The Sea-to-Sky Wall
“The Sea-to-Sky Wall” is located in the domestic terminal of the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) domestic terminal. The accompanying signage is a delightful tribute to our local geology.
Granodiorite & Rhyolite
The Garibaldi Golden Granite is a coarse-grained granodiorite, and part of the Cretaceous-Tertiary Coast Plutonic complex. Water running through thin patches of iron-rich till has been seeping through the granite for thousands of years, weathering it to the distinctive rusty yellow colour.
The rhyolite cools in columns, and is part of what makes the Sea-to-Sky corridor drive so pretty.
Industrial Minerals: Garibaldi Golden
Ashlu River Quarry
Glaciers & Volcanism
Canadian Cascade volcanism
(non-disaster) Geoscience items I linked to on various social media platforms:
2011 Link Fest
Space-science items I’ve linked to on social media recently:
Mercury is weird; everything about it is weird. We don’t know what kind of rocks it’s made of, we don’t know its colour and it’s not depleted of volatiles like everyone thought.
– David Blewett, Johns Hopkins University
2011 Link Fest
Biology(ish) items I’ve been linking to on various forms of social media recently:
2011 Link Fest
Things I’ve recently linked to on various social media platforms, disasters edition:
I’m a bit amused that for being so landslide-obsessed, most of my links are eruptions-related.
2011 Link Fest
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When hunting for snowshoes in the equipment room, I discovered snowboards and skis. I am now utterly enchanted by the concept of a downhill geophysical survey. If we blend in some techniques from urban skiing in small town British Columbia, … Continue reading
“I have no good explanation for why a geophysical company has so many teddy bears.”
Geophysical Teddy Bears
Explanations proffered on social media include:
- Fashionable cushions for high amplitude seismic testing.
- “Padding”-ton bears to supplement shock-foam when packing shipments.
- Hug-providers for when data-processing just gets to be too much, and blowing things up is insufficient consolation.
- Equipment to restore moral when fieldwork is going unbelievably badly.
- Teddy Tax Deduction for geophysicists.
- Fond memories of all the real bears who munch on cables.
- Adding Concentrated Awesome to the office environment.
- Target practice.
- Insulation to provide piles of warmth when the office is inexplicably freezing.
Earlier this year, it made headlines when the Royal Society opened its archives of historic, interesting, and sometimes just downright strange articles. The quieter story is the two men who made this happen, as related to me by the ever-informative OpenDNA:
The first is one well-known activist, who was arrested & indicted (keywords: jstor Swartz). The second was a regular dude who, upon hearing of the first’s actions, felt morally compelled to upload the public domain Royal Society records (keywords: jstor Maxwell).
From the manifesto of Greg Maxwell, included in the Pirate Bay upload:
I’ve had these files for a long time, but I’ve been afraid that if I published them I would be subject to unjust legal harassment by those who profit from controlling access to these works. I now feel that I’ve been making the wrong decision. …If I can remove even one dollar of ill-gained income from a poisonous industry which acts to suppress scientific and historic understanding, then whatever personal cost I suffer will be justified — it will be one less dollar spent in the war against knowledge.”
Somewhere between the uncomfortable question of “Why exactly are we being asked to pay $30 for a 300-year old letter that’s already digital?” and the files being torrented into the wild, access was formally opened to the public.
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The Sea-to-Sky between Vancouver and Whistler showcases some gorgeous geology. Volcanics cut into fjords by glaciers lead to epic landslide hazards (and equally epic mitigation measures), but north of Squamish the terrain is a bit less harsh and the lava … Continue reading
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Hexagonal columnar prism, the most basic form of a snow crystal. The six-fold symmetry is the consequence of the shape of water bonds; the facets managed to form so clearly due to very slow crystal growth. I dug this chunk … Continue reading