Saturday, May 21, 2011

Saturd80's: Extended Rapturous Apocalypse Edition

Since I gather this may be the last Saturd80's I'll be able to post, I'm gonna double up. Blondie, Rapture:

REM, End of The World as We Know It:

Tom Lehrer, So Long, Mom (A Song for World War III):

Not precisely apocalyptic... but it has always felt that way to me. Kate Bush has done more goose bump-raising pop music than anyone I can think of. (BTW, yes, that is a very young Hugh Laurie.) Kate Bush, Experiment IV:

Not apocalyptic at all, but I can't dodge the title. Motels, Apocalypso:

And I finally thought of the perfect song to end this set with: "This is what you want? This is what you get." Think about it, rapturists. Public Image Ltd., Order of Death:

Friday, May 20, 2011

What to Expect If You Get Raptured Tomorrow

Because, yes, you really are all that irritating. Even Jesus thinks so.


There are microseisms of a new meme circulating in the geoblogosphere... GeoLolCats! Many geobloggers have cats, and I'm guessing basically all of them have a superfluity of geology-related paraphernalia, so photos of cats and geology stuff are inevitable. Put a silly caption on said pictures, and voila! Geomeme!
Here's the first, from Dana. All captions are mine, and flames should be directed here, not at the source. The next is from Evelyn at Georneys, and her cat Samira:
And here's another of Evelyn's kittehs, Zanya (I'm assuming with Samira again):
I had a heck of a time recalling/tracking down that term, myrmekitic. I have forgotten way, way too much of my petrology classes, which were the most demanding, time consuming, enjoyable and rewarding of all my undergrad work. Here's the site that finally reminded me (230K pdf, see page 13); as soon as I saw it, I knew "myrmekitic" was the texture I was after. Here's the Google image search for comparison. Take a gander at those pics and tell me those aren't myrmekittehs.

I'll try to remember to get some photos of Bif with miscellaneous geology this evening. Also too, I see no particular reason this meme should be limited to teh kittehs. Other GeoLolCats will be added as I find them:
I'll also add on additional Lol's I make below. I won't have to add extra posts, and we'll just keep 'em all in one place. Here's another photo of Samira, with a caption inspired by a comment from Ron Schott:This is Boo Spook, who owns Dana's step mom and dad.(forgot to link it earlier, but Spook's "blank" original photo is here.
Above and below, my young cat, Bif.
And in case your wondering how Bif got his name...
...when he came into my life 3 months ago, the striping on his coat reminded me of finely laminated sediments. Adjust toward red, and the conclusion is inescapable.

Thursday, May 19, 2011


Shamelessly stolen from Matty Boy, and his brief but amusing post, "An End of the World for the Rest of Us." And while we're on the topic of LOL's, here's another I set aside a few days ago:
From I Has a Hotdog

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Wednesday Wednesday

From Love Bows and Bones. I need to go through the films (and maybe download some of the old TV series), and get some screen caps with new pictures.

This Is the Last Night of the World

I started listening to Sarah McLachlan during the summer of 1992, so her music doesn't technically fit the Saturd80's format. But she, like another of my female musical idols, Kate Bush, was one of those teen prodigies. McLachlan signed a contract with (I believe) Nettwork records when she was 16 or 17. I first came upon this song, originally from 1988, on her compilation album Rarities, B-Sides and Other Stuff (1996). As much as I like her solo work, I find the combination of her soaring vocals with the beat-heavy synth-electro-pop of Manufacture impossibly appealing. May not be your cup of tea, but it's sure my cup of coffee! And what with the raptor almost upon us, how can I resist? I can't.
I'm not convinced any of the slinky women in this clip are actually my dear Sarah- first, none of them really look like her (though to be sure, she was much younger then), and second, I'm not convinced she would ever act that undignified. But make up your own mind.

The thing that brought this to mind was another apocalyptic video I came across a few minutes ago. I don't like this song as well, but it's not bad...
...and the mix of movie clips is awesome.

Are YOU Ready For the Raptor?

Only three days and two hours...
ICWUDT of the Day
see more The Daily What.

So FaceBook friend Steve has invited me to an event, the post-raptor looting party. And someone on Twitter noted that we should all mess with the fundies on Sunday by talking loudly to each other about all the people we know who have mysteriously disappeared. However you choose to celebrate the raptor, have a happy one!

31 Years Later

Last year, for the 30th anniversary of the Mount St Helens eruption(s), I posted a series on the events of spring 1980. Partly reminiscence, partly drawn from accounts at the time, and largely based in the narrative line of "what was happening 30 years ago today," it was fun to compile.

I had moved from the Cleveland area (Mentor, to be specific; I'll have to show you the "house" I lived in sometime.) to Corvallis to start spring term at OSU, and the first rumblings came the first week I was here. It did sometimes feel as if the mountain was putting on the show to welcome me to the PNW.

