The GeoChristian

The Earth. Christianity. They go together.

Sim City 5

Sim City 3000 was the greatest game ever created for a computer.

Sim City 4 was a disappointment.

Sim City 5 (or just SimCity on the official web site) is coming in 2013. Will it be the new “greatest game ever?” Or another dog?

P.S. “Sim City” is not the same as “The Sims.”

March 21, 2012 Posted by | Fun, Geography, Maps | , | 2 Comments

Happy continents

Pangaea: when the continents were cuddling.


January 28, 2012 Posted by | Fun, Geology | , | 1 Comment

Apple to Apples

HT: Cyberbrethren

January 11, 2012 Posted by | Fun | 1 Comment

Sounds from the past

This brings back memories:

October 19, 2011 Posted by | Fun | , | 1 Comment

Look beneath your feet

From XKCD, HT: Webmonk

June 18, 2011 Posted by | Fun, Geology | 3 Comments

Around the web 1/29/2011

Credit: Missouri Department of Conservation

Mountain lion in St. Louis County! — This doesn’t happen too often. A night-time wildlife camera captured a mountain lion in suburban St. Louis, less than ten miles from our home. We’re a little more used to opossums, raccoons, deer, and wild turkeys around here.

I don’t worry too much about mountain lions when hiking in Missouri. I’ve never seen one in the wild while hiking in the West (I’ve lived in Montana, Utah, and Colorado), but I suspect they have seen me.

From the St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Mountain lion spotted in suburban St. Louis.

From the Missouri Department of Conservation: Chesterfield sighting confirmed to be a mountain lion.

Yellowstone Supervolcano eruption NOT imminent — From National Geographic: Yellowstone Has Bulged as Magma Pocket Swells. The ground within the Yellowstone Caldera has swelled upwards up to ten inches (25 centimeters) as magma slowly intrudes into a magma chamber 10 kilometers beneath the surface.

“At the beginning we were concerned it could be leading up to an eruption,” said [University of Utah geologist] Smith, who co-authored a paper on the surge published in the December 3, 2010, edition of Geophysical Research Letters.

“But once we saw [the magma] was at a depth of ten kilometers, we weren’t so concerned. If it had been at depths of two or three kilometers [one or two miles], we’d have been a lot more concerned.”

Apparently, intrusion into the magma chamber is somewhat cyclical:

Based on geologic evidence, Yellowstone has probably seen a continuous cycle of inflation and deflation over the past 15,000 years, and the cycle will likely continue, Smith said.

Surveys show, for example, that the caldera rose some 7 inches (18 centimeters) between 1976 and 1984 before dropping back about 5.5 inches (14 centimeters) over the next decade.

IBM Supercomputer wins Jeopardy — The 1997 computer victory over chess champion Garry Kasparov was nothing compared to this one. Chess is complex, but the logic of chess is nothing compared to the complexities of language as expressed in the TV gameshow Jeopardy. reports that the Watson supercomputer defeated two Jeopardy champions at the game, which means that the computer could understand the nuances of the categories and questions (actually the answers). The author believes that artificial intelligence (AI) will operate at human levels within two decades, and adds “I for one would then regard it as human.” He continues, “By the time the controversy dies down and it becomes unambiguous that nonbiological intelligence is equal to biological human intelligence, the AIs will already be thousands of times smarter than us.”

From PC Magazine: Why IBM’s Jeopardy Victory Matters (three parts) by Ray Kurzweil.

My questions:

  • Is there more to being human than being able to process information? (The Christian answer is “yes.” Humans are created in the image of God, and some things such as genuine emotions just cannot be programmed.)
  • How long will it be until someone falls in love with a computer? Until someone gets married to a computer?
  • What will stop the Episcopal Church or ELCA from ordaining computers as pastors? (Too bad these denominations don’t require baptism by immersion; that would prevent computers from being eligible for ordination).

HT: John C

Ski Joring Championship — Huh? From the Billings Gazette: World Ski Joring Championships in Whitefish.

The event involves horses and riders pulling a skier who navigates a course with a series of jumps and gates.

Somehow I missed that in the last Winter Olympics.

Stairs are more fun — I almost always take the stairs at work, rather than the elevator. I figure that I climb about 40,000 feet per year, which is more than climbing Mount Everest. But the stairs at work are not this fun…

Grace and Peace

January 29, 2011 Posted by | Christianity, Fun, Geology, Montana, Technology | , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

NASA going nowhere?

From Yahoo! News: Senators to NASA chief: Go somewhere specific

President Obama’s budget proposal would axe NASA’s planned trip to the moon. So where should NASA send astronauts? The long-term goal is to send astronauts to Mars, but what are good shorter-term objectives?

Here are two items that caught my attention regarding a future trip to Mars:

  • Using inflatable spaceship parts
  • Technological advances that would cut travel time to Mars down from three months to “a matter of days.”

On a humorous note, NASA has a graphic that shows possible destinations to send astronauts in upcoming years. I’m not sure that “Sun” is all that good of an idea.

Credit: NASA

Grace and Peace

February 27, 2010 Posted by | Astrobiology, Fun, Space Exploration | , | 3 Comments

New York City — A Montana Native’s Perception

Being that the dreaded Yankees won the World Series, here is my map of New York City, as originally posted in December 2007.

A couple days ago I commented (click here) on a map of Montana printed by The New Yorker Magazine. (I got the map from Strange Maps). Those Easterners know that Montana has everything from militia groups to radical environmentalists, but they didn’t know what part of the state to put them in.

