Sunday, December 28, 2014


In geology's long-lost golden age, students were taught that rocks are just ceramics that happen to have been made by  God.  Now, from the young island chain of Hawaii comes news of a  rock type far younger still,  that embodies deep time on a scale shallow enough to establish  a new foundation for the Anthropocene geological column:

An anthropogenic marker horizon in the future rock record
Patricia L. Corcoran, Dept. of Earth Sciences, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 5B7, pcorcor@; Charles J. Moore, Algalita Marine Research Institute, Long Beach, California, 90803-4601, USA; and Kelly Jazvac, Dept. of Visual Arts, University of Western Ontario, London, Ontario, Canada, N6A 5B7

published in the Journal of the Geological Society of America, reports on a new sort of conglomerate formed by the action of lava on plastic debris in shoreline sediments:

Sunday, November 30, 2014

                 THE  ANTHROPOCENE ? IT'S  GREEK  TO  ME




It begins with a paean praising the President of the
Interpantheonic Panel ON Climate  Change 
Zeus,  Father of Gods  and  men ,
  hailing  his  wisdom  in  commissioning Hephaestus 
to  build the legendary 
Antikythera  2-D Analog Cosmos Model
to  help  the  Gods  evaluate warnings  of
global  warming from thunderbolt doubling 
at the end of The Titanocene Era.

struck far-seeing  Icarus  
 systems  programmer  of the  Gods 
 with  love for
  Phoebe,  muse of  solar  radiation  management,

threw the brazen computing engine overboard
near Antikythera to placate  earth-shaking  Poseidon
after the  God threatened to inundate Olympus
if  the  IPCC  mandated  ambrosia rationing.

De Bello Climatico  ends on a tragic note, with the
extinction   of  the  entire  Greek  Pantheon, demigods, muses & nymphs included, and their replacement by an assortment of New Age ' monotheistic ' religions, like the dread and bloody handed cult of  ISIS,  which explains the work's  Aesopian  moral :

Monday, November 24, 2014


Deconstructing the un-natural history of the anthropocene epoch since 2006
The Anthropocene promises to be the first geological interval since the Cretaceous-Tertiary  Extinction in which all rocks get to be famous for 15 minutes. The brave new epoch has already seen the television debut of a  ready for prime time gypsum deposit that puts Industrial Light & Magic's best SFX to shame.

The crystal cave's high Nielsen rating has led to a media gold rush as producers prospect for out-of-this-world terrestrial geology, subjecting the few geology libraries to survive the Holocene-Anthropocene Extinction to unaccustomed queues as writers flock to read NYRPG 's annual review of postmodern petrology, which includes:
While most sedimentary strata  form extensive landscape-covering horizontal sheets, hydrocarbon rich macadamite occurs only as thin two dimensional stringers or veins that often bear rectangular  metallic geode-like structures containing vertibrate fossils.
Interwoven vein masses of macadamite of astonishing extent and complexity have been mapped in Southern California, and form a continuous belt extending atop Cretaceous formations from Maryland to Massachusetts.
More mafic than Maccadamite, this high-temperature no-pressure  liticc facies results from extreme local warming of holocene tar sands in Kuwait.
Saddamite consists of  sand grains in a matrix of carbon black and pyrolized asphaltenes, a petrogenesis  that defies explanation.  While high nickel and vanadium porphyrin levels suggest an  origin in marine cretaceous petroleum, no natural or commercial explanation exists for the infernal thermal fluxes needed to generate pure carbon in such amounts, nor do type specimens show signs of natural catastrophe or nuclear winter weathering.

The earliest dated rock of the Postmodern epoch is a green-violet, obsidian-like fused lithic 
The holotype,  a thin stratum of  un-natural glass emplaced in a shallow anticline in the White Sands of New Mexico. has a tritium age of 6.9 milli-eons, slightly older than deposits in the Terminal Showa formation of southern Japan. Kazakhstan, China's Lop Nor basin, Nevada, India, Pakistan and some islands in French Polynesia.

An ephemeral water-soluble calcian variety of trinitite that resembles popcorn while it lasts. It was briefly reported on some now vanished Pacific coral atolls, but the holotypes disintegrated in the first rains to fall following the H-bomb tests that created them. Highly enriched in transuranic elements, all trinitite species look far older than their years.
The new discipline of meteopetrology focuses on cryabase, the only terrestrial rock consisting enirely of condensed air.  

