Breaking News Video Awesome…!

August 26, 2010

So, I just found my new favourite website.

Which, now that I look at it a little more closely, I think I’ve been to it before.  Anyways, it’s called the Breaking News Video Network (BNVN), and it’s a site chock full of videos showing severe weather phenomena, as well as natural disasters and other atmospheric…. phenomena.  I don’t like to use the same word twice in a sentence.

This site combines my two favourite loves… severe weather, and watching it.  It’s fantastic stuff.  Lightning storms, tornadoes, hurricanes, and now I’m watching floods.  Not so much extreme flooding, but just videos of cars driving through flooded streets.  I don’t know what it is about it, but I could watch it for hours.  Before geology, I always wanted to get into meteorology, but I figured it usually ended up with telling a weatherman what to say, or just overall sitting behind a desk and not getting to see much weather, except during your drive to and from said desk.  Also the program involved a lot of physics.  After that first year class, no thanks.  But now it’s related to everything I talk about, who knew!?

If you weren’t clever enough to find the two links in the above writing, here it is in plain sight below.

Breaking News Video Network

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It’s a tornado, it’s an inferno!!… It’s a…. TOFERNO!!

August 25, 2010

Which incidently sounds like a tofurkey set on fire… to make it healthier, because all that’s left afterwards is a pile of ash.

Alright, well first off, I know I haven’t written a post in ages, because I’m the one that hasn’t written them, so calm down!  In my defense, it’s summer, or at least it was during my absence.  But now it’s drawing to a close, and I actually feel like writing a post.

Secondly… holy shit it’s a tornado of fire!!!

So after watching that, you may have noticed Brazil is having some fire issues, which I didn’t realize.  The publicity is more or less focussed on Russia, probably because it’s rampaging through villages (plural), and here in Canada, mostly in BC.  People are being evacuated a’plenty!  It’s crazy.  What I just realized as well is that this heat wave seems to be, dare I see….. worldwide!  It seems it’s pretty dry everywhere, or just lacking humidity, like in Brazil.  Here in Northwestern Ontario, we’ve had heat wave after heat wave, along with unusual rainfall which is completely unpredictable most of the time.  I’m not trying to get anybody’s opinions rowled up about global warming, because too be honest, it’s annoying (but feel free to comment).  It’s become such a hot topic over the past decade that the typical public has dumbed it down to a yes-or-no debate… Are humans involved in contributing to it, or no?  The whole debate is ten times more involved… and also, who gives a shit.  What would we do differently if you could come up with an answer to that question?  Basically people are asking “Was it our fault?”, therefore “Is it our problem?”.  I guarantee you, if someone somewhere says that humans didn’t contribute to the warming of the Earth, then it’s back to business-as-usual.

Why am I talking about this.  I just got my own opinions rowled up!!  OH THE IRONY!!!

Anyways, enjoy that video of the tornado of fire… and I’m back to blogging, so check back often!!  And for the randoms that actually bookmarked this page, I’ll make it worth your while!  Non-sexually.


More Icelandic Boom Boom!!

April 15, 2010

I’m telling you, Iceland’s gonna go ooooffff!

The same volcano in Iceland, which for some reason doesn’t have a name, which erupted last month, is at it again!  It’s located in the Eyjafjallajoekull area, so we’ll just call it that… but not out loud, because that’s just ridiculous.

Unlike the last eruption, this one actually occurred under glacial ice, raising water levels in rivers by several metres before the eruption even began.  No casualties whatsoever, however quite a few villages had to be evacuated.

This isn't Iceland, but pretty cool, yeah?

But while this eruption is wreaking havoc for parts of Iceland, the stories in the news are concentrated elsewhere.  Again, unlike the last eruption, this one released tons and tons of volcanic ash into the air, and prevailing winds are smackin’ Europe in the face!!  Long story short, don’t get on that plane, yo!  Flights anywhere to and from most of Europe, are grounded because of all the ash flying about.

Why does this mess things up?  Well when most people think of ash, they think of the stuff left in firepits basically… wood ash.  Volcanic ash is a little different.  Think of it as smashing a window down to a dust, because that’s what volcanic ash is…. glass.

