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New York's Sandy Scorecard

New York's Sandy Scorecard | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"What worked, what didn't, and what the city should do when future storms threaten."

 

An excellent, well-written analysis of the waves of disruption that swept in with Sandy.  Conclusion:

 

"Despite Governor Cuomo’s attempts to wring as much money as he can from Washington for storm repair and prevention, federal funding won’t be enough to indemnify New York fully against future hurricanes. It follows that Cuomo—along with Mayor Bloomberg and his would-be successors—must ask themselves: How much is protecting New Yorkers from storm surges worth? Is it worth getting a handle on New York’s public-employee costs, so that local and state governments, spending less money on union contracts, can spend more on infrastructure? Is it worth investigating why MTA capital projects cost so much and take so long?

 

That leads to the real lesson to draw from the superstorm. Sandy and its aftermath weren’t departures from workaday concerns. They were simply another manifestation—a deadly one—of the problems that plague New York every day."

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Conformable Contacts
Notes from the intersection of faith, reason and geology
Curated by YEC Geo
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Raison d'etre

Raison d'etre | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

In geological terms, a contact is the place where two different types of rocks come together. This ezine is a place to find content from my favorite web sources on the the creation-evolution issue, with a focus on the subject of geology.  Just as the layers of a rock can be composed of many different materials, so my sources often differ in their assumptions and in their views on the issue, but their common intersection is the belief that this is an important subject.

 

(Image source:  Glyn Baker, http://www.geograph.org.uk/reuse.php?id=167895)

YEC Geo's insight:

While my interests are wide-ranging, as even a cursory glance at this site will show,  a subject of great personal interest to me is the preservation of biological material in fossils presumed tens to hundreds of millions of years old.  In my view, the increasing pace of discovery of such material is one of the strongest evidences in support of a young age for the earth.

 

Below is a continuously updated archive of articles I've found on the subject:

 

18-million year old proteins in seashells: http://sco.lt/7f9ELB

15-million year old proteins in seashells: http://sco.lt/5E9l8T

Jurassic squid ink: http://sco.lt/7nbAVV

550 million year old tube worms: http://sco.lt/8xwAJl, http://sco.lt/4xoX6v

23 million year old lizard:  http://sco.lt/5qDwpt

46 million year old mosquito: http://sco.lt/8AQAuf

46 million year old beetle scales: http://sco.lt/68OHA1

70 million year old hadrosaur skin: http://sco.lt/8SaVEn, http://sco.lt/9L5UDB

160 year old mollusk melanin:  http://sco.lt/6QYbU9

Brian Thomas’ overviews:  http://sco.lt/92v9t3, http://sco.lt/5H0JSj

Archaeopteryx feather:  http://sco.lt/70tG8P

190-197 million year old sauropod egg proteins: http://sco.lt/7J3aSX

250 million year old coloration on trilobites: http://sco.lt/4xixrV

Cretaceous triceratops horn: http://sco.lt/6a9nlZ, http://sco.lt/5FtIBd

Bachelor’s thesis on fossil pigments: http://sco.lt/5mbfv7

350 million year old crinoids & 417 million year old eurypterid chitin: http://sco.lt/5Y3cVl

C-14 in dinosaur bones, a presentation at an AGU-AOGS conference that was later stricken from the conference records:  http://sco.lt/5OIu25

Soft tissue overview from Answers in Genesis: http://sco.lt/666kpl

Dr. Mary Schweitzer’s dinosaur tissue research: http://sco.lt/5VIvnl

Preserved coloration in 70 million year old mammal teeth: http://sco.lt/5H0JSj

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Why Is Mount St. Helens Important to the Origins Controversy?

Why Is Mount St. Helens Important to the Origins Controversy? | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"On May 18, and also during later eruptions, certain critical energy thresholds were exceeded by potent geologic processes. These were able to accomplish significant changes in short order to the landscape, providing us a rare, user-friendly opportunity to observe and understand the effects of catastrophic geologic processes."

