What a year it's been here at Rosetta Stones! We covered a lot of ground: just have a look at this selection of experiences from the last twelve months.

We found out how the gods garden:

Shrooms of the Gods: A Geostory. "If I told you the gods were rock gardening in southern Illinois, would you believe me?"

The Winter Olympics had a little something to do with geology:

Building Sochi’s Olympic Village: An Olympian Task in a Geologically Risky Area. "So, Sochi! The Olympics are about to start, you’re going to see all sorts of shiny new buildings and ski slopes, and you’ll be so excited by the events you may not pause to consider how they got there."

The Geologic Challenges of the Alpine Areas at the Sochi Olympics. " Let’s take that short trip to the Krasnaya Polyana mountain area and see what geologic challenges the engineers faced bringing us the facilities necessary for the alpine and Nordic events. Put it like this: it weren’t easy."

The Seattle Seahawks won the Super Bowl, and we began an exploration of the geology that goes in to Super Bowl rings.

Forged in Cosmic Furnaces: The Geology of the Seahawks Super Bowl Rings (Prologue). "What’s a Super Bowl ring got to do with geology, right? I mean, geology’s probably not the first thing that comes to mind when you gaze upon the Seahawks’ (first ever!) shiny new bling."

Grown in Hot Rock Depths: The Geology of the Seahawks Super Bowl Rings Part I. "The 184 diamonds in the Seahawks Super Bowl Championship rings can tell us a thing or three about Earth’s inner self. We’re still interrogating those valuable, shiny rocks (which aren’t actually forever)."

We visited magnificent Mount Baker.

A Study in Volcanics: 5 Reasons You Gotta Visit Mount Baker. "Outside of Glacier Peak, Mount Baker seems to be the least-regarded of the I-5 corridor volcanoes. Mounts Hood, Helens, and Rainier seem to suck up all the ooing-and-awing oxygen. Baker, not as much.

But it repays attention. For one, it’s active."


Mount Shuksan from the tarn in front of Mount Baker Chalet.

Mount Shuksan from the tarn in front of Mount Baker Chalet.

We had some earth-shaking excitement and got to trace a fault with the Napa earthquake.

How to Stay Safe in an Earthquake – Napa Earthquake Reminds Us to Prepare Now. "Earthquakes like this remind us we need to stay on our toes. There’s no way to predict them, and even in an area as earthquake-prone and heavily monitored as California, there are at best a few seconds’ warning before the shaking starts."

South Napa Earthquake: Which Fault’s at Fault? "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. Yep. Definitely an earthquake. And once the shaking stops, a lot of us have another question: 'All right, which fault’s fault is it?'"

We discovered a fantastic earth science comic for kids - and adults who love this superhero stuff.

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 true..."

We began exploring the odd and often infuriating world of creationist geology textbooks.

Adventures in Creationist Earth Science Education: In the Beginning… "In my hands are two Christian Earth sciences textbooks: A Beka Book’s Science of the Physical Creation in Christian Perspective, and Bob Jones University’s Earth Science Fourth Edition.* The books are used by countless Christian schools and in innumerable homeschools. This is the creationist parody of geology and the earth sciences which is being taught to children who don’t have any alternative."

Readers’ Experiences with Creationist Education. "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."

We confronted sexism in STEM fields.

STEM’s Harassment Problem Goes Well Beyond Field Work. "D.N. Lee has a post up at her Scientific American blog that needs to be read right now."

We met a remarkable Rosetta Stone that had lots to say about submarine geology.

Smilin’ Stone and a Super-Sweet Rip-Up Clast. "If you look closely at the photo, you’ll see layers."

And we went road-tripping with geologists - at our own risk!

Holiday Road Trip? Compelling Reasons to Stuff a Geologist in Your Car – But Do Your Own Driving. "There’s nothing like roadtripping with geologists. If you’ve got a long, dull trip coming up, stuff a geologist or two in the car with you – it’ll liven things up considerably! Of course, you’ll find yourself taking risks you never expected to take, and pulling your car off the road at extremely short notice and sometimes awfully close to a sheer drop, but trust me, it’ll be worth it."

Next year promises to be even more eventful! We'll be finishing some of our old series, continuing our Creationist earth science education, and visiting whole new realms of geology. We'll be meeting some more amazing Rosetta Stones. And we're sure to take at least one or two highly enjoyable trips with geologists!

Thank you, my darlings, for always being along for the ride. Happy New Year!


Image shows me walking toward a serpentinite cliff with a rock hammer and camera. Caption says, "See you in 2015"

Moi with rock hammer and camera, going to get the geology for ye! Image courtesy Lockwood DeWitt.