geological-time

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yuribeletsky Airglow ocean. Majestic view at the colors of the night above Pacific ocean and Atacama desert in Chile. Have a look at this timelapse video. I captured it at Carnegie Las Campamas observatory. The red airglow waves totally dominated the night sky and you can see how they change over the period of few hours. It’s quite remarkable ! Have you seen anything like that ? I hope you’ll enjoy the view ! Music by © Czarek Zieliński. 

the slow pace of geologic time

Title: the slow pace of geologic time
Author: westernredcedar
Rating: Teen and Up Audiences
Warnings: None Apply. Aftermath of Bad Coming Out. Unsupportive Parents.
Completed: Yes
Word count: 4258
SummaryJack looks at her and then puts her luggage down and leans in, grabs her into a full-body hug, right there on the sidewalk, holding her so close. She can’t remember when he last hugged her this hard. “He told his parents. About being gay. About us,” he says into her shoulder. “They were awful.”

Most memorable line: “Eric, hearing you say that is my favorite thing in the entire world.”

climates of coldsun

This whole things starts with my love affair with maps, my admiration and envy for Chris Wayans’ Planetocopia, and the desire for a setting whose most distinctive features are visible by looking at the map. So here’s a rough, very first-draft planetary map of Coldsun - a world where exposure to sunlight cools things down, rather than heats them up. 

(Caveats: don’t worry about the exact shape of the continents above, because it’ll change; don’t worry about the microphysics yet either. This is just about the general biomes and climate - and even there, imagery that appeals to me can get a pass as long as there’s some sort of baseline plausibility.) So!

The move obvious consequence is that things are colder near the equator than at the poles, the reverse of the usual situation.

However, the tropical regions aren’t packed with ice and snow because it’s actually pretty hard for ice and snow to form. This is because ice and snow have a high albedo, meaning they bounce back a lot of sunlight. In our world, with sunlight that heats things up, this means that ice and snow are somewhat self-reinforcing, leading to both snow piles that last longer than they otherwise would and to glacial feedback loops that lead to ice ages/hothouse periods - geological time periods where lots of ice cover, high albedo, and high temperature (or the reverse of those) reinforce one another. The world of Coldsun, by contrast, is homeostatic on this front. 

(Except, of course, if you’re dealing with massive fields and glaciers of sooty black ice! Burning coal can’t just cool things down by damaging the equivalent of the ozone layer (if there’s an equivalent of an ozone layer? idk yet) but by creating ice formations with a much lower and thus can last, maybe even spread under the right conditions. The civilizations here used to operate at a higher level of technology, but these factors (combined with a bunch of others less relevant to this post) led to a crash period.)

Coldsun’s climate bands reverse the wet/dry alteration of Earth. An Intertropical Divergence Zone near the equator starts things off with its falling, cold air and hence low levels of precipitation. A Subtropical Low around our own horse latitudes features rising air and high levels of precipitation, followed by a band of desert. And the hot polar zones feature high precipitation, rather than the cold desert conditions of our own poles.

Around this Subtropical Low, with its abundant water and sunlight, but cold conditions, we get evergreen jungles. Shaggy, warmblooded mammals occupy niches here that tropical frogs and other jungle denizens might in our own world. Snow and ice (with fewer climactic consequences) can form in the canopy, melting to nurse rivers in the winter. 

Fungal forests bloom in the poles, where the heat and precipitation would be ideal for life if not for the long sun-droughts. Photosynthesis-based plants grow crazy-quilt and kuzu-like in the summer before being devoured by mushrooms in the winter.

And the thick cactal forest region? That’s just a personal caprice - with the excuse being some sort of vast but deep aquifer supporting a dense growth of phreatophytes - rather than anything that flows out of the “cold sun” thing.

Reach Up, Grab the Chain

Written for @chargetransfer, who asked for Foggy watching Matt at the gym.

Donate to the ACLU and get fic!


There was a smell at Fogwell’s that rubbed damply against the inside of the windows and lolled out of open doors like a tongue. Inside, the air had a sort of texture, like all the exhales made by all the fighters like Matt–grunts of exertion, cries of victory, sighs of defeat–never quite dissipated, but hung thickly around in the rafters.  

Foggy had a lever-arch binder open on his lap, a pen in one hand, and an empty paper coffee cup balanced on the face-down pages. He was before a judge in a measly three days, and his trial strategy amounted to little more than pointing at the rich douchebag suing their client, his former housecleaner, and saying, “asshole say what?” So while Matt hit the heavy-bag, Foggy did some legal heavy-lifting.

Foggy had a weird relationship with Matt’s gym time. On the one hand, it took him away from the office and made their respective workloads ever more imbalanced. There were days Foggy didn’t even go to the bathroom because the hits kept coming, and Matt somehow made time to exercise. On the other hand, it helped keep Matt alive when he was out on the streets. It was work–just not billable work.