The minerals found in this paragon of geological minimalism include native oxygen and nitrogen, ice  II, IIIb & IV crystals , priestlyite (the carbon analog of silica) ,,and  minute crystalites of argon,  Freon, neon, krypton and radon .
The type locality at Cape Canaveral features aircicles and frost-like masses surrounding  liquid hydrogen tanks, where cryabase  avalanches were first noted as a cause of self-inflicted meteor damage to Space Shuttles.

While rare outside the Kuiper Belt, cryabase is expected to become depressingly common in the inner solar system if Senator Inhofe's views on global warming  are correct.

Caution should be exercised in collecting cryabase samples, as geologists' picks tend to embrittle severely at frozen air temperatures, and the temptation to lick field samples for a better view of microstructure can lead to severe frostbite of the tongue.
Phenomenally cold and dark variety of cryabase. Arbitrarily small amounts in atmosperic suspension can reportedly able to  lower global temperatures below freezing for 40 days and 40 nights, but the report published in Science in 1983 seems to have been based on misindentification of the related species, apocryphite, found in many factoid deposits, but lacking the valuable consciuosness raising properties of the material originally published . See Ttaprophyre 
Ttaprophyre A geometaphysical phase arising from hermeneutic metamorphism of a factoidite melange during high-pressure deformation professionel. Ttaprophye was discovered  by Johnny Carson in 1983 when 'nuclear winter' suddenly outcropped on The Tonight Show during the Cold War. On skeptical examination, Saganite, ( not to be confused with Cosmochlore),  proved  to be the reified product of  a PR campaign, semiotically indistinguishable from the War of the Worlds symplectite repored in 1938 by Welles et al. from  near Grovers Mills New Jersey.
The Ground Zero Gneiss
Known only from deposits in lower Manhattan, this so far unique product of political catastophism is a mylonized migmatite containing portlandite and powdery gypsum,  asbestos fibers , and enormous laths and corrugated sheets of metallic iron with a grain structure suggesting hot deformation. Some layers contain mica-like sheets of carbonized fossil cellulose with angular markings more legible than graphic granites, many pertaining to world trade.

The Tora Bora Metapeltites
Some anthopocene cave deposits in the Hindu Kush and Waziristan syntaxis show signs of shock and awe  deformation. Extensive contamination with clasts of lead and depleted uranium frustrated  early efforts by petrologists seeking to collect the $50 million reward offered for a specimen lage enough for  positive DNA identification of the elusive binladenite phase, later found in a conglomerate structure atop the Abbotttabad greenschists.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014



Hostilities in the climate wars often commence with the combattants accusing each other of having axes to grind.  Since some few of them employ PR firms, these charges may at times have merit, but far from being a radical postmodern enterprise, climate science has been taking the future with a large grain of salt since before the Civil War,
when John Tyndall used optics cut from infra-red transparent crystals  of  rock salt  to measure radiant heat absorption by gases, as M. Fourier had proposed back when  John Quincy Adams was equipping the  White House with energy efficient whale oil lamps. Between 1859 and 1861, this peer reviewed work ran in journals established in the 17th &18th centuries,  Philosophical Transactions & The Philosophical Magazine :                                               
"Now if, as the above experiments indicate the chief influence be exercised by the aqueous vapour, every variation of this constituent  must produce a change of climate.
Similar remarks would apply to the carbonic acid diffused through the air, while an almost inappreciable admixture of any of the hydrocarbon vapours would produce great effects on the terrestrial rays and produce corresponding changes of climate."
             --JOHN TYNDALL FRS: 'On the absorption and radiation of heat by gases and vapours'

Victoria & Albert's science advisor did not need a computer model or Fourier  transforms  to  make  his  point. His steampunk experiment employed nothing fancier than a large grain of salt, a bunsen burner and some curious bits of Victorian plumbing ,  yet  so  strong  and  reproducible  is the absorption of heat by carbon dioxide that the difference in projected warmth can be felt when a salt-windowed tube of CO2 is interposed between a heat source and the palm of an observer's hand.
153 years of getting the same very conservative result might convince any disinterested Tory that Tyndall was on to something. Word of his researches spread to the far limits of the Empire, witness this Victorian letter, remarking on the Duke of Argyle's discovery of tropical plant fossils in the chilly coal measures of Scotland:

Many ingenious hypotheses have been proposed to account for the warmer climate of earlier times, but are at best unsatisfactory; and it appears to me that the true solution of the problem may be found in the constitution of the early atmosphere, when considered in the light of Dr. Tyndall's beautiful researches on radiant heat. He has found that the presence of a few hundredths of carbonic acid gas in the atmosphere, while offering almost no obstacle to the passage of the solar rays, would suffice to prevent almost entirely the loss by radiation of obscure heat, so that the surface of the land beneath such an atmosphere would become like a vast orchid house, in which the conditions of climate necessary to a luxuriant vegetation would be extended even to the polar regions.

