Friday iTunes iChing: A Randomly-Generated AGU Press Kit

So Andrew Alden has suggested a fun game: predict which AGU abstracts will get the most mainstream media attention. I’m working on my own list (though restricted to stories from the sections whose abstracts I would glance through anyway, which means I’m missing all the climate stuff), but I thought it’d be fun to see how well the informed judgment of scientists compares to the inscrutable mutterings of a modern divination machine.

So how ’bout it, Oracle? What stories will we see in the popular science press from this year’s AGU?

Also: would anyone like to meet up for an AGU geobloggers’ dinner? Brian? Andrew? Thermochronic? Bueller? If enough people are interested, I can set us up the bomb restaurant.

Whoosh! Clack! Sputter! goes the Oracle…

  1. “Hall Of Mirrors” – Béla Fleck & The Flecktones, Outbound
  2. “The Unquiet Grave” – Solas, Sunny Spells And Scattered Showers
  3. “Lambs in the Greenfield w/Emmylou Harris” – The Chieftains, Further Down The Old Plank Road
  4. “Chinese Grass Invasion” – Boulder Acoustic Society, So Many Stars In the Sky
  5. “Stolen Apples” – Lúnasa, Otherworld
  6. “The Old Main Drag” – The Pogues, Rum, Sodomy & The Lash
  7. “There Goes My Gun” – Pixies, Doolittle
  8. “New Orleans Got Iraqed” – Ryan Harvey, 2006-Give it Time: Reflections on Change
  9. “Boatman Medley” – Acoustic Mayhem, Acoustic Mayhem
  10. “Barbie Girl” – Aqua, Aquarium

Of course, as the Oracle’s Priestess, it is my job to reformat these predictions into something a little more… plausible. I will admit to throwing out two songs that were utterly indecipherable.

  1. A discovery made using a telescope
  2. Something about the fate of subducted sediments
  3. A human interest story about a scientist who got scooped
  4. This should be straightforward, but the Oracle is silent about the geological tie-in to invasive species. Those folks in biogeosciences sure get up to some odd interconnections
  5. Paleofruit
  6. Gathering data by destroying part of a spacecraft
  7. Either a story about explosive volcanic eruptions, or the launch of a new spacecraft
  8. Climate change and its effect on hurricanes
  9. Climate change and its effect on river barge traffic
  10. A global warming “point of no return”


  1. BrianR wrote:

    It would be fun to meet up for happy hour and/or dinner…although I can’t on Wednesday…any other time is good.

  2. Andrew Alden wrote:

    This iTunes iChing thing has potential!

    I would join a bloggers’ dinner; any night is fine. I usually am at sessions right up to 6 pm every day, but y’all can start early as you like. Thanks for stepping up to be the energy center!

  3. Jim Repka wrote:

    I would be glad to meet up. I have a commitment on Tuesday night but am free the rest of the week.

  4. yami wrote:

    Since my talk is on Tuesday I’d prefer to leave Monday night free (though if no other night works, I can still do it), which leaves us with… Thursday?

  5. Kiri wrote:

    Paleofruit! I die! (Please tell me there will be a talk on paleofruit. If so, it’s going to be #1 on my personal itinerary.)

  6. Thermochronic wrote:

    Happy hour sounds excellent. I’ll be in town the whole time and as of yet have no big restrictions.

  7. Andrew Alden wrote:

    Thursday’s great. That will be the out-of-towners’ last night since they’ll be flying out Friday afternoon. Also, Thursday will be Friday the 13th. (Wasn’t it Pogo who used to say “Oh no, Friday the 13th is on a Thursday this month”?)

  8. BrianR wrote:

    I’ll keep Thurs free

  9. yami wrote:

    So should we plan for dinner? Or just drinks, and then improvise dinner post-happy-hour if we’re hungry and we still like each other?

  10. Andrew Alden wrote:

    I’ll be eager to eat as well as drink–I mean, meet.

  11. BrianR wrote:

    I like the happy-hour and then see what happens plan … is that cool with everybody else?

    Even though I live in SF, I never go downtown and don’t know that many places … but I know of a few

  12. yami wrote:

    I know some good places in the Mission, but not many in downtown proper. Oooh, except Beardpapa, but you can’t have cream puffs for dinner.

    Anyway, walk-in seating for a group of 5 on a Thursday shouldn’t be a problem, so I don’t think we really need to plan much in advance.

  13. BrianR wrote:

    yami … me too, we live near the Mission and barely go anywhere else. There’s a brewery/restaurant near the Moscone center called Thirsy Bear, which I’ve gone to the last couple of years. I like their beer, and the food is good, although a bit overpriced.

  14. yami wrote:

    AUGH. The prof I’m TAing for is taking everyone out to dinner on Thursday. Would people’s schedules be horribly deranged if we moved to Monday?

  15. Thermochronic wrote:

    My presentation is Tuesday, but it is a poster, and as of 5 minutes ago done. Monday works for me.

  16. Andrew Alden wrote:

    Monday, OK. I’ll surely have more energy that day.

    Wait a minute, can he take US out, too?

  17. Andrew Alden wrote:

    Or she?

  18. BrianR wrote:

    I think Monday will work…I have family in town for my defense but they are leaving late Monday afternoon, so I should be able to make it downtown (or wherever) after I see them off.

  19. Andrew Alden wrote:

    I spent yesterday afternoon at Pacific Coast Brewing‘s tasting of holiday beers. They have some fantastic brews there that will probably sell out soon. This is in downtown Oakland a few steps from the 12 Street BART station (, which in turn is a 12-minute ride from Montgomery Street in S.F. Not that I’m lobbying, but it would be pleasant. They also serve wine and bunch of food.

  20. yami wrote:

    You’re not lobbying? I’ll lobby. Yay, East Bay!

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