From MacBook to Personal Seismograph

13 12 2007

I happened up this by accident and as a MacHead I thought it interesting enough to post. SeisMac by Suitable Systems is a Mac OS X application that turns your MacBook or MacBook Pro into a seismograph. It access your laptop’s Sudden Motion Sensor in order to display real-time, three-axis acceleration graphs. Version 2.0’s enhancements make SeisMac an even more valuable tool for classroom demonstrations of seismic concepts and techniques.

According to the website, SeisMac 2.0 was created with support from the National Science Foundation through the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology.

Here’s a screen shot:

The company also makes SeismaCalibrate, an application that calibrates a Macintosh laptop’s Sudden Motion Sensor, and makes SeisMac much more accurate.

Both are freeware! If any of you readers try this out, please comment back with feedback!

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11 12 2007

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Rockin’ Rocks for Your Rockin’ Stockin’

11 12 2007

An interesting interplay of iPods and rocks.

First, rock lovers might put this on their holiday shopping list — yes, iPod rock docks. Called  i-Stones, they are available from Brand Incubator and have USB 2.0 and audio/video outputs.

However, the site, which is in Japanese, says that each one is custom made and that you need to email the artist here, so it seems that obtaining them would be no small task or expense.  And this is probably the only case where it makes more sense to have a Japan studies specialist writing this blog rather than a geologist 😀

In another case involving iPods and rocks, a teen who thought she bought an iPod from Target opened the package to find that it contained rocks instead. When Target employees investigated they found other packages with rock subsituted for iPods. It’s not geology, but the tie-in was to the iPod rock docks was too tempting.

You can read the story here.

Check your local lapidary! They might have iPods!





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1 12 2007

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Eye on Volcanoes with Webcams

1 12 2007

Wired Magazine’s Geek Dad recently posted a list of live volcano webcams. He points out that thanks to the internet, we can see volcanoes without putting our lives in danger. His links include:

  • Mt. St. Helens, Washington, USA. Possibly the most famous volcano in North America. The huge gap in the crater wall was created during a massive eruption in 1980. http://www.fs.fed.us/gpnf/volcanocams/msh/
  • Pu`u `O`o vent, Kilauea Volcano, Hawaii, USA. One of several volcanoes on the Big Island of Hawaii. Kilauea is one of the most active volcanoes in the world. http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/cam/
  • Moku‘aweoweo caldera, Mauna Loa Volcano, Hawaii, USA. Another volcano on the Big Island of Hawaii. Mauna Loa (“long mountain” in Hawaiian) is the largest volcano on Earth. http://hvo.wr.usgs.gov/cam2/
  • Various volcanoes, Alaska, USA. Alaska has many volcanoes scattered over its entire territory but the Aleutian Islands are one long chain of active and dormant volcanoes. http://www.avo.alaska.edu/webcam/
  • White Island, New Zealand. New Zealand’s most active volcano. A sulfur mine was opened here in 1885 but was closed about 30 years later when an eruption destroyed part of the facility. http://www.geonet.org.nz/volcano/volcams/whiteisland/
  • Mt. Vesuvius, Italy. Vesuvius is possibly the best known volcano on Earth because of its eruption in 79 AD which destroyed the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum. The modern city of Naples is about nine kilometers to the west of the volcano. http://www.vesuvioinrete.it/e_webcam.htm
  • Klyuchevskoy Volcano, Kamchatka, Russia. At 4833 meters Klyuchevskoy is the tallest volcano on the Eurasian continent. The ash plume from its eruption in 1994 crossed a number of busy airline routes from North America to the Far East. http://data.emsd.iks.ru/video/video.htm

Geek Dad also notes, and wisely, that since these webcams are situated in mountainous and remote areas they may sometimes be offline for a while, or may be less than perfect thanks to the capriciousness of nature.

You may notice that I’ve also added two new volcano-related videos to my VodPod on the right: one short one of lava flow from the USGS and a longer one from PBS relating to volcanoes in New Mexico, looking at both geology and cultural history.

Credits: Wired Blog Network/GeekDad