I’ve been following the news, as requested, for “anything
In “following the news for anything
It was 1981. I was 23. I lacked two classes for my geology degree. It was Iintroduction to Field Geology.” Then, I would need to take “Field Geology.” The normal procedure was to take “Intro to Field” during the spring semester. Then, you’d go out into the field every other weekend and map intriguing locations throughout
After finding out that the professor who was teaching the weekend “Intro to Field Geology” had given at least two of his students bleeding ulcers, I decided that was not for me. I was (even back then) extremely nervous, self-doubting, and fearful of failure (and success). I liked the idea of mapping, and I loved describing lithology and using the equipment… Brunton compass, “stereo pairs” – air photos that allowed you to see in three dimensions. Frankly, I loved geology. It was fun. This was years before GPS, maybe even a decade. We could not just enter in our locations after pressing a button on our cell phones that activated a GPS search function. Actually, cell phones did not exist yet. Neither did fax machines. Come to think of it – how did we function at all? I remember doing a lot more manual work. Oh well. If I think about this too long, my eyes will cloud with tears.
I wanted to keep my weekends free, so I opted to take the class in May, during “Intersession,” between Spring and Summer. Instead of traveling around
So. Those of us intrepid enough to sign up for the class – 20 guys and 2 females – showed up at the Geology Building parking lot early one Saturday morning, and readied ourselves for the long trek west.
It was to be a really crazy fandango. But, that’s another story…
We piled into two vans and headed west – traversing western
The morning dawned and the first thing to do was to shake out my boots in case of snakes, spiders, and/or scorpions. There was only one other female in this big herd of student geologists – that was my friend, Cecile, who was from Norway, and who was at the University of Oklahoma on a track and field scholarship. She was a champion shot-putter. I might mention at this point that I also threw the shotput competitively. It was when I was 16. I got tendonitis after joining the cross-country team, and my endurance (thanks to being on the swim team, too) far outstripped the capacity of my body do withstand constant pounding. Oh well. The long and short of it was that I developed tendonitis and was compelled by the coach to throw the shot put. This does not seem funny until you take a look at me as a 16-year-old. Although I considered myself grotesquely fat, the reality was that I was 5-7 and weighed less than 120 pounds. I was not skinny – but I was definitely on the lean side. Anyway – I managed to throw it 16 feet. Cecile could heave it at least 40 feet. That should give you an idea of how different we were.
Along the way, we stopped at
My father used to spend a lot of time in this part of the country. Years ago, there were large uranium mines. People were looking for the mineral in order to process it and create fuel for nuclear power plants.
More recently, uranium has been processed to make the so-called “depleted uranium” which is, specifically, “uranium hexafluoride,” used for building armor-piercing missiles. It is super-heavy and penetrates just about anything.
This is an intriguing concept – hard to know how or why that happens.
After mining the uranium ore, the commonly accepted practice was to dump the “tailings” (the waste product left after extracting the mineral) on the ground in a huge mountain of unconsolidated conglomerate.
Unfortunately, these mountains were radioactive due to the residual radiation in the dust. When the wind blew, the inhabitants breathed fresh air laced with radioactive uranium tailings. Years later, someone started to notice high cancer rates and birth defects. Was the high rate due to radioactive tailings? Or, was it due to above-ground testing to the west, in southern
This was 1981. Did anyone still remember the
Some people say that is what happened. Others claim the
I like the alien explanation, although it’s hard to prove.
When people come to the
Food for thought.
Many people say our technological advances would not be possible without the receipt of extraterrestrial knowledge. The extraterrestrials gave us computers, plastics, flight, and iPod technology.
We seem to have everything except time travel.
I hope things are going well in
I miss you and will be thinking of you. I am very, very proud of you. Please remember that -- and, be sure to brush your teeth and floss. I'm sending you some dental floss in the next care package. (he-he -- could help but throw that in... I'm hopeless !! )
Take care, and remember that your mom cares!!