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Stories by David Bressan

All Good Things must End...

All Good Things must End...

Eventually everybody has to face change and his personal Chicxulub and so will the History of Geology blog end as part of the Scientific American Network.

December 15, 2014 — David Bressan
How it all ends…

How it all ends…

“Some say the world will end in fire, Some say in ice. From what I’ve tasted of desire I hold with those who favor fire. But if it had to perish twice, I think I know enough of hate To say that for destruction ice Is also great And would suffice.” Robert Frost (1874-1963) The [...]

December 7, 2014 — David Bressan
Geological Treasures in Ancient Egypt

Geological Treasures in Ancient Egypt

November 26, 1922 archaeologist Howard Carter (1874-1939) entered the tomb of Tutankhamun, pharaoh in ancient Egypt from 1332 to 1323 BC. The grave was filled with precious jewelry, including a breastplate decorated with a scarab, made from a greenish-yellow gemstone.

November 26, 2014 — David Bressan
Radioactivity and Earth´s Age

Radioactivity and Earth´s Age

For a long time the apparent discrepancy between the age of earth and the age of the cosmos posed a great problem to geologists and astronomers alike.

November 21, 2014 — David Bressan
Earth’s Age and the Cosmic Calendar

Earth’s Age and the Cosmic Calendar

During  the 19th century geologists realized that earth was quite older than previously believed, however this discovery posed an even greater question: what about the universe?  Did earth (like some fundamental creationists believed and still believe) predate the cosmos, were  earth and the cosmos created at the same time or came earth later?

November 13, 2014 — David Bressan

Medieval Witch Hunts Influenced by Climate Change

August 3, 1562 a devastating thunderstorm hit central Europe, damaging buildings, killing animals and destroying crops and vineyards. The havoc caused by this natural disaster was so great, so unprecedented, that soon an unnatural origin for the storm was proposed.

November 3, 2014 — David Bressan
The (Zombie-)Toad-in-the-Hole

The (Zombie-)Toad-in-the-Hole

May 8, 1733 two workers, Anders Halfwarder and Olof Sigräfwer, reported excited to superintendent Johan Gråberg, who was inspecting the quarry of Nybro near the village of Wamlingebo (Gotland, Sweden), a very strange discovery.

October 31, 2014 — David Bressan
Of Dragons and Geology

Of Dragons and Geology

Johann Jakob Scheuchzer (1672-1733) was a Swiss physician, but also quite interested in travels and natural sciences. He published his observations on the culture and natural world of the Alps as “Itinera per Helvetiae alpinas regiones facta annis 1702-1711“.

October 27, 2014 — David Bressan
Geologizing in the Realm of the Beast

Geologizing in the Realm of the Beast

September 8, 1762 the young son of the Yolle‘s, herding the flock of sheep, disappeared near the village of Laval in the province of Dauphiné (France).

October 21, 2014 — David Bressan
The Strange Medical Case of the Radioactive Landslide

The Strange Medical Case of the Radioactive Landslide

The landslide of Köfels (named after a small village in Tyrol) is one of the largest recognized landslides in the Alps – large enough to dam up a 92 meters (300 feet) deep prehistoric lake and divide in two the valley of Ötz.

October 16, 2014 — David Bressan
Physician Paracelsus and early Medical Geology

Physician Paracelsus and early Medical Geology

Philippus Theophrastus Aureolus Bombastus von Hohenheim (1493-1541), better known as Paracelsus, is considered one of the most important mystics and physicians of all times.

September 26, 2014 — David Bressan
In Search Of… Darwin’s Cryptids

In Search Of… Darwin’s Cryptids

First bones of this mysterious creature were discovered in 1787 near Rio Lujàn (Argentinia), collected and send to Spain two years later.

September 18, 2014 — David Bressan
Book Review: Island on Fire

Book Review: Island on Fire

Island on Fire: The extraordinary story of Laki, the volcano that turned eighteenth-century Europe dark By Witze, A. & Kanipe, J. PROFILE-BOOKS 224 pages | Hardcover 1st edition | April 2014 ISBN 978-178125-0044   Volcanoes are no unusual sight on Iceland and yet the eruption that started June 8, 1783 in the southern district of [...]

September 15, 2014 — David Bressan
Alexander von Humboldt and the Hand-Beast

Alexander von Humboldt and the Hand-Beast

The German naturalist F. W. H. Alexander von Humboldt (born September 14, 1769-1859) is remembered as great geographer and explorer (maybe his name is even the most common on topographic maps), but his early education focused on mining engineering (and economy, as wished by his mother) and he made some important contributions to geology, for [...]

September 14, 2014 — David Bressan
Happy Birthday Plate-Tectonics !

Happy Birthday Plate-Tectonics !

September 7, marks the anniversary of the publication of an important paper, “Magnetic Anomalies Over Oceanic Ridges” (1964) describes the discovery of parallel stripes of magnetized igneous rocks along the ocean floor.

September 7, 2014 — David Bressan
The real Delving of the Dwarves

The real Delving of the Dwarves

“You fear to go into those mines. The dwarves delved too greedily and too deep“ In European folklore dwarves are often associated with mines and underground treasures, a myth also popularized by author J.

September 5, 2014 — David Bressan
Bat-Pterodactyls

Bat-Pterodactyls

Italian Cosimo Alessandro Collini (1727-1806), at the time chairman of the Cabinet of Curiosities of the principality of Pfalz (Germany), was the first naturalist to speculate about pterodactyls in 1784.

July 23, 2014 — David Bressan
Geologist’s Nightmares

Geologist’s Nightmares

Adventurer Roy Chapman Andrews mentions in an article published in 1922 in the “Asia Magazine” and later in his book “On the Trail of Ancient Man” (1926), a strange creature, said to inhabit the Gobi-desert in Mongolia: “Then the Premier asked that, if it were possible, I should capture for the Mongolian government a specimen [...]

July 16, 2014 — David Bressan
EQLs Vs. UFOs

EQLs Vs. UFOs

“Swamp gas?” Mulder, F.W. in the "X-Files " (1993) Summer is traditionally Silly Season, when newspapers publish strange stories about aliens and monsters again and again to bridge holiday time - and so will July on "History of Geology" be dedicated to frivolous science stories...

July 8, 2014 — David Bressan
Stories by David Bressan

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