This is Scotland, 1981, Jenny Carter, © Photo Precision Ltd.
Melting aluminum with an electromagnet.
'Shit, that's fucking amazing' is what I literally just said out loud to myself.
This has been doing the rounds on FB. As an isotope geochemist who spends 70+ hours in the lab per week, I can say this is a pretty good approximation.
Although I do rather like camping.
At about 7pm and my supervisor came in to see how I was doing. I had nearly finished my analyses so I told him he could start his if he wanted to (7pm on a friday is not a strange time to start analysis in the world of isotope geochemistry).
He then started his analysis and we had a little chat about the standard data. He said he could not run all of his samples as he had to do a few things on the TIMS and he couldn’t stay ‘too late’ (i.e. later than 10pm).
He then said that he was unhappy that his postdoc would not run her Ca isotopes at the weekend because she had a young family, so he would have to run Sr on the TIMS over the weekend instead. Then he said this:
'I've had to run samples over the weekend for her on a number of occasions which is very unsatisfactory. She won't get very far in Academia if she puts her family before her work'
I was, and still am, appalled. This attitude is the reason there are so few women in the higher echelons of science.
Bear in mind that I got a text from him at 10am this (sunday!) morning saying ‘let me know when you get into the lab today, as you could do some prep to speed up the [chemical separation] columns tomorrow’.
When, no if.
Academia is brutal.
— Holmes’ Principles of Physical Geology (via earthsci-studynotes)
Seriously though, I fucking love my job.
You are traveling hundreds of miles per hour right now!*
*in relation to the the center of the earth.**
Have you ever wondered how fast you are spinning around Earth’s rotational axis? Probably not, but now you can find out anyway!
Even though you are probably sitting down right now, unless your chair is at the North or South pole you are being pushed around by the earths’ surface, like an ant on a bicycle wheel. Because people closer to the equator are further from the earth’s axis (they are on a bigger wheel), they are moving faster - as this telling graphic from the great blog Vizual Statistix shows. People at the poles just spin in place.
**The earth tears around the sun at 67,000 miles per hour, so it would also be accurate to say you are traveling thousands of miles per hour right now. It’s all a question of relativity.
I think about this a lot. When I should be doing a some mass flux calculations, or reading about the Caledonian rocks, I find myself wondering how fast I’m moving through the universe.
Pangea with current political boundaries.
This is silly.
Now i’m no expert on Pangaea (well, sort of an expert as I work on the stuff immediately preceding the formation of Pangaea), but I’m 100% sure that Iceland wasn’t around when Pangaea was. That came after the break up Pangaea and the formation of the Atlantic!
But otherwise - cool!
Anonymous asked: I'm an Earth Science undergraduate fresher at the moment and just have to say that your blog is awesome!! I was just wondering at which point in your degree (or earlier) you knew that you wanted to do a PhD, and when you realised which part of geology you wanted to go into?
I’d always rather liked the idea of doing a PhD, but it wasn’t until the end of my 3rd year, and throughout my 4th year that it started to be my goal after graduation!
It’s a tricky thing to go into if you haven’t had research experience prior to application because being a PhD student is completely different to being an undergraduate. But having done some small, and some much larger research projects throughout my degree, I knew this was the thing I needed to do, and that I’d be quite good at it - as I’m stubborn and won’t give up until I know the answer to something!
If you need any more advice, don’t hesitate to ask both myself and others within your department. Academics in your department will be particularly impressed if you register an interest in their research so early on in your geological career, and may offer you opportunities to help with their own research that you would otherwise not be told about.
Moral of the story though: try before you buy. Postgraduate life is a world apart from undergraduate, and just because you’re a good undergraduate doesn’t mean you’ll make a good researcher!
Hope that helps!