YEC Geo's insight:

Few other events have added as much insight into catastrophic geologic processes as Mt. St. Helens.  Steve Austin, an expert on its post-eruptive geology, expands on that theme.

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The watery formation of Fish River Canyon in arid Namibia

The watery formation of Fish River Canyon in arid Namibia | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"Fish River Canyon is the second largest land canyon in the world, after Grand Canyon in the USA.

It’s in Namibia, on the west coast of southern Africa, a country that’s a little larger than Texas, but with only a tenth of the population—just 2.2 million people.

The Fish River flows over a remarkably flat landscape, into the Orange River along the border with South Africa. For three quarters of its 650-km length, the river runs across the land, but in its last quarter it cuts down into the rocks forming the spectacular canyon."

YEC Geo's insight:

I recently read an observation of C. S. Lewis that  "nature gives most of her evidence in answer to the questions we ask her." (http://www.evolutionnews.org/2013/11/darwin_in_the_d_3079431.html )  The article was focused on evolution, but I think it's equally true for geology. 

 

Why, for instance, do entrenched meanders exist?  Meandering rivers are a function of varying sediment supply and discharge superimposed on a relatively flat surface--they are for the most part dispersive, not erosive.  Yet as Tas Walker shows above, deeply entrenched meandering canyons are found in many places. (see here for an example of an entrenched meander combined with a spectacular water gap: http://mapq.st/1LdDiuy )

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Treasure hunter finds 5,000-year-old relics by using Google Earth

Treasure hunter finds 5,000-year-old relics by using Google Earth | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
Howard Jones sat in front of a computer screen rather than hitting fields and digging for hours to locate the treasure: a Bronze Age settlement with old flint tools, pottery shards and scraps of metal.
YEC Geo's insight:

Now that's my kind of prospecting!

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4 of Earth's Most Alien Lands

4 of Earth's Most Alien Lands | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
In 1990, a helicopter pilot flying over Ellesmere Island in the Canadian arctic ran into rough weather and took a detour through a valley called the Borup Fiord Pass. Geologist Benoît Beauchamp was on board, and he looked down to see a strange yellow patch on the glacier below.

A few weeks later, he returned with a group of students. “The aircraft had not yet touched the ground when the unmistakable smell of rotten eggs inundated the cabin,” he wrote in the journal Arctic. “While the students at the back of the machine blamed each other for what they thought was an afterthought on a rather spicy meal the night before, it was clear to me that the smell came from the glacier itself and that it was the scent of hydrogen sulfide; as for the yellow stuff staining the ice: No doubt it had to be native sulfur.”
YEC Geo's insight:

Fascinating look at places that are thought to be analogs to some planetary environments.

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Solving California's Drought: From Iceberg-Towing To Bumper Stickers

Solving California's Drought: From Iceberg-Towing To Bumper Stickers | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
Having faced up to the dreadful reality of a dust-bowl-esque California, and following Governor Jerry Brown's mandatory water restrictions, The LA Times reports a growing list of 'plans' to solve the state's water shortage is growing.
YEC Geo's insight:

Some rather ingenious solutions proposed.  The one I liked best was people who offered to take a vacation in California on the government's dime, because it always rains when they go on vacation!

 

I also like this quote from John Steinbeck's "East of Eden":

 

"I have spoken of the rich years when the rainfall was plentiful. But there were dry years too, and they put a terror on the valley. … The land cracked and the springs dried up and the cattle listlessly nibbled dry twigs. … People would have to haul water in barrels to their farms just for drinking. Some families would sell out for nearly nothing and move away. And it never failed that during the dry years the people forgot about the rich years, and during the wet years they lost all memory of the dry years. It was always that way."

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Are the RATE Results Caused by Contamination?

Are the RATE Results Caused by Contamination? | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
Internet posts continue to accuse the RATE team of ignoring clear evidence of contamination. But is this really the case?
YEC Geo's insight:

Important back-and-forth between a creation scientist and a critic of the RATE group's finding of C14 in diamonds and other "old" materials.

