No more rainbows!

"the rainbow color map can significantly reduce a person’s accuracy and efficiency"Borkin et al. (2011) File under "Aaarrrrrrgghhhhhhh" The world has known for at least 20 years that the rainbow colourmap is A Bad Thing, perhaps even A Very Bad Thing. IBM researchers Bernice Rogowitz and Lloyd Treinish — whose research on the subject goes back to the early 90s — wrote their famous article Why should engineers and scientists worry about color? in 1996. Visualization…

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The post of Christmas present

It's nearly the end of another banner year for humanity, which seems determined as ever to destroy the good things it has achieved. Here's hoping certain world 'leaders' have their Scrooge moments sooner rather than later.One positive thing we can all do is bring a little more science into the world. And I don't just mean for the scientists you already know. Let's infect everyone we can find! Maybe your niece will one day detect…

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Not getting hacked

This kind of password is horrible for lots of reasons. The real solution to password madness is a password manager. The end of the year is a great time to look around at your life and sort stuff out. One of the things you almost certainly need to sort out is your online security. Because if you haven't been hacked already (you probably have), you're just about to be.Just look at some recent stories from…

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x lines of Python: Let’s play golf!

Normally in the x lines of Python series, I'm trying to do something useful in as few lines of code as possible, but — and this is important — without sacrificing clarity. Code golf, on the other hand, tries solely to minimize the number of characters used, and to heck with clarity. This might, and probably will, result in rather obfuscated code.So today in x lines, we set x = 1 and see what kind of…

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A new blog, and a new course

There's a great new geoscience blog on the Internet — I urge you to add it to your blog-reading app or news reader or list of links or whatever it is you use to keep track of these things. It's called Geology and Python, and it contains exactly what you'd expect it to contain! The author, Bruno Ruas de Pinho, has nine posts up so far, all excellent. The range of topics is quite broad:Calculating…

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The Surmont Supermerge

In my recent Abstract horror post, I mentioned an interesting paper in passing, Durkin et al. (2017): Paul R. Durkin, Ron L. Boyd, Stephen M. Hubbard, Albert W. Shultz, Michael D. Blum (2017). Three-Dimensional Reconstruction of Meander-Belt Evolution, Cretaceous Mcmurray Formation, Alberta Foreland Basin, Canada. Journal of Sedimentary Research 87 (10), p 1075–1099. doi: 10.2110/jsr.2017.59  I wanted to write about it, or rather about its dataset, because I spent about 3 years of my life working…

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The abstract lead-time problem

On Tuesday I wrote about the generally low quality of abstracts submitted to conferences. In particular, their vagueness and consequent uninterestingness. Three academics pointed out to me that there's an obvious reason. Brian Romans (Virginia Tech) — One issue, among many, with conference abstracts is the lead time between abstract submission and presentation (if accepted). AAPG is particularly bad at this and it is, frankly, ridiculous. The conference is >6 months from now! A couple…

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Abstract horror

This isn't really a horror story, more of a Grimm fairy tale. Still, I thought it worthy of a Hallowe'eny title.I've been reviewing abstracts for the 2018 AAPG annual convention. It's fun, because you get to read about new research months ahead of the rest of the world. But it's also not fun because... well, most abstracts aren't that great. I have no idea what proportion of abstracts the conference accepts, but I hope it's…

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EarthArXiv wants your preprints

If you're into science, and especially physics, you've heard of arXiv, which has revolutionized how research in physics is shared. BioarXiv, SocArXiv and PaleorXiv followed, among others*.Well get excited, because today, at last, there is an open preprint server especially for earth science — EarthArXiv has landed! I could write a long essay about how great this news is, but the best way to get the full story is to listen to two of the founders…

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x lines of Python: load curves from LAS

Welcome to the latest x lines of Python post, in which we have a crack at some fundamental subsurface workflows... in as few lines of code as possible. Ideally, x < 10.We've met curves once before in the series — in the machine learning edition, in which we cheated by loading the data from a CSV file. Today, we're going to get it from an LAS file — the popular standard for wireline log data.Just…

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