Monday, February 1, 2010

In this world nothing is certain except death and karst

I spent my week in Guangxi staring at limestone that has been eroded by dissolution, otherwise known as karst.

If you find karst ugly or boring, then 1) you should not read this blog for the next few days, because summarizing my vacation will require regular discussions of karst and its properties 2) you should never, ever, ever go to Guangxi province.

But before we get to karst talk (don't worry, geologists in the audience, we're getting there!), I should say that I seem to have picked an unusually busy week to take a vacation. For instance, I was surprised to hear that J.D. Salinger, in a break from his decades-long retreat from the limelight, died last Wednesday. I was also surprised to hear that Howard Zinn died, but not surprised in an "oh my god I can't believe Howard Zinn died!" sort of way, but more in a "Huh." and then I go back to living my life sort of way.

There should be a website where you can input the dates of your vacation and then when you come back it'll just send you an email with the important people who died. Because I had to figure out these people died by going to facebook and clicking "Read More" at the bottom of the newsfeed a bunch of times. If you're wondering who got more attention on facebook, J.D. Salinger or Howard Zinn, the answer is "the iPad." There were also some posts about football, but I haven't really been following football since the Knicks got eliminated in December. I heard nothing on facebook about the state of the union, so I will assume Barack Obama does not exist.

Anyway, I'll tell you about Guangxi over the next few days. I still have to tell you about the diaolou, but we'll start with karst, because start and karst are spelled almost exactly the same

Minus the k.

Plus another t.

Also, you have to rearrange the letters. Whatever, we're going to start with the karst and that's final.