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Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Happy April Fuels Day or There's no Fuel like an Old Fuel

    Yeah, everyone talks about April Fools today but no one talks about April Fuels. 

     To you, Garamond font-savvy crew, I imagine you won't fall for new research about a flat earth:

      Or act like Florida residents who were upset about reports of dihydrogen monoxide leaking from local faucets:

      But, some beautiful fossil ferns in coal might rev your April jets:

 Or perhaps some petrified wood:

         Because, of course, there's no fuel like an old fuel:

      Unless it's a new way to use April fuel:

     Happy April Fool's Day to our energetic, epic bunch.

      Bonus: Enjoy this map from 1877 as my April Fuels Day gift to you. Here's hoping it will keep you octo-pied for at least (8)(3.14) seconds:

     Hope you were privvy to some great April fuels and fools. Love to hear about any pranks, jokes, etc. from today.


Word Woman (Scientific Steph)


  1. Is it true that in your early days as a geologist, you discoved a fossil which proved which came first, the chicken or the egg? And that the philosophers paid you a lot of money for the fosssil, because if we knew the answer, we wouldn't need philosophers anymore?

    I'm pretty sure that the fossil was that of an eggplant, which grew the egg, that hatched into a chicken

  2. David, What a great day for your questions. You are right on about the eggplant fossil.

    That fossil is around here somewhere.

    But, I think we still need philosophers. And more questions than answers ;-)

    Thanks for writing.


  3. And speaking of fuel, check out this awesome 56-second video of an efficient way to chop wood:

  4. Re: your map: Poor Turkey! Anatolia not to trust those Russkies! Crimea river! Ottoman intervene to save her? Someone call the Bosphorus!

    1. Did you get them all out of your system, jan?

      I really like that map!

    2. Gal lip! Polite web hosts let their guests go on spewing their pearls, or constant tin opals, at least. But, I stumble...

    3. 192 spaces left for spewing. Knock yourself out.

      Cool patch. Octopi arms draw you right in...great colors, too.

  5. I found the patch's message incredibly scary.

    Here's a much more upbeat take on octopi.

    1. Yeah, I didn't read the words on the patch at first glance. It seems octopi are often used to represent taking over other things, being all army and all. . .

      The glimpse into the octopodan world of smart Athena was wonderful. 60 % of her neurons in her arms! Such intelligent beings with a lifespan of only three years...

    2. That essay put my wife off calamari worse than David Foster Wallace's Consider the Lobster put her off lobster. (She has since recovered. I prefer my invertebrates pinned to a dissecting dish.)

    3. Maybe as long as the octopus closes that left eye? ;-)

      I've read the lobster essay before. And it's "lobstah!"

    4. Right; I forgot for a moment that the heart of a Connecticut Yankee beats under that Rocky Mountain mantle.

    5. Very poetic. Thanks, jan!

      It has been a bit of a rocky day...but that helped. . .

  6. So, a couple of weeks after a 5.0 quake in Chile, highlighted in this blog, they have an 8.2 temblor that wasn't too bad. That bit about plates that "should have moved 11 meters" sounds ominous, though.

    1. It does, doesn't it? An 8.2 tremblor that "wasn't too bad" is just odd.

      Odder still, people who refer to earthquakes as being "really weird weather."

    2. USGS 2-minute video on recent earthquakes and animal migration in Yellowstone National Park:

    3. Swarm of small earthquakes on or near New Zealand the past two days. More than a dozen small tremblors.

      It makes sense to me with plate tectonics as the way our planet moves and changes that the earth just needs to let off stress and strain every so often. Lots of small quakes seems like a good way to do that. ;-)

  7. SS,

    Yes I was indeed octo-pied by the beautiful 1877 map. But I was also pentrified for a tad more than 8 seconds.


    1. Hey, Lego. I am trying to figure out if pentrified was intentional.

      And, where's the rest of your post ? ;-)

    2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    3. SS,

      (PENT{R}I) (FIED) = (5) (1.618) = 8.09.

      The rest of my post? May it rest in post-mortem peace!

      You see, I’m trying to turn over a new less-loose leaf, to muster just a minimal output of words per page, to leave a smaller footnote-printed impression, to become a tighter writer.

      Tightness becomes writers. Consider Ernest Hemingway (his prose, that is, not his prosits). His was no hemming-and-hawing-way of writing. His prose was terse as a curse word, spare as a prayer.

      The score of poems penned by Papa H read much like his prose. Two of my favorites are “Valentine” and “I’m Off’n Wild Wimmen,” both nearly Nashian in tone. I suspect the latter may be a prophetic coded ode to our very own web hostess, SS, aka WW. (Word Woman = WW = Wild Wimmen? You decide.)

