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Don't Panic Geocast

John Leeman and Shannon Dulin discuss geoscience and technology weekly for your enjoyment! Features include guests, fun paper Friday selections, product reviews, and banter about recent developments. Shannon is a field geologist who tolerates technology and John is a self-proclaimed nerd that tolerates geologists.
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Now displaying: 2015
Dec 25, 2015

We want to wish you happy holidays and invite you to join us while John was at AGU. This show should have been released a week ago, but John got very ill at AGU and took several days to recover. Thank you for the well wishes and sticking with us!

Fun Paper Friday

Can plants remember and learn? The answer may surprise you, it did us!

Contact us:

Show - www.dontpanicgeocast.com - @dontpanicgeo - show@dontpanicgeocast.com

John Leeman - www.johnrleeman.com - @geo_leeman

Shannon Dulin - @ShannonDulin

Dec 11, 2015
Dec 4, 2015

This week we continue our discussion of posters, presentation, and talk about splashing around with our fun paper Friday!

Graphing Software

Poster Tools

Fun Paper Friday

This week we talk about urine splashing and industrial uses of carbon nanotubes.

Contact us:

Show - www.dontpanicgeocast.com - @dontpanicgeo - show@dontpanicgeocast.com

John Leeman - www.johnrleeman.com - @geo_leeman

Shannon Dulin - @ShannonDulin

Nov 28, 2015

This week we re-visit one of our favorite shows while everyone is outside or in their turkey food-coma here in the US. We also read some listener mail about last week's episode on earthquake magnitudes!

 

Time is a very complex subject that you can devote your entire life to. Today we’ll cover a few of the basics and enough to get your interest up! We’ll see that it’s difficult to know what a second is and how long relative times are, but absolute time is even messier! We also discuss dried coffee and tetris!

Importance of Time (and why it’s on a geology show)

  • It synchronizes the world and our human interactions (need minutes - hours accuracy generally)
  • It allows us to talk about events in a common coordinate system
  • Allows synchronization of scientific measurements and comparison of data sources. This is really important for seismometers for EQ location!
  • Let’s us use GPS! 1 billionth of a second (nano second) error in 1 GPS satellite, GPS receiver is +/- 1 ft to satellite, which is 2–3 feet on Earth.

Early Timekeeping

  • Burning candles in marked cases
  • Hourglass
  • Water powered clocks
  • Pendulum clocks Galileo and Huygens (fancy temperature compensation as well)
  • Video on Galileo

Modern Time Keeping (Atomic Clocks)

  • First clock was ammonia maser at National Bureau of Standards in 1949, but it really wasn’t all that accurate. It was more of a proof on concept device
  • First cesium clock was in 1955 at the National Physical Laboratory (UK)
  • Leads us to the definition of the SI second he duration of 9,192,631,770 cycles of radiation corresponding to the transition between two energy levels of the caesium–133 atom
  • The NIST-F2, a cesium atomic fountain clock, is good to one second in 300 million years. How F2 works is a combination of feedback control loops, lasers, and really cold atoms.
  • Remember, atomic clocks tick away seconds, they say nothing about the hours, minutes, seconds notation we use to write time. We just define a frequency

Leap seconds

  • Can’t predict them far into the future because of irregularities in Earth’s rotation
  • Announced ahead of time in a bulletin by the International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service
  • 25 leap seconds since 1972
  • Next leap second is this year! June 30, 2015
  • Real problem in computing, has caused software and GPS hardware crashes/issues before
  • Google smears the second out over a period prior to the leap

Time Standards

There are TONS of time standards, we’re only going to touch on a few. Most are known with highest precision in retrospect!

Solar time

  • Exactly what you would think, it’s about using the sun’s position as a time source. There is the sundial time (apparent solar time) that changes throughout the year, and the mean solar time which is like a clock time.
  • The equation of time represents the difference between the mean and apparent solar day
  • Star clock

International Atomic Time (TAI)

  • A measurement of proper time (it’s a relativity thing)
  • Weighted average of over 400 atomic clocks
  • If there is an error, it isn’t corrected. This makes it into terrestrial time.

Universal Time (UT)

  • This is what we used to call GMT!
  • Based on Earth’s rotation w.r.t different bodies (why there is UT0,UT1,UT1R,UT2,UTC)
  • UT1 is really mean solar time at the equator

Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)

  • Formalized in 1960
  • Adjustments were accommodated by leap seconds starting in 1972
  • Generally considered to be GMT, but GMT isn’t defined/recognized by the scientific community
  • This comes from TAI by accounting for leap seconds!

