"Some of the volcanic bluestones in the inner ring of Stonehenge officially match an outcrop in Wales that's 160 miles (257 kilometers) from the world-famous site, geologists announced this week. (See Wales pictures.)
The discovery leaves two big ideas standing about how the massive pieces of the monument arrived at Salisbury Plain: entirely by human hand, or partly by glacier.
As it looks today, 5,000-year-old Stonehenge has an outer ring of 20- to 30-ton sandstone blocks and an inner ring and horseshoe of 3- to 5-ton volcanic bluestone blocks. (See Stonehenge pictures.)"
"Japanese artist Isao Hashimoto has created a beautiful, undeniably scary time-lapse map of the 2053 nuclear explosions which have taken place between 1945 and 1998, beginning with the Manhattan Project's "Trinity" test near Los Alamos and concluding with Pakistan's nuclear tests in May of 1998. This leaves out North Korea's two alleged nuclear tests in this past decade (the legitimacy of both of which is not 100% clear).
Each nation gets a blip and a flashing dot on the map whenever they detonate a nuclear weapon, with a running tally kept on the top and bottom bars of the screen. Hashimoto, who began the project in 2003, says that he created it with the goal of showing"the fear and folly of nuclear weapons." It starts really slow — if you want to see real action, skip ahead to 1962 or so — but the buildup becomes overwhelming."
Who would have thought that the marriage of two tiny little words - pine from the Latin 'pīnus' meaning "sap, juice" and apple from 'apple' meaning "apple" would have split the UK from the rest of the world way back when it was first recorded in 1398?
And what about the word orange? Or beer? Or bear? Or church? Do our language lands collide or do they coincide? Find out with these eight fun etymology maps complete with terrible puns.
Create a color-coded Visited States Map, showing off your road travel in the United States.
Seth Dixon's insight:
This is map represents where I have been (green) and where I have lived (orange). Super easy, anyone can use this site to create a small PNG file that maps out North America (maximum of 5 colors, including white). For more on how to create your own, read here.
West Virginia is the most neurotic state, Utah is the most agreeable and the folks of Wisconsin are the country's most extroverted, a new study says.
Seth Dixon's insight:
Even before looking at the map or the questions I thought, "it's going to say I belong in Utah." I did live there for about 8 years and what did I get as my answer: Utah. Which state are you? Agree or disagree?
One of the reasons I became a geologist was the maps. Geologic maps are beautiful. I will never have enough walls in my house for all the geologic maps I'd love to hang. But these maps are also full of information about the surface of the Earth, with hints of what is below and what came before. There are colors for different ages of rocks, patterns for different kinds of rock, and lines for faults, elevation and boundaries between rock layers.
One of the best things I ever got to do in school was make geologic maps. There are compasses, hand lenses, rock hammers, measuring staffs and colored pencils involved. You get to go out, find the rocks, determine what formation they belong to, which direction those formations extend and how steeply their layers are sloping. You get to draw all that information on the map, and then color it in. It's really fun and also challenging, and very satisfying.
Some of the most memorable geologic maps I've seen have been of national parks. Maybe that's because the parks are one of the few places where you will easily be able to find, and buy, a geologic map of the place you are in at that moment. It also doesn't hurt that these maps reflect the landscapes they depict, and the landscapes are usually pretty amazing in the national parks. These are some of my favorite geologic maps of national parks.
Meet the data treasure trove known as "NOAA View."
Weather geeks, say goodbye to your morning productivity. The data conjurers at NOAA have rolled their latest environmental visualization out of the hanger, and it is bursting with every possible thing you'd want to know about the planet's health, from past to present to worrisome future.
Want to know what the clouds like looked during your city's last nasty storm? The "NOAA View" portal has crisp satellite images stretching 5 years back. Curious where snow and ice have accumulated this year? The frozen stuff is splashed about the globe like splattered white frosting.