've seen in decades. Rather than carving a deep trough in the eastern U.S., the upp...
Categories: None

HiRISE: Pit exposing bedrock

Red Planet Report | 26 February, 2015
Pit exposing bedrock. Beautiful Mars series....
Categories: Reports; Beautiful Mars; High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment; HiRISE; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; MRO; NASA; University of Arizona;

Framing Fossil Exhibits: Phylogeny

Dinosours! | 26 February, 2015
This is the third part of an on-again, off-again series about organizational and interpretive approaches in large-scale paleontology exhibits (see the introduction and walk through time entries). This time, I'll be discussing exhibits arranged according to phylogenetics - that is, the evolutionary relationships among living things. Natural history museums have displayed specimens according to their place on the tree of life since the days of Charles Wilson Peale, and more than any other organizational scheme, phylogeny is the way biologists think about the living world. Perhaps unsurprisingly, this arrangement was more common in the past, when exhibits were typically designed by and for experts. Examples of these old-school displays include the fossil mammal gallery at the Peabody Museum of Natural History and the paleontology halls at the University of Kansas Natural History Museum (neither has been thoroughly overhauled since the 1950s).
Categories: AMNH; dinosaurs; exhibits; fish; FMNH; fossil mounts; mammals; museums; opinion; reptiles; reviews; systematics; amnh; evolution; exhibit reviews; fossils; natural history museums; paleontology; science communication;

Russia Moves to Support ISS through 2024, Create New Space Station

Planetary Society Weblog | 26 February, 2015
The future of the International Space Station is a little clearer this week, following a statement from Russia supporting an extension of the orbiting complex through 2024....
Categories: None

Opportunity: South-facing panorama

Red Planet Report | 26 February, 2015
Sol 3942, February 24, 2015. This six-frame composite uses the left-side Pancam's red-sensitive filter to show a south-facing view. It spans from the southeast at left (with the interior floor of Endeavour Crater) to southwest at right (catching a ...
Categories: Reports; Cape Tribulation; Endeavour Crater; Marathon Valley; Mars Exploration Rover; MER; NASA; Opportunity;

Dinos in Pop Culture - Camp Makela T-Shirt

The Geology P.A.G.E | 26 February, 2015
So I recently permanently retired one of my favorite t-shirts. It was from the Museum of the Rockies Paleontology Field Camp program to Camp Makela. My favorite thing about the t-shirt was the "I dig dinosaurs" on the back, which I never noticed for the longest time. I just assumed it was the same as the front.
Categories: Dinos in Pop Culture;

Hoover Dam’s cobwebbed spillway*

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 26 February, 2015
Erika Moonin, the Southern Nevada Water Authority's engineering project manager for construction of the agency's new Lake Mead intakes, showed me a picture yesterday of water pouring over Hoover Dam's spillways in 1983, the last time the reservoir spilled. When she was a youngster, her dad took her out to see the spectacle. Looking at it today, it's hard to imagine. Current lake level is 137 feet below the 1983 peak.
Categories: Colorado River; water;

The diet of breeding Grass Owls in Thailand.

Sciency Thoughts | 26 February, 2015
Grass Owls are members of the Barn Owl family, Tytonidae, distinguished by their habit of roosting and nesting in tall grasses or other ground-cover plants, rather than trees. Until fairly recently all Grass Owls were thought to belong to a single species, but there are now two species recognised, the African Grass Owl, Tyto capensis, which is found across much of Africa, and the Eastern Grass Owl, Tyto longimembris, which is found in south China, Nepal, India, Myanmar, Southeast Asia, Indonesia, the Philippines, New Guinea, New Caledonia and Australia. The Eastern Grass Owl was first discovered in Thailand as recently as 2006, where a small colony was found nesting in a small area of marsh grassland called Nong Lom in Mae Jan District in Chiang Rai Province in the north of the country. 
Categories: Barn Owls; Biodiversity; Birds; Chiang Rai Province; Ecology; Grass Owls; Ornithology; Owls; Southeast Asia; Stringiformes; Thailand; Tytonidae;

Longitudinal Stress | 26 February, 2015
Normal stress is the stress acting on the bed in the vertical direction. Ice tends to spread out under its own weight, so normal stresses act in all other directions. If the ice is subject to other pushes and pulls, the stresses at location x may differ from the average value[1].
Categories: None

Asteroid 2014 EK24 passes the Earth.

