Plate tectonics

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Her father was Russian, and his name in the old country was Herschel Litvak. In Brooklyn, he called himself Harry Fishman, and sometimes Harry Block. According to his daughter, English names meant nothing to Russian Jews in Brooklyn. She grew up Fishman and became in marriage Epstein and Harris, signing her geology with her various names and imparting some difficulty to flexplek huren nijmegen followers of her professional papers. With her permission, I will call her Anita, and let the rest of the baggage go. Straightforwardly, as a student, she went into geology because geology was a means of escaping the ghetto. “I knew that if I went into geology I would never have to live in New York City,” she once said to me. “It was a way to get out.” She was nineteen years old when she was graduated from Brooklyn College. She remembers how pleased and astounded she was to learn that she could be paid “for walking around in mountains.” Paid now by the United States Geological Survey, she has walked uncounted mountains. After the level farmlands of northwestern Ohio, the interstate climbed into surprising terrain-surprising enough to cause Anita to suspend her attack on plate tectonics. Hills appeared. They were steep in pitch. The country resembled New England, a confused and thus beautiful topography of forested ridges and natural lakes, stone fences, bunkers and bogs, cobbles and boulders under maples and oaks: Indiana. Rough and semi-mountainous, this corner of Indiana was giving the hummocky lie to the reputed flatness of the Middle West. Set firmly on the craton-the Stable Interior Craton, unstirring core of the continent-the whole of Middle America is structurally becalmed. Its flexplek huren arnhem basement is coated with layers of rock that are virtually flat and have never experienced folding, let alone upheaval. All the more exotic, then, were these abrupt disordered hills. Evidently superimposed, they almost seemed to have been created by the state legislature to relieve Indiana. Not until the nineteenth century did people figure out whence such terrain had come, and how and why. “Look close at those boulders and you’ll see a lot of strangers,” Anita remarked. “Red jasper conglomerates. Granite gneiss. Basalt. None of those are from anywhere near here. They’re Canadian. They have been transported hundreds of miles.”

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