Tuesday, March 27, 2007

No more Music I"m listening too..

I had to delete my automatically updating "music I'm listening too" thing, because here at my new work, I don't have administrative rights on my computer so I can't install the Last.fm software. which is too bad. Being the asshole music snob I am, I always find it ineresting to think about music, and what people are listening to.

I like hardcore music, music that I think the majority of people find fucking repellent. Thats actually one of many reasons that I like it.

The thing is, no matter how obscure a band I think I know - some hardcore band from nowhereville, USA who put out 1 7" record back in 1986 - There's always someone else who has been listening. Its kind interesting to browse the last.fm site for that reason.

Take for example the band Outspoken. They released 1 full length record, and 7" records in their career, in addition to a few songs on comps and other shit. Not a hugely popular band by any means, but If you go to Last.FM and look around there are at least 6 other people that have listened to this band in the last week....and not just any outspoken song, but "Daydream" one of the best fucking hardcore songs ever written.

There's tons of people in the world, and I know that at least 6 of them listen to the same obscure shit that I do. So there may not be a way for you to see what I'm listening to anymore on this website, but I'll still post about it anyway.

what's the point of this post? FUCK CORPORATE POLICY!

Let me see what we have here...

...Nothing. How come the guy who "runs" this stupid blog never posts anymore? He's just a contributor to the massive amounts of SHIT on the internet. Just another narcississtic scumbag who goes online, spends half of a bored afternoon customizing a shitty little "blog", posts 3 times, and then lets it ROT like so much other internet crap.

Why do people abandon blogs so quickly? its a fact that most people do, and if you glance over the stats, you might say "well Joe's over the age of 29...no one that old fucking wastes time with blogs, or if they do, they've already made the commitment to post on them seriously."

I don't know about that. There's lots of loser websites that try to provide insight as to why people stop blogging. To be honest, there's alot of reasons given, most of which seem to be at least plausible.

I think there's another reason: most people's lives are really boring. I haven't posted in a few days, going on the order of more than a week now, and I think "what can I write about on my blog"? Have I seen any interesting geology? have I done anything cool? has there been a news clip that really interested me or pissed me off?

Not really. There's been some basic things happen, work is more demanding since I took a new job..thats a big thing. I've been trying to get other stuff done, and everytime I sit down at the computer, I end up playing video games or surfing bullshit websites.

But maybe I haven't really tried. I haven't fucking thought about how to express the happenings of my life into blog form - which, to be honest, I thought I'd never have a problem with, because my entire mind-set is based around short 35 second blips of interest and attention span. Case in Point: after starting this post, I'm down here in like the 5th paragraph thinking to myself "damn, wrap it up Gilbert, your not even interested in writing anymore about this"...

The bottom-line? Cataclasite won't fall into the abyss of shitty abandoned blogs. while my posts are a bit more sparse, I'm gonna make a commitment to the many readers of this site to update it...starting with this post.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Cataclasis Confessional #1

Today's Confession: Food that I really like that is really shitty:

1. Ramen Noodles. I love these. they are nutritionally worthless, cheap, shitty, garbage, but I'd eat them everyday if people would let me.

2. Mac and Cheese. Had a serious in-depth barroom discussion about this food group on saturday. its the perfect meal. fuck you if you don't like it. The Whole grain ones from rich organic food co-ops or the cheap shit ones from the grocery store, I like them all.

3. Burger King Chicken Sandwich. yeah, I said it....I like them. I liked them before dane cook worked the bk loungepiss off.

4. Hostess Twinkies. Me and twinkies go way back, and yeah, they're made with animal fat, so your loser vegan-bullshit won't work. I've even made them from scratch before.

What do you have?

what the fuck?!?!

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Geology Pic - Ice Grillz!

So I've decided to just keep posting geology shit, regardless of the day, since its obvious that I can't stick to a Friday schedule with work and such.

This past week I was out doing field work in Crested Butte. One of our tasks was to dig out the entrance to this old mine adit, go in, and service a trough that was in there.

As it turned out, the mine adit was buried under no less than 15 feet of snow - completely blocked.

After tear-assing around on snowmobiles for 2 hours, and then 1 hour of shoveling we finally were able to get into the adit, and saw some really really cool ICE.

There were two main types in the adit: nice crystalline crusts on all of the overhanging adit beams, and large completely clear stalagmites of ice that apparently formed from water dripping from the ceiling of the adit.

There's a classic question in Mineralogy: is water a mineral? according to the classic definition of a mineral, Ice is indeed a mineral, it just has a melting point much lower than the ambient air temperature in many parts of the world.

Water crystallizes in the hexagonal crystal system, which means that while it may look wierd and different and that "no two snowflakes will ever look alike", Ice crystals always have six 2-fold symmetric axes.

If you look close in the below picture (as always, click to enlarge), you'll see a number of ice crystals, and they all have six sides. Its kinda cool because ice doesn't usually form nice big crystals like this, its usually snow, or frozen amorphous ice, or in random cubes slowly cooling down a gin and tonic. To be sure, the temperature of the air in which the ice crystals form has more to do with how the crystals will look than anything. Colder air will form different ice crystals than warmer air will.

Here's another pic:

The same principle is true for alot of minerals. In fact pyrite and other sulfide minerals are often associated with copper, gold and silver. in order for gold and silver mineralization to occur, groundwater has to be at an appropriate temperature and condition. So, if you want to find the gold, look for the pyrite crystals that have the right shape. The shape of crystals is called the habit. The same mineral can occur with many different habits.

EDIT: my good friend sara (without the "h") suggested that these crystals look kinda like Depth Hoar- an ice crystal morphology that I was unfamiliar with. Apparently depth hoar forms by sublimation within snowpack, and can contribute to snow instability in avalanche prone regions.

