June 06, 2006

Nerd Festival, Menlo Park

This past Saturday and Sunday the USGS held a western region open house down in sunny Menlo Park. Some people do not know what the USGS is. The USGS is the United States Geological Survey. Some people think that doesn’t sound like a fun time. They would be wrong.

As it happens, I have recently read a lot about volcanos and earthquakes and part of the history of each involves plate tectonics and well, your basic geological thingies, so I was pretty excited to go and check it out. I really like the volcanos.

Along with volcanos there was an earthquake tent, a paleomagnetism lab/exhibit, giant maps of things like the floor of the SF Bay, the Delta, mountains and coastlines. There were science nerds waiting and ready to pounce on you and explain minerals, sign a copy of their recently published San Andreas Fault Hiking Guide and give it to you for free, explain pipeline design for fault areas, explain seismic equipment, force you to take home a piece of basalt in a plastic bag, offer you a core sample from a rock, and tell you about polarity shifts. They were ready to let you pet an otter skin, touch a walrus skull, demonstrate a tsunami, and tell you the difference between the liquefaction that takes place when you have loose sand, and the extra stability you get from very densely packed sand.

This was basically, a festival for nerds. Not just lay nerds who want to go be nerdy and see what’s there, but professional nerds who are compelled to blurt out scientific facts to anyone who wanders within earshot.

I came home with basalt (in above mentioned plastic bag), a small globe key chain, a whistle (courtesy the Dept. of Homeland Security and the local ICE unit), a slice of core sample, a hiking guide, a booklet on lessons learned in historical tsunamis, a Mt. St. Helens tattoo, a volcano sticker, and more.

Posted by allison at June 6, 2006 05:08 PM | TrackBack

don't forget, you're also a TOPO BINGO WINNER!!!!

my volcano tattoo is still on my arm. i need to exfoliate.

Posted by: at June 18, 2006 11:16 PM
Post a comment

Remember personal info?