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A Geological Miscellany

A Geological Miscellany

G.Y. Craig
E.J. Jones
Copyright Date: 1982
Pages: 214
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  • Book Info
    A Geological Miscellany
    Book Description:

    A Geological Miscellany is an entertainment: a book of anecdotes, epigrams, documents, and cartoons, all illustrating (although not all intentionally) the humorous side of the profession.

    Originally published in 1985.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-5791-3
    Subjects: General Science

Table of Contents

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  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
  2. Preface
    (pp. vii-viii)
    G.Y.C. and E.J.J.
  3. Contributors
    (pp. ix-x)
  4. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-xvi)
  5. Acknowledgements
    (pp. xvii-xviii)
  6. Uniformitarian Meanders
    (pp. 1-2)

    One of the Mississippi’s oldest peculiarities is that of shortening its length from time to time. If you will throw a long, pliant apple-paring over your shoulder, it will pretty fairly shape itself into an average section of the Mississippi River; that is, the nine or ten hundred miles stretching from Cairo, Illinois, southward to New Orleans, the same being wonderfully crooked, with a brief straight bit here and there at wide intervals. The two-hundred-mile stretch from Cairo northward to St. Louis is by no means so crooked, that being a rocky country which the river cannot cut much.


  7. 4004 bc
    (pp. 2-3)

    For as much as our Christian epoch falls many ages after the beginning of the world, and the number of years before that backward is not onely more troublesome, but (unless greater care be taken) more lyable to errour; also it hath pleased our modern chronologers, to adde to that generally received hypothesis (which asserted the Julian years, with their three cycles by a certain mathematical prolepsis, to have run down to the very beginning of the world) an artificial epoch, framed out of three cycles multiplied in themselves; for the Solar Cicle being multiplied by the Lunar, or the...

  8. Brief Thoughts on Maps
    (pp. 3-4)
    V.E.McK. and T.B.N.
  9. Variable Strata
    (pp. 4-5)
  10. Biblical Uniformitarianism
    (pp. 5-5)

    That which hath been is that which shall be; and that which hath been done is that which shall be done; and there is no new thing under the sun....

  11. Geological Literature
    (pp. 5-6)

    I am only too painfully aware how increasingly difficult it is to keep pace with the ever-rising tide of geological literature. The science itself has so widened, and the avenues to publication have so prodigiously multiplied, that one is almost driven in despair to become a specialist, and confine one’s reading to that portion of the literature which deals with one’s own more particular branch of the science. But this narrowing of our range has a markedly prejudicial effect on the character of our work. The only consolation we can find is the conviction, borne in upon us by ample...

  12. On the Prospects of Coal near Otakaia, Otago
    (pp. 6-11)
    D.A.B. and E.H.F.

    Alexander McKay, Wellington, New Zealand, 5 September 1890 As directed, I went from Dunedin to Otakaia on the 9th December last, and examined the various indications, and shafts and workings made in search of coal on the property of Mr. Blair, at Otakaia, and have the honour to report on the same as follows:—

    The rocks in the immediate vicinity of where prospecting has been carried on have all the appearances of forming part of and belonging to the coal-formation of Green Island and Kaitangata. Between the range at the back of Greytown and the ridge of old rock extending...

  13. The Discovery of the South Magnetic Pole
    (pp. 11-18)

    Edgeworth David and Douglas Mawson joined Shackleton as he left New Zealand in theNimrodon his way to the South Pole in January 1908. The following March David led the first ascent of Mt Erebus (12,300 feet) and afterwards spent some months studying the geology and meteorology of the McMurdo Sound area.

    Aug. 14 Magnificent sunrise about 11 a.m., with opal alto-stratus or cirrus clouds, just the colour of olivine in polarized light…. My beard and moustache frozen solid in ice to Burberry helmet. Shackleton held top of primus over my head to thaw it out. Had to tear...

  14. Geologists in Antarctica
    (pp. 19-19)

    Of the scientists who visited the Antarctic in the early days, the geologists seem to have been antagonized most by the prejudiced views of ships’ captains. Perhaps this was due to their bitter experience of the insatiable desire of geologists always wanting to land at the most inconvenient times and places. Many geologists who worked from ships in the Antarctic accordingly adopted ‘hit and run’ tactics to achieve quick results in the short time available to them at each landing. This enforced technique is particularly well illustrated by the following extract from the narrative of the Belgian Antarctic Expedition, 1897–...

  15. Oceanography at Wisconsin
    (pp. 19-19)

    The location of the University of Wisconsin is suprisingly ideal for modern oceanographic studies. It lies midway between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans…...

  16. Sampling the Sea Floor in 1820
    (pp. 20-24)

    Amongst the numerous applications of the sciences to the purposes of the arts, one of the most remarkable, and at the same time one of the most important, is undoubtedly that which has carried to so high a degree of perfection the Diving-Bell, and by this means rendered it one of the most useful of machines, not only in the practice of submarine architecture at great depths, but in mining or exploding the rocks which obstruct the entrance of harbours, or in obtaining from the bottom of the sea any valuable goods which may have been lost near the coast....

  17. The Last Pterodactyl
    (pp. 24-26)

    It was at this point that the sensation of the evening arose—a sensation so dramatic that it can never have been paralleled in the history of scientific gatherings. Professor Challenger raised his hand in the air as a signal, and at once our colleague, Mr E. D. Malone, was observed to rise and to make his way to the back of the platform. An instant later he reappeared in company of a gigantic negro, the two of them bearing between them a large square packing-case. It was evidently of great weight, and was slowly carried forward and placed in...

  18. Plain Geology
    (pp. 26-29)

    Geology has of late been presented to the public in so many new aspects—commercial, military, political, and even legal—that he would be bold who would add to its modern varieties; therefore I ask here only a return to a primitive type, and my topic is ‘Plain Geology’.

    I am convinced that, at its best, science is simple—that the simplest arrangement of facts that sets forth the truth best deserves the term scientific. So the geology I plead for is that which states facts in plain words—in language understood by the many rather than only by the...

  19. Pardon?
    (pp. 29-30)

    Evaporites have their full geologic significance as part of stratigraphic systems. The validity of the stratigraphic analysis depends upon the relative adequacy of the classification structure of sedimentary components, expressed by their functional characteristics in the paleogeographic mode. The paleogeographic mode is the conceptual analytic mode of stratigraphic analysis.

    The stratigraphic system analysis network consists of several concept levels of abstraction, interconnected through the associations of components in terms of their functional transformation. In this sense the components are informationally undefined until transformed into defined components at the next, more abstract, concept level through their topologic functions. Thus the association...

  20. Rocks, Whistles and Last Trumps
    (pp. 30-30)

    While we recognize that the stratigraphical column does not naturally divide itself into sharply defined systems of world-wide extent, I wonder if we have completely freed ourselves from the consequences of the catastrophic hypothesis, and if we have quite ceased to hope for perfect boundaries between systems. But there were no final whistles or last trumps to mark the end of periods or even of epochs. In the classification of the stratigraphical column we can only aim at the ideal, recognizing that if we apply a classification to widely separated areas with different histories, we may be unable to attain...

  21. The First Seismograph
    (pp. 30-31)

    In the first year of the Yang-Chia reign-period (A.D.132) Chang Hêng also invented an ‘earthquake weathercock’ (i.e. a seismograph).

