Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Silent Library

Classic clip.
I dunno why but I get some sort of perverse pleasure when i watch this...sort of like watching clips of bones breaking during sporting accidents, only a bit different :|

Thursday, November 18, 2010

California Love

California Love?!
Except for Earthquakes, the nay-say vote on Prop 19, lack of water, the burgeoning debt and crazy ass nonsense laws...
Nice place to visit though. Good wine too.
I sit in class.
I learn about geophys/Earthquakes etc...
Oakland is due for a major one.
Have fun Cali.(XOXO to friends and family who live there tho)
California...Oakland...Califor-nay-eh. Inglewood, Inglewood always up to no good...even Hollywood tryin to get a piece baby.
California...knows how to party
Keep it rockin' Compton

Hey Chris Tucker.

Snake Plissken jumps into my head.
Escape from New York was better than Escape from L.A.

Now I have earthquakes, a barrage of post-apocalyptic/sci-fi movies and Fallout on my mind...

Monday, November 15, 2010


Someone's origami Yoda, not mine.  I made some Geisha lookin' Yoda...had a white face and a Japanese flower-esque coat.
Wanna make an origami Yoda? George Lucas may be a complete fucking c#%t-tard but that doesn't stop me from enjoying the Star Wars Expanded Universe.  Of special note is the Thrawn Trilogy (a.k.a Heir to the Empire Trilogy) by Timothy Zahn!  GREAT!  The Courtship of Princess Leia by Dave Wolverton and Tales of the Bounty Hunters among others...anyways...I digress a little.  Yoda is cool as hell so if you wanna make him here are some links to diagrammatic instructions as well as YouTube video instructions.

 Yodagami [pdf]

Monday, November 8, 2010

The Stone Forests of Madagascar

Madagascar's "Stone Forest"
Most of us have seen pictures of the limestone pinnacles and stone forests of China, but the mysterious island of Madagascar is home to some fantastic karst formations that rival those in China.  These formations are located in the Tsingy de Bemaraha National Park and Tsingy de Bemaraha Strict Nature Reserve.  The National Park is  UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

This is an area of karst plateaus (carbonate rock like limestone, dolomite etc.).  The carbonate bedrock is soluble and the landscape is shaped by dissolution of the rock when water moves over it and cuts through it creating fissures and caverns.  The erosion in Tsingy occurs in vertical as well as horizontal patterns causing the dramatic stone forests.  

Water later seeps into karst caves where it then can flow underground in "underground streams".  The water can carve out caves by dissolution and fill in other caves by precipitating minerals that are in the water (i.e. can form those cool looking needles and pillars in caves called stalactites and stalagmites).  Sinkholes are also common in a karst lanscape and form when the ground above the cave collapses into it.  In short, Karst is extremely complex.

LEMURS! Just hangin' out on the stone

The strange and fantastic geology of the area also gives rise to a glorious collection of plants, animals and other forms of life.  In many instances most of these species are only found within the stone forest. 

Included below are links to a National Geographic article and photo gallery of Madagascar's Stone Forest.
Living on a Razor's Edge: Madagascar's labyrinth of stone (National Geographic Article)
Living on a Razor's Edge Photo Gallery (National Geographic Photos)

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Ol Doinyo Lengai: An Active Tanzanian Volcano with a Twist

The native Maasai people regard this mountain as the "Mountain of God" which is what Ol Doinyo Lengai translates to in the Maa language.  Ol Doinyo Lengai is a stratovolcano that is part of the Great Rift Valley located in Eastern Africa where the Nubian Plate and the Somali Plate are diverging (moving away) from each other.  The geology of this system is pretty spectacular but I am focussing on Ol Doinyo Lengai because it is currently the only known ACTIVE natrocarbonatite volcano in the world.

Satellite image of Ol Doinyo Lengai aquired July 16, 2004 while the landscape still showed effects of effusive eruptions.  Recent lava flows (white/beige areas) are days to weeks old.  
Most lavas are rich in silicate minerals (minerals containing silicon and oxygen), hence most of the earth's crust is made up of silicate minerals.  However the natrocarbonatite lava that erupts from Ol Doinyo Lengai are rich in rare sodium and potassium carbonate minerals.  The lava is erupted at low temperatures (500-600 degrees Celcius), due to these low temperatures (the lowest temperature lava on Earth) the erupting lava appears black in the sunlight unlike other lavas which have that characteristic red glow.  Natrocarbonatite lavas are much more fluid that silicate lavas and flow almost as fast as water.  When the minerals in the lava react with moisture in the atmosphere they undergo rapid weathering causing the erupted black lava to quickly turn a grey white color within a few hours.  The resulting volcanic landscape is unique from any other volcanic landscape in the world.  The last known eruptions were in 2007/2008.

