Category Archives: geology

Of rocks and humans

If you love science, history, and words, it’s not every day that you find a book that addresses all of those interests, and it’s even rarer to find one that’s also engagingly written and great fun to read. I was lucky enough to have just such a book recommended to me recently: The Mountains of Saint Francis: Discovering… Read More »

Geological epochs and regrettable barbarisms

The other day I was poking around online reading about rocks and dinosaurs when I should have been working, and I discovered that what I knew as the Cretaceous–Tertiary (KT) boundary is also called the Cretaceous–Paleogene (KP) boundary. (K is used instead of C to make it easier to pronounce.) You may be familiar with this boundary as… Read More »

Areology

Given that the Mars rover Curiosity is in the news (it did not find methane in the planet’s atmosphere, contrary to earlier reports), this seems like a good time to pass along something I learned this week about the geological periods on Mars. Mars is currently not a very happening place, geologically speaking—at least in terms of big… Read More »

Wolf feet and golden leeks

Sometimes it’s fun just to see what you can figure out about something by knowing the Latin or Greek roots of its name. This is also a great way to spot connections between very different things. I was delighted, for example, to find out that the name of the rhododendron has a charming etymology. The rhodo part comes… Read More »

Oology and other ologies

When I think of the sciences, I first think of biology, physics, chemistry…the names of subjects you can take a high school class in. Here are some finer-grained specialties within those sciences. Tribology: This term was coined relatively recently to describe the science of surfaces in contact (friction, lubrication, and wear). It comes from the Greek verb meaning… Read More »