Saturday, January 29, 2011

Siccar Point revisited

Some time back I shared my photos of Hutton's famous unconformity at Siccar Point, Scotland. Yesterday Chris over at Highly Allochthonous shared a video he made which gives one a much better view of the unconformity than still photos. Thanks Chris!

Sunday, January 23, 2011

dating one's research

I don't normally read on-line comics, since I tend to have too many things to read in the way of e-mail, friends posts to their facebook, livejournal and blogs. However, today one of my friends sent me this link from the PhD Comics, and I thought it worth sharing with others. Having done a thesis kind of recently I really understand what the author is saying. Yes, yes indeed, one really does get *that* close to one's research project...

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

on musicians, Phd's, and following one's dreams

I should be working, but instead I have been enjoying catching up on reading various social networking sites and some blogs I follow. Today's highlight is a guest post on FSP's blog written by an MSP she knows. It is a very good comparison between the life of a graduate student with the life of a musician. It was written in response to those folk who say that doing a PhD is a waste of time. In that respect I don't know how effective it will be; perhaps those same folk will also think that being a musician is a waste of time. Be that as it may, I enjoyed the comparison. To my mind any life which follows one's personal interests and passions and encourages one to strive to better oneself in one's chosen field(s) is a good thing!

Ok, now it is time to close my web browser, open those files I was working on before heading north at New Years and see if I can find exactly the right words to describe the research with which I was occupied for the past 1.5 years so that I may share it with the world via a journal article…

Saturday, January 15, 2011

fablous fold photos on line

For those of you who missed today's Friday fold photos you might want to go click on this link and spend time admiring the really pretty folds from the new Structural Geology textbook by Haaken Fossen at the University of Bergen, Norway. If the book is half as nice as the on-line photos from it it would be a wonderful addition to any library.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Photos from my Schnaels Valley trip last September and again in October

Back in early September I took a week off of a busy schedule attending academic geology conferences and short courses to attend the Second Annual European Textile Forum—a conference designed for both academics and living history enthusiasts who are interested in historic textiles. As a long-time participant in historical recreation events who loves hand-sewing and is fascinated with ways in which fabric and other textiles are created I really enjoyed the chance to meet and mingle with others who also love the subject. As with the textile forum of the year before, I reveled in living in a historic setting—this time we were at the Archeoparc in the Neolithic, surrounded with tools found with Otzi, the Ice Man.

However, for me the wonderful people met and the sharing of information on any number of textile arts was only part of the joy in the week; the rest of the joy was the setting itself. The Senales valley is a place of beauty, and it was fun to get out and look at bit at the rocks. I so enjoyed my week there that I returned again in October when my mother was visiting and did some more exploring. Here are some of the highlights of the geology I saw in my explorations of this valley in the Italian Alps.

One of the cute little farms in the lower part of the valley:


And the near-by outcrop:



The view above the Archeoparc historical buildings:

The church just downhill from the park (and some nice outcrop to the left):








Much of the rock of the part of the valley where we were staying is a lovely fine-grained schist:







In places the locals use the rock to form part of their storage sheds:

In other parts of the hiking trail up the valley it is just a pretty part of the landscape:


Not far uphill from the Archeoparc there is a damn which holds back a cute mountain lake, though I'm told that there are people who are still annoyed about losing their family farms when it was put in.

The schist gets coarser as one works one's way further uphill towards the ski resort:






In places there are some lovely quartz boudins:



I saw some pretty clear contacts:













In October there was already some decent snow on the peaks; I wonder how it looks now?

Thursday, January 6, 2011

to cast the sandwich

I spent much of December packing up my belongings and sending them off to storage; with the New Year I flew to Sweden to visit friends and do some travel. This evening I learned a delightful phrase "kasta macka", which means to "cast the sandwich", or to "skip rocks". However, in this case, the "sandwich" referred to is the flat, sedimentary rocks which have weathered into stones which are perfect for skipping across the surface of a body of water when thrown at the correct angle.