Posts Tagged ‘National Geographic’

Kaboom

May 7, 2009

I am going on a trip with the Geology department out to the West over the summer to get a “hands on” experience with geological formations. Today, I spent a whopping 7 1/2 hours with the Geology professor getting a crash course in Geology 101. It was intense, and a little excessive, but the information I learned about the cool places I am going to see was worth the time.

The National Geographic has reported that a volcano underwater is spurting out highly toxic levels of molten sulfur. The interesting part is that two species of shrimp thrive on the chemicals being belched out into the water, even as the body count of other marine life climbs.

Here’s the story from the National Geographic.

From the National Geographic

From the National Geographic

I learned today that volcanoes are responsible for massive amounts of land growth, most notably in places like the Hawaiin island chain. As tectonic plates shift, the volcanic “hot spots” stay put underneath the Earth’s crust, creating the chain of islands over time.

-Michael

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Stonehenge- It Still Works

April 28, 2009

It was just… sitting there. Outside of our coach window, Stonehenge was a craggy blemish in the middle of the Salisbury Plain. We were let out across the old road and took a tunnel underground. We passed by a few souvenir kiosks, and finally, there it was, in person, with no glass between us and one of the most magnificent enigmas our species has created.

The heat was brutal. Don’t let anyone ever tell you that it rains all the time in the United Kingdom. However, it was a necessary trip. Within a few days I’d be leaving the United Kingdom, alone, to backpack all over the continent. But first, I needed to see a little more of Great Britain. After a long day of travel and arguing with the bus company in Salisbury, we finally arrived at Stonehenge. I turned to my travel companion, whom I’d just met days earlier, smiled, and walked as close as we could to the rocks. We walked the path around the monument, paused to take pictures and watched as birds flew around and perched on the great bluestones. The actual monument itself was roped off; though it was slightly disappointing to not be able to touch the thing, it was nice to be able to see it in all of its mysterious glory without having to ignore little kids using it as a playground.

As we wound around it, I paused and turned to the tourists. We were parading around Stonehenge like we were participating in some great religious rite. I thought about how the ancient people that built the monument knew exactly what they were doing. Whoever built it, for whatever reason, had the right idea; people still circle around and pay their respects to Stonehenge. It’s a pilgrimage to make it out that far. But we still do it. We revel in the mystery. Whoever built Stonehenge, wherever you are now, I just want you to know one thing: it worked.

-Michael

Bianca and I at Stonehenge

Bianca and I at Stonehenge

Here is a link to a great feature on Stonehenge (I brought this issue of National Geographic with me to the actual site):

Stonehenge Decoded- National Geographic