On yet another (possibly mutant) hand, while it was good for Matt’s continued health and well-being, it was terrible for Foggy’s because it was 3D, surround sound, high-definition, hardcore porn.

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BTS as things my family has said in our group chat

Seokjin: I had chocolate chip cookies for breakfast, a cheeseburger and curly fries for lunch, and a chicken quesadilla and carrot cake for dinner

Yoongi: I’m glad I don’t have many Facebook friends

Hoseok: I’m too happy right now. You can’t hurt me

Namjoon: “The effect is of movement and stillness, human time and geologic time, collapsed” 

Jimin: I love the sky, don’t you just love the sky, cause I just love the sky

Taehyung: Dogs are superior to humans and every other creature on earth

Jungkook: I still have to take two math classes *crying emoji* *skull emoji* *coffin emoji*

4

111116 [ kinyoubi ]
—I didn’t go to school yesterday but I made an explosion box for earth science about the geologic time scale. was inspired by the stars I’ve been reblogging all week.

(the moon broke off before I could submit it ;-;)

Marie Tharp (1920-2006) was an American geologist and oceanographic cartographer who, with Bruce Heezen, created the first scientific map of the entire ocean floor. Tharp’s work revealed the presence of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and revolutionized scientific understanding of continental drift.

Heezen collected data for research purposes and Tharp used his information to compile their physiographic diagrams. During this process, she confirmed previous predictions when she made an important discovery: a rift on the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Tharp’s visual interpretations of the sea-floor data contributed to the reintroduction of continental drift theory and the 1960s geological revolution. At a time when most women were excluded from scientific careers, Tharp, initially a research assistant, succeeded in this competitive arena.

Tharp and Heezen published their first physiographic map of the North Atlantic in 1957. Collaborating with the Austrian landscape painter Heinrich Berann, they published their map of the entire ocean floor in 1977. Although for a time Heezen favored the expanding Earth hypothesis, under Tharp’s direction he turned to the alternative theories of plate tectonics and continental drift.

sometimes i start thinking about ‘deep time’ and i get almost vertiginous.

not even geologic time-scales! or cosmic time-scales! just human time-scales!

but there is more time between the rise of agriculture/people in catal hoyuk and the pyramids than there is between the pyramids and now

there is more time between the domestication of the dog and catal hoyuk than there is between the founding of that settlement and now

there is more time between the first anatomically modern humans and the domestication of the wolf than there is between dogs and now

those people who lived 5000, 12,000, 40,000, 120,000 years ago (and even well before) they were people, with inner lives and hopes and fears and dreams and if you took one of them as an infant and plopped them into 2016 society they’d grow up tech-savvy and fluent in fucking internet memes because biologically/mentally they’re identical to current people

the overwhelming majority of human history- just talking about h. sapiens sapiens here for the sake of argument though pre-sapiens homonids were likely also ‘people’ in very real and significant ways -we all lived and died in small bands, told stories, cooperated, fought, muddled along

then some clever asshole(s) figured out ‘hey the place where we keep throwing those waste seeds sure is growing a whole lot of edible plants. HMMMM’ and things started changing.

and that was EIGHT THOUSAND YEARS BEFORE ANYONE EVEN THOUGHT UP CUNEIFORM

WHICH IS ALMOST SIX THOUSAND YEARS OLD

like, okay, i can wrap my head around ‘humanity is a blip on the earth’s time scale’. An even smaller blip on the cosmic scale. But to a mere mortal shmuck, humanity itself, the tiniest most insignificant blip on the cosmic radar, is vast

fucking agriculture is at best a tenth of human history. cities? More like a twentieth

just… whoa

Neoceratosauria

By José C. Cortés on @ryuukibart

Group: Neoceratosauria

Classification: Cellular Life, Archaea, Proteoarchaeota, Eukaryota, Unikota, Opisthokonta, Holozoa, Filozoa, Metazoa, Eumetazoa, Planulozoa, Bilatera, Nephrozoa, Deuterostomia, Chordata, Craniata, Vertebrata, Gnathostomata, Eugnathostomata, Teleostomi, Euteleostomi, Sarcopterygii, Rhipidistia, Tetrapodomorpha, Eotetrapodiforms, Elpistostegalia, Stegocephalia, Tetrapoda, Reptiliomorpha, Anthracosauria, Batrachosauria, Cotylosauria, Amniota, Sauropsida, Eureptilia, Romeriida, Diapsida, Neodiapsida, Sauria, Archosauromorpha, Archelosauria, Archosauriformes, Crurotarsi, Archosauria, Avemetatarsalia, Ornithodira, Dinosauromorpha, Dinosauriformes, Dinosauria, Saurischia, Eusaurischia, Theropoda, Neotheropoda, Averostra, Ceratosauria

Definition: The clade of the most recent common ancestor of Ceratosaurus and Carnotaurus, and all of that most recent common ancestor’s descendants. 

