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Dana Hunter
15,747 followers
15,747 followers
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Have you called your federal representatives about the travesty of a tax bill being rammed through the House and Senate right now? If not, stop reading this and contact them now. Tell them to do everything in their power to kill a bill that guts the middle class, students, and the poor to shower money on the wealthiest corporations and individuals.

Among other poisonous provisions, the Senate's bill opens up Alaska's Arctic National Wildlife Refuge for exploitation by oil and gas companies. No, this has nothing to do with taxes. It's just that the Republicans haven't managed to force these pristine wilderness lands open to drilling in any other way, so they rammed it into the bill they forced through without pausing to let anyone actually read it.

While the GOP-dominated House and Senate finish merging their tax bills into one atrocious ripoff, Trump will head to Utah today in order to slash Bears Ears National Monument by 85%, and reduce Grand Staircase-Escalante by half.

We are going to lose priceless scientific treasures and indigenous heritage lands because of greed and ignorance.

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There's a thrillingly creepy video making the internet rounds: I saw it when my friend Sean sent me a link. It shows Kilauea guide Eric Storm's hapless GoPro camera left in a crack in a Hawaiian lava field, filming away as a brutally-hot pahoehoe flow looms ever closer....

This post includes: why this video should never have happened, specs on basalt flows of this nature, and entrail pahoehoe.

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It's that gifting time of year again. You've probably got several book-lovers on your list. Some of them may or may not also be lovers of the good science of rock-breaking, but I can guarantee that even the ones who glaze over when you start waxing enthusiastic about rocks will be delighted to get one or more of these explosively exciting tomes. We're heating things up this year with a volcanic theme!

I've marked which books are available on Kindle and/or Nook for those of you who leave your shopping for the last minute. And hey, when all else fails, a gift card from any purveyor of fine books plus a link to this post will get the job done. I've even uploaded a print-friendly version here. You've got this.

Let's get on to the mountains that go boom.

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Okay, so I forgot to post the link to this, and now it turns out Mr. Flat Earth Steam Rocket Dude had a failure to launch, but! There's still a lot of fun information inside. Like, how NASA is actually planning to use steam technology in its space vehicles, and why some Flat Earthers actually thing there's no such thing as forests.

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The Zagros Mountains have been growing for the last twenty million or so years. They are made from earthquakes: they are born from a maze of thrust, normal, and reverse faults. Sedimentary rocks, crumpling as the Arabian plate moves inexorably north against the Eurasian plate at a rate of about 26 millimeters (one inch) per year. This may not sound like much, but it's actually fairly vigorous by geologic standards. And it's not all smooth, constant motion. The stresses that build up are released, sometimes catastrophically, in earthquakes that cause sudden devastation to the people who make these mountains home.

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Happy Halloween, my darlings! In honor of the spookiest holiday, I've amassed a collection of the eeriest, most outrageous, and supremely astonishing geology on Earth.


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I'm super excited by the Science on a Sphere. It's enthralling! imagine a spherical screen showing geologic and meteorological phenomena from not only Earth, but other planets. You don't even see the projectors at first - you're too busy being immersed in watching the sphere rotate, showing you wonders.



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The price of entry to our national wonders would increase dramatically under a proposal from the cash-strapped NPS.

Are you prepared for entrance fees to more than double for over a dozen of the most heavily-visited national parks in America? Would you be able to afford $70 per car on top of other travel costs to go see a natural wonder?

This may not seem like much to someone making a good living, but many Americans are finding it hard enough to make ends meet. Currently, the $25-30 fees charged at the crown jewels of the National Park Service are prohibitive to families living paycheck-to-paycheck, and a stretch for those who have limited discretionary income. $70 coming on top of gas, food, and other travel costs will put these parks out of reach to the people who need them most.

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I've been collecting various geological odds and ends for months. Since Halloween is a time of going around begging for tasty treats, with no knowing what you'll end up with, this seemed like a good time to spill the collection on the floor and pick out some delights. No tricks here; just treats!

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Last time on Disaster Geology, we saw how hurricanes keep geologists busy. In this edition, we're going to zoom in on Hurricane Harvey, and observe some of the profound effect hurricanes can have on the earth beneath us, as well as on our cities and citizens. We're also going to see how humans are, in some ways, like a hurricane ourselves.

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