Author Archives: davidbressan

How Forensic Seismology investigates into Ship-Disasters, Terrorist-Attacks and secret Nuclear Tests

The collision of the cruise ship “Costa Concordia” on January 13, 2012 was recorded by the seismograph station “Monte Argentario“, situated on the Italian mainland. From the eyewitness testimony and the Automatic System of the ship the time of collision … Continue reading

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Earthquake Beasts

Myths and legends maybe represent the oldest efforts to record and deal with geological phenomena.  The Japanese Namazu-myth is one of the most popular and remembers the tragic connection between society and earthquakes. However many other societies incorporated earthquakes into … Continue reading

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De Loys’ Ape

Louis François Fernand Hector de Loys, (1892-1935) was a Swiss geologist and pioneer of oil field prospection in Europe, Africa and America. Unfortunately de Loys is today less known for his geological work than for a story involving a strange … Continue reading

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Richard Owen, the “Sea-Serpent Killer”

Philosopher Francis Bacon (1561-1626) argued that science should also consider “all prodigies and monstrous births of nature; of everything in short that is in nature new, rare and unusual“. So if you have a tale or post to share, unusual … Continue reading

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The Earth-like Mars

Mars – a distant, extraterrestrial world, but it shares some surprising similarities with Earth. The rotation period is almost the same with 24 hours, 39 minutes and 21,67 seconds (as measured by astronomer William Herschel in 1777-1783), the planet possess … Continue reading

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Geologizing Women into the Field!

Geology usually requires outdoor activities in remote, inhospitable, hazardous or dirty environments. At the beginning of the 19th century it was hard to imagine that a gentleman would engage voluntarily in such an activity and it’s seemed even less comprehensible … Continue reading

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Frauds, Fakes and Fossils

Almost every student of earth sciences knows the hoax perpetuated on poor Dr. Johann Bartholomäus Adam Beringer (1667-1738), often told in textbooks as warning of blind faith and argument from authority in science. However careful study of the still existing “lying … Continue reading

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January 6, 1912-2012: 100 years of Continental Drift!

January 6, 1912 the German meteorologist Alfred Wegener presented in a lecture entitled “Die Heraushebung der Großformen der Erdrinde (Kontinente und Ozeane) auf geophysikalischer Grundlage” (The uprising of large features of earth’s curst (Continents and Oceans) on geophysical basis) for … Continue reading

Posted in Geology | 2 Comments

More Science than Fiction

Science-fiction stories and movies are not only entertainment for a rainy day but also mirrors of the scientific abilities, ambitions, even anxieties of a society. A short overview about tales and movies shows this evolution. The decade of 1950 to … Continue reading

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Climate, Overpopulation & Environment – The Rapa Nui debate

“Anyone who thinks that exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.” Kenneth E. Boulding (1910-1993), American economist The plot of the movie “Rapa Nui” (1994) is based loosely on native … Continue reading

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