Organisms Within: The clades Ceratosauridae and Abelisauroidea

Time Range: Given this is another node-based clade, we can only guess at when the earliest member of this group evolved. Since earliest known Abelisauroids are from the earliest portion of the Middle Jurassic, it stands to reason that the earliest Neoceratosaur had to evolve before this; the best guess at such is shown below. 

Characteristics: This group contains all the more derived members of Ceratosauria, and they remained as weird and strangely diverse as their less derived relatives. The bulk of this group included the Abelisauroids, which ranged from the huge and tiny-armed Carnotaurus to the small and fast Noasaurids. 

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceratosauria

Neoceratosaurs were relatively medium-sized predators or smaller during the Jurassic; however, the later Abelisaurids that would inhabit mostly the Southern Hemisphere got very large and often were at the top of the food chain in their environments. 

By Jack Wood on @thewoodparable

The beginning members of this group would probably have had some feathers, though as Abelisauroids evolved, the derived Abelisaurids primarily lost their fluffy covering. Furthermore, Ceratosaurids probably had osteoderms along their back, though this says nothing about the Noasaurid group, which were primarily small and thus probably retained their feathers. 

From https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eoabelisaurus

Biogeography: It is very uncertain where Neocreatosauria originated, given that Ceratosaurs were very widespread and Neoceratosaurs were also; early members of Abelisauroidea are not helpful, either, as they are fairly widespread. As such, it is unlikely it will ever be determined where this group first evolved. 

Posts about Ceratosauridae and Abelisauroidea to come soon.

Sources:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Abelisaur

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceratosaurus

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ceratosauria

Shout out goes to @vikingstar!

Humanity’s impact on the Earth is now so profound that scientists declare a new geological epoch – the Anthropocene

Nuclear tests, plastic pollution and domesticated chickens: welcome to the Anthropocene. 

Thanks to striking acceleration of carbon dioxide emissions, sea level rise, the global mass extinction of species, and the transformation of land by deforestation and development, experts argue we’ve created a new slice of geological time. 

Here’s how we fit into the planet’s whole timeline:

I can’t decide which Star Trek headcanon I like better:


1) Every ship in Starfleet runs into just as much space trouble as the Enterprise (and other main character ships), to the point where it becomes nonchalant

“Hey Susan, how was your time on the Victory?”

“Oh, it was awful. We got sucked into an interdimensional rift for 3 weeks! Uhg, it was terrible. What about you?”

“Yeah, our ship entered a nebula, and then gravity reversed direction, so everything repelled everything else. It was so tedious, pushing buttons was hard, because you would be repelled away from your station panel. Glad that nonsense is over.”


2) Only the main character ships experience weird space anomalies.

“Hey, how was your assignment on the Constitution?”

“We charted some stellar nurseries and did some geological surveys. One time, we had a little conflict with the Romulans, but it never escalated to a fight. What about you?”

“My mission was pretty boring. But have you heard about Fred? He got assigned to the Enterprise! He was telling me about how they encountered an omniscient space cloud and that they faced “space bullshit” as he called it, every other week. He says he’s lucky to be alive.” 


Like, other starships occasionally have a battle, but none of them encounter these weird space anomalies, or travel through time, or meet omniscient beings, or anything weird like that. It’s literally only the various Enterprise ships, Deep Space 9 and Voyager. That’s it. Every other ship in all of Starfleet is pretty much boring.

Ocean Worlds: The Story of Seas on Earth and Other Planets

So far, every volume signed Jan Zalasiewicz had proved a geological pleasure (as indeed have all the others in the series on Earth Systems Science that OUP have been releasing), and this latest instalment (the second book he’s co written with Mark Williams) did not disappoint my high expectations. While it isn’t an overview of the current state of oceanography, it provides a pleasant and fascinating romp through all things ocean, from the origin of the water in comets, through their role in the great cycles of the elements to the current ecological catastrophe shaping up in the planet’s seas.

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Otherwise-than-place, oblivion, geologic time: to contemplate any of these is to countenance our own erasures without rage or despair […] What’s needed is, I think, a small dose of this eros of oblivion, the capacity to think backward or forward from place to its mothering wilderness. That might help impede the tendency to manic ownership and keep the relationship flowing both ways. It might help us see our stories dissolving into the infinity of details from which they are made. The inscription fades from the marble, and the marble weeps its minerals into the sea, as surely as the wind will fill those backward snowshoe tracks with snow. 
[…]
[P]lace is the beginning of memory, and memory is the momentary domestication of time. We could continue that walk around the meadow, pausing at the mulberries where the cedar waxwings got drunk, the red maple beloved of the orioles […]—and at each the stories would proliferate. But each would come with that temporary, provisional quality built in. Those little walks, whether exercised in situ or in memory, exist on the hinge of translation between pace and its otherwise, with the flow going both ways, rooting [us] in place while they simultaneously open - always with that sense of danger, that pre-echo of oblivion - into wilderness.
—  Don Mckay, Otherwise than Place
Watch on the-earth-story.com

Dawn view over the rim of the Grand Canyon, peering all the way into the Inner Gorge