World’s oldest and stickiest lab study ready for drop of excitement


"No one has actually seen a drop emerge, so it is getting quite nervy round here," said Mainstone. "The other eight drops happened while people had their backs turned. For the last drop, in 2000, we had a webcam trained on the experiment, but it broke down … in 1988, when the previous drop was about to emerge, I popped out for a coffee and missed it."

On The Necessity of Geology


There is an urgent need for talking and teaching geology.

Many people don’t know it. They think geology is rocks, but if they’re not rock aficionados, it’s nothing to do with them. So our K-12 schools inadequately teach the earth sciences. People don’t learn about geology, and they grow up to move to hazardous areas without being aware of the risks. They grow into politicians who feel it’s smart to sneer at volcano monitoring. They become people who don’t understand what geologists can and cannot do, and imprison scientists who couldn’t predict the unpredictable.

Relativistic Baseball


What would happen if you tried to hit a baseball pitched at 90% the speed of light? Let’s set aside the question of how we got the baseball moving that fast. We’ll suppose it’s a normal pitch, except in the instant the pitcher releases the ball, it magically accelerates to 0.9c. From that point onward, everything proceeds according to normal physics…