I was thinking to myself: “Hey, you worked as a cartographer for eleven years. You can certainly make just as good of a map of New York City as they made of Montana.” So, here it is:


I was at JFK airport in 1980, so it isn’t like I haven’t been there.

November 9, 2009 Posted by | Blog Recycling, Fun, Maps, Montana | | Leave a comment

The Chemistry Song

My daughter did the “burn the nut” experiment in her high school chemistry class yesterday. In this experiment, the nut is set up under a calorimeter (which could be as simple as a glass beaker with a thermometer, though other setups work better), the nut is burned, the water warms up, and the student calculates the amount of heat released in the combustion reaction.

She told me about this, and I burst into song, just like I did when I was a chemistry teacher. Here is the song:

(Tune:  The Christmas Song)
words by Kevin Nelstead, Bucharest Christian Academy

Chestnuts roasting with an open fire,
With a calorimeter.
Chemis-tree carols being sung by a choir,
And students dressed up with safety goggles.
Everybody knows the specific heat of H2O
Is one calorie per gram degree Celsius.
And though its been said, many times, many ways

I’ll write on the topic of Chemis-tree carols some other time.

Grace and Peace

November 6, 2009 Posted by | Chemistry, Fun | Leave a comment

Help for the geographically impaired

From The Onion: World Map Rearranged To Accommodate Poor Geography Skills Of Americans—Nations Ordered Alphabetically

This is really going to help me with all of those little island countries in the Caribbean and South Pacific.

HT: The Map Room

Grace and Peace

November 2, 2009 Posted by | Fun, Maps | 2 Comments

Happy mole day!

In honor of Avogadro’s number (6.02 x1023), today is mole day. According to some who celebrate this day, celebrations can actually begin at 6:02 on 10/23.

National Mole Day Foundation

Mole Day Jokes — there are some new ones here I had not seen before.

Grace and Peace

October 23, 2009 Posted by | Chemistry, Fun | | Leave a comment

How to clean the inside of your monitor screen

I know how to clean my computer monitor, but hadn’t really given much thought to how to clean the inside surface of the monitor screen. Here’s how:

HT: Be Bold, Be Gentle

October 4, 2009 Posted by | Fun | Leave a comment

Nietzsche Mints

nihilist_mintsFrom Flavorless Nihilist Mints.

Sigh. Life is without meaning. It is bleak, empty, and anything we assign value to is completely false. We could say, for instance, that these Nihilist Mints symbolize that blankness of meaning, but then that would be a contradiction as we would be saying that Nihilist Mints mean something. They don’t. They are so bleak, they don’t even have flavor. Nihilist Mints are flavorless, just like life. Epic sigh.

September 3, 2009 Posted by | Fun | , , | 38 Comments

Preconceptual science

PreconceptualScience2For the rest of the comic strip, click here.

June 1, 2009 Posted by | Fun | Leave a comment

Concentric circles emanating from glowing red dot

Earthquake and tsunami news from the Onion News Network:

HT: Geographic travels with Catholicgauze

Grace and Peace

May 10, 2009 Posted by | Fun, Geology, Videos | | Leave a comment

Cleaning the Alps

When walking through the forests and meadows of the Austrian and German Alps, we’ve joked about how they must come out with vacuum cleaners to keep everything so neat and orderly.

Here’s how the Swiss keep their part of the Alps clean:


April 3, 2009 Posted by | Environment, Fun | , | Leave a comment

Dolphin Bubble Rings

Gandalf can blow smoke rings. Dolphins can blow bubble rings!

HT: The Dynamic Earth, who has a brief discussion of the fluid dynamics involved.

Grace and Peace

March 21, 2009 Posted by | Biology, Fun, Videos | , | Leave a comment

Humor for the week

I was in need of some humor this week. Here are a few things that have made me laugh:

1. Church Reduces Carbon Footprint; Worships in the Dark (from The Sacred Sandwich). Here are a few quotes:

In an effort to stem the tide of global warming, Raintree Christian Fellowship began worshipping in the dark this month by turning off the earth-destroying electricity to their building. Though temporarily blinded by the decision, the congregation has seen a sharp increase in spirituality and stubbed toes.

“Turning off the lights has really forced us to find God and each other by using our other four senses,” said Pastor Mike Gruber. “Thankfully, since most of us also reject the use of cancer-causing deodorants, it wasn’t really hard to find each other in the dark. At first I wondered who brought the dead possum in here, but then I realized it was just Bob.”

In recognition of their sacrifice to save the planet, former Vice President and noted global warming expert Al Gore made a surprise visit to Raintree last Sunday to support them in their efforts. “He did?” remarked a dumbfounded Pastor Mike. “Well, crud, I didn’t even see him. Come to think of it, I can’t see anyone in here.”

2. Things You Don’t Say to Your Wife (I got this from my friend Glenn at Be Bold, Be Gentle)

3. Onion News: Kim Jong Il Announces Plan To Bring Moon To North Korea

4. Onion News: Are Violent Video Games Preparing Kids For The Apocalypse?

Grace and Peace

February 28, 2009 Posted by | Fun | 1 Comment

More Google Earth — Car on side of building

Car on the side of a building, The Hague, Netherlands:

February 22, 2009 Posted by | Fun, Geography | | Leave a comment

More Google Earth — iPod Indian

Indian with ear buds, east of Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada:

February 22, 2009 Posted by | Fun, Geography | | Leave a comment