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History of Geology

History of Geology

What rocks tell and how we came to understand it

All Good Things must End...

All Good Things must End...

Eventually everybody has to face change and his personal Chicxulub and so will the History of Geology blog end as part of the Scientific American Network.

December 15, 2014 — David Bressan
How it all ends…

How it all ends…

“Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.” Robert Frost (1874-1963) The [...]

December 7, 2014 — David Bressan
Geological Treasures in Ancient Egypt

Geological Treasures in Ancient Egypt

November 26, 1922 archaeologist Howard Carter (1874-1939) entered the tomb of Tutankhamun, pharaoh in ancient Egypt from 1332 to 1323 BC. The grave was filled with precious jewelry, including a breastplate decorated with a scarab, made from a greenish-yellow gemstone.

November 26, 2014 — David Bressan
Radioactivity and Earth´s Age

Radioactivity and Earth´s Age

For a long time the apparent discrepancy between the age of earth and the age of the cosmos posed a great problem to geologists and astronomers alike.

November 21, 2014 — David Bressan
Earth’s Age and the Cosmic Calendar

Earth’s Age and the Cosmic Calendar

During  the 19th century geologists realized that earth was quite older than previously believed, however this discovery posed an even greater question: what about the universe?  Did earth (like some fundamental creationists believed and still believe) predate the cosmos, were  earth and the cosmos created at the same time or came earth later?

November 13, 2014 — David Bressan

Medieval Witch Hunts Influenced by Climate Change

August 3, 1562 a devastating thunderstorm hit central Europe, damaging buildings, killing animals and destroying crops and vineyards. The havoc caused by this natural disaster was so great, so unprecedented, that soon an unnatural origin for the storm was proposed.

November 3, 2014 — David Bressan
The (Zombie-)Toad-in-the-Hole

The (Zombie-)Toad-in-the-Hole

May 8, 1733 two workers, Anders Halfwarder and Olof Sigräfwer, reported excited to superintendent Johan Gråberg, who was inspecting the quarry of Nybro near the village of Wamlingebo (Gotland, Sweden), a very strange discovery.

October 31, 2014 — David Bressan
Of Dragons and Geology

Of Dragons and Geology

Johann Jakob Scheuchzer (1672-1733) was a Swiss physician, but also quite interested in travels and natural sciences. He published his observations on the culture and natural world of the Alps as “Itinera per Helvetiae alpinas regiones facta annis 1702-1711“.

October 27, 2014 — David Bressan
Geologizing in the Realm of the Beast

Geologizing in the Realm of the Beast

September 8, 1762 the young son of the Yolle‘s, herding the flock of sheep, disappeared near the village of Laval in the province of Dauphiné (France).

October 21, 2014 — David Bressan
The Strange Medical Case of the Radioactive Landslide

The Strange Medical Case of the Radioactive Landslide

The landslide of Köfels (named after a small village in Tyrol) is one of the largest recognized landslides in the Alps – large enough to dam up a 92 meters (300 feet) deep prehistoric lake and divide in two the valley of Ötz.

October 16, 2014 — David Bressan

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