Ol Doinyo Lengai 1966 eruption
Carbonatites contain niobium, a metallic element used in the production of steel alloys, superalloys, and superconducting alloys.  The unique properties of niobium make it ideal for construction of jet engines, rocket systems and airframes.  Carbonatites may also contain tantalum (used as a capacitor in electronic equipment and as a substitute for platinum), uranium, thorium, copper, iron, titanium, vanadium, barium, fluorine, zorconium, anomalous concentration of RRE (rare earth elements) and other rare elements.  Some of these elements are of economic importance for obvious reasons and therefore carbonatites are valuable resources.

Industrially important minerals associated with some carbonatites are apatite, barite and vermiculite.

Lave appears black and very fluid when it erupts

Some sources:
Ol Doinyo Lengai (Wikipedia)
Carbonatite (Wikipedia)
Under the Volcano: Roger Mitchell's Geological Research has Economic Implications for Canada and Beyond (AGORA Online)

Hello Weekend

Oh the weekend...what can I say...except time for some comedy movies and rage+contemplative music for the soul :P

Alright, so I really want to see the movie Due Date.  I could care less if it was the most terrible, I want to poke my eyes out and eat shit movie there ever was.  The pure fact that it has two of my favourite actors in it will more than make up for it.  Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis I love you guys.  I mean shit...even that dog is cute as fuck.  Honestly, they could just run around like retards (which is probably what they do) and I would be happy.

Now for another random movie...
The Big Lebowski!  Hilarious as shit (good shit)!
"Has the whole world gone crazy!? Am I the only one here who give a shit about the rules?! Mark it zero! MARK IT ZERO!"

Hell yeah Walter.

I had a nostalgic Fifth Element moment today as well.
Leeloo Minai Lekarariba-Laminai-Tchai Ekbat De Sebat.
Cheekan Goot!
Aziz light!

It's music time!

Had a bit of a foo fighters time...

Still then reminded me of Teardrop

Then I was reminded of Highway of Endless Dreams

Happy weekend!


Thursday, November 4, 2010

No Durian on the Train!

I was sitting on the train today making my way home listening to my music, just pondering and relaxing when all of a sudden...*sniff sniff*...I think to myself "NO IT CAN'T BE!"...a double take...*sniff sniff*...that smell!  It's...It's...IT's...[look towards asian lady sitting across from me]...DURIAN!  NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.  That container...on her lap...will she open it again...I turned off my music...she is chewing loudly...I am still safe.  What's this?!  The chewing has stopped?! Oh god no...don't open the conta...NOOOOOOOO.

Yes.  Sorry to those who love Durian (榴莲)...but it smells like someone shart in an old pumpkin.  It also looks and feels like uncooked chicken when you open it...or alien spawn in some sort of freaky spiked egg sac.

NO DURIANS!  Punishment...unmentionable!
I have the final solution.


Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Electronic implant allows blind to see

This technology is nothing new, but it has progressed quite a bit in the last few years. Eberthart Zrenner and colleagues at the University of Tübingen have developed a microchip carrying 1500 photosensitive diodes that slide into the retina where photoreceptors would usually be. Individuals with retinal dystrophy become blind due to the degeneration of photoreceptors and this new implanted microchip allows them to see. The diodes respond to light sending signals to the brain via an external power source connected to the eye by a wire.

The New Scientist Article with video below:
Electronic implant allows the blind to see

Monday, November 1, 2010

Yousuf Karsh

Yousuf Karsh was an outstanding Canadian photographer and one of the best portrait photographers of all time. I adore his work. He was a master of studio lighting and used many different techniques to make his pictures just right. Below are samples of some of his portrait work.

Alfred Hitchcock

Andy Warhol

Anita Ekberg

Betty Low

Fidel Castro

Fidel Castro

General Dwight Eisenhower

George Bernard Shaw

Hellen Keller with Polly Thompson

Humphrey Bogart

Mother Teresa

Muhammad Ali

Nelson Mandela

Audrey Hepburn

John F. Kennedy

Albert Einstein

Pablo Picasso

finishing with what is possibly Karsh's most famous portrait, that of Winston Churchill