It’s been a hectic, sometimes emotional, oftentimes enlightening few weeks, in my case salted with the soul-sucking chasm of stupidity and corporate malice that is my current job (and I suspect I’m not the only one). But it’s Labor Day Weekend here in the USA! Yay! Hug your union (if you’re one of the pitifully few who’ve got one), enjoy your day(s) off (if you’re not stuck working a shit job throughout) and, should you need a little light internet entertainment, see below for awesome goodtimes fun stuff.
Whidbey Island, Washington is a fantastic place to see glacial deposits while you enjoy some seascapes.
You can also see excellent evidence of why it’s not a good idea to build on a bluff. We didn’t actually mean to see those. My intrepid companion and I meant to go see a fine example of a clastic dike. I should have remembered lessons learned from Doctor Who: “Turn Left.” If I had, we’d have ended up at Blowers Bluff as intended. But, like Donna, we turned right, and will have to get it right (left?) on a second go.
No matter. It turned out to be a happy little accident. There’s enough in the bluff that is not Blowers Bluff to keep a person interested in both geology and sea critters happy for hours. And it has some textbook examples of erosion.
These glacial sediments are quite firm, even hard, but they’re more like dried mud than rocks: classic unconsolidated sediments, which haven’t had the opportunity to turn to stone just yet. And between the waves from Puget Sound and the gargantuan amounts of rain we get here in the winter, they have a habit of eroding rapidly.
This is why Scenic Heights Road is endeavoring to become Scenic Lows Road.
There were moments photographing this bluff when I questioned the wisdom of standing beneath it. This closeup of the eroded bit of road should explain why:
The US Geological Survey estimates that 51% of Island County’s shorelines are unstable (pdf). All around Puget Sound, you can see signs of mass wasting. Waves make the bluffs too steep, while soaking rains cause the compacted sediments to lose cohesion, leading to landslides and debris flows. It can get rather exciting round here in the winter.
Before I began my geological adventures, I used to think I’d like a nice house on the seashore, probably perched up high with a view of the ocean. These days, I’m content living inland. Don’t get me wrong: I liked The Little Mermaid, but I’d rather not have “Under the Sea” stuck in my head because that’s where my house landed.
Paradise is so popular that everybody wants to get in. Okay, well maybe aside from a few people who’re like, “Yeah, but there’s all this other stuff I could be doing,” because it’s Mount Rainier and you could probably spend every day of your entire life exploring it and never see it all. There’s gotta be some been-there-done-that folks who give Paradise a miss so they can explore some of those places they’ve not yet been. And there’s likely a person or two with social anxiety who makes a beeline for the backcountry instead. But all those sorts of people must be few and far between, because there’s signs when you first come into the park that will tell you whether the Paradise parking lot is full.
I’m going to say a few words to my fellow white people before turning the floor over to the person you should really be listening to. I’m saying these few introductory words so that you can take a moment to prepare yourself. If you do not need this lecture, skip to dezn_98’s words, where your focus should be. If you find yourself getting defensive, and wanting to lecture rather than shut the fuck up and keep listening, return back here and read from the beginning. Continue reading “Guest Post: “I Am Tired of Being Treated as a Subhuman When I Get Angry Over Racism””→
Men, even good men, believe women lie about rape. There’s this myth that runs amok saying that some enormous proportion of rape accusations are just women lying to get attention, or revenge, or to hide their summer fling from mommy and daddy. And they believe it without question.
When male friends toss that grenade at me, I toss it back by asking if they know what the percentage is. “Fifty percent,” they’ll say, or above, depending on which MRAs their stats are coming from.
“It’s two to eight percent,” I say, and I need to remember to never do this when they’re walking or have something in their mouths, because the good ones are always staggered, and they always gasp. “But even those numbers are on the high side.”
Oh, people. Ohgods. You know, there are times when I wish I had a private jet and about a trillion dollars, so I could say at any hour of the day or night, “Jeeves! We’re going to X to look at the rocks. Immediately.” And Jeeves would say, “Of course we are, madam,” and make it so.
Tell you what. Let’s all pool our money until we have the trillion, and then we can find Jeeves and a jet and spend the rest of our lives going to look at gorgeous rocks, perhaps even whilst dabbling our toeses in water on lovely warm days. I can think of worse things to do.
I trust I don’t have to tell you who H.G. Wells is. One of the fathers of science fiction? Bloke who wrote that War of the Worlds book that got turned into a radio drama by Orson Welles and led to a lot of people panicking because they were unclear on the concept of fiction.
These words of his are some of my favorites, because they are true. It might seem like everything would be wonderful if there were no obstacles in our path, but that way lies boredom. Good thing every life has its obstacles, then. As long as they’re not insurmountable, we can give our minds quite a lot of exercise figuring out how to get round them.
I think if nothing stood in our way, we’d probably put something there, just so we’d have something to contend with. We are a contentious species. And we like to prove we’re clever. Though, as the panic over a radio show proved, we’re not quite as clever as we like to believe…
Another day, another clueless dude* asking a dumbshit question about rape.
I heaved a weary sigh when I got the Change.Org email inviting me to sign the petition advising Dr. Phil that a) answer’s no, you dumbshit**; b) apologize; and c) air a show that advises viewers not to rape people, no, not even if they’re drunk. Not surprised? I’m having a heart attack from not surprised. Dude sods up topic of sexual assault, news at midnight because who’s gonna stay up for this predictable bullshit?