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San Francisco Millennium Tower Has Settled 16 Inches
Misrepresents actual foundation geometry. Photos show deep excavation to ne
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Good evening from Barcelona, Spain. I am witting to you because of I am le
Engineering Geologists vs Geological Engineers vs Geotechnic
Geological engineer from Spain (looking for job smiley geoengineer.martin@gmail
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Rockman's Ramblings
Buried in Twitter and Geo-terms Searching Fail PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 21 May 2009 13:11

Soccer fail Sorry for the lack of posts this week. I'm a geek, I've been wrapped up in a new programming project with PHP and the Twitter API. Its going to be a new feature on the Geoprac site and I'm very excited about it, but its not quite ready for prime time yet.

Have you ever tried to Google a geo-term either for work or general interest and found mostly things that are completely unrelated to what your looking for? For example, try a google search for landslide. Mixed in with all the stuff of interest to geotechnical engineers and geologists are videos and lyrics for Fleetwood Mac, Stevie Nicks, the Dixie Chicks etc. Results from google news for landslide show similar problems, you get news stories about landslide victories in elections, on American Idol, etc. That's the kind of stuff I've been dealing with when trying to sift through the sea of tweets out there…but I think its even worse on Twitter because half most of the time, people are twittering about nothing really. We'll see how successful I am at sifting through the crap for the interesting tweets.

But one of my points in writing this post is to plug one of my related sites, GeotechSearch.com. Its a custom search engine powered by Google but it works on the principle of a "whitelist" where it only returns results from a specified list of sites. My list of sites comes from the GeoLinks section of the GeoPrac.net site where links can be submitted by any registered member. So if you or someone else have determined that your company's site or one of your favorite geo-related sites is important enough to include in the GeoLinks, it should be included in GeotechSearch.com results (at least for the right keywords).

So for comparison, try the landslide search on GeotechSearch.com and see what you find. I think it does a pretty good job, but there is always room for improvement by adding more relevant sites to search, so become a member of GeoPrac and then submit your links (you can get there from the GeoLinks page, or from Menu).

Last Updated on Thursday, 21 May 2009 13:11
 
Southwest Geotechnical Conference Wrapup PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Wednesday, 13 May 2009 11:50

[Editor] Updated Thursday May 28, 2009 2:15pm [/Editor]

I was able to attend the first full day of the 34th Southwest Geotechnical Conference in Phoenix, AZ yesterday. The conference, sponsored by the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) and the FHWA, is going on through tomorrow, and I wish I could have attended the rest of the sessions, but I had to get back to work! There were some very interesting presentations, and I made some valuable contacts that will hopefully result in some additional articles and other content for GeoPrac. Below are some of the highlights for me, some of which I plan to elaborate on in separate posts. When I do, I'll update this post with the links. The highlights were…

Last Updated on Thursday, 28 May 2009 14:17
 
Twitter and Widgets PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 30 April 2009 12:51

TwitterI hope that GeoPrac is always near the front of the pack in the geo-industry when it comes to Web 2.0 and social media. With that in mind, I'm excited to announce that GeoPrac is finally on twitter! (http://twitter.com/geoprac/) You can use it as an alternative to the RSS feeds as each item posted to the site will show up in the twitter feed (with a little lag perhaps). But I also hope to start using it to interact with visitors and members and as a micro-blog where I post links to news items and stories that either didn't lend themselves well to a GeoNews post or I flat out didn't have time to write up. I admit I'm still discovering twitter, but feel free to drop me a tweet!

I also wanted to create a Widget for the items posted here, so I decided to use Widgetbox.com. I think it looks pretty slick with the teaser images I usually post showing up along with the post's title. If you run a blog or website, by all means feel free to add it! Click through to see it in action.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 05 May 2009 09:54
 
GeoPrac Turns Two! PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Sunday, 05 April 2009 11:49

GeoPrac.net turns two! Geology cake stratigraphy by Khol-y (Flickr) after original design by Tim Babb.GeoPrac.net is now well into its toddler years! Today marks the second anniversary of the site. The past year has seen a major upgrade to the content management system, a new design, Geothreads, Delicious geotech, new sponsorship model, the launch of a sister site, GeotechSearch.com and most recently, a monthly newsletter. We're up to around 414 news posts and articles, and 153 geolinks.

