Friday, 29 February 2008

Arts. Meh.

This Arts stuff is harder than the science. I'm finding it tricky to discuss art sensibly and get my ideas down on paper. Reading the course books is fascinating, but I can't think what to write in my assignment. I have too many words for the short answers and too few words for the long answers.

*prevaricates and makes a cup of tea*

Wednesday, 20 February 2008

Trilobite Trauma

On Sunday I discovered that there is a stall in the market that sells fossils. No idea why I'd missed it before, the stallholder said that they're always there. I suppose I usually just go there for the ostrich burgers and come home again. Anyway, I seem to have found a nice local person to fuel my fossily desires. She saw my interest and started by saying "these are ammonites, these are popular", but I showed her the ammonite that I have around my neck and asked her the price of her three various sized Calymene's. That seemed to convince her that I knew (vaguely) what I was talking about and she whipped out some of her sale stock* for me to look at.

It was beautiful. It was big. It was £45. I wanted it. My parents were with me. I had to leave it behind.

As far as I can tell, it's probably one of these:

Paradoxides davidis**

The Wikipedia page for it says that the adults can grow up to 30-70cm, which would make sense as it's height was about 20cm, maybe a bit bigger. It's head shield came back in points like this one.

Do I buy it?

Of course, she may well have sold it later in the day, but she suspected that she wouldn't. Maybe it's already gone. If I do get it I'll have to hide it from my parents forever***.

On the other hand, it's not like I'm buying food with the £45, it's something gorgeous that will outlive me. You can't even get that kind of long-term use out of a saucepan, even they die eventually. Bloody hell, even a decent pair of shoes will cost £45 and fall apart eventually.


* No idea how you can put a fossil on sale, they're not exactly last season's fashions. Not complaining.
** More information on the Order Redlichiida for those who might be interested...
*** 32 years old and still lectured about spending too much money.

Friday, 15 February 2008

The Drake Equation

Turns out I learnt something on my Planetary Science course before I quit it, I actually understand today's XKCD!

Monday, 4 February 2008

The Grand Canyon

I'll be visiting the Grand Canyon with my father in October. I've been before, but this will be the first time of looking at it with more of a geological eye and I'm looking forward to it. However, I am not looking forward to shopping there, I'd like to buy a nice sensible book about the geology of the place, but it looks as if that might not be possible.

According to an article that I found today on the workers at the Park can't tell you how old it is, the official answer is "No Comment." How Old Is The Grand Canyon? Park Service won't say.

I hate to say this but, *headdesk*