BIFs are BFFs

Short and sweet, since I’m trying to work on my grad school application today. I’ve gotten to the most terrifying part – the “statement of purpose.” Banded Iron Formations: A New Depositional Model I don’t personally know that much about banded iron formations (BIFs); we talked about them a little in geochemistry. They’re basically very ...

Cell phone + driving = BAD

Dr. Novella writes about a study by Ira Hyman et al. This was the most interesting bit of what Dr. Novella had to say: What this all might mean is that there is something about talking on a cell phone that is particularly demanding of our attention – more so than listening to music or ...

I love the Ig Nobels

A bit belated, but such is the life of a college student who is attempting to beat her Worst Jane Eyre Essay Ever in to something a bit tamer, hopefully even a Not Quite The Worst Jane Eyre Essay Ever. If I’m lucky. I may just have to settle for the I Was Going To ...

Source Material Theater: HR 3200

In the fight against BS, I don’t think there’s any tool in the skeptical arsenal more important than source material. I’ve often seen scientific papers cited (or quote-mined, as the case may be) by someone pushing pseudoscience. It lends an air of credibility to their claims. When that happens, the most important thing to do ...

Bacterial Bumps

Ancient Domes Reveal 3.45-billion-year-old Life History Stromatolites are very cool. They’re basically mounds of cyanobacteria (aka blue-green algae), built up over a long period of time like a microbial layer cake. They start out as a layer of happy little bacteria hanging out in warm, shallow water. The bacteria have wild parties and eventually build ...

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 ...