In the next year I hope to continue with the top quality content, and perhaps implement still more new features with a decidedly Web 2.0 feel. Thanks for all the support! A special thank you to my first sponsor, gINT Software!

(Cake photo...and actual cake by Khol-y after an original T-Shirt design by Tim Babb. Thanks to Rock Bandit for finding the photo)

Last Updated on Sunday, 05 April 2009 11:56
 
There and Back Again…Ed Medley PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Friday, 27 March 2009 00:34

imageIts been a while since I’ve posted in Rockman’s ramblings. But tonight as I try to wind down from a stressful drive back to Tucson from Phoenix on a very windy night, I feel the muse at work. Maybe the martini is helping too! Tonight was a meeting of the Arizona Section of the Association of Engineering and Environmental Geologists (AEG). The speaker was the 2009 AEG Jahns Distinguished  Lecturer, Dr. Edmund Medley of Geosyntec Consultants.

He’s perhaps best known for coining the phrase “bimrocks” for block-in-matrix-rock. He’s also written and presented some stuff on terrestrial 3d photogrammetry for geological engineering.  He’s an incredibly colorful, energetic, and genuine man who is a very entertaining and gifted writer and presenter. I was glad to meet him after trading a few emails previously. I’m not sure how he would feel about this comparison, but for some reason he reminded me of Bilbo Baggins. (Photo from EdMedley.com)

Last Updated on Friday, 27 March 2009 00:41
 
Problems with Comment Forms Now Fixed PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Monday, 12 January 2009 13:03

I've told a few people this before, it seems like every time I try to fix something on this site, I break two more things. The latest casualty: The forms to add comments to GeoNews posts and Articles. They seems to be working again, but it obviously put a damper on the Space Navigator giveaway. So for that reason, I'll be extending the deadline for the contest until just before midnight (CST) on January 31, 2009. My apologies to anyone who tried to leave a comment only to have nothing happen! We would love to have your feedback, please try it again!

Thanks to Ryan Portman for sending me an email about the problem and for his comment on Wal-Mart's Geotechnical Investigation Specifications. That's the beautiful thing about tapping into the community of GeoPrac readers, there is so much collective knowledge out there, don't hesitate to share yours with the rest of us! Ryan is now entered to win the Space Navigator, don't forget to get your name in the hat by leaving a comment on one of the news posts or articles!

On a side note, if you want to see your photo next to your comment, or you are curious about how GeoPrac handles comments, check out our Commenting on Posts page. Oh, and don't be shy about sending me an email if you notice any other problems.

Last Updated on Monday, 12 January 2009 13:28
 
Top Content of 2008 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 01 January 2009 21:51

Happy New Year to all GeoPrac.net members and visitors! I send you warmest wishes for a happy, healthy and fulfilling 2009. As is the custom on most blogs, I've taken a look at the most popular items on the site from 2008. I define popularity as highest average hits/day, not just the most hits, otherwise it biases things towards those articles that have been posted longer. I also break down the most read articles of 2008 including those published earlier, and the most popular items published in the last quarter. Click through for the lists.

 
Retraction and Apology - Drilling Accident in Ontario Canada PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Thursday, 30 October 2008 13:59

Yesterday I received a forwarded email from a fellow geotechnical engineer and former coworker regarding a fatal accident involving a hollow stem auger drill rig in the Lindsay area of Ontario Canada on October 8th. I attempted to find local media accounts of the accident, and the only one that I could find did not have all of the details regarding specifics of the accident that were listed in the email. I chose to publish the details from the email anyway.

In my zeal to provide relevant news to the readers of GeoPrac.net, I lost sight of the fact that even bloggers must follow basic journalistic principals of checking their facts before publishing something. And more importantly I lost sight of the fact that this person was a friend, coworker, and family member to people...not just a news item.