    It consisted of a vessel of fine cast bronze, resembling a wine-jar, and having a diameter of eightchhih.

    It had a domed cover, and the outer surface was ornamented with antique seal-characters, and designs of mountains, tortoises, birds and animals.

    Inside there was a central column capable of lateral displacement along tracks in eight directions, and so arranged (that it would operate) a closing and opening mechanism.

    Outside the vessel there were eight dragon heads, each one holding a bronze...

  22. The San Francisco Earthquake
    (pp. 31-32)

    It is the natural and legitimate ambition of a properly constituted geologist to see a glacier, witness an eruption and feel an earthquake. The glacier is always ready, awaiting his visit; the eruption has a course to run, and alacrity only is needed to catch its more important phases; but the earthquake, unheralded and brief, may elude him through his entire lifetime. It had been my fortune to experience only a single weak tremor, and I had, moreover, been tantalized by narrowly missing the great Inyo earthquake of 1872 and the Alaska earthquake of 1899. When, therefore, I was awakened...

  23. Earthquake in Valdivia
    (pp. 32-33)

    I happened to be on shore, and was lying down in a wood to rest myself. It came on suddenly, and lasted two minutes, but the time appeared much longer. The rocking of the ground was very sensible. The undulations appeared to my companions and myself to come from due east, whilst others thought they preceded from the southwest: this shows how difficult it sometimes is to perceive the direction of the vibrations. There was no difficulty in standing upright, but the motion made me almost giddy; it was something like the movement of a vessel in a little cross-ripple,...

  24. Legal Slip
    (pp. 33-33)

    Professor Starr Jordan, President of Leland Stanford University, told of a case where nature had juggled with real estate during the San Francisco earthquake. An earthquake crack had passed directly in front of three cottages, and moved the rose-garden from the middle cottage to the furthest one, and the raspberry patch from the near cottage exactly opposite the middle one. History does not relate how the law decided who owned the roses and the raspberries after their rearrangement....

  25. Einstein and Gutenberg
    (pp. 33-33)

    The scientist’s celebrated absent-mindedness stems primarily from his preoccupation with the problem that seems most important at the moment. In 1933 Caltech’s senior seismologist, Beno Gutenberg, received a visit from Einstein, who wanted to know something of Gutenberg’s speciality. The two strolled around the college grounds while Gutenberg explained the science of earthquakes. Suddenly an excited colleague broke in on them. They looked round to see people rushing from buildings and the earth heaving under their feet. ‘We had become so involved in seismology’, recalls Gutenberg, ‘that we hadn’t noticed the famous Los Angeles earthquake, the biggest I had ever...

  26. A Scientific Swindler
    (pp. 34-42)
  27. Alfred Wegener, Meteorologist (1870–1930)
    (pp. 42-45)
    A. Hallam

    The history of Alfred Wegener’s continental drift hypothesis must appeal to anyone with a predilection for the romantic. The story of how a geological outsider showed great scientific imagination and courage early this century before a largely hostile audience, and his triumphant vindication half a century later with the almost universal acceptance of plate tectonics, is too well known to need further elaboration here. It may prove illuminating however to cite a few quotations demonstrating how the man himself regarded his hypothesis, how some of his sterner critics reacted and how he responded to their adverse comments. Finally, a couple...

  28. Et Al.
    (pp. 45-45)

    C. L. Fergusson, R. A. F. Cas, W. J. Collins, G. Y. Craig, K. A. W. Crook, C. McA. Powell, P. A. Scott and G. C. Young, ‘The late Devonian Boyd volcanic complex, Eden, N.S.W.’,Journal of the Geological Society of Australia26:87-105 (1979).

    What I like about scientists is that they are a team, so that one need not know their names....

  29. On Brevity
    (pp. 45-45)

    Not that I am a paragon; I once wrote a paper on the burrowing habits of the brachiopodLingula. It was accepted for publication in our own Transactions. If I remember rightly, it ran to some 20 pages in length. Seventeen years later, I can convey my point more briefly. The essence of my story was thatLingulaburrows vertically, anterior end uppermost and always did....

  30. Poppycock
    (pp. 46-46)

    Dr. Day was president of the GSA (in 1938) when I gave my paper on convection currents in the mantle, complete with a working model and a movie which showed the lithosphere plunging under the continents creating massive subduction, meanwhile sweeping the sedimentary layer from the oceans. Harry Hess presided, and endeavoured to get favourable discussion of these then controversial ideas, but circumstances prevented him. Andy Lawson, sitting in the front row got up and squeaked, ‘I may be gullible. I may be gullible! But I am not gullible enough to swallow this poppycock!’ After his long tirade, before Harry...

  31. Rock Bottom
    (pp. 46-47)
  32. Annual Mileage
    (pp. 47-48)

    1916: The distance travelled by me during the year was 1,433 miles, of which 1,120 miles were done by bicycle and foot, 297 miles by train and 16 miles by canoe.

    1917: 718 miles were travelled on the Gold Coast, viz., 645 miles by foot and bicycle, 15 miles by motor-car, eight miles by canoe and 50 miles by train; while the distance travelled in Nigeria was 395 miles, 90 of which were done by hammock and foot, 125 by steam launch, 69 by motor-car and 111 by train....

  33. Student Field Trip
    (pp. 48-48)
  34. Travelling Expenses
    (pp. 48-49)
  35. Victorian Geology
    (pp. 49-49)

    A little beyond this we changed horses atMoy(only a single house), and drove along throughGlen Spean, which is very fine and grand in some parts, the road looking down upon the rapid, rushing, gushing river, as it whirls along imbedded in rocks and overhung with wood, while high ranges of hills, fine and pointed in shape, are seen in the distance rising peak upon peak. Along this road I had driven, but I had forgotten it. Before coming to theBridge of RoyInn, we saw some of the celebratedParallel Roadsquite distinctly, which are more...

  36. Life on the Ocean Wave
    (pp. 50-50)

    Wednesday, 29 July 1868

    Edinburgh to London—Peach, Skae, Home, and Archie in company. Arrive infernally dirty and hungry at St. Catherine’s dock. Have to swear at a cabman, etc. This, of course, was Thursday 30th. Friday, 31st—Start in theOrionfor Antwerp—ship none of the best but passable. Of course a number of English on board. None of them I know. Have a kind of luncheon and satisfy hunger pangs. Brisk breeze gets up towards the afternoon, and puts to flight notions of dinner in the respective buzzums of Skae, Home and Archie. Peach and I wait...

  37. Geology in London
    (pp. 51-51)

    I am glad to hear that you have taken up the subject of flints; I think it is a very fertile one in Geology and almost the only branch of that science that can be practically pursued in the neighbourhood of London…...

  38. William Buckland (1784–1856)
    (pp. 51-54)
    A.H., J.I. and T.G.V.

    In the great catastrophist-uniformitarian debate Buckland allied himself with the catastrophists and exercised great ingenuity in attempting to reconcile the existence of diverse geological phenomena with the Biblical deluge. He studied organic remains found in caves in Britain and on the Continent, publishing his conclusions under the titleReliquiae Diluvianae. Since none of the antediluvian caves contained human remains, Buckland concluded that the human species had been created only very recently. He was, therefore, somewhat shaken when the skeleton of a woman—dyed a rusty red and adorned with bits of ivory—was found in the deposits of a cave...

