Posts uit december, 2013 weergeven

Creating a network and find out the name of a rock!

At the end of a week full of science, I had a touristic trip into the woodlands of Muir. Together with a geologist I met in San Francisco, I traveled to the forest with the large trees seen in the very famous bike chase scene in Star Wars on the second moon of Endor. It was a great trip and I can recommend it to anybody visiting the City of Fog.
The Muir Woods are situated in a valley, where the climate is much different than the surrounding mountain lands. So a geologist and a geophysicist could not resist to climb a mountain to the top (I say mountain, but they were large hills, except when I said that the giftshop woman gave me angry eyes). We decided to follow the Hillside trail, followed by the Ben Johnson trail. These trails gave us a good view of the forest and let us examine some really nice rock outcrops of the mountain. And on one of them I found this rock:

It is a greenish rock, which according to the geologist, could be serpentinite or an olivine containing rock (which I …

Attending a talk of one of my scientific inspirations

It all started with a delay of four hours. Being on our route for over an hour (above Scotland), the intercom of the airplane (a MD11 type of aircraft) sounded: "This is your captain speaking and I have some bad news." There was a technical problem that could not be fixed in San Francisco, so it was decided to fly back to the airport Schiphol, Amsterdam. I was just finishing my first beverage. One of my colleagues told me that he had several experiences like this with MD11 aircrafts. They are old and should be taken out of service. But for now we got a different MD11 that would take us to San Francisco. Four hours later than originally planned, we arrived in the Fog City (it was a clear day). However, at the gate after the pilot had shut down the engines, the ground personnel tried to connect the power cables such that the doors could be open. Only this was not working, so 350 already a bit weary passengers were stuck inside the aircraft. And no power means no air-condition…