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History of Geology

History of Geology

What rocks tell and how we came to understand it

How to celebrate New Year's Eve in style: Fun in a Fossil

To promote the international exhibition in the Crystal Palace (Sydenham , London) for New Year's Eve 1853 twenty-one distinguished guests were invited to a banquet inside the unfinished model of an Iguanodon , sculpture made by artist Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins under severe examination of leading anatomist Richard Owen to celebrate the new discovered proudly-prehistoric monsters of Victorian Britain.The invitations for the eight course dinner, accompanied by fine wine and some noble sherry, were written on the outstretched wing of a paper-pterodactyl:" Mr Waterhous Hawkins requests the honour of - - at dinner in the mould of the Iguanodon at the Crystal Palace on Saturday evening December the 31 st at five o ' clock 1853 an answer will oblige...

December 31, 2011 — David Bressan

Cursed Glaciers

Once, during the long and cold winter nights in the Alps, people gathered around the fireplace to tell each other ancient tales or myths.Some of these myths explain the origin or deal with the curse of glaciers...

December 26, 2011 — David Bressan

Geology of the Mountains of Madness

"[] …we expected to unearth a quite unprecedented amount of material - especially in the pre-Cambrian strata of which so narrow a range of antarctic specimens had previously been secured...

December 17, 2011 — David Bressan

Can Animals Sense Earthquakes?

" Highly unlikely, but not outside the realm of extreme possibilities. " Mulder, F.W. in the " The Jersey Devil " (1993)The earliest documented case of unusual animal behaviour prior to an earthquake is recorded by the Roman historian Aelian in 373 B.C.; five days before an earthquake destroyed the city of Helike (once located at the coast of the Corinthian Gulf) various animals, like rats, weasels, snakes, centipedes and bugs supposedly emerged from the underground and fled from the city...

December 12, 2011 — David Bressan

Mammoth Mummies Mysteries

One of the most iconic movie-monsters is without doubt the " mummy ", mostly from ancient Egypt and with human shape (despite the fact that thousands of animal mummies are known).

December 8, 2011 — David Bressan

A Dirty War We Can t Win

" from dirt flowers are born, from diamonds nothing comes "" Via del Campo " by Fabrizio de André (Italian poet-musician)December 5th was proposed in 2002 by the International Union of Soil Sciences (IUSS) as " World Soil Day ", to remember the important role that "dirt" plays for life on earth and human civilisations.In Geology soils are defined as the uppermost layer or substratum of earth...

December 5, 2011 — David Bressan

Glaciers from Mars

" No one would have believed in the last years of the nineteenth century that this world was being watched keenly and closely by intelligences greater than man's and yet as mortal as his own; that as men busied themselves about their various concerns they were scrutinised and studied, perhaps almost as narrowly as a man with a microscope might scrutinise the transient creatures that swarm and multiply in a drop of water...

November 28, 2011 — David Bressan

November 13, 1985: The Nevado del Ruiz Lahars

The eruption started at 15:00 o'clock local time November 13, 1985 with smaller explosions in the crater. Ash was carried by the wind in north-eastern direction, however only minor ash fall occurred in the city of Armero (Colombia) , located 48 kilometers east of the " Cumanday " - the smoking nose, as the Indians used to call the volcano.In the evening the intensity of the eruption increased, however it was still considered only a medium sized event for the Nevado del Ruiz...

November 13, 2011 — David Bressan

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