sometimes i want to be a plasma geologist

as you may have seen in the news, Japan's Shinmoedake volcano in mount Kirishima (one of about 20 in that mountain range) has been erupting for the last few days.  although it is supposedly not very dangerous, it is the largest eruption Japan has had in the last 50 years.  there have been some neat high quality videos uploaded here and here, i would highly suggest checking those out.

the most amazing thing though was undoubtedly this photograph: 
(thanks chad)

news sites have captioned this photo with "lightning strikes volcano" but that does not describe what is happening here, the volcano is actually spitting out lightning.  this has been known to happen and has been lightly studied in the past (eruption of Mt. Augustine in Alaska 2006).  here is my best attempt at an explanation:

first let me say that lightning in general is widely a mystery to the sciences of geology and meteorology.  the theories are very basic having to do with charge separation via friction (dust particles rubbing together to create static electricity) these explanations are problematic at best and do not account at all for the larger picture.  they also do not seem to apply to any of the other planets, for example the planet venus which has no water, only smoggy clouds of sulfuric acid.

i realize this could get very lengthy in describing exactly what is currently theorized.. why it is wrong and then what is really going on.. so ill just skip that and tell you what is really happening:

there is a charge difference between what is going on underground versus what is going on in the lower atmosphere (more on this later).  it helps to start thinking in terms of electrical circuits.  Anthony Peratt described lava as being a plasma (a medium containing moving charges) so when an eruption happens it introduces a change in charge and essentially short-circuits the existing electric fields in the air and causes a discharge (lightning).

so why is there electricity in the air and magma? now we need to think in terms of larger circuits. the earth is a charged body moving through another plasma (this time it's outer space) which is a part of the sun's electrical influence called the heliosphere. so, instead of everything being electrically neutral (space, planets and the sun) there is actually a lot going on in this big circuit. our atmosphere acts as buffer between the surface of the earth and space. which is what causes the earth's weather, including thunder storms. and in this example we see the eruption being a buffer between the ionospheric currents and subterranean currents.

now this is where it gets really interesting because we can start speculating on how volcanoes (and probably  earthquakes as well) are dynamically related to our electrical planet.  and that is just frickin amazing.

a thanks to those of you who actually read these kinds of posts.  ill end with one of my favorite quotes from David Talbott and Wallace Thornhill:
“From the smallest particle to the largest galactic formation, a web of electrical circuitry connects and unifies all of nature, organizing galaxies, energizing stars, giving birth to planets and, on our own world, controlling weather and animating biological organisms. There are no isolated islands in an electric universe”.


Here is the latest from the center of the galaxy

Brought to you by 3 different space telescopes to cover the entire electromagnetic spectrum
Hubble - the visible wavelengths
Chandra - x-rays
Spitzer - infrared

Still no sign of black holes unfortunately.

Here is another pic from 2 years ago from just Hubble and Spitzer.


Just had to get out of the house

so i decided to go to one of my favorite close by places to be alone and think
i took a few pictures before my camera died and recorded this audio

the audio is awful because the mic picked up every tiny bit of wind and breeze
i need to get a wind cover for my microphone pretty desperately


This post is for Lacey..

..and those of you who I had dinner with last night and thought I was crazy when I said the human body has 2 brains =)

here is a TED talk that explains a little bit about it.

the jist:
there are 100 million neurons in the guts (vs 100 billion in the brain) and 20 types of neurons (same as the brain).  the gut "brain" or enteric nervous system, is autonomous and is connected to the limbic system (emotional) of the brain. each "brain" can supersede the other.

it sounds crazy but there is a lot of fascinating things happening with this "gut brain" and i think its worthy of your time and study.



I borrowed Mark's camera

So far I have not done much with it.  I have been wanting to get outside and shoot some video and test out some of my ideas for future projects.  I've only managed a few weak sunset photos:

in other news.. i got my new passport the other day.
10 year difference in those photos

I would REALLY like to use this again soon...


been organizing photos

lately ive been making another valiant attempt to organize the last decade of my photos.  i felt inspired to post 2 random items i found.

first up.. the good ole days of ruger n skull

and the other one... remember when i had hair?

New Computer

I sold my iMac on christmas eve.  I had the mac for almost a year and it was great for the most part.  However after quite a bit of performance testing and technological soul searching ive decided to go in another direction.

I sold the iMac for plenty enough cash to build a pretty ultimate machine.  I will take you on a bit of the journey through photos.

When the parts arrived it looked like this (excluding the monitors)

Here is the CPU, I went for the AMD phenom II x6 1090t

Here is the ugly stock CPU cooler that I quickly replaced, and my video card, a Gigabyte Radeon HD 5870

For better cooling I ended up with the Spire Thermax Eclipse II

this thing is a beast

I think I got the best one on the market

Here it is all put together on the motherboard

Final assembly completed, heres what it looks like on the inside

this is a full size case, it is massive and yes those are wheels on the bottom

Final Specs:
AMD Phenom II x6 1090t CPU 3.2GHz Black Edition overclocked to 3.9GHz (4.5GHz eventually)
4GB A-DATA DDR3 1600 memory overclocked to 1966MHz
Radeon HD 5870 overclocked to 870MHz
Dual 32" JVC 1080p 120hz LCD monitors (thats about 10 square feet of screen space)
Blu-Ray drive included (Mac's will probably never get Blu-Ray, sad but true)
60GB Corsair SSD and a 1TB Seagate HDD
ASUS Crosshair IV Formula Motherboard (ultimate for overclocking)

Having 6 overclocked cores will render video in a fraction of the time that it took my imac, and, this computer is less than half the price.  that is pretty crazy.


i finally managed to see it

probably the best movie ever

Chris Kotsiopoulos

Awesome Photographer.
Here is some of his best.