ALBERT K. VARLEY, F.R.S. Mount Gambier, Australia ,  June 12, 1884.

 But word has yet to reach  UKIP Übertwit  James  Delingpole , whose column has decayed into the ravings of a very low Whig:

Have you ever wondered why conservatives don’t talk more often about ...the urgent need to rein in economic growth in order to give the planet a more sustainable future?

Me neither. 
Conservatives don’t talk about these things because they are idle leftist preoccupations which have no place in a political philosophy based on personal responsibility, liberty and empiricism.  

We  interrupt  this  embarassing  diatribe  to bring you an comment from a  dedicated  Delingpole  fan,    a soi disant  "Retired engineer/ scientist / writer active in exposing the FRAUDS of Carbon climate forcing, 'sustainable' energy, 'peak' oil and big bang...":

What is it about elitist directed FAUX SCIENCE that you refuse to comprehend ? ? ?

Carbon climate forcing, 'sustainable' energy, 'peak' oil and big bang are all CRAP false paradigm narratives.

We have been systematically LIED to about everything, but your too simpleminded to notice."

Saturday, September 13, 2014


                       __ From Ye Times Chronicle of Higher Navigation __

          Essays & 
 Be quotation marks around decadal temperature averages the new boldfaceArrh, Cap'n Koonin's WSJ op-ed be old and  lame as  the smoked rats in  the lobscouse o'a grog shop what hangs out burgees sayin "Fine Food" Don’t expect such usage to overhaul Bristol fashion English ... more» 
 The Brethren of the Somali Coast are askin how yer Arab left can openly embrace  Muslims listing far to starboard? , says  Hussein Ibish, (By the Black Spot, that be a Barbary Boatswain sure) such matey gestures ne'er be returned but by a poxy kiss o'Davey Jones camel ... more»
Published in 1925
Booty cant buy happiness. Yet there be a strong correlation between the  clime o' a country 'n its general level o' happiness, accordin to Surgeon Singer, the Senior Sawbones O' the fleet. (Gangway!) But as  Aristotle (Bloody Levanter ! ) knew hotter is better...more»

Upstream of Basra al-Qaeda's hard aground so the lascars be moving their jihad to Europe, but turn Turk, OBL's marabouts say, and the caliphate will discount its scurvy port dues dockside !!more»... 

Antarctica be a red state. March o' the Penguins ‘affirms norms O The Code like monogamy sacrifice'n child rearin'” says a critic. But some o' those penguins be gay... (Bilge!)
Thar be genuine intensity in the sufferin' o' Frida Kahlo. Yet thar be somethin' vaguely repulsive in the adulation she receives.   Victimhood, aft all, be not beatitude... (Poxy landlubber!) more»  
Editin' be a bloody trade(Arrgh!) But knives aren’t the exclusive property o' butchers. (Aaarrrrhhh!)   Surgeons use 'em too. (Yo-ho-ho!) Blake Morrison defends editors wi’rusty cutlasses... (Aararrhhahr!

Sink me if  Hilde Kschessinska: prima ballerina assoluta, mistress o' Czar Nicholas II ain't been buried at sea – a poppet o' vast skill, massive energy, 'n implacable willfulness ... (Dead men tell no tales.)

Shiver me  timbers! Till the 18th century, Scots, like other Europeans, saw distilled spirits as medicine or a substitute for central heating.  Then a few Jockoes started t'drink whisky for fun... (Pass the Demerara, mate) 

 The scurvy quacksalver Søren Kierkegaard rebuked the Christianity  o' 'is day: rather than get rid o' the whorehouse, it preferred t' baptize   it... (Arrgh!) more»

Piracy has a long 'n brutal ahoystory
How it has been treated in law makes a useful precedent for terrorism: due process is paramount, so lay aft to see how Singapore deals with Somali sea dogs: 
If  they wears
The Red Sea rig
 Make them dance 
The hempen jig!