      Loved this April Fuel edition of PEOTS, especially the 1877 WAR (invert the first letter, amputate a leg of the last to form…) MAP. Its style seemed to me to be Rococo (or RoRococo if you’re a certain Smith alumna).

      The flat Earth “globe” reminded me of a poem I wrote as a teen as an ode to my own Papa, who loved to amaze us youngsters with feats of legerdemain. I later dredged it up to introduce a story I wrote exploring miracles for a Catholic newspaper:

      Our father poised a penny on crooked forefinger, cocked thumb
      And said, “Behold, my dears, a miracle,”
      Then flicked it tiddlywinking heavenward. We sat struck dumb
      To see mere circular turn spherical!

      Hey, I think we’ve just resurrected “the rest of my post.” That new leaf I was turnin’ seems to have shriveled and gone blowin’ in the wind.


    4. Golden ratio, of course! I was stuck on petrified, as in wood.

      Enjoyed both your poem and Ernest's. Are those 20 poems the sum total of his poeting?

      Thanks for the rest of your post, Lego!

  8. SS,

    As you well know, science is golden, and so apparently are April-fueled European War Maps.

    According to this LegoPapaPoemsLink:
    “Eighty-eight of Hemingway's poems exist in print. His one book of poems (and stories) was also his first published work, Three Stories & Ten Poems (1923), of which three hundred copies were printed. Many of the eighty-eight appeared in small Paris magazines during the 1920s. …”

    I find Hemingway’s poetry refreshing and honest. He is no Yeats, but neither is he a William McGonagall (or LegoLambda). Sure, in EMH’s “…Wild Wimmen” quatrain, the seven uppercase goose eggs in LoOOOOOOOve seem a bit fOOOOOOOlish, but I suspect that was just the cognac talkin’. I understand his emotion (“Why do fools fall in love?”) as well as his vow of mortality in the preceding lines.

    It seems the critical literatti (critteratti? critterlatte?) are a bit off put by Papa’s poetic output. See LegoLink.


    1. Yeah, I had no idea that the importance of being Ernest included poetry. New stuff rocks! Thanks, Lego.

  9. Random thoughts:

    Is there any geological significance to the term "aftershock"? I heard reports of aftershocks to yesterday's Chilean 8.2, and wondered whether the 8.2 itself was considered an aftershock to last months 5.0. I was surprised to learn that if the 2 quakes were related, the difference in size alone would make the earlier one a foreshock. Seems to make the terms pretty meaningless.

    Cool news about Enceladus today. I've said the gas giant planets are interesting! The graphic in the Times article looks kind of ominous for Arizona, though I imagine they'd appreciate the Ice. I don't think those Jets would offer much protection, even with Michael Vick. And I don't know whether that Rocky Core is an ice cream flavor or a Stallone reference...

    1. The only real significance is relativity so smaller quakes, like the one in Chile in March, become foreshocks. It really is pretty meaningless. I was shocked to see those two big quakes coming in last night. I am a geo-geek and get real time updates from the USGS. ;-)

      I will read more on Enceladus later. Thanks for the link! And your puns are much appreciated!

    2. Those ice plumes are quite interesting. My first read-through did not include the AZ graphic appearing so I was a bit perplexed...Now it makes sense. Fairly amusing graphic actually.

      Enceladus reminds me of Enchilada. Maybe we could come up with a graphic for that!

    3. Enchilada, huh? I was thinking some kind of inverted baked Alaska, with the ice on the outside. But the liquid in the middle reminds me of that Freshen-Up gum from years back. And that Rocky Road core? This is going to require some culinary gymnastics....

    4. I can see why you picked IceCream as a middle name, then and now ;-).

  10. The Kerr-McGee story about its attempt to get out of paying for polychlorinated biphenyl and creosote clean-up was shocking. K-M sold the profitable oil and gas part of their business to Anadarko Oil Corp and then declared bankruptcy in an bid to get out of paying the clean- up and fines. It didn't work. Anadarko now has to pay 5 BILLION dollars in clean-up. SMH.

    On another front, quite shocking also, the New Zealand quakes are increasing in intensity and frequency.

    And, the pings of MH370 may finally be heard.

    1. It would be good if the signal that Chinese ship picked up is from MH370's FDR.

      Tell you what, you worry about the NZ quakes, I'll worry about the Ebola outbreak in West Africa. Previous outbreaks have burned out quickly because they've happened in remote areas, but this time there are a bunch in Conakry, a city of 2 million. Amazingly virulent: 151 infections, 99 deaths.

    2. Terrible about those people with Ebola in Guinea and Liberia. Is a vaccine at all close?

      My daughter has had quite an eye-opening experience with the far lesser deadly Dengue Fever.

      We need some Monty Python! Or something. . .

    3. P.S. Nearly 100 NZ quakes since Thursday. I may have to turn off the notifications. . .