  39. Divining for Metals
    (pp. 54-57)

    There are many great contentions between miners concerning the forked twig, for some say that it is of the greatest use in discovering veins, and others deny it. Some of those who manipulate and use the twig, first cut a fork from a hazel bush with a knife, for this bush they consider more efficacious than any other for revealing the veins, especially if the hazel bush grows above a vein. Others use a different kind of twig for each metal, when they are seeking to discover the veins, for they employ hazel twigs for veins of silver; ash twigs...

    (pp. 57-57)
  41. Feasting Geological Society—Anniversary Dinner
    (pp. 58-58)

    After the anniversary evening, [1838] Lord Cole pressed me so hard to go and eat pterodactyl (alias woodcock) pie at his rooms, that I went, with Whewell, Buckland, Owen, Clift, Egerton, Broderip, Hamilton, Major Clerk, Lord Adair; and there we were till two o’clock, fines inflicted of bumpers of cognac on all who talked any ‘ology’. Cigar smoke so strong as half to turn one’s stomach. I lost enjoyment of Murchison's dinner next day, and for five days only did half a day's work, or less.

    (Sir Charles Lyell)...

  42. Fasting
    (pp. 59-59)

    We have but a month’s rations remaining. The flour has been resifted through the mosquito-net sieve; the spoiled bacon has been dried and the worst of it boiled; the few pounds of dried apples have been spread in the sun and reshrunken to their normal bulk. The sugar has all melted and gone on its way down the river....

  43. Struthiomimus, or the Danger of Being Too Clever
    (pp. 59-60)
  44. Burnet and His Critics
    (pp. 61-69)
    T.G.V. and N.E.B.

    The greatest objects of Nature are, methinks, the most pleasing to behold; and next to the great Concave of the Heavens, and those boundless Regions where the Stars inhabit, there is nothing that I look upon with more plaesure than the wide Sea and the Mountains of the Earth … And yet these Mountains we are speaking of, to confess the truth, are nothing but great ruins; but such as show a certain magnificence in Nature; as from old Temples and broken Amphitheaters of theRomanswe collect the greatness of that people. But the grandeur of a Nation is...

  45. Expert Advice
    (pp. 70-70)

    There is the prevaricator, there is the teller of tales, and there is the geological consultant.

    J. W. Gregory...

  46. Compiling Maps
    (pp. 70-70)

    Drafting the first comprehensive geologic map of Puerto Rico was beset with problems. Chief of them was the reconciliation of the reconnaisance maps of seven districts, made by six men who worked independently and, apparently, without the least concern about the geology in adjacent districts. Brief field examinations with the limited time and resources at my disposal resolved only a few of the boundary problems and internal inconsistencies; so, when the map was finished, I was acutely aware of its limitations.

    In the early thirties there were no colour presses in Puerto Rico, and I was commissioned to have the...

  47. Joining-up
    (pp. 70-71)

    This season joining-up set in, which is a crucial test of mapping. For when the natural lines run-on from one man’s ground into another’s, then their maps, laid edge to edge, ought of course to correspond; and if not then one or both officers must be wrong. The readers will not be surprised to hear that hot disputes sometimes arise. But even between the most careful of workers, it is not wise to join-up along the edge of a map, for that has no visible existence in Nature. A better frontier is a stream, for that is visible on the...

  48. Theories of the Earth, 1828
    (pp. 71-77)

    EDWARD. Sea-shells, did you say, mother, in the heart of solid rocks, and far inland? There must surely be some mistake in this; at least it appears to me to be incredible.

    MRS. R. Incredible as you may suppose it to be, my dear boy, you may see it with your own eyes in the marble of this chimney-piece, which, you may perceive, is throughout studded with shells as if they were fresh from the sea. They even retain, as you perceive, their originalnacre, as the French call the peculiar lustre of mother-of-pearl.

    CHRISTINA. Ah, so they do; but...

  49. Pursuing a Line of Thought
    (pp. 78-78)

    There is no Chase so pleasant, methinks, as to drive a Thought, by good conduct, from one end of the World to the other; and never to lose sight of it till it fall into Eternity, where all things are lost as to our knowledge....

  50. Petrifications
    (pp. 78-80)

    The tongue of a shark has some resemblance to a stone which is calledglossopetra; this is enough to convince some physicists that the stones are similarly the tongues that sharks left in the Apennines at the time of Noah: how is it that they haven’t said also that the shells that are calledconques de Vénusare not in fact the very thing, the name of which they bear?*

    Reptiles almost always form a spiral when they are not in motion; and it is not surprising that when they are petrified, the stone takes the characteristic figure of a...

  51. The Excursion
    (pp. 80-80)
  52. Respect for the Director General
    (pp. 81-81)
  53. Bureaucracy, 1885
    (pp. 81-81)

    Gov’t science has and always must grow more and more perfunctory. It must grow more expensive and less efficient and that continually. Our survey is now at its zenith and I prophesy its decline. The ‘organization’ is rapidly ‘perfecting’ i.e. more clerks more rules more red tape, less freedom of movement less discretion on the part of the geologists and less out turn of scientific products. This is inevitable. It is the law of nature and can no more be stopped than the growth and decadence of the human body....

  54. Official Letters
    (pp. 82-83)
  55. Irish Debt
    (pp. 83-84)

    As it has come to the knowledge of the Director that several officers of the Survey have on various occasions changed their stations without paying their debts, and that they have taken refuge in the Bankruptcy Court, such conduct is considered by him as highly discreditable to the officers themselves, and calculated to bring dishonour upon that branch of the Public Service to which these officers belong.

    By a recent Treasury Minute, officers of the public service running into debt, are liable to dismissal, and the Director herely gives notice, that he has resolved to report all future cases which...

  56. The Village and Its Amusements
    (pp. 84-85)
  57. Poor Smith
    (pp. 85-86)
  58. Odd Balls
    (pp. 86-86)

    True the billiard tables were of the old Silurian period and the cues and balls of the Post-Pliocene; but there was refreshment in this, not discomfort; for there are rest and healing in the contemplation of antiquities....

  59. Time and Tide
    (pp. 86-86)

    The question of the origin of granite is perhaps the most lively of geological topics today—but we should remember that it always has been. About every twenty years or so, the problem has been finally settled, and a sort of uneasy peace has broken out.

    When we see displayed on a geological map a granite labelled Upper Carboniferous we must realize that we are being told only the date of death of that particular plutonic rock. Death, I agree, is an important event to a man, but his life is much more important to posterity—and so it is...

  60. Old Magma
    (pp. 87-87)
  61. Magmafication HIGH MAGMAFICATION (Music, music, music)
    (pp. 87-89)
  62. A Fossil Town VENTA ICENORUM
    (pp. 89-90)

    It is only a great square field, fringed here and there with wind-blown ashes and oaks. Across its forty acres the crops pass year after year in their accustomed rotation. I have seen it under wheat, barley, oats, grass, sugar beet. I have watched it being ploughed, harrowed, drilled, harvested, and mucked again for the next ploughing. Except for the steep banks on north and south, and the immense ditch and rampart on the east, nothing remains to tell the passer-by that during the Roman centuries this was the principal town of easternmost Britain.