Belay yer New Orleans frenchies blubbering of hurricanoes! That City o' floods, graceful Venice has survived such calamities as fires, plagues 'n keelhauling of its poxy gondoliers: Nay U.S city has ever had t' endure the like...
Democracy? (The chase is  making full sail, matey!) Good governance can include many components besides   democratic     participation, says Francis Fukuyama. (Bloody landlubber!) 
God looks after drunken bilge rats, children, and Old Ironsides, but on what strange tide did He shanghai Palm Beach voters into orderin' a neocon agenda aloft into the riggin ? more»  
“ Sink me, n'I have felt it meself,” Freeman Dyson said
“The glitter o' nuclear weapons.  It be  irresistible if ye come t' 'em as a scientist: an illusion o' illimitable   power.” Arrrh, Tis time for another broadside-- hail the powder monkey  to fetch 10 more kilotons from the magazine ..more»  
 Letters of  Marque         
If the Bering Strait warms much further, will Mifstefs Palin put down her polar bear harpoon & run for  Governor of ye Spanish Main? 
Or will the cold water Corsairtrix play Joan Bonney, & plead her belly to get pro-life palaeo-pyrate backing for her  run for EPA Administrator ? 

As the begala of Obama Reis set sail from Martha's Vineyard to return the great Mughal's entourage to winter quarters, the quarterdeck (Where the smoking lamp be always lit) were abuzz with scuttlebutt of interns behaving badly in ye grog shops of Chappaquiddick 

Prince-Towne on Delaware is where Richard Rorty  did avast himself a “syncretist hack.” the scurvy scrivner     caulked a  philosophical mosaic  fair and bye, but now ye Heartland Institute hath got his weather gage..more»

Smart as paint be Cap'n Trivers. He loves the logic o' evolution. Tis bilge to tell that dead men tell no tales when Philosopher's Mate Darwin o'ye barque Beagle dead reckoned a geometry o' time yar as the geometry o' space that lubber Newton or that Leghorno Bos'n     Galileo ..Aaaarrh! more>> 

Should local folk rebuild N'Orleans as she was? By Cap’n Lafitte’s bones, it be not a bad idea, says Carlin Romano. (Aaarrhhh, a streetcar named Desiree' has run down me parrot !) 
Academic anthropology be in   crisis, says Dan Sperber, who be not alarmed. (Yarrr, into the futtock   shrouds ) “It deserves t' be in crisis. (Weigh anchor!) It deserves t'   explode, let it do so”... (Bloody privateers!) more»   

The FDA sawbones hath banned absinthe as it be "adulterated” with wormwood. (Arr!)  Still, customs agents will typically ignore a  bottle or two in yer duffel... (Yarrr, more grog, wench!) What next ? Smoke-free opium dens in Limehouse?

However baggywrinkle 'is private life,  Arthur Koestler left astern an absorbin' body o' work  for anyone who enjoys the battle o' ideas...

  Curst be the Bones o’them as reprinteth this but as by the Articles of ye  ALD’s  permission for editin Pyratese be thirsty work requiring of  costly Zacapa rum to suftain it. 

So by the Code,pray send doubloons to ye Paypal account of

                    Copyright MMXIV

 A warmin' earth? The Fig of  Spain to yer squally monsoon n' mega-drought scuttlebutt, says Lord Admiral Monckton: if   'tis too mild in Madagascar, man the capstan and follow the polar bears through the Northwest Passage to plunder the China Trade ! more>

Says a helmsman who reads the real thing at risk of keelhauling by Captain Koch ...

Beware and take care 
O' the  Bight of Benin
For one what comes out
Thar's  twenty  goes  in      
(Weigh anchor!)  

If we ever  find out that a basic tenet o' Buddhism be shown false by science, we simply  must give it up. Who said it? The Dalai Lama, the kirtled heartland landlubber. more»  
From Voltaire 'n David Hume   t' Rob Ingersoll 'n Clarence Darrow, atheism used t'be on the march,   religion on the aft foot. (Blimey!) Times change...  more»

Th’doxy was dazzled by Sartre’s brilliance as a philosopher. For Simone de Beauvoir, terms like 'essence' or 'contin'ency' worked like a chest O’gold pistoles'... (Aaarrhhh, )
Sure, it’s naive t' think   that all moral beliefs be universal. (The chase is making full sail, matey!)   But thar may be an innate “moral sense” across cultures... (Damn me   eyes.)