Geo-Joint: The Reign of Purple

Color is everywhere, at least for the 91 percent of us who are not colorblind. Even for those who can’t discern all the variations of the spectrum, there is some color available. It results from the different wavelengths of light reflecting off of surfaces. Colors of all kinds occur in nature, though some, like the green of plants and the … Read More

Geo-Joint: Lusi the Mud Volcano

Not too terribly far beneath our feet, the Earth is a very different place from the pleasant zone we live in. The deepest mines, which can reach down to depths of a mere two and a half miles, are very hot jobsites. Just another handful of miles deeper (depending upon your location) puts you at the outermost zone of the … Read More

Geo-Joint: Where the Streets Have No Cars

 When you imagine a cityscape, or even a suburban scene, it’s quite likely that your mind’s eye would envision buildings large and small, streets running along those buildings, maybe some trees or parks, streetlights, traffic signs, and inevitably, traffic. Whether the occasional car in a quiet neighborhood, or bumper-to-bumper madness on downtown streets or the freeway, cars are just a … Read More

Geo-Joint: A Boiling River in the Amazon

You’ve heard about Paul Bunyan, and probably the Chupacabra, and the Lost Dutchman Gold Mine. Cultures make up stories that become legends, in order to entertain, amuse, teach lessons, and to say something about the people who pass them on. They are told and retold countless times until they help define a culture’s personality and history. But by and large, … Read More

Geo-Joint: The Badlands of South Dakota

Sitting in a state that most people have probably not been to is a region that doesn’t necessarily sound inviting. The state is South Dakota, and in its southwestern stretches is the ominously named Badlands. They didn’t pick up the moniker from the quick judgment of explorers or pioneers just passing through, but from the Lakota people, who had lived … Read More

Geo-Joint: Lake Michigan’s Overdeveloped Mussels

Some lakes are known for their stunning clarity, while others are as green as grass, from bright green to dull olive. Lake Tahoe has long been extolled for its deep blue color due to the clearness of its water, although over time it has diminished, and the pressures of development, sedimentation, fire, and more, mean trouble for its future. Most … Read More

Geo-Joint: Lunar Origins

 Everybody knows that people get crazier when the moon is full. And more babies get born then. And the moon is hollow, and full of aliens. OK, maybe none of that is true. But the moon surely makes the tides go in and out and helps birds and moths navigate, and tells grunion when to spawn, and encourages sweethearts to … Read More

Geo-Joint: Iceland’s Cool Story

The Geo-Joint recently prattled on about the grand phenomenon that built the Mid-Atlantic Ridge. Though it would be quite a sight, most of its very long, sinuous outline is well undersea and out of viewing range for tourists. A striking exception to this is the little country on the sizeable island called Iceland. Iceland is built of the magma rising … Read More

Geo-Joint: Venice—Treading Water and Waiting for a Life Preserver

The origins of Venice are rooted in simplicity and desperation. Simple, because the earliest inhabitants of the many lagoon islands at the northern end of the Adriatic Sea were those making a basic living off the sea—fishermen and sea salt miners. But as the Roman Empire came under attack by invaders from the north, desperation became a motivation. People from … Read More

Geo-Joint: Continents Drifting Toward Plate Tectonics

Anybody with half a brain idly spinning a globe will notice that the coastlines of eastern South America and western Africa are pretty similar. And that’s just the most obvious coastline match-up, of which there are many. It has always seemed like a logical notion that the two continents were at one time connected, but then there’s that part about … Read More