Sciency Thoughts | 26 February, 2015
Asteroid 2014 EK24 passed by the Earth at a distance of 6 129 000 km (15.94 times the average distance between the Earth and the Moon, or 4.1% of the average distance between the Earth and the Sun), slightly after 5.30 pm GMT on Monday 23 February 2015. There was no danger of the asteroid hitting us, though had it done so it would have presented minor threat. 2014 EK24 has an estimated equivalent diameter of 43-140 m (i.e. it is estimated that a spherical object with the same volume would be 43-140 m in diameter), and an object towards the upper end of this range would pass through the atmosphere and directly impact the ground with a force of about 70 megatons (about 4100 times the explosive energy of the Hiroshima bomb), causing devastation over a wide area and creating a crater over two kilometers across.
Categories: 2014 EK24; Apollo Group Asteroids; Asteroids; Near Earth Asteroids; Solar System;

Mahsa Icefield Retreat and Separation, Baranof Island, Alaska

From a Glaciers Perspective | 26 February, 2015
The Mahsa Icefield is at the headwaters of Takatz Creek.  This is a small glacier, not an actual icefield.  Five kilometers to the west is another small unnamed glacier at the headwaters of Sawmill Creek.  Here we focus on changes in the two glacier using Landsat images from 1986 to 2014.
Categories: alaska glacier retreat; Glacier Observations; baranof island glacier retreat; climate change glacier retreat; landsat glacier retreat; mahsa icefield glacier retreat; sitka glacier retreat;

Flights disrupted following eruption on Mount Popocatépetl.

Sciency Thoughts | 26 February, 2015
Flights from Puebla International Airport in Mexico have been cancelled after an eruption from Mount Popocatépetl covered runways in ash on Tuesday 24 February 2015. The eruption also produced an ash column 4 km high, as well as throwing hot rocks and debris up to 700 m from the crater. Ash drifted to the south and east following the eruption, leading to ashfalls in a number of nearby towns. This is the second time flights from Puebla International have been disrupted by Popocatépetl this year, the first having occurred following an eruption on 15 January. Popocatépetl is one of Mexico's most active volcanoes, having been erupting more-or-less continuously since 1994.
Categories: ash falls; Cocos Plate; Geohazards; Mexico; North American Plate; Popocatépetl; Subductive Plate Margin; Volcano;

Magnitude 2.0 Earthquake near Blaengarw, South Wales.

Sciency Thoughts | 26 February, 2015
The British Geological Survey recorded a Magnitude 2.0 Earthquake at a depth of 4 km, about 1.5 km to the north of Blaengarw in Bridgend, South Wales, slightly after 10.40 am GMT on Wednesday 25 February 2015. An Earthquake of this size is not dangerous, and is highly unlikely to have caused any damage or injuries, but people reported feeling this event as far away as Maesteg, about 8 km to the southwest.
Categories: Bridgeport; Earthquake; Eurasian Plate; Glacial Rebound; UK; Wales;

Fundamentals of Fungi: Discovery

En Tequila Es Verdad | 26 February, 2015
Yes, I know you will probably tell me that most of this is lichen, not fungi, but I kinda lump them in the same general category. Otherwise, you'd end up with a series titled, "Likin' the Lichen," and then you would want to smack me, which would be uncomfortable for us all.
Categories: bit o' fun; science;

A Different Kind of "Snow" in California, and a Coming World of Hurt

Geotripper | 26 February, 2015
 There is a different kind of snow falling in California right now. It might look vaguely like that cold stuff that has been falling back east, but the resemblance stops at "white". The almond orchards of the Great Valley have been blooming for the ...
Categories: Almond blossoms; almond orchards; California drought; California snow;

Non Washington Post: Blackhawk Landslide

Heading homebound I recognized this landscape that is familiar to many geologists: Blackhawk Landslide, Lucerne Valley, CA
Categories: geology; Non-Washington;

At last, Ceres is a geological world

Planetary Society Weblog | 25 February, 2015
I've been resisting all urges to speculate on what kinds of geological features are present on Ceres, until now. Finally, Dawn has gotten close enough that the pictures it has returned show geology: bright spots, flat-floored craters, and enigmatic g...
Categories: None

Springs Preserve, Las Vegas, Nev.

Inkstain (John Fleck) | 25 February, 2015
LAS VEGAS - I like the fact that Las Vegas, Nev., is preserving the relics of its water origin story.
Categories: Colorado River; Oh Vegas; water;

Geo 1095: February 24, Day 785: Ground Ground Underground

Outside the Interzone | 25 February, 2015
I think this is in the same room as yesterday's dike, but wherever it is, I looked down and was struck by the beauty of the ground and polished stalagmite under my feet. This photo nicely shows the concentric growth pattern of these features. The light/dark variations probably represent differing crystallization habits of the calcite across the duration of its deposition. My guess would be that darker areas represent coarser crystals (think water ice), while lighter areas represent finer crystals (think snow). To be clear, that is a guess, but I suspect it's a good one.
Categories: Earth; Geo 1095; Geology; Oregon;

Blink and its gone – spectacular time-lapse of ice retreat at Fox Glacier

Hot Topic | 25 February, 2015
This spectacular time-lapse video1 captures the dramatic retreat of the Fox Glacier in Westland over the last year -- 300 metres between January 2015 and January this year. As the ice retreats, the hillside becomes unstable and collapses down into ...
Categories: Climate science; environment and ecology; Fox; glaciers; NZ; VUW;

HiRISE: Strange patterned ground

Red Planet Report | 25 February, 2015
Strange patterned ground and circular spots in dark area. This formation is right under the rim of an impact crater. There is a possibility of frost at this latitude, but doesn't look like it is recent. Beautiful Mars series....
Categories: Reports; Beautiful Mars; CO2 frost; High Resolution Imaging Science Experiment; HiRISE; Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter; MRO; NASA; patterned ground; University of Arizona;

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