Epoch time (Unix Time)

  • Epoch time is the number of seconds that have elapsed since 00:00:00 Coordinated Universal Time (UTC), Thursday, 1 January 1970
  • No leap seconds by definition, but implementation is actually messy
  • Stored is an integer (32-bits) meaning that it will run out and roll over on Tuesday 2038–01–19 One second after 03:14:07 UTC, it’s the year 2038 problem.

The Timekeeper Video

Audio after the outro is David Allen

FunPaperFriday

Contact us:

Show - www.dontpanicgeocast.com - @dontpanicgeo - show@dontpanicgeocast.com

John Leeman - www.johnrleeman.com - @geo_leeman

Shannon Dulin - @ShannonDulin

Oct 30, 2015

This week we talk about El Nino, what it is, how it works, and what it means for this winter. We also discuss pumpkin carving injuries on this week’s Fun Paper Friday!

ENSO

El Nino

Consequences

  • Triple Hurricane Picture
  • Hurricane Patricia
  • Exacerbating an already bad drought in the Pacific NW.
  • Helping to alleviate drought in the SW and OK.
  • El Nino years usually mean much lower chances of Atlantic Hurricane development and landfall

Fun Paper Friday

This week we look at experiments about how safe different pumpkin carving tools are. Not for the faint of heart!

Marcus, A. M., Green, J. K., & Werner, F. W. (2004). The safety of pumpkin carving tools. Preventive Medicine, 38(6), 799–803. http://doi.org/10.1016/j.ypmed.2004.01.008

Contact us:

Show - www.dontpanicgeocast.com - @dontpanicgeo - show@dontpanicgeocast.com

John Leeman - www.johnrleeman.com - @geo_leeman

Shannon Dulin - @ShannonDulin

Oct 23, 2015

This week Shannon talks about back to back field trips, broken airplanes, and rain. John relates a story about a strange northeast tradition and shares a traffic related fun paper.

Shannon’s Trip

Punkin’ Chunkin’

Fun Paper Friday

Contact us:

Show - www.dontpanicgeocast.com - @dontpanicgeo - show@dontpanicgeocast.com

John Leeman - www.johnrleeman.com - @geo_leeman

Shannon Dulin - @ShannonDulin

Oct 9, 2015

This week we interview Kina McAllister to talk about her science activity kits for girls and then talk about the optimal office temperature setting in this week’s Fun Paper Friday!

Fun Paper Friday

Contact us:

Show - www.dontpanicgeocast.com - @dontpanicgeo - show@dontpanicgeocast.com

John Leeman - www.johnrleeman.com - @geo_leeman

Shannon Dulin - @ShannonDulin

Oct 2, 2015

Talks

Fun Paper Friday

Contact us:

Show - www.dontpanicgeocast.com - @dontpanicgeo - show@dontpanicgeocast.com

John Leeman - www.johnrleeman.com - @geo_leeman

Shannon Dulin - @ShannonDulin

Sep 18, 2015

This week we discuss how geoscience can enrich anyone’s life. Join the discussion and then learn about how much cosmic dust falls on us every day!

Why Learn Geology

Spatial thinking/reasoning

  • Thinking in 3D is hard… 4D is harder
  • 3D Mouse

Resources

  • We need resources for our modern lifestyle
  • Earth is continuously changing (as pointed out in the article), so preserving it as is should NOT be the goal, but preserving a habitable planet.

Place based knowledge

  • Connects you directly to the land. Everyone has a “place” and by further exploring it through geology it can create a deeper connection.

Time

  • “Any good intro geology course is actually a course in time”
  • Geologic time…it’s really big!
  • Pale Blue Dot Photo
  • Puts things in perspective. Carl Sagan’s Pale Blue Dot commentary does a great job of showing spatial and temporal smallness. It doesn’t make you feel small though, it makes you feel free. Chokes me up every time; Watch it here

Fun Paper Friday

How much cosmic dust falls on the Earth everyday? Kilograms, tons? Find out on this week’s segment!

Gardner, C. S., Liu, A. Z., Marsh, D. R., & Feng, W. (2014). Inferring the global cosmic dust influx to the Earth’s atmosphere from lidar observations of the vertical flux of mesospheric Na. Journal of …, 119(9), 7870–7879. http://doi.org/10.1002/2014ja020383

Contact us:

Show - www.dontpanicgeocast.com - @dontpanicgeo - show@dontpanicgeocast.com

John Leeman - www.johnrleeman.com - @geo_leeman

Shannon Dulin - @ShannonDulin

Sep 11, 2015
Sep 4, 2015

This week we thought we would go through our every day carry (EDC) essentials for braving the academic jungle. As most of us go back to the academic year, it’s important to fine tune what we carry to do our job anywhere.