Getting fine glass sucked up into an engine just isn’t a good thing.  Haven’t you ever seen Dante’s Peak?!  Actually, however lame that movie is, scientifically it’s probably more accurate than any other volcano movie.  Except for no geologist looks like Pierce Brosnan…. except for me, I’m fucking dashing.

So for your enjoyment, here are pictures of me in geology action!:

Here I am getting ready to unload some samples...

Here I am questioning my career choices...


FIRE AND ICE!! The battle continues…

March 22, 2010

More geology!  And oh man, I do love volcanoes.  If you haven’t heard, Iceland’s been acting up, and it’s putting on quite the show.

Wicked shot of a the volcanic fissure that erupted near the Katla volcano in Iceland.

Iceland’s about to go off, I swear!  This tiny little country (only a population of over 200,000) is the most geologically active country on this non-stop action planet of ours.  The reason…?  The mid-atlantic ridge, where the North American and the Eurasian tectonics meet, and in this case, are being pushed apart.  The ‘push’ is cause my recycled magmatic material being pushed up along the mid-atlantic ridge, causing the plates to extend some 10’s of centimeters a year.  The fact that Iceland is directly on the ridge is the reason, you may have noticed, that this volcano occurs more along a ‘line’, other than the typical crater style volcano you see all over the place.  I’m not going to go into the differences, unless you ask, because it can get retarded.

However, I have noticed that on the CBC article, they refer to this volcano as a hot spot, which it definitely isn’t.  Alright, looks like I’m getting right back into this, shit it’s getting late.  A hot spot is defined as a volcanic event not related to any plate boundary activity… seeing as Iceland is right on a boundary, it’s not a hot spot.  The most famouse of hot spots…..?  Hawai’i…. take a look at where it lies, right smack in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, or geologically speaking, the Pacific Plate.  Ok really, I’ll stop…. if you actually want to know more, just comment on here, and I’ll lay it all out!!  Holy shit my brain is oofffffff, it took me an hour to figure out what I was writing… damn you TV!!!  Every time I look at it, I forget what I’m writing about, and now this entry is way too effing long.

Anyways, while this Icelandic eruption was relatively small, it’s causing a stir over whether it not it will be a precursor to a much larger eruption from the nearby Katla volcano, so I’ll keep you posted on what happens….. by flying over and camping out.  I watched the video below on mute, so I don’t know if there’s any chatter in there, I’m assuming there is… enjoy!


Earthquake in Haiti

January 14, 2010

As many of you may have heard, a fairly large earthquake devastated Haiti earlier this week.

The variables just didn’t work out for this, hitting an impoverished country such as Haiti, but the worst being that the epicenter of this earthquake was a measly 15km from Port-au-Prince, making the 7.0 magnitude quake all the more devastating.

USGS map showing epicenter of quake.

As mentioned, the main reason for such a disaster is the proximity to the epicenter, and taking a look at the tectonic plates around the globe, the Dominican Republic lies directly south of the plate boundary between the Caribbean and North America plates.  That is, the North American plate (correct me if I’m wrong) is subducting beneath the Caribbean plate, however the Caribbean plate is so small in relation because it itself is being subducted beneath the South American plate.  So basically it’s getting squeezed out and in millions and millions of years, will be completely subducted.

Simple map of the tectonic plates around the globe.

When people think of subduction zones, they’re pretty much thinking of a cut-and-dry scenario, where one plate goes under another, and that’s that.  However, depending on it’s orientation, there are several places along a plate boundary where they don’t meet head on, and you get what’s called ‘strike-slip’ faulting, where instead of one plate going underneath the other, they slide past.  Combine that with subduction, and you have an area like that in the Caribbean.  Eventually, the area that’s undergoing strike-slip will eventually subduct, but at the moment (geologically speaking), this small area slides past.  Now, even my explanation is pretty simple in relation to what’s really going on, but I’ll leave it at that.  Hopefully countries worldwide will come to the aid of the tiny nation of Haiti!

Below is a better picture of Haiti in relation to the plate boundary from Google Earth.

Google Earth image of the Dominican Republic and Haiti. The red star is the epicenter of the quake, and the line to the north is the Caribbean-North American plate boundary. Click for hi-res photo.