The crystals above were formed inside of a mine adit, where humidity was higher than ambient air, and the crystals formed on the cross-beams in the adit. Could these crystals have formed in the same way as depth hoar - by the nucleation of water vapor? seems both possible and likely... Thanks for the suggestion Sara!

Another Habit in the mine adit was these wierd looking amorphous clear ice stalagmites:

I'm not exactly sure how these formed, but they were everywhere. My wife told me that they all looked like "just a bunch of dildos". Not sure if thats how my Mineralogy professor in college would have classified them, but I guess the resemblance is close enough.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Cataclasite is back online!

Though the quality posts will wait until tomorrow...

On tap:

-A belated geology pic
-My ongoing un-healthy, and self-destructive anger at Denver's mass transit system
-My completely worthless opinion on professional life
-Another Geology pic

Stay tuned!!!!!

Happy Birfthday Uranus

Uranus was discovered today in 1781.......


Sunday, March 04, 2007

Cataclasis, back on Haitus...again!

I've got some field work for the Crested Butte Project next week, so I won't be posting for 3 days after today.

Don't worry, I'm bringing the camera, and I intend to have a "crested butte part 4" completed soon.

this time I hope to have pictures of 3 tons of water samples being jumped by a flaming snowmobile.

stay tuned...

Audio Darwin...

Related to my previous post about podcasts, I saw a link posted on boing boing this morning: a full audiobook of Darwin's "The origin of the species".

Its a large download, but I think it'll be interesting.

The best thing is that it is free and legal.

I also think I'll check out more from Librivox...looks like they have a great catalog.

Friday, March 02, 2007

Defensible Skateboarding!

I saw this post over at digg.com today. Its about little plates, rails, and concrete blocks they are putting on benches and other raised structures. In particular, the Embarcadero in San Francisco, which was an AWESOME skate spot...featured in many skateboard highlight movies, including two movies that played a pretty important role in my high-school/college days; Hokus Pokus, and Shackle Me Not (both H-street vids).

It reminded me of my friend Dave's website, where he has a regular theme called "the anti-sit".

These things are all over denver too, There aren't any "anti-sits" that I've seen, but there are plenty of "anti-skates".

Anyhow, the blogger speaks to a larger issue here. I'm certainly not the one to be able to discuss it well, Dave would be better suited, but the question is this: These things look like shit. Personally I think they look worse than long waxed and scraped up benches that skateboarders make (of course, I'm also an aging skatebaorder). But, Is this how urban planning will continue? rather than designing your city to incorporate public elements to be naturally unsuited for skateboarding or other activities like it, most cities put up these defensive elements that look like total shit.

and its not just brackets on benches, in most of the downtown parks in denver, they've replaced the polished concrete of the parks with cinder gravels to inhibit skateboard wheels from rolling down into the parks to begin with.

It'd be really cool to see new elements and city designs rather than anti-skates and anti-sits.

of course the converse question is will skateboarders and their ilk just find away to change their styles to conform to what city designers put into use?

Friday Geology Pic: Lewis, Clark, and Imbricate thrusting

I've been re-reading Undaunted Courage by Stephan Ambrose, a historical summary of the Lewis and Clark expedition. I forgot a lot of the crazy things they did: For example, Lewis was shot in the ass right at the end of the trip.

One interesting point that Ambrose makes (aside from prefacing every fucking thing with "they were the first white men to....") is that Lewis, while being an excellent naturalist, wasn't a very good geologist. Apparently, he did have a copy of Lyell's seminal text with him, but he rarely (almost never) commented on geology.

I thought this unfortunate, because of the route they took. It happens to coincide with where I went to field camp.

Field camp, or the class that teaches you the basics of field geology - the collection of geologic data, is one of the highlights of any geologists training: Love field camp, and you will be a geologist forever, no matter what...Hate it, and you may never be a good geologist.

I personally Loved field camp, and since my own field camp experience, I've been teaching assistant on 3 years of field camp at UNLV, and another 3 years of Leading my own field classes.

Blah blah blah, who gives a shit?

...Back to lewis and clark...During the expedition, Lewis and Clark needed to meet up with the Shoshone Indians near the 3 forks area of montana in order to get a guide and information about crossing the mountains out to Idaho and Oregon from the plains of Montana. Coincidentally, The three forks area in montana is where Sacagawea was from.

its also a place where some of the best exposures of Cretaceous and Tertiary-aged faulting and folding are exposed. my field camp instructors took us up and down the jefferson river valley mapping all sorts and scales of hangingwall and footwall thrust faults, folds, regional scale folding and faulting..its truely the place where I really learned about and loved structural geology. Within the side of entire mountain flanks are exposed massive anticlines and synclines, faults, joints and other stuctures.

There's a complex geologic history in the region, that is brilliantly exposed in the mountains as you travel through the area.

I took a lot of pictures at field camp, but above is one of my favorites. It was taken in the Jefferson river valley, not more than 10 miles from the 3 forks junction. In addition to showing me much younger, skinnier, and healthier, the mountain behind me is a great example of Imbricate Thrust Faults.

if you look just to the left of my head, you see a thick whitish bed of limestone that is dipping to the right side of the picture. On the left side of my head is another thick whitish bed of limestone. Then again more to the right, but less well exposed is another whitish bed of limestone. These are THE SAME rock unit that have been pushed up and faulted next to each other. Its like if you took a piece of floor tile, cut it into pieces, stacked the pieces on top of each other, and then tilted them so that when you looked at the stack edge-on they would be all leaning against each other.

Lewis recognized how great the foothills and mountains in this area, and described them on several occasions, both on the trip to the pacific, and on the trip back. Unfortunately, he didn't know the geology, Its too bad he didn't understand what he was looking at, or his passages would probably have been twice as exciting.