Geology

The Mingan Sorcerer

The Mingan Sorcerer The timescales of geology are fickle artists. Some of the planet’s great features require millions of years to craft; other spots arise in the blink of a universal eye. Of course, on human scales, both these poles are unfathomably large. On the northern shores of the Gulf of St. Lawrence in Quebec, a master …

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The Tube Oven

The Tube Oven In our previous exploration, we discovered London’s subway system – the Underground, lovingly called the Tube – features some strange mosquitoes. The scientific oddities of the Underground don’t stop there, however. The British constructed the earliest tunnels near the surface, but they quickly realized they could produce conduits deeper in the earth. One …

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The Iron Catastrophe

The Iron Catastrophe Everyone alive today owes their existence to a catastrophe. To explain that seemingly paradoxical statement, let’s foray into a brief overview of the universe, our sun, and the planet, courtesy of Columbia University. Somewhere around 13.8 billion years ago, the Big Bang kicked things off. There was hydrogen and only hydrogen. The …

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The Inner Inner

The Inner Inner Most children glean a bit about the geologic makeup of our planet in primary school. We learn the Earth is comprised of four layers: the crust, the mantle, the outer core, and the inner core. The basic construction of our planet by layer – image by BBC The crust is the layer …

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C Is for Agate, That’s Good Enough for Me

C Is for Agate, That’s Good Enough for Me Sesame Street, the beloved children’s show filled with Muppets, debuted on television in 1969. For more than six decades the program has employed comedy and storytelling to educate the youth on all sorts of topics. You might know that many of the ubiquitous characters, such as …

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GLOFs & Jökulhlaups

GLOFs & Jökulhlaups When I was just a wee nerd, one year at the Ohio State Fair I happened upon a merchant selling packs of playing cards called Magic: the Gathering. I had no idea what they were. My mother and sister, who were with me, had no idea what the game was. But they looked really …

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Giant’s Causeway

Giant’s Causeway In the days of ancient yore, a Scottish giant named Benandonner challenged an Irish giant named Fionn mac Cumhaill to a fight. Fionn accepted the summons, but the giants had a problem. A sea lay between the two colossi, so Fionn constructed a causeway across the North Channel. The exact details are sketchy …

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Devils Tower

Close Encounters at Devils Tower Perhaps the most memorable inclusion of a natural landmark in popular cinema flew into our collective imagination in 1977. Like our previous visit to Arches National Park, we have Steven Spielberg to thank for widespread knowledge of Devils Tower, where Richard Dreyfuss and pals become proximal to the location in Close Encounters of …

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