The right writing tools

Scientists write, it's part of the job. If writing feels laborious, it might be because you haven't found the right tools yet. The wrong tools <cough>Word</cough> feel like a lot of work. You spend a lot of time fiddling with font sizes and not being sure whether to use italic or bold. You're constantly renumbering sections after edits. Everything moves around when you resize a figure. Tables are a headache. Table of contents? LOL.If this sounds familiar,…

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On principles and creativity

I recently heard a quote that resonated with me:   I grapple with this sentiment whenever I feel the selfish twinge of hesitation to donate money to Wikipedia or QGIS, or pay page fees for open access to an article, or otherwise cough up for my convictions.Curious about who had uttered this wisdom, I looked it up. Turns out it was Bill Bernbach, celebrated advertiser, and supposedly an inspiration for the Don Draper character in Mad…

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Real and apparent seismic frequency

There's a Jupyter Notebook for you to follow along with this tutorial. You can run it right here in your browser. We often use Ricker wavelets to model seismic, for example when making a synthetic seismogram with which to help tie a well. One simple way to guesstimate the peak or central frequency of the wavelet that will model a particlar seismic section is to count the peaks per unit time in the seismic. But…

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Jounce, Crackle and Pop

I saw this T-shirt recently, and didn't get it. (The joke or the T-shirt.)It turns out that the third derivative of displacement \(x\) with respect to time \(t\) — that is, the derivative of acceleration \(\mathbf{a}\) — is called 'jerk' (or sometimes, boringly, jolt, surge, or lurch) and is measured in units of m/s³. So far, so hilarious, but is it useful? It turns out that it is. Since the force \(\mathbf{F}\) on a mass \(m\) is given by \(\mathbf{F}…

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Digitalization… of what?

I've been hearing a lot about 'digitalization', or 'digital transformation', recently. What is this buzzword?The general idea seems to be: exploit lots and lots of data (which we already have), with analytics and machine learning probably, to do a better job finding and producing fuel and energy safely and responsibly.At the centre of it all is usually data. Lots of data, usually in a lake. And this is where it all goes wrong. Digitalization is not about…

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Finding Big Bertha with a hot wire

Sunday will be the 131st birthday of General Andrew McNaughton, a Canadian electrical engineer who served in the Canadian Expeditionary Force in the First World War. He was eventually appointed commander of the Canadian Corps Heavy Artillery and went on to serve in the Second World War as well.So what is a professional soldier doing on a blog about geoscience? Well, McNaughton was part of the revolution of applied acoustics and geophysics that emerged right before…

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Unsolved problems in applied geoscience

I like unsolved problems. I first wrote about them way back in late 2010 — Unsolved problems was the eleventh post on this blog. I touched on the theme again in 2013, before and after the first 'unsession' at the GeoConvention, which itself was dedicated to finding the most pressing questions in exploration geoscience. As we turn towards the unsession at AAPG in Salt Lake City in May, I find myself thinking again about unsolved…

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Easier, better, faster, stronger

Yesterday I pushed a new release of bruges to Python's main package repository, PyPi.  Version 0.3.3 might not sound like an especially auspicious version perhaps, but I'm excited about the new things we've added recently. It has come a long way since we announced it back in 2015, so if you haven't checked it out lately, now's a good time to take another look.What is bruges again?Bruges is a...In other words, nothing fancy — just equations.…

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This year’s social coding events

If you've always wondered what goes on at our hackathons, make 2018 the year you find out. There'll be plenty of opportunities. We'll be popping up in Salt Lake City, right before the AAPG annual meeting, then again in Copenhagen, before EAGE. We're also running events at the AAPG and EAGE meetings. Later, in the autumn, we'll be making some things happen around SEG too. If you just want to go sign up right now, head…

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