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40 Years Since Climatologists Blamed California Drought On Global Cooling

40 Years Since Climatologists Blamed California Drought On Global Cooling | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
In 1976, climatologists said that that global cooling caused drought and fires in California, and produced catastrophic erratic weather globally.
YEC Geo's insight:

Thought this was funny--the more things change...

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What Lies Beneath Yellowstone? Yosemite, of course!

What Lies Beneath Yellowstone? Yosemite, of course! | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"Okay, it's more fair to ask "what lies beneath Mt. Rainier or Crater Lake?". Yellowstone National Park sits atop a continental hot spot, and the plume of hot material will either explode out in a violent rhyolite tuff eruption, or cool deep underground into a granitic pluton. And Yosemite National Park exposes a great deal of granitic rock. But the origin of the granite at Yosemite is more related to arc magmatism, the formation of volcanic and plutonic rock as a plate of oceanic lithosphere sinks into the mantle beneath the edge of a continent. That's what is happening today in the Cascades, and it's what formed the famous volcanoes of that range: Rainier, Hood, St. Helens, Crater Lake, and more than a dozen others."

YEC Geo's insight:

Very cool photos from a geology blogger.

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Can This Dog Sniff Out Fossils?

Can This Dog Sniff Out Fossils? | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

Gary Jackson and his dog Migaloo, trained to sniff out buried remains, work with locals to uncover archaeological sites and help Australian police locate the bodies of murder victims.

 

According to The Sydney Morning Herald, "Migaloo quickly located the 600-year-old remains of an indigenous Australian," which researchers found a decade ago. But that specialized training resulted in an unforeseen crossover—Migaloo can also smell fossils.

YEC Geo's insight:

Here's the thing--is this dog sniffing out organic remains?  Because if it is, then the implication is that fossils which are supposedly millions of years old still have enough biologic material to be detected by a dog's sensitive nose.

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YEC Geo's curator insight, May 29, 2013 12:57 PM

Getting a new puppy this summer--how do I train it to do this?  A geologist's dream dog!

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Australian Toilets Don't Flush Backwards Because of the Coriolis Effect

Australian Toilets Don't Flush Backwards Because of the Coriolis Effect | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"File under "News to Me": you know that old story about how northern hemisphere toilets flush counter-clockwise, and southern hemisphere toilets (and buckets, drains, and such) flush clockwise, due to the Coriolis effect? It's bogus! Today I learned that while the Coriolis effect is significant for hurricanes, it's not strong enough to make toilets flush in different directions at different points on the Earth.

 

The real cause of "backwards"-flushing toilets is just that the water jets point in the opposite direction. Mind blown. (Mind blown even more because this was the inciting event on a Simpsons episode, and everybody knows cartoons are never wrong.)"

YEC Geo's insight:

Very important revelation :)

 

Plus good science about the Coriolis effect.

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20 things to know about the 2010 Nashville flood

20 things to know about the 2010 Nashville flood | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
Five years ago, Nashville was brought to its knees by a flood the likes of which it had never known. Lives were lost and homes were ruined, but Nashville rose above the tragedy. Whether you were a victim or volunteer then or are new to Nashville now, here are 20 things to know about the 2010 flood.
YEC Geo's insight:

Sobering images and insight into the destructive power of water.

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New Earth dawns: supercontinent slowly takes shape

New Earth dawns: supercontinent slowly takes shape | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
"When introduced, the theory of plate tectonics broke away from the century-old beliefs that Earth's movements were dominantly vertical ones with little or no lateral shift," Professor Li says. "The theory has a major drawback: there's no satisfactory explanation for the driving mechanisms of plate movements: things like ridge push, slab pull, slab suction and mantle convection."
YEC Geo's insight:

Interesting article, but I fail to see how the new research will shed any more light on the driving mechanisms of plate tectonics.

