Climate Change In Color at the John Day Fossil Beds

  • Post category:Travel

When people think of Oregon they tend to think of rain, a sort of never-ending rain, over forty inches a year on average. But eastern Oregon is all but a desert, receiving a third of Portland's average, and some of Oregon really is a desert, with less than ten inches of rainfall a year. This low level of rainfall exposes the ground and the ground can tell its story, the story of rains from the distant past. The red is from a time when the hills here were warm and wet, as wet as Portland is now, and volcanic ash fell from the sky, brining with it all that iron.…

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Crater Lake Blue

  • Post category:Travel

A chemist, Mas Subramanian, and his grad student at the Oregon State University discovered a new blue pigment, similar to ultramarine but more stable. There are not many blue pigments out there--the last one discovered, Cobalt Blue, was discovered in 1802, although impure forms had been used long before. The name of the new pigment, YInMn Blue, is as ugly as the new blue is beautiful. Crayola's name for its kid-safe version of the new pigment--Bluetiful--causes me to cringe, just a bit. But to see a blue, a preternaturally blue blue, is one of life's special experiences. You can't see it on a screen because screens have limitations. You can't…

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