Recently ran across this photo of Utah’s Mt. Timpanogos in the snow. You can see how majestic the mountain is dressed in white, and how its glory can bring awe and joy to people in the valley.
Photo found on Wikipedia, from January 2008.
We shouldn’t pass April 19 — a day marked by significant historic events through the past couple hundred years — without remembering that it is also the anniversary of the death of Darwin.
Immortality? Regardless Darwin’s religious beliefs (I’ll argue he remained Christian, thank you, if you wish to argue), he achieved immortality solely on the strength of his brilliant work in science. Of course he’s best known for being the first to figure out that natural and sexual selection worked as tools to sculpt species over time, a theory whose announcement he shared with Alfred Russel Wallace, who independently arrived at almost exactly the same theory but without the deep evidentiary backup Darwin had amassed.
But had evolution turned out to be a bum theory, Darwin’s other works would have qualified him as one of the greatest scientists of all time, including:
Any of those accomplishments would have been a career-capping work for a scientist. Darwin’s mountains of work still form foundations of geology and biology, and are touchstones for genetics.
Born within a few hours of Abraham Lincoln on February 12, 1809, Darwin survived 17 years longer — 17 extremely productive years. Ill through much of his life with mystery ailments, perhaps Chaga’s Disease, or perhaps some other odd parasite or virus he picked up on his world travels, Darwin succumbed to heart disease on April 19, 1882.
Utah’s Mount Timpanogos rises on the east side of Utah Valley, in Utah County, over Utah Lake.
At about 6,000 feet above the valley floor, the mountain can make its own weather at times. On a cold winter morning, sun struggling to climb over the peak can expose clouds from sublimating ice on the mountain, or clouds from ice crystals blown off the top slopes.
Any way they form, it can be a spectacular start to another day.
Much of my childhood was spent about five miles south and east of the spot this photo was taken (American Fork?). The mountain filled most of my bedroom window. A sunrise like this one would look like a forest fire in my room. But film was expensive, and my camera was a snapshot special.
Thanks to @CharBailey5479, whoever you are.
Much as the GOP Caucus and other climate-change deniers, Roman officials in Pompeii and Herculaneum refused to be alarmed at the ground shaking, and obvious eruptions from Mount Vesuvius, on August 24, 79 C.E.
Oddly, we now pay more attention to earthquakes than to other things that can cause greater, rolling disasters.
Santayana’s Ghost wonders if we ever learn from history.
Up on the Tioga Pass, Dana Village, Bennettville and the abandoned Golden Crown Mine tell part of the story of the 1890s gold rush in the Sierra Nevada.
Mining in California, okay. Mining at 11,000 feet in the Sierra Nevada, and staying there all winter?
Great history, geography, and explanation that every U.S. history student should know, about gold rushes, about boom towns, about mining entrepreneurs and investors, about failed enterprises and about the aftermath.
Sitting on the crest of the Sierra Nevada, Tioga Pass is a gateway to Yosemite’s past. In 1880, a gold and silver rush erupted here, and miners flocked to Tioga Hill in droves.
Today, the ghosts of these miners work can be seen in the stone walls of Dana Village, rusty machinery at Bennettville, and the log cabins of the Golden Crown Mine. Even today’s popular Tioga Road was once a simple wagon road built to access the wealth of minerals that were never found.
It’s another great production by Steven Bumgardner, featuring two National Park Service rangers, Yenyen Chan and Greg Stock.
This Tweet from our local NBC TV affiliate sums it up nicely.
North Texas shook yesterday — not big quakes, but a bunch of ’em — and that doesn’t sit well with Texas oil executives, since it seems likely gas and oil drilling, especially hydraulic fracturing (fracking), and especially waste-water reinjection seem to be causes.
I grew up in Utah. We had quakes you could feel, at least weekly. Our home sat less than a mile west of the Wasatch Fault. Many mornings my mother would stand drinking her coffee, looking over the stove and out our kitchen window at Mt. Timpanogos, remarking on the earthquakes. Most often we couldn’t feel them, but the power and telephone lines that slashed through our $10 million view of the mountain would dance in sine waves during quakes. It was pretty cool.
Along the more famous faults, one rarely comes on more than a couple of quakes a day.
Dallas — more accurately, Irving — is far away from most major faults, and rarely has more than a couple of quakes a year in recent human history.
So this swarm of quakes makes news!
DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM/AP) – Nine earthquakes, three of them with a 3-point magnitude or greater, rocked North Texas Tuesday into early Wednesday, knocking items off walls, causing cracks to appear in ceilings and generally rattling nerves across the region.
“The last one really shook,” said CBS 11 anchor and reporter Ken Molestina, who felt the the earth move in the White Rock Lake area of Dallas.
The latest quake, reported just before 1 a.m. Wednesday, measured in at a 3.1 magnitude, and was centered near the convergence of State Highway 114, Loop 12, and the Airport Freeway near the old Texas Stadium site in Irving.
Others felt the temblor in the Uptown area of Dallas and as far away as Bedford and Mesquite.
Here’s a list of the quakes in order of when they happened:
7:37 a.m. 2.3 magnitude
3:10 p.m. 3.5 magnitude
6:52 p.m. 3.6 magnitude
8:11 p.m. 2.9 magnitude
8:12 p.m. 2.7 magnitude
9:54 p.m. 1.7 magnitude
10:05 p.m. 2.4 magnitude
11:02 PM 1.6 magnitude
12:59 AM 3.1 magnitude
Rafael Abreu, a geophysicist with the USGS, spoke with NewsRadio 1080 KRLD and said while the Irving earthquakes happened only hours apart, given the strength and intensity, “we’re not calling it an aftershock.”
At last count Tuesday night, there had been 24 or more earthquakes in the Irving area since November 1, 2014.
Jokes fly, too. Not this much shaking since Elvis toured the area heavily in 1957, some say.
Recent studies show earthquakes in other areas linked to oil and gas drilling and extraction. All of these quakes are in close proximity to working wells or wells being drilled.
What’s the Earth trying to tell us?
Historically, Texas has not been a hotbed of earthquake activity, between 1973 and 2012. Texas Seismicity Map from USGS.