Saturday, August 24, 2019

Jeff Gee, Joanna Haigh - Earth's Magnetic Force Field - What a scientist sounds like

This posting is dedicated to conveying a fact based appreciation for our planet’s protective magnetic “force field” with lectures from: 
Geoscientist Jeff Gee - Exploring Extremes of Earth's Magnetic Field
Professor Joanna Haigh - The Sun and Climate

… along with some awesome data driven visualizations, narrative is a bit on the melodramatic side, but hey, that's what folks want:
Earth's Magnetism in HD - Discovery Channel
Magnetism - Defending Our Planet, Defining The Cosmos - NASA Multimedia Science
Origins of the Earth’s magnetic field - CEOAS - Oregon State

Magnetism - Defending Our Planet, Defining The Cosmos
NASA Multimedia ScienceApril 3, 2017

Friday, August 23, 2019

David Bercovici - Origin of Plate Tectonics - What a scientist sounds like.

One aspect of this blog is all about my own journey of discover through knowledge acquired from the global community of scientists over the course of generations.  
I do have strong opinions that are based on how I've processed the information I've accumulated so far.  Within that frame of reference, it always seemed self-evidence that our moon's close proximity to Earth during the first billion years had to have a hand in starting plate tectonics on this planet.  
I could not understand why geoscientists never discussed that aspect when writing about origins of plate tectonics.  It simply didn't make sense to me.
But, recently listening to scientists such as David Bercovici, I've come to appreciate many aspects of that situation I had no clue of.  Not that I've had any particular insights, but I have gained a world of appreciation for why the moon's tidal influence on the start of plate tectonic isn’t near as obvious as I was imagining.
It seems to me a great example of allowing facts to dictate my opinion.  I appreciate I possess a fraction of the knowledge someone like Bercovici has accumulated - thus if his words reveal flaws in my own thinking - it's my duty to understand him, not simply to dismiss him.  
As opposed to the agenda driven character, who is so self-certain that he allows his under-educated mind to conjure (and then believe) all sorts of fantastical under-informed rationalizations in order to dismiss the expert's knowledge.  
See, truth doesn't matter to the self-certain - pushing agenda over substance is their priority.
Whereas in serious science honestly acquiring evidence that helps us gain better understanding IS the goal - while ultimate certainty is unattainable.

Be forewarned the following is a talk given to his peers, so it's a peek into how scientists speak with each other, rather than the crisp public talks I usually like sharing.
Professor David Bercovici Ph.D.
On the Origin of Plate Tectonics

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Caroline Beghein - Tectonics to Deep Earth Dynamics - What a scientist sounds like

Here Caroline Beghein Ph.D. gives a very nice general introduction to plate tectonics.

From Plate Tectonics to Deep Earth Dynamics
Published on Sep 2, 2016

A Seismological Journey Inside the Earth.
2016 IRIS/SSA Distinguished Lecturer 
Caroline Beghein Ph.D., U.C. Los Angeles

Tuesday, August 20, 2019

Jason Morgan - history of plate tectonics - What a scientist sounds like

The Changing Landscape of Plate Tectonics
Geophysicist W. Jason Morgan
This talk gives a historical account of the developing science of plate tectonics, given by Geophysicist William Jason Morgan.
Although I'll admit I chose to include it as much for the introduction as for the interesting talk that follows.  You see, while most introductions have me pushing fast-forward, once in a while I’m stopped by something that resonates and I’ll pay attention.  The introduction to this video is an example.  Professor Jerry Mitrovica* delivers an enjoyable listen, while beautifully illustrating what a serious scientist is all about.
* Incidentally, he gives a great lecture in his own right: 
Jerry Mitrovica exemplifies the ‘scientific way’ - the passionate curiosity driven need to learn about our planet, based on honestly assessing all evidence and facts at hand, while striving to attain better information for yet more accurate understanding, always moving forward.
When listening to Mitrovica please notice his willingness to search out and examine the shortcomings and mistakes in his own, thinking, work and conclusions.  His respect for colleagues, even his “competitors” along with a respect for their substantive work - It’s because honestly learning about our planet as accurately as possible is the cornerstone to their work and careers.  (Why isn’t that aspect being loudly enunciated by writers?)

Monday, August 19, 2019

Plate Tectonics and Life - What Scientists Sound Like

Although I can't find quite the right video for this section, I do have a couple of excellent presentations by scientists to their colleagues.  It's more nitty-gritty than I usual share over here, but it is on the topic - along with being more wonderful examples of What Serious Scientists Sound Like.