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Rapid Opals in the Outback

Rapid Opals in the Outback | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"It is also revealing to see how quickly opals can form. Laboratories can “grow” them within weeks using the right ingredients. When such experiments grow opals within the same kind of rock material that contains natural opals, the rapidly grown opal is virtually identical to the natural stones. Furthermore, commercial production of high-quality imitation opals has flooded the market, and these gems, too, are often difficult to distinguish from natural opals."

YEC Geo's insight:

The image above is an Australian mollusc shell that has been opalized--fascinating!

 

See also this interesting Wikipedia article about Coober Pedy, the town in Australia where this mollusc shell came from:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coober_Pedy&nbsp

 

It's also known for its underground residences, built to avoid the heat, and for being a popular movie set for films, including part of "Mad Max: Beyond the Thunderdome."  Another place for the travel bucket list!

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What is a mapcode?

What is a mapcode? | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"Mapcodes are a free, open way to make every house or location on Earth addressable by a short code. With nothing else except your mapcode, for instance, a navigation system will bring someone to within meters of your front door."

YEC Geo's insight:

Just found out about this from a GIS webinar.  The wave of the future for digital navigation.

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Learning From Australia's Drought Lessons to Avoid a Mad Max Future

Learning From Australia's Drought Lessons to Avoid a Mad Max Future | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"In 2008 the Murray-Darling Basin was climatologically off the charts, receiving its seventh straight year of below-average rain and 11th year in a row of above-average temperatures. Some regions ceased all food production. Just imagine that: No more food being grown. At all.

That same year, the Sydney Morning Herald published a radical thought—this is the new normal:  "It may be time to stop describing south-eastern Australia as gripped by drought and instead accept the extreme dry as permanent, one of the nation’s most senior weather experts warned yesterday."


“Perhaps we should call it our new climate,” said the Bureau of Meteorology’s head of climate analysis, David Jones.

In preparation, Australia made some major changes in the way they looked at and lived with water."

YEC Geo's insight:

So if Australia's drought was so bad, why did "Mad Max" end up being filmed in Namibia instead of Australia?  Read to find the surprising answer.

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Plentiful Water in the Early Universe, and Other Surprises

Plentiful Water in the Early Universe, and Other Surprises | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
Plentiful water: It wasn’t supposed to exist, but “water was plentiful in the early universe,” Astrobiology Magazine says.
YEC Geo's insight:

The Cranky Creationist, David Coppedge, snarks about new findings in the field of astronomy.  Not really a fan of the snark myself, because it can cut both ways, but an interesting and challenging roundup.

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Creationism creeps into mainstream geology

Creationism creeps into mainstream geology | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

""Creationists may come to conclusions that the geological community challenges, but as long as they present their conclusions as derived from accepted scientific methodology, rather than religion, it is unfair to reject their participation. In any event, the field trip I attended was not a platform for proselytizing to participants, but involved real observations on real outcrops — even if the perspective was slanted towards a nonstandard interpretation. No harm, no foul."

YEC Geo's insight:

Amen.  Steven Newton is the ONLY person I have read in the geological community (and I've read lots, believe me), who voices this kind of opinion.  As it stands now, any creationist who wants to publish in the literature is best off keeping their head down and their beliefs hidden.

 

This article is from 2011, so I wonder what Newton thinks of the suppression of a 2012 AGU-AOGS conference presentation on C-14 in dinosaur bones (http://sco.lt/5OIu25), or the suspiciously timed firing of Mark Armitage from his microscopy position at UC-Davis right after he published the finding of soft tissue in triceratops horn in Acta Geochimica in 2013 (http://sco.lt/6a9nlZ, http://crev.info/2014/11/nature-reports-armitage-discrimination-case/).

