Guest Videos: Lutetium, the Neglected Atom

This headline caught my eye:


No atom should feel neglected…and if you read the article, there’s some intense competition Lu must overcome if it is to earn enough recognition to be given the privilege of telling us how long a second should be.

I had no idea what lutetium is, either, but I looked it up and found videos, one with a fuzzy-haired mad scientist and his ubercool British assistant, and the other–well, you’ll see.

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Guest Video: The Diatomist

I came across diatoms and radiolarians–tiny little sea creatures–while looking up the history of climate change over the span of geologic time that cats and cat-like creatures evolved.

I’d never heard of either one before but noticed that the images in various scientific papers were beautiful. What a surprise to learn that Victorians knew this, too, and actually made microscopic art of diatoms!

And someone is still doing it today.

Featured image: Prof. Gordon T. Taylor, NOAA. Public domain.

A Housekeeping Note

Today the news from Kilauea was like a movie–warnings of explosions followed within a half-hour by an explosion, new fissure eruptions, an endangered geothermal plant, gubernatorial proclamations, and so forth–and there were a lot of update posts. The original post already had been bumped once already, so I decided to give it a page. You can access it here or just click on the menu at the top of this page. I also did a little rearranging–just a promise of things to come once I get the book finished and have some time to devote to straightening the place up.

As always, thank you for your interest! And here is a link showing ways you can help those affected by this ongoing natural disaster.

Some “Flights” to Wonder Follow the Road

I just discovered this on Twitter. You might want to follow him – I didn’t see a blog link for this amazing road trip, but there’s a link in his Twitter profile to the business website.

He’s in the Rockies now. When I came West, I took the train to see the scenery, but we crossed those high mountains at night. I really like his images.

h/t to James Spann

Thank You, Firefighters

Found this beautiful video after learning that today is International Firefighters Day – something to think about when your fire department’s sirens go off today at noon in memorial.

Featured imnage: US Department of Interior

Guest Video: Did Geothermal Plant Cause A Quake?

Fracking isn’t the only human activity that involves pumping water through rocks. Steam produced by geothermally heated water is an alternative energy source meant to help free us from burning fossil fuels.

Last week, two scientific papers were published that raised the possibility of a geothermal plant in South Korea causing or at least contributing to an unusual strong earthquake.

This video is in Korean but pictures are worth a thousand words. The situation is well-explained in English here.

Featured image: Source, CC BY-SA 3.0.