Saturday, October 23, 2010

Rocks: Miscellaneous Fragments of Geology

  • NASA's Earth Observatory image of the day a few days ago was this gorgeous portrayal of the Ouachita Mountains- click for larger or visit the link for other size options and a full discussion.
  • Bill Watterson was (is) a great comic artist, but he really didn't (doesn't) know much about geology did he? Via GeoCastAway: Blooger fuzzes images when I resize (thanks, Blooger!), so click for clarity. (Followup: Silver Fox left a comment saying that the last panel may be doctored, and not Watterson's original word choice, and also explaining how to fix the blurriness- it seems to have worked. Thanks!)

  • Michael E. 'Aquadoc' Campana, writing about a recent conference and visit to the confluence of the Ohio River with the Mississippi, pointed out some interesting statistics regarding river flow. Obviously, flow is going to depend not only on basin area, but on the amount of precipitation in that basin. The tidbit that really blew my mind was this one:
  • I've noted this kind of discrepancy before: where I live, the Willamette River drains an area about 5% of the Colorado River's, yet its mean annual discharge is about 60% greater than the Colorado's. And the watersheds of the Colorado and Columbia Rivers are about the same size, yet the latter's mean annual discharge is about 13 times that of the former.
  • Uncertainties in the Mayan-Gregorian calender conversion may be as much as 100 years... meaning that the world may have already come to an end. Not exactly what you want to hear on your birthday, is it?


Dana Hunter said...

To think they made all those fabulous 2012 movies for nothing. And I wonder what my stepmother will say when I tell her we're all already dead?

Lockwood said...

At a visit to the doctor:
"I don't know how to break this to you kindly, so I'll be blunt: you've been dead for the last two decades or more."

"Huh. This really wasn't what I was expecting would happen."

Or in the words of Douglas Adams, "It's not so much an afterlife," said Arthur, "more a sort of apres vie."

Silver Fox said...

Is that really the original Calvin and Hobbes - a geologist? I thought someone at the office had doctored it to say that.

Re: blurriness. I don't know whether you're using the new editor in blogger or not. I know how to keep pics from being blurry using the old editor (and probably works in the new, also but I don't know if the photo html code is the same). There is a piece of the code near the end that says s400 if you've uploaded it in large (or s200 if small). If you go wider than 400, that needs to say s800 or s1600. Your comic strip looks to be about 500 wide.

Lockwood said...

Silver- added a note to say it may be doctored, and your fix seems to have worked. Blogger imposed the new editor on me without warning, and I've been fuming over it for a couple of weeks now. I'm getting used to it, but I don't see any improvement that makes it worth while.

Ron Schott said...

Members of the Jury,

My client, cartoonist Bill Watterson, stands accused of misunderstanding geologists. Well I've followed Calvin & Hobbes a long time and let me assure you, Bill Watterson understands geologists just fine. That prosecution's cartoon (above) is unquestionably modified, but I submit to you that this one is not: Dinosaur Bones.

The defense rests.

Silver Fox said...

Great one, Ron! I remember that cartoon.

Lockwood, I rarely use the new editor. You can change it back and forth anytime, somewhere under settings.