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Rosetta Stones

Rosetta Stones


Adventures in the good science of rock-breaking.
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    Dana Hunter Dana Hunter is a science blogger, SF writer, and geology addict whose home away from SciAm is En Tequila Es Verdad. Follow her on Twitter: @dhunterauthor. Follow on Twitter @dhunterauthor.
  • What Kind of Animal Are You?

    Image is a cartoon of a komodo dragon, with the caption "You're a komodo dragon! You have an appetite for life–as well as the ability to swallow an entire goat."

    Happy Earth Day, everybody! Have you paused for a moment and considered what a nifty planet we live on? It’s got all kinds of great stuff! I’ve shared a few of my favorite places for an Earth Day past. Today, I shall reveal what kind of animal I am: I’m actually quite surprised. I figured [...]

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    PSA: Bluffs Aren’t Bluffing – Use Caution!

    Image is a warning sign showing a person falling down a cliffside. Text reads "Unstable bluff. Please stay behind the logs."

    Bluffs are inherently unstable landforms. They’re gone in a geologic eyeblink, which means they can be dangerous. No matter how solid and stable that big, beautiful bluff looks, be cautious around it. Bluffs can kill without warning, as Arch Rock at Point Reyes National Seashore recently did. One hiker was killed and another injured when [...]

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    Famous Fools for Fool’s Gold

    Image shows a nice piece of pyrite with octrahedral crystal faces.

    So what would you do if I said, “Look! I got you some gold!” and handed you a chunk of this? Well, you would look at those lovely well-developed crystal faces, for one. You would maybe bounce it gently on your hand and determine it’s hefty but not heavy. You could take out a knife [...]

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    A Perfect Book for Hooking Kids on Rocks

    Image shows the cover of Everybody Needs a Rock.

    Do you want to interest young children in geology? Of course you do! Not only is it one of the greatest sciences of all time, and even one that can be done on other worlds, it gets kids out in the fresh air (and possibly sunshine). So let’s do it. Let’s start them on geology [...]

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    On This Day in 1980: Mount St. Helens Awakes!

    Aerial view of Mount St. Helens erupting on May 18, 1980. Image courtesy USGS.

    Don’t worry, Mount St. Helens isn’t exploding right at the moment (*sadface*). But if you’ll step into the Vulcan Mark III TimeMachine with me, we’ll go watch her wake up! Thirty-five years ago today, the earth beneath our beloved Mount St. Helens began quivering. The volcano stirred, restless. Soon, she would wake…

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    Inge Lehmann: “A Small Solid Core in the Innermost Part of the Earth”

    Image is a sepia-toned photograph of a young Inge Lehmann.

    At the age of 105, Inge Lehmann (1888-1993) looked back on a long, productive life with satisfaction. During her career in seismology, she had made two major discoveries and made other significant contributions. She’d won multiple prestigious awards, become a fellow of the Royal Society, and had honorary doctorates bestowed by Columbia University and the [...]

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    Women in Geoblogging V: Careers! Volcanoes! Birds! Earthquakes! Centaurs! and Geysers!

    Image shows a kitten leaping, looking like it's dunking a basketball. Caption says, "Invisible slam dunk."

    It’s our final (for now) installment of Women in Geoblogging. Oh, there will be more – I’ll be doing a follow-up for the blogs I’ve missed! For now, let’s go out with a bang. We’ve got six final geobloggers you’re gonna love!

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    Women in Geoblogging IV: People-Snatching Pterosaurs! Fossils! Argo Floats! Plus #SciArt!

    Image is an artist's conception of the pterosaur Sordes pilosus. Caption says, "I'm a pterosaur indeed, but I hardly go round snatching people, sir!"

    I’ve got more Women in the Geoblogosphere goodness for ye today, my darlings! Settle in for science!

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    Women in Geoblogging III: Extinctions! Glaciation! Movies! Books from Space!

    Image shows a cat staring at an Apple laptop screen. Caption says, "ipsa scientia potestas est." (knowledge itself is power)

    Women in Geoblogging Week continues with some brilliant posts from old friends and new. Settle in for moar great earth science writing! Letters from Gondwana by Fernanda Castano Fernanda Castano’s a paleontology student at the University of Buenos Aires, Argentena. If you want to know what Earth was like in deep time, start here! The [...]

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    Women in Geoblogging II: Zombies! Plus Kittehs, Water, and Plants!

    Image shows a tuxedo cat lying on a bunch of geology books. Caption says, "I'm on yur geology boox, demonstratin superpuzishun."

    There are so many great geoblogs by women, and we’re working our way down the list. There’s quite a diverse collection today! GeoMika and SpaceMika by Mika McKinnon These two blogs by Mika McKinnon cover a huge variety of geoscience topics, and definitely put the science in science fiction! Zombies: A Seismic Defense As trained geophysicists, [...]

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