Men of rock

Geologists not guitarists! I watched a good program yesterday on BBC iPlayer on how the mountains of Scotland were formed and the stories of the geologists who discovered the processes. Apart from being very interesting, it also had some beautiful footage of the North West Highlands. Well worth a look.

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15 thoughts on “Men of rock”

  1. I watched this yesterday, but was saddened that he didn’t give much credit to Peach & Horne – heroes of mine – who sorted out the practicality of the amazing geology of north west Scotland. They got a mention though. I wrote about them on my LEJOG here: http://alansloman.blogspot.com/2007/06/day-105-inchnadamph-to-kylesku.html

    I don’t know what it is about the presenter; an obvious enthusiast who gets it across very well but just occasionally skims over stuff – also a supporter of wind energy on the tops…

    Having said all that it was lovely to see the Beeb concentrating on something of interest for a nice change!

    1. Thanks Alan, I think I’ll track down some stuff on the geology and geomorphology of Scotland. At the moment I’ve got a stack of books to read. I’m grappling with quanum physics at the moment. My consolation is that no-one really understands quantum physics, least of all, me! But it is very interesting. Back to Scotland, I thought some of the footage of the secnery was stunning.

  2. If you are in a tolerant mood, two books which pack a lot of information between the problems are Hutton’s Arse by Malcolm Rider and Granite and Grit by Ronald Turnbull. Ronald writes about eukaryotic bacteria, which makes me wonder about the geology a bit, and the best chapters may already have been in Trail Walker and Lakeland Walker.

  3. Thanks for the reminder, Robin. I’ve just watched the first two episodes on iPlayer and I reckon that they’re excellent.

    It was pleasing to see a decent amount of episode two devoted to Lapworth’s then-radical work, but then again I’m biased, being a Brum Uni geology graduate and therefore an alumnus member of the department’s Lapworth Society.

    I just had to show SWMBO the piece-to-camera at about 31:30 into episode one – it’s so true… my small clan have learned that the phrase “just look at the layers in THAT!” is guaranteed to start me off when we’re out in the countryside. You can’t imagine how much they later regret lighting that blue touchpaper… they go quiet, though, when I divert to physics and try to explain, in layman’s terms, stuff like Bose-Einstein condensates or the Casimir Effect šŸ™‚

    Back to the iPlayer though… I’ve still not figured out why I can get episodes one and two via Mr. Branson’s cable interwebnet but only one of them via his cable telly iPlayer service. Geology and Physics are a doddle compared to the mysteries of commercial IT services.

    1. The availability of programmes is mysterious. On the web version of iPlayer there appear to be more episdoes available than through the browser on my TV. Strange. Also iPlayer doesn’t seem to carry complete series. The Brian Cox series on the solar system seemed to omit the last programme. It’s frustrating that the BBC limit the availability of programmes. We own the BBC why can’t we see what we want at a time that suits us?

      1. Well, the listing on the cable telly iPlayer has changed overnight. Yesterday it was only displaying episode two, but this morning it’s also showing episode one. I don’t understand how, in this computerised age, can it be difficult to keep the two systems in synch.

  4. This is good on Lapworth.

    http://www.see.leeds.ac.uk/peachandhorne/friday/042_SmithClatworthy.pdf

    It seems he wasn’t just a self-taught geologist who cracked up. The Birmingham University site is also informative but Imperial College’s club refers to a different Lapworth. All I’ve found on Charles Lapworth’s reasons for leaving Oxfordshire is Ronald Turnbull’s suggestion that he was inspired by Sir Walter Scott’s writing. I’m wondering how well an iconoclast would get on with his family.

  5. hi Robin
    I checked on iplayer after reading this post and found Men of rock 2. Having thoroughly enjoyed it i just wanted to say thanks for posting it. I would have missed it otherwise.
    I also watched the TNF exped to Nepal on Rush tv i enjoyed this too.

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