Monthly Archives: January 2015

Giving credit where credit is due

Gregor Mendel is considered the father of genetics. He gave a lecture and published his findings on pea plants around 1865. He was an abbot and about a year later he was promoted so that he he wasn’t able to continue his experiments. Unfortunately, his paper on his research was published in a paper that very few people in the field read and the few that did read it didn’t accept such new ideas. It wasn’t until 1901 when three separate botanists ‘rediscovered’ his findings and they all noted that Mendel figured it out first.

(The Great Courses – Understanding Genetics: DNA, Genes, and Their Real-World Applications)

How big was that alligator you just saw?

Mammals and birds have a limit to their growth but reptiles do not stop growing. Their growth rate may slow down as they get older but they continue to grow until they die. Duckbill dinosaurs are an example of a dinosaur reptile where we have examples that got to 30 feet and two to three tons.

(Book – Digging Dinosaurs – John R. Horner and James Gorman)


Johann Sebastian Bach was not famous but he was also not totally unknown while he was alive. He was better known as a top rate keyboard player than as a composer. He also went by the name of Sebastian.

(The Great Courses – Bach)

It really is a problem!

Here’s an addendum to my previous post for those who have a hard time believing the last post on groundwater. The average family uses about 2,000 gallons of water per week. Rainfall will not come even close to supplying the water necessary to replace that amount of water being pulled from our groundwater supply.

(The Great Courses – The Nature of Earth: An Introduction to Geology)

Are you thirsty?

One half of all drinking water comes from groundwater. Groundwater is NOT a renewable resource. It DOES NOT regenerate at a rate that we would ever be able to use it again. We are talking thousands or millions of years. Once the groundwater from an area has been all pumped out then there is no more.

(The Great Courses – The Nature of Earth: An Introduction to Geology)

Rising water

The level of water in a stream or lake is the water table appearing above ground. When it rains a lot and you see the amount of water in a stream or lake increase it is not due mainly to water flowing down into the stream, it is due to the groundwater increasing and the water table rising from below.

(The Great Courses – The Nature of Earth: An Introduction to Geology)

Do you remember that 50 year war?

World War II did not end until 1990! It wasn’t until the United States, England, France and USSR gave up their rights to the territories in Germany in a 1990 treaty that resulted in the reunification of Germany that the last issues of WWII were decided. It is interesting that the war began with the Allies fighting against Germany but couldn’t end until the Allies ‘won’ the cold war with the USSR.

(The Great Courses – Literary Modernism)

Where is all the water?

Excluding the water in the oceans, about 80% of the water on the earth is held in glaciers and about 20% in groundwater. Less than 1% of the water is in the lakes and streams on the land.

(The Great Courses – The Nature of Earth: An Introduction to Geology)

It’s ALL acid rain

‘Rain water’ and ‘ground water’ are not the same. Rain water is slightly acidic while ground water is either neutral a little alkaline because of the minerals that it is in contact with while it flows through the ground.

(The Great Courses – The Nature of Earth: An Introduction to Geology)