Contrast Newton's nuanced view with that of the noted historian of geology, Martin Rudwick, reviewed here: http://creation.com/martin-rudwick-shallow-assessment-creationists
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A Cosmic 'Supervoid' vs. the Big Bang

A Cosmic 'Supervoid' vs. the Big Bang | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"In a new paper, scientists have announced the discovery of an enormous region of lower-than-average galaxy density about three billion light-years from Earth.1 This "supervoid," the largest single structure ever discovered at 1.8 billion light-years across, is newsworthy in its own right. However, it also has implications for the Big Bang model of the universe's origin."

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The water mystery: Lost Lake drains like a bathtub in Oregon

The water mystery: Lost Lake drains like a bathtub in Oregon | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
Every year the water from a lake in Oregon disappears down a 6ft-wide plug hole
YEC Geo's insight:

Another note from the geologically bizarre.

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Huge floods might have spelled doom for prevalent American civilization

Huge floods might have spelled doom for prevalent American civilization | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
Megafloods likely wiped out one of the most significant American civilizations, a new study has concluded. Until now, the reason of their demise remained a mystery.
YEC Geo's insight:

I have speculated upon this possibility for a while.  After all, one reason for a civilization to build mounds might be to keep out of the water.

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NASA Planning to Continue Earth Land Imaging Survey

NASA Planning to Continue Earth Land Imaging Survey | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
NASA’s earth science program has been the subject of recent political controversy in Congress. During a recent hearing before the Senate subcommittee overseeing the space agency, that subcommittee’s chairman, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, got into a heated discussion with NASA Administrator Charles Bolden (5). The debate was over huge increases in the space agency’s earth science budget contrasted with cutbacks in its space exploration and planetary science programs.
YEC Geo's insight:

Interesting--I didn't realize there was a political conflict over the different aspects of NASA's missions, but it makes sense.

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Noah’s Lost World

Noah’s Lost World | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
The world that we see today is not the one that existed in Noah’s day (2 Peter 3:6). That land was destroyed. In fact, it appears that the original continent was broken up and the pieces separated by thousands of miles.

If true, Noah never walked along the Santa Cruz Mountains and looked out over the scenic San Francisco Bay. He never hiked along the Apennines and gazed down upon the panoramic Mediterranean Sea. There were no Alps, Rockies, or snow-covered Himalayas; no Mississippi River rolling down into the Gulf of Mexico; no Amazon spilling into the Atlantic. The geography of the pre-Flood world was completely changed.
YEC Geo's insight:

A creationist re-interpretation of cratonic theory.

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Volcanic Regions of Victoria, Australia

Volcanic Regions of Victoria, Australia | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it

"A friend on Facebook asked how to explain another area of the world from the Flood perspective:  "Hi Tas, just wondering if you have any information about the Historic Volcanic Region of central Victoria. Everything I can find all talks in millions of years. Thanks."

"

YEC Geo's insight:

What I find most interesting about this article is the comment from a dissenting geologist in the combox.  Tas Walker, the author of this post, is a PhD geologist from Australia with industry experience.  His response to a truculent commenter is a model of grace and good cheer. 

 

Skimming his blog for his responses to other pugnacious commenters gives a blueprint that any creation geologist--or any blogger, for that matter--would do well to imitate:  be welcoming, positive, humble and err on the side of cheerfulness while clearly defending your position.

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These Stunning Geometric Patterns Were Created From Google Earth Images

These Stunning Geometric Patterns Were Created From Google Earth Images | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
Satellite images of our world are incredible on their own. But artist Federico Winer has taken aerial photography to a new level by portraying planet Earth as a mesmerizing kaleidoscope of geometric patterns and colors.
YEC Geo's insight:

I love geoart.  The image above reminds me of stained glass.

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Geologists Have Underestimated Catastrophes

Geologists Have Underestimated Catastrophes | Conformable Contacts | Scoop.it
“The intriguing result is that, in a single event, debris flows transported hundreds to thousands of years worth of accumulated hillslope material into the main stem rivers.”
YEC Geo's insight:

David Coppedge comments on an important paper in the journal "Geology."   Another validation of my theory of "Creeping Catastrophism," which is that geological rates tend to increase with increased observation.

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