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That is so Science

August 13, 2009

I love science. Everything about it is just awesome. I’m not a scientist by training. I’m a historian. So, it’s safe to say I’m a pure fanboy, rather than being “on the field”.

And it seems my love has passed on to my six year old. He got into trouble recently with his Grammy over mixing together very expensive beauty products. When asked if he had anything to say for himself, he replied, “I’m disappointed it didn’t turn blue like I wanted.”

So, we look for things to do together along those lines. I love fossils and in case you didn’t know, Ohio is a huge fossil hunter state having been covered at one time by a shallow, warm sea. There are actually places here where you can go and chisel fossils out of the cliffs.

Turns out, we didn’t even need to go there. My wife and I bought a house in Columbus that was built in 1929. Someone around that time built a fountain/pond area in the back corner of the yard. Now, it’s a garden for us, but the original stones are still there.

One day, my son and I decided to take a closer look at the stones. We were both thrilled to find that they were chock full of fossils having been taken out of one the previously mentioned fossil beds.

And so we found this one:

Fossil from our backyard pond.
Fossil from our backyard pond.

As I said, I’m a science fanboy, so I had no idea what kind of fossil this was. So, since my ministry is with college students from Ohio State, I decided to email the professors in the geology department.

Side Note; If you ever get to Columbus, Ohio State has a cool, little geology museum in Orton Hall.
Anyway, here is what they wrote back.

“Your fossil is a snail, probably Pleuronotus. I’m guessing that it comes orginally from the Columbus Limestone. (Devonian, about 395 million years old)”

 My son couldn’ t believe that he was holding a rock that old in his hands and that you could make a living studying fossils. His response?

 “That is so science.”

 I’m making plans to attend the Nobel Prize for Science awards in about thirty years.

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6 Comments leave one →
  1. Johann permalink
    August 13, 2009 3:33 pm

    Hee! Both my maternal grandparents are geologists, and I spent a good chunk of my childhood living with them, so I can definitely relate. …then my interest was hijacked by computers and languages, so I went into linguistics instead.

    I’ll be keeping an eye on the Nobels. =)

  2. August 13, 2009 4:17 pm

    “I’m a science fanboy”

    Perhaps we should form the Slartibardfast Society instead!

  3. qwints permalink
    August 13, 2009 5:40 pm

    I’m a law student who loves popular science, so I get the fanboy thing. Well-written post!

  4. thomas2026 permalink*
    August 13, 2009 7:10 pm

    Thanks Qwints! And welcome!

  5. August 16, 2009 9:29 am

    Neat. My father recently dug through some fossils we found maybe 5-10 years ago and saw something new, the guy at the NB museum who he had e-mailed did not seem very excited at first but when he told him the location he became much more interested, apparently it was unexpected. So perhaps it is the start of something worthwhile, very exciting…sadly I live in a difference province now.

    However tomorrow I am going fossil hunting, if I find anything interesting I am taking lots of photos and posting them.

    Hope you find a lot more wonderful things hidden in those rocks.

  6. thomas2026 permalink*
    August 16, 2009 12:42 pm

    Share them Travis!

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