Class Notes, May 2015

Volcanoes: Shield, Fissure, Composite, Cone-shaped, Crater Volcanoes
Strombolian, Vulcanian, Peleean, Plinian Eruptions
Volcano zones around the earth.
Famous eruptions: Mt. St. Helens, 1980, Thera destroys Akroteri, 1645BC (possible Atlantis myth), Mt.Vesuvius buries Pompeii, 79AD, Krakatoa near Java,1883, heard ¼ around the world, Tambora, Indonesia chilled the whole earth  with a sky full of ash. Turner’s famous, dazzling skyscapes were attributed to this ashen atmosphere! 1816.
Earthquakes:  Epicenter, Hypocenter,  Techtonic plates, Isoseismic lines
Deep quakes , shallow quakes, primary, secondary waves
Mercalli Scale, Richter Scale, measures strength of shock waves, Chile 1960, 9.5 highest registered. We studied these phenomenon two weeks before a 7.8 shallow quake (most dangerous; 10 H-bombs of force) moved Katmandu 10 ft. laterally and 3 ft. upward. Mt. Everest 100 miles away fell by 1 inch, and aftershocks  caused deadly avalanches. Thousands perished in this natural disaster. Also concurrently a huge volcano erupted three times in South America, causing mass evacuations and shutting down all air travel in the continent. We decided after studying these phenomena  and then history following fast with major disasters, we better study something like babies or rainbows. And later on you’ll see we did study the perception of rainbows.
Earth’s Core, Mantle and Crust:  We made clay paintings of the earth’s layers, with a focus on how shallow and fragile the life-supporting surface is.
Gravity: We did a number of fun and informative experiments about Gravity.
Magnetism, Loadstone.

Walk to Columbia Street Footbridge: We saw the north-flowing creek flowing down from the high ground north  towards the lake, and under the magnificent bridge.
Maps Tompkins County, Finger Lakes Parks Maps – We’re studying the Finger Lakes, learned the Finger Lakes song,  and by studying the various state parks around the lakes, we’re beginning to make plans for a class trip.
Glaciers and glaciated landscapes:  Finger Lakes East/West- We were surprised to learn the very different glacial effects on theEast vs.West Finger Lakes; the glaciers hit the high ground south of the east lakes and then retreated and dragged the effluvial drainage of the east lakes north towards lake Ontario; the glaciers break through the soil in the west and create a drainage basin that works south towards the Susquehanna, with a clear demarcation between Seneca (east) and Keuka (west).
Rainbow Perceptions: Humans, dogs, crabs and butterflies all have very different perceptions of the colors of the rainbow.
No Blue in Odyssey – Prime Minister Gladstone of 1800’s England was obsessed with Homer’s Odyssey. He noticed some very strange, unnatural color descriptions; so he did a thorough cataloging of all the colors mentioned in the work: black-100, white – 95, red-45, yellow – 20 green – 17, and blue —– zero! As blue as the Aegean Sea and the Grecian sky is to us modern people, blue is never mentioned! Scientists and ethnologists found, after studying Gladstone’s work, that in the Scandinavian Sagas, in the Hindu Vedas, in ancient Chinese stories, in early Biblical texts, no blue is ever mentioned!
Himba Tribe  – This Namibian Tribe has many subtle names for green, and in a scientific experiment could perceive the slightest differences; but they had no word for blue and so could not perceive blue as different from green! Without language we seem to have an absence of consciousness. Which makes you wonder what we’re not noticing that’s obviously present in our surrounding.
We’ve begun moving forward in the History of Mathematics, going from the
Golden Mean, and it’s 1:1.618 proportions to Equiangular spiral that exists in the
Chambered Nautilus. Then we followed the startling and world-changing biographer of
Descartes, and his transformation of human thought, through Mathematics.

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