It’s Monday. Moreover, it’s the Monday after a holiday. I know all you all need a little something beautiful right now, so go over and watch the sunset at Suzanne’s:
Bored on a holiday weekend, are ye? Had your fill of turkey, football, annoying relatives, Black Friday, all that rot? Well, that’s good, because I’ve got lots o’ interesting links I’ve been meaning to do something about but never managed to get round to blogging.
Pour yourselves a glass of something tasty and hopefully strong, and nibble away at some delights, my darlings.
The “Lost Women”: science popularizers and communicators of the 19th century: We sometimes forget that, even in the days when women were pretty much third-class citizens, a few of them broke out of the barefoot and pregnant mold and managed to make some impressive, not to mention important, contributions to science. Here’s a start on remembering them. And, in case that wasn’t enough for ye, here’s my paean to a few of the Unsung Women of Science.
For those who might’ve missed it the first, second, and ten billionth time this got handed round the geoblogosphere, Ole Nielsen has an excellent explanation of How Drumlins Form.
And while we’re on about glaciers, might as well go From end to end: Traversing the Terminal Lines of Long Island.
Hannah Waters has the definitive post on Developing a scientific worldview: why it’s hard and what we can do.
Remember when we were all supposed to have flying cars? How about this instead: Trees Infused With Glowing Nanoparticles Could Replace Streetlights. Pretty damned awesome.
Here’s an excellent read for anyone who loves reading, writing, or understanding how the brain works: This Is Your Brain on Metaphors.
And, finally, Orac’s got a thought provoking (and snarky) post up: So Al Gore didn’t invent global warming? Who knew?
That should keep you busy enough. Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to watch every single Harry Potter movie filmed to date because that’s the sort of idiotic thing a writer does when they’re blocked…
So do what Simon Singh says and sign the petition to reform it:
This week is the first anniversary of the report Free Speech is Not for Sale, which highlighted the oppressive nature of English libel law. In short, the law is extremely hostile to writers, while being unreasonably friendly towards powerful corporations and individuals who want to silence critics.
The English libel law is particular dangerous for bloggers, who are generally not backed by publishers, and who can end up being sued in London regardless of where the blog was posted. The internet allows bloggers to reach a global audience, but it also allows the High Court in London to have a global reach.
You can read more about the peculiar and grossly unfair nature of English libel law at the website of the Libel Reform Campaign. You will see that the campaign is not calling for the removal of libel law, but for a libel law that is fair and which would allow writers a reasonable opportunity to express their opinion and then defend it.
The good news is that the British Government has made a commitment to draft a bill that will reform libel, but it is essential that bloggers and their readers send a strong signal to politicians so that they follow through on this promise. You can do this by joining me and over 50,000 others who have signed the libel reform petition at http://www.libelreform.org/sign
Remember, you can sign the petition whatever your nationality and wherever you live. Indeed, signatories from overseas remind British politicians that the English libel law is out of step with the rest of the free world.
If you have already signed the petition, then please encourage friends, family and colleagues to sign up. Moreover, if you have your own blog, you can join hundreds of other bloggers by posting this blog on your own site. There is a real chance that bloggers could help change the most censorious libel law in the democratic world.
We must speak out to defend free speech. Please sign the petition for libel reform at http://www.libelreform.org/sign
Please sign and pass it along.
Whilst you’re waiting for me to get my arse in gear on the whole Discovery Park geo thing, here’s some lively links to keep you busy.
(Ye gods – will we all be assimilated into networks?!)
Our own George W. has a fascinating post up on the powers of 10. My mind, it is blown!
Marcelo Gleiser explains why science matters. If you missed it the first few times it made the rounds, don’t dare miss it now.
Carl Zimmer explores where e-Book publishing might take us. Those who believe writing and reading are dead, take heart!
And (dum-DUM-dum!) Readers Beware! Which says everything that needs to be said to arrogant asscrunches who think bloggers are unwashed, untrustworthy little pissants sullying the fine reputation of journalism.
Back before I distracted by the shiny new car and purchasing of same, our own George W. had a post up that really forced some thinking. And it’s all because he was up at 4 in the morning thinking about bolts:
Where’s the nickel (which plates the bolt) mined? What’s the state of mine-safety technology? Do mining companies pay lobbyists to keep the laws lax? Or more likely, does the manufacturer just buy the nickel salts for plating from some third-world country where the government doesn’t protect the workers or the rivers or the children who live along them? Is that why the bolts are so cheap? What’s the external cost of the carbon output from manufacturing the bolt? Maybe that’s the reason I saved the bolt that was left over from a project of years ago. Or maybe I’m just really cheap.