John

Nothing Special

Unusual

Shannon

Nothing special

Unusual

Fun Paper Friday

Do you like beer? This week we discuss how it could be affecting your paper output!

Grim, T. (2008). A possible role of social activity to explain differences in publication output among ecologists. Oikos, 0(0), 080208022927783–0. http://doi.org/10.1111/j.2008.0030–1299.16551.x

Contact us:

Show - www.dontpanicgeocast.com - @dontpanicgeo - show@dontpanicgeocast.com

John Leeman - www.johnrleeman.com - @geo_leeman

Shannon Dulin - @ShannonDulin

Aug 28, 2015

Classes are back in session, and we’re back to normal episodes. Join us to talk about Brunton pocket transits, argue about strike and dip, and discuss the zombie apocalypse.

What is a Brunton?

  • A compass, but a really expensive one with lots of features
  • Generally referring to the conventional pocket transit
  • About the size of a deck of cards, but worth $500
  • It’s a very accurate compass/clinometer combination that we use to take strike and dip measurements amongst others
  • Can also sight bearings to objections or angle from horizontal by using the sights and mirror
  • Can set the magnetic declination. Just don’t forget!

Strike and Dip

  • Two numbers that define the orientation of a plane in 3-dimensional space using an agreed upon handedness convention
  • Dip direction is the direction water would run if poured on the rock, angle is how steep that rock is inclined to horizontal.
  • Strike is 90 degrees to dip, but conventions are mixed and messy

Azimuth vs. Quadrant

  • Compasses are available in two formats.
  • This has started holy-wars

History of the Brunton

  • Pocket transit invented by David W. Brunton (1849–1927) and patented in 1894
  • He was a Canadian mining engineer that was tired of carrying heavy survey equipment… any of us can relate
  • Neat photo of early Brunton
  • A bunch of businessmen in WY bought it and started Brunton Inc. in Riverton. (1972)
  • Silva of Sweden
  • Fiskars (Finnish company)

Issues

  • Needs to have the needle weighted when at very high magnetic dip angles.
  • Cheap knock-off compasses are everywhere
  • Changed the way the needle is balanced, and oftentimes it comes unscrewed with no way to fix it. This was a change in manufacturing that many people are unhappy about.

Fun Paper Friday

Zombies! This week we learn about mathematical modeling of zombie disease spread an how it relates to real world problems… mainly politics.

Munz, P., Hudea, I., Imad, J., & Smith, R. J. (2009). When zombies attack!: mathematical modelling of an outbreak of zombie infection. Infectious Disease Modelling Research Progress, 4, 133–150.

Contact us:

Show - www.dontpanicgeocast.com - @dontpanicgeo - show@dontpanicgeocast.com

John Leeman - www.johnrleeman.com - @geo_leeman

Shannon Dulin - @ShannonDulin

Aug 21, 2015

We continue our quest form last week to hit the most interesting mechanisms of catastrophic sedimentation, talk about a new notebook, and learn how to give cosmic CT scans.

Floods

Bolide Deposits

Weather Related Sedimentation

Fun Paper Friday

This week we learn how cosmic rays can be used to see through buildings, insulation, and concrete to provide easy scans without the need for expensive and complex radiation sources.

Durham, J. M., Guardincerri, E., Morris, C. L., Bacon, J., Fabritius, J., Fellows, S., et al. (2015). Tests of cosmic ray radiography for power industry applications. AIP Advances, 5(6), 067111–9. http://doi.org/10.1063/1.4922006

Book Block

Contact us:

Show - www.dontpanicgeocast.com - @dontpanicgeo - show@dontpanicgeocast.com

John Leeman - www.johnrleeman.com - @geo_leeman

Shannon Dulin - @ShannonDulin

Aug 14, 2015

This week we start an accidental two-part show on catastrophic sedimentation, John’s drone experiments, and a revisit of some stories from the past. Don’t miss this not so short summer short!

Catastrophism

Uniformitarianism

Turbidites

Landslides et al.

Fun Paper Friday

This week we get ready for one of our future topics by talking about bolides and airblasts. Also good timing with the perseid meteor shower!

