Rock Bottom

Okay, boys and girls, let’s start with a quiz! Please decide whether each of the following statements is True or False:

1. “Ophiolite Suite” is the opening theme of “Hamlet: A Rock Musical.”

2. The best way to verify an occurrence of orogeny is to ask, “Did the Earth move?”

3. Laurentia and Gondwana are two competing beach volleyball teams at this year’s Acadian Games.


Give yourself 1 point for each statement you guessed was false (maximum 3 points). Give yourself another 4 points if you saw the phaneritic grains of a pattern of truth in each of the otherwise false claims. Give yourself 16 points for each statement you can correct with scientific information. BONUS POINTS: Give yourself 5 points if your answers of “False” were based solely on your knowledge of me and my sense of humour.


Anybody get over 2? Yesterday I would’ve gotten the 5 bonus points. That’s not saying much.

Gillian and I have decided that this year we’ll be bundling the fur-pods into the car and visiting Newfoundland, aka “the Rock,” which as a count-noun, I’ve been learning, is a bit of a misnomer. Turns out that the island of Newfoundland is not one rock, but three: a strip off what is now North America, a daisy-shaped chunk from what is now Africa, and a big slab of ancient sea bottom between them to referee. “A great big sea hove.” It certainly did!

I wanted to learn more about Newfoundland’s geography and geology before we travel, and now I’m knee-deep in plate tectonics. The whole terrestrial world is a set of paper rafts on a warm pond, their edges sometimes catching one on another and forming the Himalayas, or floating away from each other and forming Hawaii. It’s awesome, inspiring, beautiful, like my view of the sun this morning, looking as though it were shining through a sheet of lake ice.

PS If you didn’t earn the bonus points, it’s time we went out for coffee.

Just before 09:00.
Taken by me with my iNonPhone.

6 thoughts on “Rock Bottom

  1. What I got out of your blog today is that you are one heck of a lot smarter than I am!! We have only been to St. John’s but loved it and will go back to explore the rest of the three rocks sometime.


    1. Everyone’s said how wonderful Newfoundland is, I’m gla we’re finally going, and so is Gillian. As for smarts, well, I know all about your killer Scrabble games! But I delight in learning new things — does it show? ❤️


  2. 1) and 3) are false , and 2) is true. “Ophelia” is a character in “Hamlet”, and “Laurentia and Godwanda” are ancient continental tectonic plates. “Orogeny” is related to the movement of plates which leads to the cracking of the earth’s crust.


    1. The only trouble with 2) is that it takes more than simply asking a question to verify orogeny. Mind you, if talking to certain people is like talking to a brick wall, maybe questioning an ophiolite could indeed yield a human answer, who knows? I haven’t yet finished being surprised by things.
      At any rate, if you knew those nifty new-to-me terms before reading this entry, you are indeed the winner! But I hope you smiled a little, too.


    1. I remember you telling me about going to Joggins. I’ve had a good grasp on fossils forever; layers of hardened mud over leaves or shells, kinda like pies (at least for a six-year-old). Never could quite grasp the rest of geology, so it fascinates (and still escapes) me now. But as long as you smiled, my writing wasn’t in vain. 😊


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