Thursday, February 28, 2008

maybe if I carried a sword to class instead of a meter stick....

A real e-mail (the names have been changed to protect the innocent)

Hi Paleoprof this is Laaaaaazy Lucy from you class.I was wondering if you could kinda explain to me whats been going on in class this week.And if we have any test after spring break,what do i need to study.I plan to be back in class after spring break.

and the response I didn't send

Dear Laaaaaaazy
Why yes, I'd be happy to give you a weeks worth of lecture in the form of an e-mail. See the attached 22 page document outlining, in great detail, everything we covered in class that I wrote especially for you. What ever you do, do NOT look at the notes, reviews and power points I provided online and assume we picked up where we left off. Under NO circumstances should you look at the book to help fill in any material that is not directly addressed by the notes or you may need extra help with.

You have, somehow, managed to figure out that we are nearing the end this unit. Under NO circumstances should you look at the syllabus that I gave you AND put on line, under the heading of "test dates" to find the date of said test.

I will, of course, continue to take a larger interest in your education than you are. Everything will be fine I promise.

Yours in servitude

ps. I'm sure your English teacher would be happy to proofread any future e-mails before you send them to me. Just a thought

Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Who on earth writes the power points that you have access to when you adopt a book?!? These things are TERRIBLE I usually write my own but I'm running short on time so I'm adapting the ones that the publisher provided. Adapting... un-fu**ing. I'm not sure I'm saving any time.
ok back to work.


Just in case you were worried (mom)
Cell phone ... not radioactive
Computer monitor ... not radioactive
Plastic Mammoth... not radioactive
Real Mammoth (tooth)... not radioactive
Demo minerals for radiometric dating lab ... VERY radioactive (But not dangerous. Fear not, I'm not going to grow a third arm or anything. )

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

what the.....

A diet coke can just appeared on my desk. It is not mine, I just looked and there it was. Strange..... Those of you who have seen my desk know that anything is possible. But still
(It's not radioactive by the way. )

The manhattan project redux....

I have a gieger counter in my office now. Stay tuned .....

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Been a little exictement around here

So apparently one of our professors (not me) had the Gall (GALL I TELL YOU) to give a student who made an 88 a B. The student tried explaining to him that he was an A student even got his mother to come in and explain that he's an A student but to no avail, the grade remained. So now the student is making threats against the school and the professor. We have cops everywhere but somehow the student still hasn't done anything illegal, apparently we're waiting for him to do something illegal so that he can be arrested.
I'm not a gun nut. In general, I believe that more guns leads, oddly enough, to more gun violence. And I really do NOT believe that having teachers carry guns is a solution to the school violence problem. But in the position we're in right now... of waiting for this person to do something. I'm tempted to want a gun on me.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Happy valentines day!!!
Go find your sweetie and get your groove on.

Thursday, February 7, 2008

The Occasional Fossil

Ok I know I'm slipping, first the Friday fossil then the weekly fossil now... the occasional fossil. Work with me people I'm still finding my pace. I think this is the second trilobite I've done but that's ok trilobites are cool. Above there's a slab with a bunch of trilobites, most of them are Elrathia kingi but if you look very carefully near the top and a little to the right (click on the picture to make it big) you'll see a little thing that looks like a fat figure 8, that's Peronopsis here's a close up of one of those.

Peronopsis is a blind trilobite (most trilobites had really wicked compound eyes) and it's planktonic which means it would just float in the water column. Elrathia is a very common triloite you frequently find them for sale. Many times they're missing a part called the free cheek which makes their heads (which are actually called cephalons.. at least I think that's the plural of cephalon.... cephala???) look squeezed, you can see this in some of the trilobites in the rock above. They're still Elrathia kingi they're just missing their free cheeks. As with many trilobites these are great index fossils, these are common in, and restricted to the Middle Cambrian. So if you find one you know how old the rock is. Very handy

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

All Hail the Honored Dead

REDDING, California (AP) — Raymond Jacobs, believed to be the last surviving member of the group of Marines photographed during the original U.S. flag-raising on Iwo Jima during World War II, has died at age 82.

I tell my students that there are three very important groups of people passing away right now:
World War Two Veterans, The original civil rights workers, and the Astronauts, engineers and managers of the Mercury, Gemini and Apollo programs. These people did amazing things for our country indeed the world, and their passing is always sad. Unfortunately we don't hear about many of them till they pass. While in the Marine Corps I was fortunate enough to meet Joe Rosenthal the gentleman who took that photograph he, unfortunately, passed away in 2006.

Monday, February 4, 2008

Was that a game or what?

Ok I'm not a huge football fan I'll start really paying attention around the playoffs then the super bowl then I'm pretty much over football. I enjoyed going to the games in college but that's more of a social thing. But DANG quarters 1-3 were ok but the fourth quarter was AMAZING and the right team won as far as I'm concerned. Very cool