Topic: geology et al
Today I helped clean the lower level of the barn where rocks have been stored, and although I'll have to buy, hunt, or manufacture some things for variety, today I found a large enough cache to keep me busy all summer.
When I traveled with my grandparents as a kid, my grandfather used to decribe the lay of the land. He would say things like, "This all used to be ocean bottom". I discussed these subjects with him a lot but not enough. However, I can go back in time and revisit some of these subjects. I still have my grandfather's books, and his thoughts.
Minnesota topography might not seem very exciting but the lay of this land has been formed by the same geological forces as elsewhere: volcanism, diastrophism, and gradation. That is, the molten rocks that erupt on the surface because of great heat at the core of the earth, the warping and uplifting of the earth's crust due to stress, and the wearing down of the high places and filling in of the low places due to erosion. Minnesota is known for an even more dramatic geological process and that is glaciation. Glaciers gouged ridges in the bedrock and created rocky basins. They picked up everything from dust to boulders and deposited them in various formations. The last glacier retreated eleven thousand years ago.
I am trying to gather up all the science books and keep them in one place and hopefully to acquire more as new discoveries are made.
Here is a book review I wrote for a church newsletter:
THE WHOLE SHEBANG: A STATE-OF-THE-UNIVERSE(S) REPORT
by Timothy Ferris
This book was the text for an online cosmology course I took through Barnes and Noble University. It does require some concentration on the part of the reader, but the energy spent visualizing models of the universe, past and present, is well worth the effort.
Ferris premises this book on the Big Bang theory, which he feels is broad and pliant enough to endure. From that starting point, he explores not only a theoretical history of the universe, but also the human element, how people have viewed the cosmos from the days of the Greeks, on up through Copernicus, Newton, Kepler, Einstein, Hubble and beyond. The author provides a lucid description, and discussion, of mind-boggling concepts, from the view of a 10 dimensional, constantly expanding universe, to the idea that there are multiple universes, each with its own laws of physics.
There is something for everyone in this book, from historical and amusing personal anecdotes about scientists, to literary allusions, to the epilogue which asks the important question, “What about God?” The author feels that there is nothing in the universe that proves or disproves the existence of God. But in the end, he admits that the genesis is likely to remain a mystery.
The book was published in 1997. Discoveries have been made since then, and work done on refining the described theories. Still, this book is a good starting point for someone who wants to understand more about our universe.
Cleaning out the barn, I discovered that I am the owner of another book by this same author entitled "Coming of Age in the Milky Way". A good read for next winter.
I enjoy the metaphysical thoughts especially as they nowadays pertain to crystals and gems, but what would we do without science?