Thursday, June 25, 2009

Argentina's Coast

Argentina Coast
Originally uploaded by robmcmanus83.
Sara K. Smith teaches us some Argentinian geography as inspired by South Carolina's Governor Sanford: "Sanford Taught Us All a Valuable Lesson in Geography."

And I had no idea. I have a rough visual picture of the geography of South America, where the plains are, and the glaciers, and the rain forests, and plateaus, and high Andes, and the Pampas. But I'd never even thought of the coast of Argentina, and whether it is accessible, whether it has a long coast road like California's, or is developed like the French Riviera, or is broken up and swampy like Louisiana's, or an open estuary like South Australia's Coorong, or a series of sand bars and barrier islands like South Carolina.

Now I know a little more, and of course, must read up a bit. I am fascinated.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

I wonder what details he's staring at

This is how I grew up, on my belly over the National Geographic Atlas, or the Times Atlas, noting changes in the various borders of Africa and Europe, or stopping in front of wall-mounted maps to stare.

I still do it. Nothing's changed, in more than four decades now. Maps make me stop and inspect the details.

stretching the bounds of geographilia

I know this blog is about geography. Every so often I grumble about what the outside edges of "geography" are. It's a broad subject, indeed. Human geography is huge and vague around the edges, physical geography is only slightly more concrete. I love the range of the science.

It really doesn't include astronomy, and I battle with that in my brain, because astronomy fascinates me too.

Steph gets around it with her blog title, Adventures in Earth and Space, as she's a geologist who works with NASA.

I throw up my hands here, I don't care, because I want to share with you these children's drawings:

Astronomy des petites - Kids' astronomy

I do not promise I will never say anything about astronomy again.

(click through the photo to see the whole set on flickr)

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

dodge the blast wave!

I saw this wonderful picture of Sarychev volcano (in the Kuril Islands, erupting on June 12) yesterday or the day before, but it's been a busy few days with gardening (I got the rest of the potatoes planted, and damn these cucumber beetles that just don't squish easily) , and my "I need to blog about this wonderful photo" kept becoming, "As soon as I get a minute...." because I intended not just to share the picture, but explain what was happening.

Then Andrew Alden at did what I'd intended to do, and explained the details, so I can quote him gratefully.
The eruption plume consists of brown ash. The white cloud cap formed in the air pushed upward by the rising plume in the cold stratosphere. It is a pileus cloud (named for an ancient Greek hat), now being penetrated by the eruption plume. The big ring of clear air around the island formed as the air around the plume moved downward in response. On the ground, three ashflows are moving down the volcano's slopes. The one on the bottom appears to be white with steam.
And here is it, caught on camera by folk in the International Space Station, for science, and for our delight.

(Yes, the title's silly. It's what my husband says every time an action movie hero narrowly escapes being blown up by ducking away from or fleeing ahead of an explosion's blast wave.)

careers in geography

(This is part 32,208,498,408 or so in a series of videos that I try not to post more than once every couple of weeks, because they aren't mind-bendingly interesting, but seem to have some good information.

Monday, June 22, 2009

sharing the wealth

Originally uploaded by SparkyLeigh.
"A sea lion was picked up by Oakland police Monday morning after it wandered onto northbound Interstate Highway 880, a California Highway Patrol officer said.
The sea lion was spotted around 5:45 a.m. as it walked south in the center divide of northbound I-880, just south of Park Street, the CHP reported.

The CBS blog goes on to say that there have been more malnourished babies coming up out of the bay lately, and that their prey is decreasing locally.

Protecting fisheries and choosing sustainable seafood protects sea lion food, too.

The Monterey Bay Aquarium's Seafood Watch program offers printable sustainable seafood guides and lists of good alternatives for non-sustainable favorites.

We're sharing that big ocean full of meat (and vegetables now, too) with lots of other creatures. We need to find a way to share it fairly, and to save it for the future as well.