Thursday, July 21, 2016

Geosonnet 44



Antarctica’s a frozen realm of ice
Yet troglodytic hydrospheres remain
Radar reflectors, frozen lakes entice
Ice fishermen to see what they contain
Before the ice age, glacial domes were seas
Below sea sediments can still be found.
The lake is mostly glac’ers which unfreeze
Trapped ocean water seeps up from the ground.
The surface sediments are oxidized.
The sulfate in the brine is unreduced.
Lest oxygen at depth leave us surprised
Dissolved O2 in meltwater’s deduced.
   Alas, no fish were sampled by the drill
   Just microbes that an ice age couldn’t kill



Other geosonnets: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Geosonnet 43



Marsupial invaders from the South
Make North America their newfound home.
Alpacas, llamas, spitting from the mouth
Run off to South America to roam.
The rocks in Panama suggest the land
Connected continents by Miocene.
Pliocene movement, on the other hand
Means radiative retardation’s seen.
A sea of trees, could rainforest impair
Migration of savannah-dwelling beast?
The ice age brought colder and drier air
And grasslands on which ungulates can feast.
   Tectonics may have built the bridge of land.
   Ten million years unused, we understand.




Other geosonnets: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43


Thursday, June 30, 2016

Geosonnet 42


An alpha particle can break the bonds

Of diamond as it crashes to a halt.
Each glowing lattice defect corresponds
To trace uranium ore by default.
Proterozoic water then dissolves
These min’rals when they weather from the ground.
The age of weathering therefore resolves
Why He but no U in these stones are found.
The sediment’ry age is reconciled
With orphan daughter isotopes of lead
Archean atmosphere O2 reviled.
It must have been in groundwater instead.
   So read this study; cite it frequently.
   (Disclaimer: journal article by me.)



Other geosonnets: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42


Wednesday, June 22, 2016

Geosonnet 41



The rock of rocks, zircon is not disturbed
As mountains grow, then wash into the sea.
Its isotopic clock is not perturbed
Providing billion year chronomotry.
But like Smaug’s waistcoat, or Achillies’ heel
The Earth’s timekeeper has a fatal strain
A brine containing fluorine is ideal
For mobilizing metals from this grain
Earth’s body’s precious fluids rearrange
The normally immobile REE
And actinides, and other metals strange
To fluid induced rock mobility.
   The thermal history is not innate
   When heat producing elements migrate.



Other geosonnets: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41



Sunday, June 05, 2016

Geosonnet 40



The muddy bosom sunset turns to gold
Contrary runs to playa, or to sea.
But though the flow of human blood seems old
‘tis but a spray, seen by geology.
The shady banks, by forests overgrown
Are stabilized by roots of growing trees.
Far different are the rivers Langston’s known
To those which ran ere plants emerged from seas.
The math predicts, and Tombador confirms
Meanders become braids without a plant.
The shallow floodplain channels build up berms.
The mud in verdant floodplains now is scant.
   So when at last we cross the Styx, beware:
   Its lifeless banks will split the channels there.



Other geosonnets: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41


Sunday, May 22, 2016

Geosonnet 39



The Kelly Caves, where bushrangers once hid
Were shelter of a venerated kind.
Cro-Magnon ancestors did not forbid
Shelter, and art, in caverns thus confined.
But holes in rock as habitat might date
To early in our planet’s history
The microbes and the cavemen can relate
Archean prelude Pleistocene story
Both sheltered in a mineral cavity.
The upside-down microstromatolites
Cling to the roof, outlaws of gravity
Not methane, autotroph metabolites
   These outlaws hid beneath the algal mats
   Kerogenated troglodytic bats




Other geosonnets: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39




Friday, May 13, 2016

Geosonnet 38



A Daal is more than just a spicy meal
Tsunamis, mighty earthquakes it informs
Shear diffusivity it can reveal
The mechanism by which it deforms.
The humble lentil, pressed into a box
begins to slide, but not on just one plane
The shear migrates when grain rotation locks
Without localization of all strain
The superlentils, strong but not congealed
Not Marvel men with tights and curried food
Anastamosing fabrics are revealed
Transposing when the pulses become skewed.
A legume in the larder shows the way
A devastating earthquake slides today.




Other geosonnets: 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38


 

Thursday, April 07, 2016

Playhouse Creatures, the Q



It has been a long time since I was active in the Canberra theatre scene. This is a shame, because there is some amazing stage talent in this town, and since becoming a father I’ve have hardly any time to even go to shows, much less have any involvement. But I’m hoping to turn over a new leaf this year, and Mrs. Lemming and I finally managed to organize a babysitter and get out to the Q to catch Playhouse Creatures last weekend.

April de Angelis’s play is a historical fiction set during the English restoration, when women were first allowed to perform in the Theatre. Historical accuracy is sacrificed for the sake of getting many of the era’s iconic performers on the stage together. This works very well.  Not many modern Australians care that the Bettertons and Nell Gwynn worked for rival companies (although both performed with the Marshall sisters). But anyone who goes to the show will appreciate having them sparring on the same stage.

The play tells a story of Ms. Gwynn’s drive to break into the theatrical profession, and follows her and her contemporaries through the various challenges that faced women working in the field at that time. There is a strong feminist element to this, as the actresses navigate the fickle tastes of theatre patrons, recriminations of spurned ex-lovers, witch hunts and fires. The similarities between these struggles and the challenges facing modern working women were effective, and added another of many layers to the performance. Anyone interested in feminist takes on these pioneers of the stage should definitely catch the show this week before it closes.

But even for those who are not drawn to the stage by feminism, the play has a lot to offer. The roles are deep and challenging and diverse, with the actresses playing historical actresses both back-stage, practicing their craft, going about their lives in and around the theatre, and in something like half a dozen plays within the play, as excerpts of various period performances which the characters performed. Fortunately for the audience, the roles were performed by some of Canberra’s finest actresses, with expert direction from Jordan Best. As a result the show is worth the price of admission simply to see great performers bringing challenging roles to life with humor, yearning, and passion. Anyone wishing to see great performers rise to the challenge of complex roles should enjoy this show.