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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.
  • Adventures in ACE I: In Which Oddities Are Explored

    My stack of ACE PACES. These are supposedly the entire 8th grade science curriculum.

    I recently spent an instructive few months reading Jonny Scaramanga’s blog, where I learned just how screwed up Accelerated Christian Education is. Imagine a room full of young kids stuffed in study carrels (“offices,” in ACE parlance), sitting silent on hard plastic chairs while they’re taught truly-true Christian things from thin newsprint booklets. As they [...]

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    Bay Area Chance of a Lifetime: See Tanya Atwater at the Randall Museum!

    This Thursday, Tanya Atwater will be speaking at San Francisco’s Randall Museum. For free! Her talk is about Living in the Plate Boundary, and it sounds awesomesauce: Superstar Geophysicist Tanya Atwater, will present an incredible and amazing series of images and ideas on the geologically active San Francisco area. She’ll also throw in some climate-related [...]

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    Six Snubbed Women in Science

    Image shows Chinese scentist Chien-Shiung Wu smiling at the camera in an old black-and-white photo.

    Someone (if only I could remember who!) recently linked this 2013 NatGeo article: 6 Women Scientists Who Were Snubbed Due to Sexism. Rosalind Franklin is there, of course, but there are also women I’d never heard of: Esther Lederberg, Chien-Shiung Wu, and Nettie Stevens. The list hasn’t got any geologists, alas, but physics and biology [...]

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    Readers’ Experiences with Creationist Education

    Image shows Morpheus from The Matrix. Caption says, "What if I told you young earth creationism contradicts every field of science, and not just biology."

    Our preliminary foray into the world of creationist earth science education encouraged many of you to share your own stories. I want to make sure they don’t languish unread in the comments section. Real people are affected by these awful textbooks. We should never, ever lose sight of that fact.

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    STEM’s Harassment Problem Goes Well Beyond Field Work

    Image shows a tuxedo cat with its paws crossed and a serious look on its face. Caption says, "This is unacceptable."

    D.N. Lee has a post up at her Scientific American blog that needs to be read right now. Here’s a pull quote, but read the entire thing. Now. No excuses. I know the SAFE research focused on field research experiences – mostly abroad, away from home institution – but many women are getting harassed out [...]

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    Adventures in Creationist Earth Science Education: In the Beginning…

    Mah three textbooks on me bedside work table, plus a glass of my preferred coping mechanism (a nice, crisp, late-harvest Riesling), with the kitteh in the background looking rather skeptical of this whole idea.

    For a while, now, I’ve planned a series on the kind of creationists who like to run around calling themselves geologists and invade GSA meetings under false pretenses. People like Steven Austin, who does real geology only to the extent it gives him a Trojan Horse into professional journals and meetings. These creationists have a [...]

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    A Rather Important Anniversary

    Image shows me and Lockwood hunched over the black basalt shore, with the ocean in the background.

    I’m terrible at remembering anniversaries and worse at communication, so this post commemorating an important anniversary is a day late. Lockwood reminded me that yesterday marked our fourth year since meeting in person. Happy anniversary! I can easily say that if not for Lockwood, I’d not be here talking geology to you. It takes a [...]

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    Finally! The Perfect Book for Geology-Loving Comic Book Fans!


    Have you dreamt of a richly-illustrated, geology-themed superhero comic for kids? One that not only gets the science right, but encourages great study habits, turns ordinary encounters into fantastical geologic adventures, models kindness and heart-warming family dynamics, and encourages creativity, all without talking down to kids for an instant? My darlings, your dreams just came [...]

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    South Napa Earthquake: Which Fault’s at Fault?

    Image shows a kitchen, with open cabinets and a lot of wine bottles scattered on the floor.

    What the [insert expletive of choice here] is happening? That’s pretty much the first question that traverses most of our minds when the formerly-solid ground starts rocking and rolling. Those of us in seismically-active areas or who have had the sometimes-dubious pleasure of living in them in the past realize pretty quickly what’s going on. [...]

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    How to Stay Safe in an Earthquake – Napa Earthquake Reminds Us to Prepare Now

    Image shows the three steps essential to staying safe in an earthquake: drop, get under a sturdy piece of furniture, hold on until the shaking's over.

    California residents in the Napa area got a rude awakening early this morning when an earthquake of roughly magnitude 6.0 shook the valley. It jolted folks awake (and jolted the already-awake folks) at around 3:20 am Pacific time. So far, a few homes have been destroyed by the fires that broke out afterward, and a [...]

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