Listening to Physical Geology. PART 1: Noise, disaster, and plastic thoughts

Over drinks with a seismologist, I recently learned that you can hear the ocean anywhere on the planet. Anywhere. Did you know that? No matter where you are mid-continent, as far as you can imagine from water, the rhythmic pulse of the ocean hitting the shore is present as ambient seismic noise. We can find the data hidden in the sound. It is an earthquake-free form of seismology. The seismic waves are named Love, which though taken from the surname of their discoverer seems as pleasurable as the strange and charming names of quarks to me. The focus on what was prior seen as background, insignificant, struck me in what the seismologist was doing. She found magic in what an archaeologist could have thrown out with the spoil heap were it material. Pay dirt from noise.  


[This piece was an invited guest post for Savage Minds. It is a short piece on the importance of drinking with interesting people, amidst a few other things....]