Kring, D. A. (1997). Air blast produced by the Meteor Crater impact event and a reconstruction of the affected environment. Meteoritics & Planetary Science, 32(4), 517–530.

Contact us:

Show - www.dontpanicgeocast.com - @dontpanicgeo - show@dontpanicgeocast.com

John Leeman - www.johnrleeman.com - @geo_leeman

Shannon Dulin - @ShannonDulin

Aug 7, 2015

Intro

The Orbital Mechanics highlighted how little we know about planetary formation, so let’s talk about Pluto and what we’ve learned from the New Horizons Mission.

Pluto Basics

  • Officially a dwarf planet in the Kuiper belt
  • About 0.18 the radius of Earth
  • Mass 0.178 of the moon’s
  • Very low density
  • Gravity 0.63 g
  • Neptune and Pluto were both predicted to exist from orbital perturbations of Uranus
  • Percival Lowell (founder of Lowell observatory) started the hunt for pluto in 1906.
  • Tombaugh found Pluto using a blink comparison technique
  • Moons of Pluto
  • Orbit is chaotic, we can predict forwards and backwards for several million years, but over the Lyapunov time we have no idea.

New Horizons

The Glitch

  • July 4, 2015 the software went into safe mode
  • Turned out to be a flaw in the timing of the commands in the fly-by prep software.
  • Full functionality restored July 7
  • 9 hour round trip radio delay

Glaciers/Geology

  • Bright heart shape observed on the side of the planet during approach is ice (Tombaugh Regio)
  • Nitrogen ice flows like glaciers on Earth. Water ice is very brittle at surface conditions –390 F (–234 C)
  • Active surface is exciting, it’s not a dead planet!
  • Glacier Like Flows News Article from Science

Atmosphere

  • As UV light from the sun strikes the thin atmosphere, eventually making tholins that color the surface of the planet
  • Some particles remain suspended, shouldn’t be over 30 km (20 mi) off the sfc.
  • Particles were found to be up to 130 km (81 mi) above the surface
  • Atmospheric pressure is dropping

Charon

  • Space.com Article
  • Just as geologically exciting as Pluto
  • Likely atmospheric in origin, but could still be geologic
  • Low gravity of Pluto means it won’t hold onto its atmosphere…and Charon is near its same size, so it can pick up gravitationally what Pluto is putting down.
  • Red coating could take less than a million years to form

Near loss of the image

  • Science Magazine Article
  • Team opened the image file, but it was of Charon. They momentarily freaked wondering if the spacecraft wasn’t in the right position.
  • Ended up that they were looking in the wrong directory on a FTP server.

Future

  • 2 months of particle and plasma instrument gathering
  • Will choose between two Kuiper belt objects and head that way to meet in 2019
  • Data transmission home for about 16 months

Getting the data back

  • Tops out about 1 kilobit per second on the 70 m dishes of the deep space network
  • Can double the rate using different polarization transmissions from the two amps “twittas”, but something else must be shut down to have enough power to run both at the same time

Links

Fun Paper Friday

This week’s fun paper sounds a little bit like Jurassic Park to us. What do you think? Blood vessels recovered from fossils.

Schweitzer, Mary H., et al. “Soft-tissue vessels and cellular preservation in Tyrannosaurus rex.” Science 307.5717 (2005): 1952–1955.

Contact us:

Show - www.dontpanicgeocast.com - @dontpanicgeo - show@dontpanicgeocast.com

John Leeman - www.johnrleeman.com - @geo_leeman

Shannon Dulin - @ShannonDulin

Jul 31, 2015

This week we get ready for conference abstract deadlines and talk about how we prepare abstracts. Everyone is finally back in town, but not for long!

  • Pluto show next week!
  • Abstract deadlines: AGU 8/5, GSA 8/11
  • GSA, new topical abstracts (search visually by emoji!)

How we prepare to write abstracts

  • Choosing the topical material. When do you stop reporting on research?*
  • Think about what session to submit to
  • Mind maps
  • Outlines
  • Stream of conscience writing
  • Abstract Madlibs
  • Don’t do this steps hours before it is due. Leave days to mull it over
  • How preliminary is your data? Is it ready for an abstract?

