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john copeland

Geologic Column: Celebrating Old Rock Day

Old Rock Day may not be a household-named holiday, but on Jan. 7, geoscientists and geology enthusiasts will encourage people to celebrate and learn more about old rocks and fossils. 
07 Jan 2018

Geologic Column: Musings on the autumn equinox

Friday, Sept. 22, is the autumn equinox, an astronomical event all about balance that heralds changes in weather and attitudes.
11 Sep 2017

Geologic Column: Volcanoes: Awesome and dangerous

Volcanoes and volcanic eruptions are a marvel of nature, but a beautiful visage can mask significant danger.
03 Jul 2017

Geologic Column: Rebirth on the vernal equinox

Although March is a particularly tempestuous month, known for producing record-breaking snowstorms and damaging tornadoes, cultures around the world have for millennia also recognized it as a time of rebirth.

14 Mar 2017

Geologic Column: New Year's as we know it is new

Although commemorating the start of a new year and looking back on the past year is one of humanity’s oldest traditions, celebrating it on Jan. 1 is a relatively recent occurrence.  
 

 

31 Dec 2016

Geologic Column: Proposing a new U.S. Holiday: Explorers' Day

October has two holidays that celebrate two individuals both heralded as the discoverers of the New World: Christopher Columbus and Leif Erikson. Perhaps it’s time for something new.

14 Oct 2016

Geologic Column: The dog days of July

As months go, July has some distinctive qualities. In particular, it’s when the so-called dog days of summer begin. Today, we tend to think that dog days refers simply to the hottest part of summer, but the ancient civilizations of Europe had a more astronomically based understanding.

13 Jul 2016

Geologic Column: May: Nature's forces in collision

Throughout history, May 1 has probably had more festivals and events associated with it than any other day of the year, from celebrations of spring and fertility to a day of protest for workers’ rights.

29 Apr 2016

Geologic Column: The beginning of "time" as we know it

We have many methods for measuring things — volumes, lengths, areas, for example — but we have only one system to measure time. It's based on three astronomical cycles: a day is based on one rotation on our axis; a month is based on one orbit of the moon around Earth; and the year is based on one orbit of Earth around the sun. Our calendar has changed some over the millennia but has remained remarkably constant. 
13 Dec 2015

Geologic Column: Thanksgiving's unsung hero

Thanksgiving as we know it in America today has only been celebrated since President Lincoln declared it a national holiday in 1863, thanks to the entreaties of Sarah Josepha Hale, an influential writer and editor.

13 Nov 2015

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