Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Way Off Topic: The Extinction of the Dinosaurs

An asteroid didn’t kill the dinosaurs? Say it ain’t so! A recent article from The Journal of the Geological Society (Time reports on it here) claims that perhaps an asteroid wasn’t the cause of the mass extinction of dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

For those less familiar with the death of the “terrible lizards,” the common theory goes like this: 65 million years ago an asteroid hit the Yucatán peninsula resulting in a massive dust cloud that cooled Earth, thus killing the cold-blooded dinosaurs. There’s lots of proof for this theory, including a telltale 65-million-year-old, 112-mile crater on the Yucatán peninsula. There’s also a layer of iridium in the sediment layer at the 65-million-year depth; iridium is rare on Earth but common in asteroids.

Geoscientists Gerta Keller and Thierry Addate—don’t laugh, they’re Swiss—did some digging around the Yucatán and discovered that just below and above the layer of iridium were the same 52 fossilized species. These findings would indicate that there wasn’t an immediate, massive extinction caused by the asteroid. It was only after they looked at sediment 30 feet above that they found species disappear. According to Keller and Addate, that 30-foot layer of sediment would have taken 300,000 years to accumulate.

The research by Keller and Addate is controversial because it contradicts the findings of other digs from around the world. According to the article, theirs is the first survey that looks at the sediment record so close to the impact site. They claim that their research is more accurate because it was close to the impact, but, of course, other paleontologists say that its proximity makes it less accurate. Wait, the experts disagree? Shocking.

So what does this mean for amateur dino-nerds like me? Unfortunately, not much. Until there is further disproof of the asteroid extinction theory, it seems to make the most sense. Although I think Gary Larson figured it out a while back:

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Inn Reservations

Ok kiddies, there are officially nine rooms left at First Colony Inn. If you haven't reserved your room yet, then you'd better better do it soon. The following rooms are still available: 3, 7, 8, 15, 16, 19, 21, 23, and 26. You can get the details about each room here: http://www.firstcolonyinn.com/Rooms/.

Monday, April 20, 2009

'Bout Time

The Sea Pig is back! You know it! It’s getting to be about crunch time in terms of wedding planning, so I’m starting to get motivated. Since I often rely on procrastination as a means of getting my work done, it’s only fitting that I would wait until the last minute for this as well. Plus I’m running out of things to do since my student teacher is essentially doing my job right now; all I have to do is come to school. My students aren’t happy about the arrangement, but I am.

After attempting to determine all the stuff we’ll need to rent for the reception, I quickly learned why couples hire wedding planners. I much preferred when planning for a party consisted of deciding which keg to buy and where to put Outkast’s “Ms. Jackson” on the playlist. In addition to those two crucial aforementioned elements, I now have to think about things like what size tables we’ll need and whether we have to provide our own trashcans. Apparently hanging trash bags off the poles of the tent is unacceptable—even if the trash bags are white. I mean, come on, they’ll match the tent! Maybe if I decorate them with flowers…

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