    Closer investigation reveals a little more....

  63. In Aquavitae, Veritas
    (pp. 91-91)

    He ate sparingly, and drank no wine....

  64. On the Effects of Malt Whisky
    (pp. 91-91)

    The children ofFerintoshin Ross, are taught from their infancy to drinkAquavitaeand are observed never to have any worms....

  65. Traits of My Early Childhood
    (pp. 91-92)

    Among the souvenirs of a child of 4 or 5 years old, I can never forget that my nurse was Sally, a pretty and tidy Hampshire lass, who took care of me, in fact, till I went to Durham school (1799).

    Although, therefore, I sucked the milk of a Gaelic wet-nurse, the miller’s wife at Taradale, a fine ‘sonsie’ woman who doubtless gave me true Ferintosh Whisky when I cried (Ferintosh marched with Taradale), and that probably I whimpered like a young Celtic Scot till I was 3 years old, I acquired in Dorsetshire and the South of England that...

  66. Self-esteem
    (pp. 92-93)

    The Anniversary [of the Geological Society] went off gloriously, though I say so. The morning discourse was well received, and in truth I put a good deal of powder and shot into it, foreign and domestic, and took so much pains as to stop my original work on Russia… .[I write] as well as a man can whose first soirée begins tonight with probably 200 or 300 people coming. The morning room was full, and I read for two hours without losing a single man....

  67. Transient Love
    (pp. 93-93)
  68. Haute Cuisine
    (pp. 94-96)

    Here is a regrettably incomplete and quite disgracefully schematic story which I designed for my studious pupil B—, who is ready to record it in his notebook.

    The Sahara is a stable, solid terrain, the sort of thing geologists call a ‘shield’ or ‘craton’, which, like a starched shirt front, refuses to crumple. It is too stiff to follow the contours of the overlying fabric, and it would break if you tried to fold it. The Sahara in other words is a rigid, flat-lying cake, tough enough to break, with few or no folds.

    Write, friend B— ‘The thousand...

  69. Motivating Research
    (pp. 96-97)
    D.A.B. and H. A. Meyerhoff

    It is refreshing to be reminded that eccentricity and anarchy, serendipity and obsession, counter-suggestion, jealousy, paranoic suspicion, spasmodic laziness, arrogant virtuosity and other individualistic traits are still to be regarded as essential ingredients in scientific creation. Some of the authors could only work when quite alone; others when in company: some need to be unhappy; others prefer serenity; some are spurred on by the desire to do the other man down; others are motivated by pure curiosity.

    N. L. Britton may have made his scientific reputation in botany, but as a field man, he was a keenly observant geologist. As...

  70. Marsh and Cope
    (pp. 97-99)
    D.A.B. and D.A.E.S.

    Generally speaking, the naturalists of today are a friendly clan, not given to bickering and to reviling one another. Two generations ago they were quite different. The turmoil which followed the appearance of Darwin’sOrigin of Speciesis familiar to many, but the scientific feud which accompanied the opening up of our Western country is less well known. When the fossil fields in the badlands of the West were accessible to exploration and the Army had the Indians more or less under control, the rush to collect and describe the treasures which were uncovered by each succeeding rain as it...

  71. A Visit to Dr Woodward
    (pp. 100-101)

    On the morning of 30 Oct. we again waited on Dr Woodward, this being the fifth occasion. At last we found him at home, though we were taken into an anteroom. After we had waited there for a good quarter of an hour he sent his apprentice to ask our names. It was another quarter of an hour before he returned to say that his master was still in bed, having been up somewhat late on the preceding night; and would not get up for another half-hour and inquired whether we wished to wait so long. We left our interpreter...

  72. Cephalopods Cure Cramp in Cows
    (pp. 101-101)

    There is an abundance of Lime-stone inStrathandTrotterness, some Banks of Clay on theEastCoast are overflow’d by the tide, and in these grow theLapis Ceranius, orCernna Amonisof different Shapes. Some of the breadth of a Crown-piece bearing an Impression resembling the Sun. Some are as big as a Man’s Finger in the form of aSemicircle, and furrowed on the Inner side, others are less and have furrows of a Yellow Colour on both sides. These Stones are by the Natives called Cramp-stones, because as they say they cure the Cramp in Cows,...

  73. Ad Infinitum
    (pp. 102-102)

    There is no end to paleontology, there is no end to geology; and when the morning of the resurrection shall come, some paleontologist will be searching for some previously undiscovered species of extinct beings, and some geologist will be pecking away at the rocks to find some characteristics which have never been before ascertained. There is no end to it. (Representative Hillary Herbert (D-Ala.), 1892, Cong. Rec., v. 23, p. 4626.)...

  74. Collecting in 1728
    (pp. 102-102)

    Brief Directions for making Observations and Collections and for composing a travelling Register of all sorts of Fossils

    I.Of keeping a Register of the Fossils as they are collected.

    By Means of Paste, Starch, or some fit Gum ought to be fix’d on each Sample collected, a bit of Paper, with aNumber upon it, beginning with No. 1 and proceeding to 2, 3, and so on…. Then in the Register, enterNumbers, answering those fix’d on the Fossils, and under each Note,

    1.WhatSort of Fossil or Mineral ’tis reputed to be.

    2.Where’twas found. 3. Whether there...

  75. The Specimen Hunter
    (pp. 103-103)

    As usual, Brown loaded his unhappy horse with fifteen or twenty pounds of ‘specimens’, to be cursed and worried over for a time, and then discarded for new toys of a similar nature. He is like most people who visit these islands; they are always collecting specimens, with a wild enthusiasm, but they never get home with any of them....

  76. Self-possession
    (pp. 103-103)

    Pride of possession is a curious attribute of mankind. This was brought sharply to my mind recently when it occurred to me to ask myself, ‘Why didn’t Mrs. Chasegivethe Peabody Museum her gallstones?’ Many other people had, for there were a pint or more of miscellaneous gallstones in the Peabody Museum in Salem, curiously enough in the case with an old reindeer. But these were donated gallstones; it was only Mrs. Chase’s that were on loan. The answer is, Mrs. Chase’s gallstones were larger than any others in the whole place and she obviously just couldn’t bear to...

  77. Mary Anning
    (pp. 103-105)
    D.A.B. and G.L.H.D.

    We had alighted from the carriage, and were proceeding along on foot, when we fell in with a shop in which the most remarkable petrifications and fossil remains—the head of an ichthyosaurus, beautiful ammonites, etc.—were exhibited in the window.. We entered, and found a little shop and adjoining chamber completely filled with fossil productions of the coast. It is a piece of great good fortune for the collectors when the heavy winter rains loosen and bring down large masses of the projecting coast. When such a fall takes place, the most splendid and rarest fossils are brought to...

  78. Welsh Pronunciation: the Sedgwick Way
    (pp. 105-106)

    23 July 1846

    The miserably damp weather made me rheumatic and low-spirited, so I nursed one day at Carnarvon, then drove to Pwllheli. What a charming name! In order to pronounce the first part (Pwll), you must blow out your cheeks just as you do when you are puffing at a very obstinate candle; then you must rapidly and cunningly put your tongue to the roof of your mouth behind the fore teeth, and blow hard between your cheeks and your tongue, holding your tongue quite steady all the while, as a man does a spade just before he is...