Today I received a call from a friend and colleague (coworker I think) of the victim. He told me that my facts were not correct, and asked me to take the article down from GeoPrac, which I did immediately. I deeply, deeply regret and apologize for publishing this incorrect information without making every effort to verify the facts. And I am absolutely sick to my stomach to think that I have caused his friends and family, in particular his parents, any additional grief or heartache over and above that which they are already feeling.

In conversation with this person, he discussed briefly some of his efforts spurred by this accident to advance drill rig safety in Canada. I applaud these efforts, and I hope that he and the victim's other family and friends can see that I had good intentions in sharing the email I received by posting it on GeoPrac...that is to remind people of the potential for serious accidents when working near drill rigs in the hopes that engineers, geologists and drillers will be always vigilant and look out for each other on the job site.

I truly meant what I said at the end of the original post, "My most sincere condolences go to [the victim's] family and friends. This is an unfortunate reminder of the hazards of working around drill rigs. To all in the geotechnical or geological industries, please be careful out there..." If the family and friends of the victim wish me to print a correction to my previous post, I will most certainly do so. Again my most sincere and humble apologies to anyone who may have been hurt by my previous post.

Respectfully,

Randy Post
Owner/Editor - GeoPrac.net

 

 

Last Updated on Thursday, 30 October 2008 16:39
 
GeoPrac.net Facelift PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 21 October 2008 00:00

As you can probably tell, there have been a few cosmetic and behind the scenes changes to the GeoPrac.net website. Rest assured it is still one of the premier sites for news and articles related to geotechnical engineering, geological engineering and engineering geology. But the software that runs the site was in dire need of upgrades, both for security and ease of maintenance. The new look was a byproduct of those upgrades (long story).

There are going to be some growing pains with the upgrades, including some broken links and other glitches. I appreciate your patience as I work to sort them out and I ask you to do me a favor, and if you come accross a problem, drop me a note - feedback@geoprac.net. If you're interested in more details about the new site, click through.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 October 2008 14:50
 
New Feature - GeoThreads PDF Print E-mail
Written by Randy Post   
Tuesday, 21 October 2008 00:00

I made a conscious decision when creating GeoPrac.net to NOT include a forum or bulletin board. I feel that with my technical skills and using one of the excellent open source products out there I could have done a nice job of integrating it into the site in a way that is not done on similar sites in our field...but I had to ask myself why? The main reasons I decided against it are that a forum is only as good as the people using (and moderating) it and after I found out how much time was invoved in just keeping fresh content on GeoPrac.net, I didn't want to have to moderate and reply to posts on top of that. That's why I have instead chosen to promote the forums at Geoengineer.org and in the Geotechnical Section at Eng-Tips.com. Up to this point, there has not been much promoting involved...hopefully GeoThreads will change that

Check out GeoThreads!

With the new GeoThreads feature on GeoPrac.net, you can view the forum threads on topics such as foundation engineering, slope stability, site investigations, geophysics, laboratory testing and more right here in one place. Quickly scan the thread title and a short introduction to find items that interest you and jump directly into the thread at the forums at Geoengineer.org, Eng-Tips.com or other related sites to view the full post and subsequent replies! As a bonus feature, the "Hot GeoThreads" module will show up on the left side of the site (currently near the bottom) with a list of the 10 most replied to threads started in the past month so you can see what topics have the geo-community buzzing.

I built these applications with extensive use of Yahoo! Pipes and a custom designed caching system that runs on a set schedule. Because of the reliance on Pipes, I can't guarantee the freshness of the info, but in my testing, it's typically updated within 1-2 hours. I also don't want to make the site owners mad by straining their server, so I won't be releasing RSS versions of this info. Hopefully between my caching mechanisms and those of Yahoo! Pipes it will be minimal negative impact and increased traffic coming from GeoPrac.

Last Updated on Tuesday, 21 October 2008 21:20
 
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