Just when we thought the Texas Board of Education couldn’t get any scarier.

For about five minutes, I had a little flutter of hope in my heart when Don McElroy was given the boot from the Texas Board of Education. He was an infamous creationist stooge, and every time I heard his name, I cringed. While I’m not Texan myself, I’m well aware of the influence that Texas ...

Backyard Geology: Garnet/Magnetite sands from the Great Lakes

One of my coworkers (a geologist that I do a lot of work for), who shall for the purposes of this blog be called “Tim,” recently went home to Michigan to visit his family. He brought back a very cool little sand sample that he’d scooped up off the beach at Lake Huron. On the ...

A couple cool news stories.

Activity discovered at Yellowstone Supervolcano – I talked about supervolcanos a while back. Don’t worry, it’s still in no danger of blowing up any time soon. (And here, we’re talking geologically soon, which is a much, much longer span of time than a human soon.) The two cool things in this article are the discovery ...

Arkose & Alluvial Fans

Today was my second field trip with my Sed Strat class. We went up to Settlers’ Park to look at some exposed facies there. (A Facies is a group of sedimentary structures you see in a rock that points to a particular environment that the sediment was deposited in.) If you’re ever in the Boulder ...

Why you should love sedimentary rocks.

New year, new semester, new tax return, new FAFSA. Where does the time go? Mineralogy last semester ended well, though I can’t say I’m sorry to see it done. It takes a special kind of person to want to spend all your time staring into a petrographic microscope and thinking about 3-D crystalline forms. I ...

Liquid Water on Mars

NASA has just released a statement saying that they’ve got good evidence of liquid water making an appearence on Mars some time in the last seven years. BBC News Story This is very exciting for several reasons. There is water on Mars that we know of, but it’s all locked in ice. (As an aside, ...

HiRISE is made of win.

Finals are about to eat my brain. I had no idea school was just so exhausting. But this cheers my day – and hopefully will cheer yours too! HiRISE High resolution images of the surface of Mars, some in color, some in grayscale. The files are enormous, and worth it. You end up with a ...

70 million year old soft tissue.

Remember: scientists love it when the impossible happens. (At least when the impossible happens in an observable, empirical fashion.) It’s time for us to rethink our understanding of the process of fossilization. As we understand it now, this would have been impossible – but it happened! So now we need to work out the how ...

What the space shuttle has done for you lately.

Yep, the space shuttle. And yet, it must be geology related – I’m writing about it, aren’t I? There’s a nifty piece over at the Planetary Society blog about the Shuttle Radar Topography Mission. Basically, they got near-global topographical maps of the Earth out of this – more detailed than ever before! Topography is very ...

Time for a little juvenile humor.

Ready for some geology humor? Of course you are! While doing my mineralogy homework today, I discovered that there’s a fun mineral, called Realgar. It’s very pretty, which deep red, prismatic crystals. (Prismatic means that it forms with very flat surfaces.) Realgar is Arsenic Sulfide. Which, if you know your periodic table, you’ll be way ...