  79. Plesiosaurus triatarsostinus
    (pp. 106-108)

    I was spending the winter of 1831 as usual in London:—the Pestilence came just in time to drive me thence into Somerset for the salvation of the Triatarsostinus.

    Listen reader.

    December gave up the ghost amidst a thousand frightful rumours of the coming cholera: if I remember right, the 1st of January, 32, is mournfully distinguished as the day in which one of the morning papers announced ‘the Scourge’ present in Southwark: who will ever forget the panic that followed; London was comparatively deserted within twenty-four hours. Tuesday six cases were bulletined as having occurred since its breaking out...

  80. A New Approach
    (pp. 108-109)

    Touring in America, we visited Oak Hill the home of President James Monroe in Leesburgh, Virginia. Our guide pointed out the distinctive flagstone walk through the formal garden, informing us that the markings on several stones were thought to be footprints of dinosaurs. An astonished woman behind me turned to her companion and exclaimed, ‘I’m amazed they would come so close to the house!’...

  81. Plus Ça Change
    (pp. 110-110)

    The day has long gone by when geology could be reviewed ‘as a fashionable toy that everyone who had been to school is supposed capable of handling’; no-one now dares to touch its problems without some knowledge of physics, mathematics, biology and chemistry. When Dr Buckland led his tribe of random riders amongst the Oolitic strata of Oxford or when Sir Roderick Murchison discoursed in sapient language on the rocks of Siluria, geology might have been a ‘fashionable toy’, but not so now. The stern requirements of modern days have made it more accurate and rendered it more sure …...

  82. Geology in 1969
    (pp. 110-111)

    The disappearance of most of Britain’s professors of geology and geophysics into the headquarters of the Natural Environment Research Council one day last month is likely to have passed practically unnoticed. Some cynics would say that their failure to emerge afterwards would not have had a perceptible effect on the world of science. What was discussed one can only guess. What should have been discussed is a different matter.

    Geology in Britain has gone through many phases in its hundred and fifty years of effective life. It was at the centre of the scientific scene during the evolution controversies. It...

  83. The Piltdown Hoax
    (pp. 111-112)

    The remarkable array of specimens from the Piltdown sites makes the perpetrator appear, at first sight, a man of rather extraordinary talents. He seems to possess the abilities of an expert palaeontologist and geologist, as well as to be highly adept in chemistry, human anatomy, and dentistry; yet this would certainly be an uncritical and exaggerated assessment of his qualities. Without doubt the key to all his accomplishments lies in a solid palaeontological background or training. Proficiency in this goes far to explain all that was done at Piltdown. With his palaeontological knowledge, the perpetrator would realize (and, as we...

  84. Sedgwick on The Origin of Species
    (pp. 113-113)

    If I did not think you a good-tempered, and truth-loving man, I should not tell you that (spite of the great knowledge, store of facts, capital views of the correlation of the various parts of organic nature, admirable hints about the diffusions, through wide regions, of nearly related organic beings, &., &.) I have read your book with more pain than pleasure. Parts of it I admired greatly, parts I laughed at till my sides were almost sore; other parts I read with absolute sorrow, because I think them utterly false and grievously mischievous.

    I need hardly go any further...

  85. Aping the Past
    (pp. 113-114)

    What has research in the Gregory Rift Valley taught us concerning the long-term relationships between men and rocks?

    This question has to be approached with great caution because the archaeological record establishes that geologists are a very primitive group. There are important traits that they share with ape-men; traits that are not part of normal modern human behaviour.

    I use the word ‘primitive’ deliberately and in the technical biological sense which refers to the retention of an ancestral condition that has been superseded in the evolution of other related organisms. As geologists walk about the landscape with hammer in hand...

  86. Letter to the Earth
    (pp. 114-115)

    … Of course I have come to know Sir Charles [Lyell] very well. We have been discussing all the fuss and bother about uniformitarianism which have followed our humble efforts to establish geology as a science. All I tried to do was to understand nature from the processes that I could actually observe. I had, of course, never seen a volcano erupting nor experienced a large earthquake, but I had read extensively about them. I must acknowledge that part of the confusion over my contribution to uniformity in nature is my own fault. I was not completely certain, and so...

  87. Geology—the Hypothetical Science
    (pp. 115-116)

    The procession was composed of three gentlemen on foot and a mule laden with stones. These gentlemen were geologists. Geologists are charming company—particularly for other geologists. Their mode of operation is to stop at each rock, and utter prognostications at each stratum. They break up stones in order to carry them away; and at every turn they scratch away at the beds of rock and concoct new hypotheses. It is a tedious business. They are not without imagination, but it operates only in the depths of the sea or the entrails of the earth; it perishes before it gets...

  88. A Geologist’s Paradise
    (pp. 116-116)
  89. The Great Diamond Hoax
    (pp. 116-124)

    Three Reading University students claimed yesterday to have discovered diamonds in the Thames valley in Berkshire, within five miles of Reading and about a mile and a half from the present course of the Thames.

    To avert a diamond ‘rush’, they have been forbidden by the geology department of the university to disclose the exact position, other than to say that it was in an old gravel pit near a former bed of the Thames.

    If the claim can be verified this may be the first time that diamonds have been found in Britain, but there is reason for caution...

  90. Mark Twain—Geologist
    (pp. 124-129)

    The object of our tramp was to visit a great natural curiosity at the base of the foothills—a congealed cascade of lava. Some old forgotten volcanic eruption sent its broad river of fire down the mountainside here, and it poured down in a great torrent from an overhanging bluff some fifty feet high to the ground below. The flaming torrent cooled in the winds from the sea, and remains there today, all seamed and frothed and rippled—a petrified Niagara. It is very picturesque, and withal so natural that one might almost imagine it still flowed. A smaller stream...

  91. Theorists
    (pp. 130-130)

    To some minds, geology scarcely assumes the rank of a science, except where treated of from a physical point of view. They consider the simplest physical law adequate to the explanation of the most stupendous phenomena. To them, mountain chains rise and are abraded, and the entire crust of the earth is folded and plicated in obedience to certain laws. They see no difficulty in the way of imagining torrents of water moving onward and upward, carrying masses of rocks over heights far above their origin by some simply gyratory force. The entire earth becomes with equal ease to them,...

  92. Ami Boué
    (pp. 130-131)

    [In Hungary] As a result of eating under the hot August sun I became dangerously ill with typhoid fever, which can only be cured in Vienna, where I spent 6 weeks in bed.

    [In eastern Europe] At Sofia we encountered the plague, and were greeted by the funeral of a victim whose face was uncovered, as is the Turkish custom. An official of the most gracious Kamil Pasha accompanied us as far as Etropole, and we made our first stop at a place which belonged to him in the village of Ouselia. Here I had two adventures. Firstly, I had...

  93. Dress and Equipment 100 Years Ago
    (pp. 132-133)
    H.H. and C.D.W.

    Thecoathad to be very comfortable with as many pockets as possible: also it had to be very loose but strongly made.Sewn-in soft leather pocketswere much liked, since minerals and pieces of rock could be easily carried without the pockets looking like worn kangaroo pouches. Many geologists used to walk around dressed in afrock-coat, the so-called ‘redingote’, but this was often in the way in rain or damp grass. Therefore a short coat was preferred and soft cashmere was recommended, being the best cloth and warmer than the light nankeen overcoats. But a redingote was sometimes...

