What’s up? The Friday links (13)

Sorry for starting with a non-geological link again, but it’s important: We have two more elements! Well, two more names in the periodic table at least: Flerovium (element 114, atomic mass 289) and Moscovium (element 116, atomic mass 292). Welcome!

After the New Zealand Canterbury and Christchurch earthquakes, home insurance premiums will rise by up to 20%, insurance companies say. Even motor insurances will go up by 5%. Interesting – did the seismic hazard increase after the two strong earthquakes?

If you haven’t already seen the amazing pictures of Chile’s recent Puyehue-Cordón Caulle volcano eruption, you should immediately google this! The NASA has great satellite images, too.

Some guys have created a mobile app that allows to identify trees. When will the automatic rock identification mobile app be ready? Put your mobile on the floor of the hotel lobby and find out they haven’t used marble! Go to the Teide volcano and identify the rocks as basalt! Learn to distinguish between sandstone and granite! So many possibilities. Would be great if you could include a small XRF unit, thanks in advance. The mobile app will most likely be banned from my field trips.

Russia and Norway have finally (after years and years and years) agreed on a solution for their Access-to-the-Arctic-Dispute. Now they can start exploring and exploiting the oil and gas out there. Will I have to pay less for my gasoline, then?

On Sunday, 6 June, strong thunderstorms have hit parts of Germany, causing flash floods and a landslide! This is a picture I took on the nearby Autobahn 5:

Kinf of unusual, isn’t it? The highway was blocked for some time, as the water on the street reached 1 m depth…

By the way, ExxonMobile has discovered an enormous amount of oil in the Gulf of Mexico. 700,000,000 barrel. In 2 km water depth.

Have a nice weekend!

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Christoph Grützner

Christoph Grützner

works at the Institute of Geological Sciences, Jena University. He likes Central Asia and the Mediterranean and looks for ancient earthquakes.

See all posts Christoph Grützner


  • Heijn van Gent | 2011-06-10|08:46 (UTC)

    It might not be relevant for “proper” scientists like you, but their are number of geology apps:
    * Geology of Britain: http://www.bgs.ac.uk/igeology/home.html
    * Some geophysical and volumetric tools: http://www.agilegeoscience.com/apps/
    * Overview of some more apps… http://www.androidzoom.com/android_applications/geology

    … but you are right, no cool rock identification tools yet.

  • Christoph Grützner | 2011-06-12|07:30 (UTC)

    Great! I prefer the “Find a Pizza” one. The idea of taking a picture and then automatically identify what’s on it is great and could work as well with plants, animals, clouds, and so on. I just think that it might not be too easy to distinguish rocks and minerals. It will work for the easy ones (sandstone vs. granite) or so, but I do not need an app for that. I would need one that helps me where my knowledge ends (and I unfortunately do not know much about mineralogy). This might not be easy to create…

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