To begin with, I remind you that I am a geologist, not a nuclear physicist, but I do have some basis for understanding and divulgation as well. I want to do this because as a person of science, I should not have also believed certain scientific inaccuracies that have become almost stereotypes. One only has to delve a little deeper into the subject (from scientific sources) to discover that it is not all as dark as it is painted. We are usually afraid of things we do not know. Culture is freedom.
Let’s start with clarifying: in nature we observe 4 types of energy, electromagnetic energy, gravitational energy, weak nuclear energy and strong nuclear energy. The first two we can experience in everyday life. Light itself is an expression of electromagnetic energy, but so are wifi connections and radio waves. Nuclear energies are less visible because they act within atoms.
I was pondering (and it would not be the first time) the cost and commitment of continuing to enjoy music with an analog turntable. As a matter of fact, the analog system is not inherently superior to the digital system. Sound quality depends on the original recording, its mastering, and how the copy we enjoy was created, whether it is a vinyl record, a CD, or a file. I have vinyl records that sound worse than the MP3 files of the same tracks! I have a subscription to Tidal HiFi, and for 10 euros a month I get all the music I want in CD quality (even more since broadband streaming today runs into fewer errors than reading data from an optical disc). So is it really worth the efforts?
I often notice that even other well-trained scientists when talking about geology sometimes make trivial mistakes. Perhaps, because Geology is a relatively new science, it is little known. for example, its other “cousin” science (because it is also a “historical” science) Astronomy, is far better known. Probably looking up, toward the stars, makes us dream more than looking down, underground. Furthermore many associate the geologist with her or his freelance profession, the one related to construction, surveys, and the study of the technical characteristics of soils. But that is only one of the many applications of Geology. Others may be the search for subsurface resources, the study of geological risk (earthquakes, eruptions, landslides, floods-themes that perhaps explain the greater fascination of Astronomy than Geology). I could go on but I want to dwell here on what is really typical of the geologist, whatever activity he or she does: the geologist’s field work.
Continue reading on Substack…
And again a major earthquake fills the pages of the newspapers because of the many thousands deaths. Again no geologist, geophysicist or seismologist is surprised that there was such a strong earthquake in that area. Insiders are well aware of the most dangerous seismic areas in the world. The Anatolian Peninsula, mostly occupied by Turkey, is one of them, on a par with California and Mexico, Japan, Chile and Peru, to give a few examples of states on plate margins. By now we know well the different plates into which the Earth’s lithosphere is divided and where they interact releasing large amounts of energy. So why so many deaths?
Continue reading on Substack…
For several reasons I can say that 2016 was the worst year of my life. It started with the loss of my dream job, the one I had fought so hard for and after so long obtained with immense satisfaction ( the thing had matured months before but January 2016 was the last month of work). Toward the end of the horrible year my father’s young brother, 10 years younger, passed away. I thought he would be the uncle who would remind me of my father when he would be gone, but instead… With his guitar my sister and I had started experimenting at a young age. A few months earlier I had started playing with the cover band I still belong to, and on December 30 of that year the other guitarist died suddenly. It was a bitter conclusion to a year already quite full of bad events. But it was the year I started playing guitar again and bought my current Stratocaster, a guitar I dreamed of since childhood. So I feel like making a balance of that year.