Read the whole post. It’ll make you think about bolts, politics, change and resources all in one go, which is damned impressive for a short post brought on by insomnia. This is why I love George’s blog so: when I leave there, it’s not with the same eyes as when I arrived.
After I’d grown up a bit, I learned to appreciate my home state on its own terms. I think it’s a common experience for lovers of natural history: a deepening appreciation of the world that goes beyond the biggest, the splashiest, the most touristy. From the fossiliferous limestone of the south to the glaciated landscapes of the north, from the humblest crinoid fragment to Arcdotus simus, Hoosiers have plenty of natural history to be proud of, to share with the rest of the world, and to inspire new generations. [emphasis added to denote my emphatic agreement with this statement.]
I have to admit, it’s exciting to see my birth state getting some respect. It certainly never got any from me. Every time I go back there, I end up suicidally depressed. It takes about 20-30 minutes before I’m willing to do something, anything, to get the fuck out of there and get back home to me mountains. But my own dear mother lives there, and I’m fated to visit her, so it’s good to know I’ll have interesting things to look forward to. Between Lyle and David’s new blog, I do believe I’m set!
Go over and give David some love. Don’t forget to drop by his other home, Love in the Time of Chasmosaurs, too.
Since I’m traipsing all over bits of Oregon with Lockwood and ye olde intrepid companion, I’m having to rely on other geobloggers to fill in the gaps. I’ll use any excuse so’s to have a chance to highlight some truly awesome geoblogging goodness.
When you’re a professional geologist in western Washington, you can’t always depend on the weather to cooperate. But as Dan McShane knows, you can depend upon it to provide some lovely shots:
Speaking of enjoy, if you missed Brian Romans’s Unconformity at Point Reyes, head to his place forthwith. Why do I live for Fridays? Because of his Friday Field Photos, of course!
Chris Rowan explores New Zealand’s Alpine Fault, and shows why it could be a bit nervewracking to live in a country bisected by a plate boundary.
Lockwood reminds us that conservation often clashes with consumption, and that there are certain compromises we have to make if we want to maintain our standard of living.
Callan Bentley shows us how field paleomagnetism is done. After that post, I feel I understand a great deal more about both field work and paleomagnetism, which is no small feat for a blog post! As always, his lavish photos have left me mopping drool from my chin:
And, finally, Silver Fox has the perfect photo for the long road ahead. For the punchline, see here.
I can only respond with a quote from The Walking Drum: “Yol bolsun!” May there be a road. Preferably one with signs in.
Speaking of roads, I am wending my way back to you on one, possibly at this moment even. See ye soon, my darlings!
Yes, yes, I know most of you have probably read these already, but these selections will be new to some of you, and that’s all the excuse I need.
Silver Fox has ancient seashores and a delicious dike from Oregon for ye. You know you want ’em!
Speaking of the Tetons, Callan Bentley shows us how to calculate offset on the fault. Pay close attention to the Post-Its. If math textbooks had been drawn up that way, I might be better at math today.
Do you love geology and horses? Visit Dan McShane for a little bit of both.
Erik Klemetti discusses the detection of volcanism on extrasolar planets.
And this is just a small sampling of all the geoblogospheric goodness. More to come. Enjoy!
Yes, again. Wired Science has launched a brand-new network, and for once in the new-science-blogging-network world, it actually includes geology! Our own Brian Romans, in fact. If you’re looking for your Clastic Detritus, they’ve got ‘im right here.
And that’s not all they’ve got. Brian Switek finally found a loving home for Laelaps. Huzzah!
I don’t go by Wayne Ranney’s blog as often as I should (and he doesn’t post nearly as often as I’d wish!), but when I do, I’m always treated to some of the most beautiful geological images available anywhere in the known universe. Let me give you a sample:
This is from his rafting trip in Dinosaur National Monument, and there’s a lot more where that comes from. Go feast your eyes, my darlings. Read the strata, and weep from the beauty. Well, that and the envy – what a wonderful trip Wayne had! Lucky barstard.
And lucky us. At least we got to see it through his eyes!