For this year's anniversary, I don't have much new to add, so I've decided to simply index my posts from last year. Note that from mid-April to May 17, I emphasize that not much was happening- and that is exactly the point. The public, the media, and from what I've read, even most volcanologists were uncertain what, if anything, the mountain would do next. Was the show over? No one knew.
If I had to pick the two that do the most to explain the situation, I would recommend May 18, part III, and May 19. May 19 was, of course, when most of the print news became available, and the confusion surrounding St. Helens is a core memory for me. No one knew until months, even years, later, what exactly had happened. It's easy to look back now with hindsight and feel as if this was all understood. Let me be blunt: it was not.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Tuesday Tits

White-browed Tit, Poecile superciliosa, from

Between downgrading from Firefox 3.6 to Firefox -4.0 (is there any way to undo this?) and various sundry other typical tech glitches, I've been kind of light on the posting lately, and really struggling just to keep up with reading. I've ignored or skipped my Tuesday Tits feature for altogether too long; here's another beautiful, shapely tit to ogle.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Not-A-Moonday: Callista

In the spirit of public education, I would like to caution readers against confusing the subject of today's Moonday, Callisto, with today's not-a-Moonday, Callista. While such confusion is perfectly understandable, there are some important differences:
  • Callisto orbits a gas giant, Jupiter. Callista orbits a giant gasbag, Newt.
  • Callisto is Jupiter's fourth satellite; Callista is Newt's third satellite.
  • Callista made Newt convert to Catholicism; Callisto doesn't give a damn.
  • While both are clearly ancient, Callista is not as heavily cratered as Callisto.
  • Though it takes careful measurement to demonstrate this, Callista is slightly less spherical than Callisto.
  • While neither shows any evidence of internal activity, Callista can appear to be active on the surface. The importance of this activity is unclear.
  • There are many amazing and fascinating images of Callisto. Callista, not so much.
  • Callisto's surface composition is overwhelmingly ice. Callista has significant amounts of clay, spackling compound, and pigmented proteinaceous material, in addition to ice.
  • Callista gets upset when asked "Why so serious?" Callisto never gets upset.
  • Finally, Callisto is often seen in the company of Jupiter's other satellites. Callista is never seen with Newt's other satellites.
(Click for full-size; Callisto is lower center; Europa is to the left and slightly below the great red spot over Jupiter's disk.)

So again, the confusion is perfectly understandable, even excusable. But these are the sorts of fine, nuanced observation that are necessary for making sense of a complicated, chaotic world.

Followup: oh yeah, of course there's that small matter of the terminal vowel. But I was focused more on the actual features, not so much on the fine details of spelling.

Followup II, Thurs. May 18: Peteykins at Princess Sparkle Pony beat me to this by nearly 2 months. I read that blog, so there is a strong possibility I unconsciously swiped this idea, forgetting I had seen it elsewhere. However, there is surprisingly little overlap between our points of distinction, so you should go read his post too.

Moonday: Callisto

Callisto is the outermost of the four Galilean moons of Jupiter (identified as such because they were discovered by Galileo Galilei, and important because they were the first objects discovered that clearly could not be orbiting the earth), and the only one not currently thought to possess a subsurface ocean. Io has been much in the news the last few days with new results supporting the hypothesis of a subsurface magma ocean, while Europa and Ganymede are thought to have water oceans under crusts of water ice. One reason to believe that Callisto does not possess such an ocean is its heavily-cratered and obviously very old surface, unmodified by tectonic processes, such as can be seen on Europa and Ganymede, or volcanism, such as can be seen on Io. A second reason is that Callisto is not subject to tidal forces as strongly as the inner three, so tidal kneading and heating are much weaker.

According to Wikipedia (which is also the source of the image), "It is the third-largest moon in the Solar System and the second largest in the Jovian system, after Ganymede. Callisto has about 99% the diameter of the planet Mercury but only about a third of its mass." Another way of putting this is that Callisto's density is about a third of Mercury's, a difference due to the latter's suspected massive iron core, and the former's large component of low-density water and ice.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Sunday Funnies: Kind of Like Davros Edition

political pictures - barack obama - Kind of Like Davros
see more Political Pictures. This, without a doubt, was the funny that I found funniest this week. I've been walking around Interzone and my neighborhood with my hands at sternum level, and a serious, determined look of fortitude on my face, driving my invisible motorized lectern.
Darius Whiteplume's Tumblr
The Daily What
Skull Swap
epic4chan: "Bin Laden never had a chance."
Skull Swap
Sober in a Nightclub. I would venture that teachers' lack of saying this, and students' lack of *ahem* understanding it, is a large contributor to our so-called "crisis" in education.
political pictures - sarah palin - Burial at Sea
see more Political Pictures
Funny Pictures - Cat Tails: An Interpretive Guide
see more Lolcats and funny pictures. Actually, that one on the right in the middle line is best interpreted as TGIF (Thank God! It's FOOD!). But that's a common misunderstanding among the cat-owned.
funny pictures - Richard couldn't afford a bagpipe,  but that  didn't stop a man with a  dream.
see more Lolcats and funny pictures
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
Abstruse Goose
Bits and Pieces. You know that feeling when you have to sneeze, but you can't get the launch sequence initiated? Yeah, I hate that feeling.
I don't need to; you keep dropping them all over the place. God Hates Protestors
funny graphs - I Like Both Those Things!
see more Funny Graphs
Rock beats scissors AND iPhones, from Darius Whiteplume's Tumblr.
What Would Jack Do? No caption needed, but I just had an idea for how to use this again tomorrow. BTW, Jack's title on this post was, "Wife #3 is a Borg. You WILL be assimilated...."
funny celebrity pictures - I'd have paid to see that.
see more Lol Celebs
funny celebrity pictures - THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS
see more Lol Celebs
funny puns - If Life Gives You Melons...
see more So Much Pun. Or a woman. Just sayin'.
Pants are Overrated; see also part 1, which is every bit as funny and much sweeter.
Calamities of Nature
Sofa Pizza
Dark Roasted Blend
epic4chan It's that time of year again, when seasonal allergies cause teh kittehs to shift from their winter to summer colorations.
funny puns - And It's Also Not Constantinople
see more So Much Pun
Just an Earth-Bound Misfit
What Would Jack Do?
God Hates Protestors
Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal
Paul Krugman's Blog
funny celebrity pictures - The strippers frighten easily...
see more Lol Celebs... "Women: Just like Sand People." Hell, that get-up frightens me!