  94. Darwin and Sedgwick in the Field
    (pp. 134-135)

    Professor Sedgwick intended to visit N. Wales in the beginning of August [1831] to pursue his famous geological investigation amongst the older rocks, and Henslow asked him to allow me to accompany him. Accordingly he came and slept at my father’s house.

    A short conversation with him this evening produced a strong impression on my mind. Whilst examining an old gravel-pit near Shrewsbury a labourer told me that he had found in it a large worn tropical Volute shell, such as may be seen on the chimney-pieces of cottages; and as he would not sell the shell I was convinced...

  95. Darwin on Lyell
    (pp. 135-136)

    I saw more of Lyell than of any other man both before and after my marriage. His mind was characterised, as it appeared to me, by clearness, caution, sound judgment and a good deal of originality. When I made any remark to him on Geology, he never rested until he saw the whole case clearly and often made me see it more clearly than I had done before. He would advance all possible objections to my suggestion, and even after these were exhausted would long remain dubious. A second characteristic was his hearty sympathy with the work of other scientific...

  96. Lyell as Statesman and Gourmand
    (pp. 136-140)

    Of all the banquets ever given in our city, there has yet been none conceived or provided with greater magnificence than the one last night at the Metropolitan. Every dish that the epicure could desire, every drink that the veteran imbiber could wish, every decoration that the most fastidious could hope for, stood upon the tables or were displayed upon the walls.

    At an early hour the guests began to assemble in the reception room. About six o’clock the most delicious fumes, arising from the loaded tables, spread through the house, and as they greeted the olfactories of the impatient...

  97. Cabbage Rolls
    (pp. 140-140)

    Mix together

    Steam head of cabbage in pot of water to soften it and separate leaves. Put mixture in cabbage leaves, rolling them and sticking them shut with a toothpick. Cut an onion over cabbage rolls. Pour over 1 can tomatoes. Bake 1 hour in 325 ºC oven....

  98. Trace Elements in Food CROSSE & BLACKWELL
    (pp. 141-141)

    In soliciting attention to the above extract, beg to state that the utmost care is taken to insure purity and wholesomeness in their various productions. Their Establishment has been inspected by Dr. HASSAL and many leading Members of theMedical Profession, who have been pleased to express their unqualified approval of the General Manufacturing arrangements. Every article prepared by C. & B. is of the highest quality that can be produced; their PICKLES, TART FRUITS, AND PRESERVES,are perfectly natural in Colour; no mineral or other deleterious ingredient being employed to give them anundue brilliancy.

    C.& B. particularly recommend the...

  99. Lab. Work
    (pp. 142-142)

    I sacrificed the month of August [1816] to chemistry. Oh, how I did work! It was delightful play to me; and I stuck to it day and night. At last, having blown off both my eyebrows and eyelashes, and nearly blown out both my eyes, I ended with a bang that shook all the houses around my lecture-room. The Cambridge paper has told you the result of all this alchemy for I have actually decomposed the earths, and obtained them in metallic form....

  100. Chemists and Geologists
    (pp. 142-143)

    The friendship that subsisted between him [Dr HUTTON] and Dr BLACK has been already mentioned, and was indeed a distinguishing circumstance in the life and character of both. There was in these two excellent men that similarity of disposition which must be the foundation of all friendship, and, at the same time, that degree of diversity, which seems necessary to give to friends the highest relish for the society of one another.

    They both cultivated nearly the same branches of physics, and entertained concerning them nearly the same opinions. They were both formed with a taste for what is beautiful...

  101. In Situ
    (pp. 143-144)

    Geology has its peculiar difficulties, from which all other sciences are exempt. Questions in chemistry may be settled in the laboratory by experiment. Mathematical and philosophical questions may be discussed, while the materials for discussion are readily furnished by our own intellectual reflections. Plants, animals, and minerals, may be arranged in the museum, and all questions relating to their intrinsic principles may be discussed with facility. But the relative positions, the shades of difference, the peculiar complexions, whether continuous or in subordinate beds, are subjects of enquiry in settling the characters of rocks, which can be judged of while they...

  102. Cuvier’s Study
    (pp. 144-145)

    I got into Cuvier’s sanctum sanctorum yesterday, and it is truly characteristic of the man. In every part it displays that extraordinary power of methodising which is the grand secret of the prodigious feats which he performs annually without appearing to give himself the least trouble. But before I introduce you to this study, I should tell you that there is first the museum of natural history opposite his house, and admirably arranged by himself, then the anatomy museum connected with his dwelling. In the latter is a library disposed in a suite of rooms, each containing works on one...

  103. The Jolly Young Trilobite
    (pp. 145-146)
  104. Potted Geology
    (pp. 146-147)

    Have I ever told you of the wonderful & surprising curiositys we find in our Navigation? Sometime last month we found under a bed of Clay, at the depth of five yards from the surface, a prodigious rib, with the vertebre of the back bone of a monstrous sized Fish, thought by some connoissieurs to belong to the identical Whale that was so long ago swallowed by Jonah! Another bone found near the same place in a stratum of Gravel under a bed of Clay of a very considerable thickness, is of so singular a construction that though I have shewn...

  105. Science and Economists
    (pp. 147-147)

    There is no science whose value can be adequately estimated by economists and utilitarians of the lower order. Its true quantities cannot be represented by arithmetical figures or monetary tables; for its effects on mind must be as surely taken into account as its operations on matter, and what it has accomplished for the human intellect, as certainly as what it has done for the comforts of society or the interests of commerce. Who can attach a marketable value to the discoveries of Newton?...

  106. In Memoriam
    (pp. 148-149)

    When I first set foot in Skye, most of my rambles there had geological pursuits as their aim. The general character and succession of the rocks of the island had been made known by Macculloch in his classicDescription of the Western Islands of Scotland. I found that he was still remembered by some of the older inhabitants, but less as a geologist than as a writer who had maligned them. In his four volumes of letters to Sir Walter Scott onThe Highlands and Western Islands of Scotland—on the whole a somewhat tedious work, though often amusing and...

  107. Field Trip—New Mexico
    (pp. 149-152)

    The Fourth Field Conference sponsored by the New Mexico Geological Society, a tour of southwest New Mexico and southeast Arizona, began at El Paso Thursday morning, October 15, 1953. After examining Paleozoic and Cretaceous rocks in the vicinity of El Paso, the caravan passed northward to Las Cruces and Caballo and westward through Hillsboro and Kingston to Silver City. On Saturday, the conference visited the Tyrone, Santa Rita and White Signal mining districts and returned to Silver City for a banquet at the Murray Hotel. On Sunday, the fourth day, the group drove from Silver City to Lordsburg, then westward...

  108. Moderation in All Things
    (pp. 152-152)

    1. Unexpected and apparently unreasonable behaviour, often accompanied by complaints of coldness and tiredness.

    2. Physical and mental lethargy, including failure to respond to or understand questions and directions.

    3. Failure of, or abnormality, in vision. It should be noted that some failure of vision is a very usual symptom, and when this does occur, the condition should be regarded with extreme seriousness.

    4. Some slurring of speech. There is not necessarily early failure of speech and victim may speak quite strongly until shortly before collapse.

