Taxonomy term

geologic column

Geologic Column: Muinntir a' ghlinne so

The author examines the idea of lament — for humanity, Earth and the universe — through the lens of the “pibroch,” a Gaelic word meaning a Scottish bagpiper’s variations on a musical theme, and the title of a Ted Hughes poem.

18 Jan 2019

Geologic Column: Light amid the darkness: Celebrations during the winter solstice

The winter solstice falls on Friday, Dec. 21, marking the arrival of winter and the shortest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. For at least 5,000 years, humans have celebrated this celestial event with festivals of light and ceremonies of renewal.
21 Dec 2018

Geologic Column: A cautionary tale about "sleeping" natural hazards

The author ruminates on the sometimes underappreciated risks of natural hazards and recalls a trip to a remote Hawaiian campsite where a 1975 magnitude-7.7 quake later proved fatal.
12 Nov 2018

Geologic Column: Bone up on your spooky geo-vocabulary this Halloween

This list will help you summon an appreciation for the fiendish creativity and ghoulish humor that’s gone into earth science’s vast lexicon. 
17 Oct 2018

Geologic Column: The raw and the cooked

A humorous take on some paleoanthropological aspects of fire.

23 Jul 2018

Geologic Column: Tarnish on the Golden State

After World War II, California's economy and population boomed. Today, the state's economy is the fifth largest in the world, but unreasonably high living costs and numerous natural threats cloud its rosy image as the paradise by the Pacific.

22 Jun 2018

Geologic Column: Rebranding Alexander

Alexander III of Macedon is a superhero of history, universally known as Alexander the Great, who was intent upon conquering a bigger chunk of the planet than anybody before him. But perhaps he wasn’t so great after all.

22 May 2018

Geologic Column: A world without measure

The treaty establishing a global, uniform system of measurement was signed on May 20, 1875. Today, we honor that achievement by celebrating World Metrology Day on May 20.

20 May 2018

Geologic Column: Over the hills and far away

English author G.K. Chesterton thought that “over the hills and far away” was the most poetic line in all of literature. The tune “Over the Hills and Far Away” mentioned in the nursery rhyme is a traditional British song from the late 17th or early 18th century. It was a siren’s song that promised wonder and adventure beyond the blue horizon. Gwyn Thomas, a fine though neglected Welsh writer, heard the song during his early-20th-century childhood in the Rhondda Valley, the heart of the south Wales coal region. Honeycombed by mines, the Rhondda’s spirit lay at the core of Thomas’ heart and imagination, and he distilled a mordant humor from the dark vibes of the life that he knew there.

10 Apr 2018

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