Sunday, June 29, 2008

Arguments and Discussions that Require Internet Assistance, but Arose While Travelling Without Immediate Computer Access

What is the deal with the town of Mercury?  The sign says there are no services, and roads leading into town appear to be gated.  Also: check Google Earth for satellite photos of the Nevada Test Site.

What are the social habits of yellow-bellied marmots?  Are they social, like prairie dogs, or more territorial?  (Ten points for me if they're social.)

Was that, in fact, Saturn we saw the other night?  Can someone please find a way to explain to Tyson that Jupiter and Saturn are NOT visible every night, all the time? (Minus one million points for me if I'm wrong on that one, because I'm not.)

What are the physical properties related to the movement of sand dunes?  How come all the sand in the Great Basin desert is all in one place?  What keeps the sand together as it moves?  (I say the size of the particles and their composition--lots of silica--does a static-cling maneuver and holds everything in place.

What parts of Nevada were, at one time, under water?  When?  How many times?  Salty or fresh water?  What about the lake that covered central Nevada all the way to Idaho and into Washington, and now survives as the Great Salt Lake in Utah?

What is a Dirty Sanchez?

What happened to Picaridin, a DEET alternative in bug repellent that keeps bugs off but DOESN'T melt plastic?

Who is Brian Jones, and why would he be like Brian Wilson?

Who is Dinu Lipatti?

If gas in Mammoth Lakes is $4.99 a gallon, what's it going for in Baker right now?


Elaine said...

Sand dunes move like water/waves.

Elaine said...

Ooops. I forgot, I am not longer the one who doesn't know what a Dirty Sanchez is! Woot! I can hand over the title of most naive.

Elaine said...

I recommend a Hot Carl.

Elaine said...

Avery is in town. He is quite knowledgeable.

Erin said...

RE: sand dunes. Yes. Why? What is it about the sand particles that make dunes act like waves?

Erin said...

RE: Dirty Sanchez. For the record, I was informed about this a few years ago by a fifteen-year-old I knew; Tyson was skeptical. The Internets seems to be split about 70/30 as to what appendage is used, though.

Elaine said...

Re: sand dunes, it's the wind. They are wind waves comparable to ocean surface waves. The wind doesn't push the sand, it only shapes the sand just like with water. The wind doesn't push the water; it shapes the wave. It's weird, both in water and in sand, but it's fucking cool. That was one of my favorite things in Geology. In water (and other things) there are additional causes of waves, but in sand, it's wind.

Elaine said...

Ps... the force of the wind shapes the wave and keeps the wave together, both in water and in sand.

Elaine said...

After the wind stops, gravity (with regard to sand) maintains the shape. Water of course, does not retain its shape because the molecules are not bonded in solid form? I think that's right.

Elaine said...

I think I'm done now... it only took me three posts to include all the details... I'd walk away and then, "Oh yeah..." come back, post, walk away again... you get the idea.