    5. Sudden shivering fits.

    6. Violent outbursts of unexpected energy—possible physical resistance to succour—violent language.

    7. Falling....

  109. Storm Warning
    (pp. 152-152)

    Members of the excursion will find the geology the more pleasurable the more effectively they can keep out the wet....

  110. … But Names Can Never Hurt Me
    (pp. 153-154)

    Agassiz commenced his labours; and in a period of time little exceeding fourteen years he has raised the number of species [of fossil fish] from ninety-two to sixteen hundred … . Some of my humbler readers may possibly be repelled by his names; they are, like all names in science, unfamiliar in their aspect to mere English readers, just because they are names, not for England alone, but for England and the world. I am assured, however, that they are all composed of very good Greek, and picturesquely descriptive of some peculiarity in the fossils they designate. One of his...

  111. Call a Spade a Spade
    (pp. 154-154)

    In general, however, the writers do not favour arbitrary and systematic replacement of well-known Anglo-Saxon terms by unfamiliar Greek equivalents. It does not clarify the meaning to employ bioherm for organic reef, or carbonatite for carbonate rocks. A spade is not sharpened by being called a geotome....

  112. Linnaeus Simplified
    (pp. 154-155)

    Until a generation ago geologists were frequently assured (or twitted) that they had made extremely valuable contributions to all the formations except that which contained the resources of greatest economic significance, the Coal Measures. This is not perhaps a true picture of what occurred in those years, but it may quite definitely be said that in the last twenty years or so there has been very great progress in the correlation and identification of seams, and much that was written in earlier years has to be reconsidered in the light of new evidence. This is often of great importance to...

  113. Musty Dons
    (pp. 155-157)

    ‘Now, my dear chevalier,’ cried the lady, ‘you shall come and see my magnificent specimens. First, I will show you that which all the Bucklands and the Sedgewick’s envy me the possession of. It is a complete Musty Don; I believe it to be quite unique.’

    ‘I believe, madam,’ said Harry Worrel, who could refrain no longer, ‘that it was found by our army in Spain, was it not? But I thought they had discovered many Musty Dons there.’

    ‘Oh, dear, no! oh, dear no!’ cried the lady quite seriously; ‘this is the only one that ever was found complete,...

  114. Rote Learning
    (pp. 157-158)

    I had come up to South Kensington persuaded that I should learn everything. I found myself at South Kensington lost and dismayed at the multitudinous inconsecutiveness of everything.

    Judd had a disposition very common in conscientious teachers, to over-control his students. He wanted to mess about with their minds. Huxley gave us his science, but he did not watch us digesting it. He was watching his science. Judd insisted not merely on our learning but learning precisely in his fashion. We had to make note-books, after his heart. We had to draw and paint and write down our facts just...

  115. Practical Demonstrations
    (pp. 158-159)

    Knowing how much an illustration will help to fix a fact in the mind of any student, of whatever age, David took the greatest pains to illustrate his lectures, not only by drawings on the large blackboards in his lecture-theatre, and by lantern-slides, but also by models of actual geological phenomena. Very few of the students ever knew the immense amount of pains and patience expended on these models, not only by the Professor himself, but by his two faithful and admiring attendants who sympathized with his zeal in experimenting with these geological toys, and were ready to risk even...

  116. Student Assessment
    (pp. 160-161)

    At twelve Sandwich and I go to the Geological lecture. Coleridge used to attend Sir Humphry Davy’s lectures, he said, in order to increase his stock of metaphors; and anyone might with advantage attend Sedgwick’s merely for the same purpose, tho’ he were uninterested by the mysterious truths which he developes. His lectures are a rich mine of strong, rugged and picturesque English; and I am confident Tennyson has worked in it assiduously. I could quote many passages to prove that he has studied and imitated Sedgwick’s grand, nervous style. I wish I could preserve for you a lecture in...

  117. Rara Avis
    (pp. 161-161)
    T.G.V. and C.D.W.

    Well, my good lovely wife, I breakfasted with Professor Jameson! A most splendid house, splendid everything, a good breakfast to boot. The professor wears his hair [in] three distinct, different courses, [so that] when he sits fronting the south, for instance, those on the upper forehead are bent westwardly, towards the east, those that cover both ears are inclined; and the very short sheared portion behind mounts directly upward, perhaps somewhat like the sister quills of the ‘fretful porcupine’. But dearest Lucy, notwithstanding all this curious economy of the outward ornamental appendages of his skull, the sense within is great,...

  118. The Giant’s Causeway
    (pp. 161-161)

    BOSWELL: ‘Is not the Giant’s Causeway worth seeing?’

    JOHNSON: ‘Worth seeing? yes; but not worth going to see.’...

  119. Triangular Diagrams
    (pp. 162-162)

    There is, of course, no obvious reason why petrographers should favor the use of triangles and therefore only three main variables for classification. The popularity of the triangle is probably attributable partly to its value for graphic display and partly to motives that only a psychoanalyst could plumb....

  120. ‘Frisky Hall’
    (pp. 162-162)

    The next day we set out early on our expedition. There was a carriage in case we should like to drive but of course we walked. Sir James Hall, Playfair and I arrived first and as they were frightfully thirsty (it was blazing hot weather) we got the lunch basket out of the carriage. I opened a bottle of champagne, poured a very little into a glass, filled it with water and gave it to Hall. He drank it off saying it was delicious so I gave the same to Playfair.

    Well, it must have been that they were exhausted...

  121. Experimental Folding
    (pp. 163-163)

    I endeavoured to illustrate my idea by the following rude experiment, made with such materials as were at hand. Several pieces of cloth, some linen, some woollen, were spread upon a table, one above the other, each piece representing a single stratum; a door (which happened to be off the hinges) was then laid above the mass, and being loaded with weights, confined it under a considerable pressure [Fig. A], two boards being next applied vertically to the two ends of the stratified mass, were forced towards each other by repeated blows of a mallet applied horizontally. The consequence was,...

  122. The Pick and Hammer Club
    (pp. 164-166)
    E. Yochelson

    One aspect of the USGS which is not part of the official Civil Service record is the Pick and Hammer Club. Customarily the Club ‘presents’ the PICK AND HAMMER SHOW, an annual (but not always), informal (usually), and less than technical (mostly) event, for which the Club has achieved wide acclaim throughout the geologic realm. Membership in Pick and Hammer is open to all members of the U.S. Geological Survey.

    The past is veiled in antiquity, blurred by one of our great traditions— that we keep no written records. Anonymity has its advantages! According to legend, we are the true...

  123. Russian Efficiency
    (pp. 166-167)

    In presenting to the public geological maps of Russia in Europe and the Ural Mountains, and in attempting to classify upon what they consider to be a sound general basis, the various deposits of so vast a territory, the authors bespeak the indulgence of their brother geologists, towards the inaccuracies of detail which must inevitably accompany such a first outline of regions which they traversed rapidly and only partially examined… .A government which controls the power and rouses the latent energies of so great a country, is ever desirous to know, what are the tracts within its rule, in which...

