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Posts Tagged "Life as geologist"

History of Geology

Poet and Paleontologist – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

BRESSAN_Travertine

The German lawyer, author, poet, politician and artist Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (born August 28, 1749-1832) was also a mining engineer and quite interested in geology and paleontology. In the year 1775, Goethe, already a highly regarded author, was invited to the court of Duke Carl August in the city of Weimar, where he will [...]

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History of Geology

Bat-Pterodactyls

NEWMAN_1843_Pterodactylus

Italian Cosimo Alessandro Collini (1727-1806), at the time chairman of the Cabinet of Curiosities of the principality of Pfalz (Germany), was the first naturalist to speculate about pterodactyls in 1784. Fig.1. Pterodactylus antiquus (Upper Jurassic, Eichstätt, Bavaria), specimen studied by Cosimo Collini in 1784 and copper engraving of the fossil to illustrate his scientific study [...]

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History of Geology

Geologist’s Nightmares

HAPPEL_1683_Steinwurm

Adventurer Roy Chapman Andrews mentions in an article published in 1922 in the “Asia Magazine” and later in his book “On the Trail of Ancient Man” (1926), a strange creature, said to inhabit the Gobi-desert in Mongolia: “Then the Premier asked that, if it were possible, I should capture for the Mongolian government a specimen [...]

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History of Geology

EQLs Vs. UFOs

BRESSAN_UFO

“Swamp gas?” Mulder, F.W. in the “X-Files ” (1993) Summer is traditionally Silly Season, when newspapers publish strange stories about aliens and monsters again and again to bridge holiday time – and so will July on “History of Geology” be dedicated to frivolous science stories… Earthquake Lights – or short EQLs – seem to be [...]

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History of Geology

Geology and Generals: How Geology influenced the Battle of Gettysburg (Part II.)

Field_Of_Gettysburg_1863

“With regard to precipitous heights, if you are beforehand with your adversary, you should occupy the raised and sunny spots, and there wait for him to come up.” The Art of War, by Sun Tzù The battleground of Gettysburg was shaped by ancient tectonic movements, sediments transported by rivers and deposited in lakes and finally [...]

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History of Geology

Geology and Generals: How Geology influenced the Gettysburg Campaign (Part I.)

BRESSAN_War_Geology_Gettysburg

“Hence the saying: If you know the enemy and know yourself, your victory will not stand in doubt; if you know Heaven and know Earth, you may make your victory complete.” The Art of War, by Sun Tzù In 1863, after more than two years of Civil War, the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia launches [...]

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History of Geology

Star Wars Geology

“There are no good wars, with the following exceptions: the American Revolution, World War II, and the Star Wars Trilogy.” Bart Simpson in “Bart the General” (1990) Geology played a role in many past conflicts, but can war – even if only a fictional future war – play a role in geological fieldwork? The film [...]

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History of Geology

Battlefield Earth – the Geological Legacy of War

It was during the first World War that the impact of human warfare on the landscape exponentially  increased. Large armies equipped with the most advanced military technology- especially the high energy explosives evolved rapidly – devastated entire landscapes along the Western Front, stretching from the English Channel to the Swiss mountains. One of the most [...]

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History of Geology

June 6, 1944: The Geology of D-Day

Into the Jaws of Death, by Robert F. Sargent (1944)

June 6, 1944 – in planning for D-Day – also geology was considered, as aerial photographs of the shores of Normandy were studied to find suitable landing sites for the invasion. The confluence of larger rivers with the English Channel between the harbors of Le Havre and Cherbourg created sandy shorelines were a landing with [...]

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History of Geology

The mythical Fire-Mountains of the Cascades

USGS_2000_Cascade_Eruptions

The west coast of the U.S. is not only characterized by earthquakes and related myths, but also by volcanoes and also these natural phenomena became incorporated in supernatural stories. Many mountains of the Cascade Range were feared by local tribes. The Canadian artist Paul Kane (1810-1871), who visited Mount St. Helens, wanted to climb the [...]

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