I've also included three articles touching:
video - Origins: Earth’s Journey Toward Life - Carnegie Science
Plate tectonics may have driven the evolution of life on Earth
   Ross Large, John Long, July 15, 2015
Linking the rise of atmospheric oxygen to growth in the continental phosphorus inventory  -  Cox et al.  2018
Did Plate Tectonics Set the Stage for Life on Earth?
   Lisa Kaspin-Powell - Jun 7, 2018
video - Life with and Life without Plate Tectonics, AGU 2014

Recall geophysicist William Jason Morgan words:

Origins: Earth’s Journey Toward Life
Carnegie SciencePublished on Jan 7, 2019

Saturday, August 17, 2019

Paul Hoffman - Snowball Earth explained - What a scientist sounds like.

The second and third paragraphs in my second Pageant of Evolution column seem too discombobulated in hindsight.  It’s a great example of writing before having one's proverbial ducks in a row.  But hey, I was distracted and rushed and we learn from our mistakes.

In any event, that’s why I chose Paul F. Hoffman to feature in this “What a scientist sounds like” - Tectonic and Sedimentary Field Geologist in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Harvard University, currently he is their Sturgis Hooper Professor Emeritus

His honors go back to 1977 and his published work on Snowball Earth goes back to 1998.  He is considered a foremost expert in Snowball Earth research and he gave a wonderful series of lectures for Earth Dynamics Research Group at Curtin University of Technology in 2016.  

Unless you’re a serious student or scientist much of this will be over your head, however much won’t be!  The outlines are easy to follow, and the complexities are fascinating to hear about, even if the nuances are beyond our comprehension.  At least one becomes aware of unimagined complexities, along with unimagined levels of scientific understanding.

I’m starting by embedding a shorter simpler overview that he gave at Mount Royal University, as the 2018 keynote speaker for the Faculty of Science and Technology Research Days.  Then I share links and poster highlights of his more extensive Earth Dynamics Research Group lectures, enjoy.

Also, check out this treasure trove:

(click on image for clearer view)

Paul Hoffman
Curtin University of Technology

Wednesday, August 14, 2019

Pageant of Evolution (2), geological rearranging.

Here's my second Pageant of Evolution column, of course as I've said before I never finish projects I simply meet deadlines.  So it is that the version I'm sharing has gone through some more edits since the one that appeared at the Four Corners Free Press.  I'll be following this post with more highlighted video lectures by real sciences who will supply real substance behind this enthusiast's overview of Earth's magnificent Evolution.

(click image for better view)

Last month’s Four Corners Free Press column left off with Earth looking like a snowball roughly seven hundred million years ago.  In fact, there were a number of snowball epochs in Earth’s past, though most didn’t actually have glaciers growing all the way to the equator.  For this column those specifics make little difference since my point is mainly to introduce folks to the marvelous dynamics of Earth’s Evolution.  More exacting details are easy to find on the internet.

Monday, August 12, 2019

Diary August 11, 2019 - Defeated? What's that mean?

I received the following comment in response to my "Diary July 31, 2019" which was an introduction of sorts to why I've dedicated this month to Earth's Pageant of Evolution.  Since it's clear that “Defeat” is something we rationalists will be forced to deal with more and more, I’ve decided to offer this challenging response as a stand alone post.  

Thanks, it's nice to know some can relate to what I'm trying to write about. 

"Defeated" is such an ugly word.  How about righteously pissed off, heartbreakingly disappointed, fatalistic resignation as I watch the tipping points sneak past an apathetic willfully ignorant public thanks to ruthlessly dishonest propaganda media empires.  Sure, I’ve felt profound defeats that have floored me, but if you're alive you can’t stay on the floor for long.

You know in our own life's delicate dance we're required to be 'Present' to something - what will it be?  I can't watch Trump news, too much 'crazy making' going on, the normalization of their unAmerican dysfunctionality and their hideous disconnect from physical reality is too much.  Add to that continued Democratic Party ineptness, massive voter disinterest and it's simply horrifying for me to keep watching since it's beyond my ability to do anything about - when so few actually care or are aware.  All that's left for me is to continue striving to better enunciate rational fundamental principles and to continue living my life with dignity best I can.

My inner spirit is alive and well - supported by appreciation for down to Earth reality along with my place in the flow of Evolution, (rather than dependence on self-delusion and angry insecurity).  I've lived a life that the young me would be as proud of as the old me is.  No horror can take that away.  Besides, I'm aware that I'm a passionate empathetic guy and I learned long ago getting my heart kicked in and torn up now and then, is part of living an engaged life, then we get up, dust off and cowboy up.