  124. Stone Juice
    (pp. 168-168)

    Petroleum is produced in Fu and Yen [places in Shensi and Kansu]. This ‘oil-water’ is the same substance as that which old accounts describe as coming from Kao-nu Hsien. It comes out mixed with water, sand and stones. In the spring the local people collect it with pheasant-tail brushes, and put it into pots where it looks like laequer. It can easily be burnt, but its smoke, which is very thick, makes the curtains all black. I once thought that this smoke might be useful, and tried to collect its deposit for making ink. The black colour was as bright...

  125. Acknowledgement
    (pp. 168-168)

    I am extremely grateful to Professor J. Sutton and the Imperial College authorities who granted me leave of absence to retire from the academic hurly-burly to the peace and quiet of the oil industry to write this book....

  126. Geological Poachers
    (pp. 169-170)

    We had now reached the Scuir… . The mountain-wall of Eigg, with its dizzy elevation of four hundred and seventy feet, is a wall founded on piles of pine laid crossways; and, strange as the fact may seem, one has but to dig into the floor of this deep-hewn piazza, to be convinced that at least itisa fact.

    Just at this interesting stage, however, our explorations bade fair to be interrupted. Our man who carried the pickaxe had lingered behind us for a few hundred yards, in earnest conversation with an islander; and he now came up, breathless...

  127. Pretty Stones
    (pp. 170-171)

    The rain again returned as I was engaged in examining the graphic granite of the Portsoy vein; the breeze from the sea heightened into a gale, that soon fringed the coast with a border of foam; and I entered the town [Portsoy, near Banff, Scotland], which looked but indifferently well in its gray dishabille of haze and spray, tolerably wet and worn, but with the prospect before me of being weather-bound for the rest of the day. I found an old-fashioned inn, kept by somewhat old-fashioned people, who had lately come from the country to ‘open a public’, and ensconsed...

  128. Magnetic Attraction
    (pp. 172-172)

    When King James went to see his Queene Anne to Denmarke and was tossed by the windes on the sea, sundrye of those attended him, perplexed with the tempestes desired earnestly hee would turn his course homeward againe. But when they could not prevaile, a merry disposed gentleman said, apperingly his pricke was touched with a magnet, it would not stand but toward the north....

  129. E. B. Bailey (1881–1965)
    (pp. 172-173)

    The few autobiographical notes which Bailey left recall that he was a puny and sickly child with tonsil and ear troubles. But it would appear that an early inclination for an outdoor life showed itself in his ambition to join the Red Indians when he grew up. He selected and carefully marked, in his mother’s Army and Navy Stores catalogue, various items of camping equipment thought to be essential to meet his needs, and he abstracted from Longfellow’sHiawatha, anaide-memoireof Red Indian words so that he could talk with his future adopted blood-brothers. He attended a small school...

  130. Ruskin on Rocks
    (pp. 173-174)

    A stone, when it is examined, will be found a mountain in miniature. The fineness of Nature’s work is so great, that, into a single block, a foot or two in diameter, she can compress as many changes of form and structure, on a small scale, as she needs for her mountains on a large one; and, taking moss for forests, and grains of crystal for craggs, the surface of a stone, in by far the plurality of instances, is more interesting than the surface of an ordinary hill; more fantastic in form and incomparably richer in colour—the last...

  131. The Death of Pliny the Elder
    (pp. 174-176)

    My uncle was at that time with the fleet under his command at Misenum. On the 24th of August, about one in the afternoon, my mother desired him to observe a cloud of very unusual size and appearance. He had sunned himself, then taken a cold bath, and after a leisurely luncheon was engaged in study. He immediately called for his shoes and went up an eminence from whence he might best view this very uncommon appearance. It was not at that distance discernible from what mountain this cloud issued, but it was found afterwards to be Vesuvius. I cannot...

  132. Vesuvius
    (pp. 176-178)

    An Account of the great Eruption of MOUNT VESUVIUS, the 1Oth of October, 1767, in a Letter from the Hon. WILLIAM HAMILTON, Envoy Extraordinary and Minister Plenipotentiary of his Britannick Majesty, to the King of the Two Sicilies. 1768.

    As I have nothing material to trouble you with at present, I will endeavour to give you a short and exact account of the eruption, which is allowed to have been the most violent, though of short duration, in the memory of man. I had foretold this eruption some time, having had opportunities from my villa to watch its motions more...

  133. Volcanic Moulds
    (pp. 179-180)

    At four o’clock in the afternoon we were winding down a mountain of dreary and desolate lava to the sea, and closing our pleasant land journey. This lava is the accumulation of ages; one torrent of fire after another has rolled down here in old times, and built up the island structure higher and higher. Underneath, it is honeycombed with caves; it would be of no use to build wells in such a place; they would not hold water—you would not find any for them to hold, for that matter. Consequently, the planters depend upon cisterns.

    The last lava...

  134. Fecal Petrofabrics
    (pp. 180-181)

    I do not like to give the impression of emphasizing the importance of my own findings, but am sure that false modesty should not enter in when one is pressing back the frontiers of knowledge. If I have taken a step in advance of my colleagues, it must be credited in part to the painstaking attention to detail that seems to go with Germanic ancestry, and in part to the fact that, working alone this summer, I have been able to concentrate as never before.

    I may have mentioned in an earlier letter that the work in the Three Peaks...

  135. Suggestions re Field Work, etc. Memo to Officers of the New Zealand Geological Survey, June 1920
    (pp. 181-183)

    Every camp should have:

    Facilities fordrying clothes.

    Tablesuitable for draughting, and if possible not used for other purposes.

    Shelvesfor draughtsman’s accessories.

    Aplace for draughting board.

    If possible map sheets in use should be keptflat.

    Candlestickssuitable for draughting work (i.e., holding candle about 5 in. above table and able to catch grease), or in settled country where houses are available goodoil lamps, etc.

    All available time should be employed in field work. For this there are no fixed hours. The time in field should depend on or be limited only by daylight, weather, and...

  136. AWOL
    (pp. 183-183)
  137. Powell in the Grand Canyon
    (pp. 184-190)

    August 14.—At daybreak we walk down the bank of the river, on a little sandy beach, to take a view of a new feature in the cañon. Heretofore, hard rocks have given us bad river; soft rocks, smooth water; and a series of rocks harder than any we have experienced sets in. The river enters the granite! (Geologists would call these rocks metamorphic crystalline schists, with dikes and beds of granite, but we will use the popular name for the whole series—granite.)

    We can see but a little way into the granite gorge, but it looks threatening.


  138. The Min. Mag.
    (pp. 190-190)

    I have referred to the Magazine, and have said that a good idea of the work of the Society may be obtained in a few minutes by turning over the pages of one of its volumes. It may be cast in our teeth that the volume is small, but we can truly and proudly retort that few volumes of the same size furnish so vast an amount of heavy reading....

  139. The Cosmic Achoo!
    (pp. 191-192)

    I AM SITTING here 93 million miles from the sun on a rounded rock that is spinning at the rate of 1,000 miles an hour and roaring through space to nobody-knows-where, to keep a rendezvous with nobody-knows-what, for nobody-knows-why, and all around me whole continents are drifting rootlessly over the surface of the planet, India ramming into the underbelly of Asia, America skidding off toward China by way of Alaska, Antarctica slipping away from Africa at the rate of an inch per eon, and my head pointing down into space with nothing between me and infinity but something called gravity,...

  140. Index
    (pp. 193-195)