Saturday, October 28, 2006

Guaranteed to make you laugh

Ahh...The Onion always makes me chuckle, but this recent article made me literally slap my knee. Click on image above to go to article.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Friday Field Foto #2: Shallow-marine strata

This week, another photo from southern Chile. This is a ridge called Sierra Dorotea very close to the town of Puerto Natales. We climbed up this on the very last day of our field season last March. These rocks are shallow marine and deltaic deposits of the Dorotea Formation (~60-65 million years old). More photos of Chile are here.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

The ancient Amazon River

I love this stuff!

Check out this article summarizing some research about the changing course of the Amazon River over geologic time. I did not go to this conference, but the main thing I wonder is what was happening between the end of the Cretaceous (65 million years ago) and the beginning of the Miocene (~20 million years ago)??

Monday, October 23, 2006


Even though the new logo and uniform stinks (that looks like UC Santa Cruz...or something)...the Sabres are 8-0, tying their franchise record for best start to a season. Let's see if I jinx them, they play Montreal tonight.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Friday Field Foto #1: Snow-covered outcrop

Here's a picture of my main field area in southern Chile, called Cerro Divisadero. This photo was shot about an hour after a snow storm came out of nowhere and chased us back to camp. If you want to see more photos from this area...check here.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Looking for new music?

If you like to listen to music on your computer but don't feel like being bothered by making playlists and are unimpressed by internet radio stations, you should check out Pandora. It is an internet radio station that integrates your likes and dislikes. You create different stations based on an artist or song and it searches the Music Genome Project database for similar-sounding music. Then you can give it a thumbs up or thumbs down. The more you do this, the more it refines that particular station. I've had it going for a few months, have about 10 different stations, and it does a decent job of picking music for that station.

The best part is that it will choose a lot of unknown artists. It searches for similar music based solely on the music...not the number of records sold, popularity, appearances on TV, corporate sponsorship, etc. I've found some bands i've never heard of but really like now. If a song/artist comes up that you really like you can simply click 'save to favorites' and then later on, when you have time, find out more.

Check it out.

Friday, October 13, 2006

Honestly...I don't miss this

I grew up in Buffalo and this kind of nonsense. It seems kind of ridiculous now. It's 65 degrees and blue sky here (although I could be crushed by an earthquake at any moment, I suppose).


The Exploratorium is a science museum in San Francisco that aims to mix science with culture and art. One of their sponsored projects, shown in the image above and called Cabspotting, tracks the movements of taxi cabs around the city. It creates an ever-changing map revealing some interesting cultural and social trends. Plus, I think it just looks cool.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Opportunity at Victoria Crater

These crazy robots are still alive and kickin' on the surface of Mars...they were only supposed to survive a few months but have been there exploring and collecting data since early 2004 . One of the two rovers, Opportunity, just reached the edge of a crater that has some rocks exposed along the crater walls (picture above).

Check here for more.

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Hockey is back!

Yes! Sabres beat the Stanley Cup champs on opening night.
Hockey is back.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Bay Area natural and historical landmarks

I was informed about a good cause (thanks Amy) for those of you reading this blog that live in the Bay Area (if anybody is reading this).

Go the this website, for the Partners in Preservation, San Francisco Bay Initiative. There you can view all the sites (like Pigeon Point, shown above) in the area and vote for action to be taken to preserve them. For those not from Bay Area, check out the site anyway.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

They work for us!

Imagine a company. The boss scolds her employee for doing a poor job. Pretty standard stuff...happens all the time. The employee performs poorly, they get told about it and, hopefully, they do a better job. I think everyone can agree that, in general, this is an effective way of communicating.

Now, what if the employee (the one who got scolded) turned around and had his boss arrested simply for telling him that he was doing a poor job. Hey man...just do your job, don't flip out.

You might have guessed where i'm going with this. The situation described above actually happened.

They work for us. They are our employees. If they are doing a crappy job, they should hear about it from us. They should hear about it from us now (before a law gets passed precluding us from doing what is our right). Find your employee here and tell them how they are doing.

Monday, October 02, 2006


Click on the image above to get a bigger version. It's a screenshot from a NYT article back in August showing a neuron cells and their connections in the brain on the left and simulation of the universe on the right.

Sunday, October 01, 2006


Unfortunately, the story that should be discussed by everyone is getting buried by a waste-of-time, sordid, e-pedophile scandal.

Meanwhile, this last week we saw yet another small step toward the type of unitary executive power sought by those currently in power. As usual the bill that passed, the Detainee Bill is a misnomer, as it addresses issues far beyond detainees.

"In effect [the Detainee Bill] allows the president to identify enemies, imprison them indefinitely and interrogate them...beyond the reach of the full court reviews traditionally afforded criminal defendants and ordinary prisoners."

Yes, that includes American citizens that they deem as an 'unlawful combatant'. It doesn't matter how we define that, because it is up to the executive branch to decide who is and who is not an unlawful combatant. Awesome.

"Over all, the legislation reallocates power among the three branches of government, taking authority away from the judiciary and handing it to the president."

Some are calling this the death of habeas corpus, commonly attributed to the Magna Carta of 1215 (pictured above). Other constitutional law experts think this will be struck down by the Supreme Court in due time.

Here's the link for the quotes above.

"There is danger from all men. The only maxim of a free government ought to be to trust no man living with power to endanger the public liberty."
- John Adams, 1772