Writing the abstract

  • Check the conference guidelines… then check them again.
  • Open an editor. John uses plain text editors initially.
  • Send it around for others to look at
  • Decide on authorship early

Tools for collaborating (a whole other show)

  • Google docs
  • Word/dropbox
  • Evernote (although everyone involved needs premium)
  • Email… if you do this, please don’t admit it

Other Notes

Problems

  • How to pick a session (look for others you know?)
  • Submission system crashing
  • Getting people to edit it!
  • Over-reporting

Fun Paper Friday

This week we read about recovering old sounds from recordings with a microscope. Also hearing cursing at lab instruments in the old days. Nothing changes.

A Sweet Sound: Physicists Reconstruct Primitive Recordings

Applied Science SEM vinyl image

Contact us:

Show - www.dontpanicgeocast.com - @dontpanicgeo - show@dontpanicgeocast.com

John Leeman - www.johnrleeman.com - @geo_leeman

Shannon Dulin - @ShannonDulin

Jul 24, 2015

Shannon hits the road again, so we talk about volcanics, earthquakes, and other disasters that can occur in the pacific northwest. We even talk about native stories of earthquakes and tsunamis.

Fun Paper Friday

When could Yellowstone erupt again? This week’s fun paper examines magma chamber refueling. Lots of neat geochemical profiles and diffusion techniques.

Till, Christy B., Jorge A. Vazquez, and Jeremy W. Boyce. “Months between rejuvenation and volcanic eruption at Yellowstone caldera, Wyoming.” Geology (2015): G36862–1.

Contact us:

Show - www.dontpanicgeocast.com - @dontpanicgeo - show@dontpanicgeocast.com

John Leeman - www.johnrleeman.com - @geo_leeman

Shannon Dulin - @ShannonDulin

Jul 17, 2015

Top 10 Google Search Tips

  • Use the tabs
  • Use quotes
  • Exclude results with -
  • Google Scholar
  • Broaden the scope of your search by removing words
  • Think like the person writing the article
  • Search for a filetype:
  • Use Google Books
  • Use the forums
  • Mine references and link lists

Other Links

Fun Paper Friday

Maher Al-Dayeh & Neal Evans. Acoustic imaging of thunder from rocket-triggered lightning. 2015 Joint Assembly of American and Canadian Geophysical Societies. Abstract # AS31A–07

Contact us:

Show - www.dontpanicgeocast.com - @dontpanicgeo - show@dontpanicgeocast.com

John Leeman - www.johnrleeman.com - @geo_leeman

Shannon Dulin - @ShannonDulin

Jul 10, 2015

Join John and special guest Dr. Elizabeth Seiver of PLOS (Public Library of Science) in Austin, TX at the scientific Python (SciPy) conference to talk open science and geek tools! Sorry for the slight echo in the room, we did what we could with the audio!

#FunPaperFriday

Keller, Joseph B. “Ponytail motion.” SIAM Journal on Applied Mathematics 70.7 (2010): 2667–2672.

Contact us:

Show - www.dontpanicgeocast.com - @dontpanicgeo - show@dontpanicgeocast.com

John Leeman - www.johnrleeman.com - @geo_leeman

Shannon Dulin - @ShannonDulin

Keyboard Maestro Todo List:

# This week's list
 
 
## %ICUDateTimePlus%7%Days%EEE MMMM dd%
1. Create next week's list
 
## %ICUDateTimePlus%8%Days%EEE MMMM dd%
 
 
## %ICUDateTimePlus%9%Days%EEE MMMM dd%
 
 
## %ICUDateTimePlus%10%Days%EEE MMMM dd%
 
 
## %ICUDateTimePlus%11%Days%EEE MMMM dd%
1. Weekly review and summary
2. Create next week's plan
3. Read all inbox folders
 
 
## Notes
 
 
## Last week [[To do: %ICUDateTime%yyyy 'Week' ww%]]
 
## Next week [[To do: %ICUDateTimePlus%2%Week%yyyy 'Week' ww%]]

 

Jul 3, 2015

John is on the road headed to the SciPy conference and Shannon is done with field camp. Join us to hear the wrap up and talk about how geology was used strategically in the Revolutionary War on this fourth of July weekend episode.

Fun Paper Friday

This week we learn about perchlorate from fireworks and how long it can reside in lakes.

Wilkin, R. T., Fine, D. D., & Burnett, N. G. (2007). Perchlorate Behavior in a Municipal Lake Following Fireworks Displays. Environmental Science & Technology, 41(11), 3966–3971. http://doi.org/10.1021/es0700698

Contact us:

Show - www.dontpanicgeocast.com - @dontpanicgeo - show@dontpanicgeocast.com

John Leeman - www.johnrleeman.com - @geo_leeman

Shannon Dulin - @ShannonDulin

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