Desert Bears - Update

We have now recorded 7 episodes of our Desert Bears Podcast and are still having a lot of fun.
We have a website now DesertBears.com (3 videos are up)
Everything is still a work in progress but go ahead and check it out if you want.
Update to the update: all 7 episodes (audio) are now up as well.



i woke up at 2am. sleep didnt appear to be happening again any time soon so i got up and walked around the dark and seemingly empty house for a bit, as i sometimes do.  after a few solitary laps around the living room i decided to watch a movie.

when i watch movies alone i am often left feeling pensive and melancholy afterwards.  so that led me to write this blog.  however.. blogs that are pensive and melancholy are not as entertaining as pictures from today's car show at the expo center.. 

never in my life did i think i would be a big truck guy but the SVT Raptor "born in baja" is incredible and i want one. not blue though. ill take black or that sweet looking orange-ish color.

my family really loves the audi's

dad loved the BOSS 302 of course =)

i am not a car guy. at all. cars just do not impress me, however.. getting into this new camaro was a pretty shocking experience. i felt at one with the universe when i got into this thing. so that was surprising. if i were forced to drive a car every day i think i would pick a new green camaro. who knew.

the star of the show was also a surprise to me.  i had no idea this car existed. (even as a concept sadly) but here is the 50 year anniversary stingray corvette.  its what dreams are made of.  if a wizard appeared unto me and said "this car will be yours and you will be immune to snake venom for as long as you have it, however,  every time you pull up to a red light you will be bitten by a rattlesnake" i would accept the wizards offer without hesitation.  this is the coolest mixture of rubber and metal i have ever seen.


Best Time Warp

I have loved this for a long time.  Watched it a million times, Its still fascinating.  They wouldnt let you embed it before but now you can so here you go.


Did you see me on TV?

the first few seconds of this commercial show a dude who looks a lot like me standing in the bottom right.  my entire family is convinced that it is me.  this footage was from the 2009 car show and i was in fact at attendance, but i do not think that dude is me.  the video is not good enough to really tell but i dont recognize the clothes and glasses.  there is no denying the mannerisms though.  its probably my evil twin.  i always wanted one of those.

so what do you think.  is it me?



blog comments from 2010

here are my favorite blog comments from 2010

Garit D said...
Christmas miracle beard! haha love it!

Mark Nott said...
is there a world record for most arm breaks in a minute?

Davy J said...
If they don't discover the Higgs Bosson by 2020 I will wear a bunny suit with a sign that says Garit and everyone else was right.

Anonymous said...
The only action I got was the under cooked fish at a Restaurant....Only one week left and I'll be back home......Happy V-day HAGiS

Garit D said...
Rise up my brothers!!!

Tiffani said...
That picture gives me an ulcer. Glad you are having fun!! :)

Daniel T said...
The gods of pop culture look down upon you and smirk.

Daniel T said...
Kneel at the feet of your idol. Grovel at Steve Jobs' brilliance. Chuckle at his silly commercials. Drink up his press releases and feel his influence course within you. You are dead to me.

Daniel T said...
<-- Has an ipod :(

Ball Lightning said...
that yiruma song rules. dont spam your blog on the internet though dude. everyone will hate you.

Ball Lightning said...
wow you must have been a deep 8 year old. when i was 8 years old, there was pizza, cool-aid and G.I. Joes, beyond that nothing else existed.

adam said...
in this case....mine is bigger.

Davy J said...
So if electricity is so awesome, where are the hover bikes garit? Where?! You are a liar face.

LorraineinSpain said...
But I know DOZENS of Professional Cosmotologists. The world is so fickle, and so cruel.

I like these thinkings, Garit. Lots of fun for my brain. Even if my saying that makes my husband want to divorce me.

Daniel T said...

That is the number of people, living and dead, that think that the sun is powered by the Titan god Helios on a cosmic exercise bike. And his son Phaethon was struck down my Zeus' thunderbolt. So you see, your petty science is useless against the power of trumpet thunder.

P.S. That was twenty-eight zeros.

Ball Lightning said...
Nooooo! Blast you Trumpet Thunder!!!

Daniel T said...
Wrong. Heaven is a blaring science trumpet.

Daniel T said...
This will be the best vampire movie since New Moon.

Davy J said...
I hate you with every fiber of my being.

 Ball Lightning said...
Davy bro.. i totally forgot how much you hate enya. hahah.. awesome.


Amazing Astro Photography

this picture can only be taken high up on mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania 
"sky from the equator" - Korean photographer - Kwon O Chul

easily the most breathtaking photo ive seen all year
perhaps ever


Just saw the movie "catfish"

it was so suspenseful and awkward it made me feel nauseous.  really makes you think.