Black and white, blurred image

Senses, Perception and Learning


WC’s sixth grade teacher, the late Jerry Norum, had the class perform an experiment after a classmate, Jeannette, said the classroom was too cold. He placed three plastic trays of water in the front of the class. One had hot water, almost too hot to put your hand in, but not hot enough to scald.…

A schematic model that links the slab hole with other physiographic features. The view is from the east, and theJuan de Fuca slab is shown in blue. The propagator wake (bold gray line underneath Oregon) causes a weakness in the slabalong which a tear is propagating. The High Lava Plains (contours in Oregon) lie above the southern edge of theslab hole. The Gorda slab rotates clockwise, causing intraplate seismicity in the Gorda region.

Untangling Oregon Volcanism


Most of Oregon is igneous rock. Pretty recent igneous rock, as geologists measure time. It’s almost embarrassing. While some of it is pretty well understood, parts of all that volcanism are unexplained. The stratovolcanoes of the High Cascades? Subduction of the Juan de Fuca Plate and Pacific Plate. The lava that flowed into the Pacific…

Watching the North Magnetic Pole Wander (Credit:National Center for Environmental Information, NOAAA)

Magnetic North Is Sprinting Away


This nifty animated GIF shows movement of the magnetic north pole, the bigger green dot, from 1965 to present. You’ll notice two things immediately: (1) it has moved a long ways over that interval, and (2) the rate of movement has accelerated in the most recent time. A recent survey by a Canadian–French international collaboration…

Acipenseriform fish with ejecta clustered in the gill region. (A) X-ray of a fossil sturgeon head (outlined, pointing left; FAU.DGS.ND.161.115.T). (B) Magnified image of the X-ray in A showing numerous ejecta spherules clustered within the gill region (arrows). (C and D) Micro-CT images of another fish specimen (paddlefish; FAU.DGS.ND.161.29.T), with microtektites embedded between the gill rakers in the same fashion.

The Best Evidence Yet for the Dinosaur Killer


Archaeologist Robert A. DePalma, working in Southcentral North Dakota, has found the best evidence yet that the dinosaur killer, the huge meteor that struck the Yucatan Peninsula, leaving the Chicxulub crater, did indeed kill the dinosaurs. He has found, entombed in the rocks of the Hell Creek Formation, the archaeological equivalent of a smoking gun.…

Nymph and Adult Asian Long-horned Tick, Two Haemaphysalis longicornis on a US dime.

Let’s Not Get Hysterical. Yet.


The reporting on the spread of the invasive Asian Long-horned Tick, verges on the hysterical. “Vicious species of tick.” “Bloodthirsty hordes.” “Ravenous swarms.” Sounds like a lousy (sorry) Grade-B horror flick. But there are some scary aspects to this recently invasive species. First, unlike native North American ticks, this species can reproduce parthenogenetically; it can…