need a new continent? these people found one that might be just what you’re looking for…

Whenever I see stories about this type of thing, I always feel depressed that my research is not more exciting: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21551149. These folk pretty much found a lost continent…

Land on Earth was once gathered together in a supercontinent known as Rodinia, shown here as it was during its break-up 750 million years ago. Now scientists believe they have found a fragment of it buried under the Indian Ocean
Land on Earth was once gathered together in a supercontinent known as Rodinia, shown here as it was during its break-up 750 million years ago. Now scientists believe they have found a fragment of it buried under the Indian Ocean

The first top five

Top 5 words of encouragement received so far via email:

  1. “Distinguished lecturer tour? Whose bags are you carrying?”
  2. “Holy shit. A blog?”
  3. “Enjoy the good ol’ boys in Billings. They might make you salute The Flag”
  4. “Stay warm, practice your small talk, and be happy when it’s over”
  5. “ You should have a tour bus with your name on it”

Names have been omitted to protect the innocent…

Shelves, Radio 4 and the many talents of Hugh Dennis…

This story completely passed me by and is undoubtedly old-news to the Brits, but I thought I would post the link for those of you who, like me, are uncultured and largely ignore the news: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-21551149. A geologist? Reduced to stacking shelves? If you are a glass-half-full kind of person like me, you will probably say, “hey, shelves will always need to be stacked. Most likely with horse burgers”. On the other hand, oil and gas could well run out and, if this happens, the shelf-stacking market will be flooded with unemployed geologists. Think about it. But not for too long. If you want to hear a humorous and rather well-informed deconstruction of this story by Punt and Dennis (remember the Mary Whitehouse Experience?) on Radio 4’s ‘The Now Show’, download and listen to the first-half of the Friday Night Comedy podcast from the 22nd of February. For those of you that can, maybe try and see Hugh Dennis give the PESGB Stoneley Lecture on March 12th 2013; he’s a closet geologist! See: http://www.pesgb.org.uk/pages/news-and-events/events/stoneley-lecture for details. Oh, and stay tuned to the podcast to hear some great digs at those morons at the Daily Mail…and those in the coalition…

Allan P. Bennison

Now children, settle down and I’ll tell you a story about the gripping history of the AAPG Distinguished Lecturer tour..…lifted largely from the official AAPG inter-web site…http://foundation.aapg.org/distinguishedLecturers.cfm. The DL program started in 1914, has supported over 400 speakers and originally had a budget of $1000 (c. $23000 in 2013 money). The first speakers travelled by train(!), during post- World War II rationing(!). And here am I worried that my 2500 calories-per-day demands might not be met, or that my batteries might run out on my drug-dealer headphones. My tour is supported by the ‘Allan P. Bennison Endowment’. Bennison, who passed away in 2004, was a palaeontologist by interest and all-round geologist by necessity (you gotta pay rent…). He provided the first scientific documentation of dinosaur remains in California. Which is very cool. In 1984 Bennison said that “geology has always been a universal science involving men and women of all nations”, thus his endowment supports lecturers from countries other than the United States, for which I am truly grateful. Read more about Bennison here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:Abyssal/Allan_P._Bennison.

Run for your life

I have got to visit some nice places due to my job. Maybe this tour might be an exception to this. In any case, in an effort to make sure that my experience of Billings, Lincoln, etc, is not limited to a presentation room, a Chili’s and the inside of a Motel 6, I plan to do a short(ish) run in each location. Time permitting. Does anyone from these locations have tips of places to head for? In fact, does anyone want to join me…? This is not some vanity exercise related to the ‘collection’ of runs in each state, country, etc, etc, but I actually need to keep active in preparation for a 10 km race when I get back (the CapMetro 10 km – http://www.statesman.com/s/cap10k/). Shout-out to Toni, the poor bastard who said he’d run it with me…