Song 086a-b – Be Still Geologists / Geoscientists

By March 20, 2018Songs

These two songs were not used as the music for a Psalm. However, these songs are based on Song 087 – The First Prayer, and its music was used for Psalm 46. I wrote the geologists version of this song (086a) at an SEG convention in New Orleans in 1998. I was working with Dr. Bowen Loftin at the University of Houston in my free time on his CAVE (Computer-Aided Visualization Environment). On 14 December 1990, as Walden 3-D, Inc.’s first significant event, I hosted a Lynk Teleconference, which Dr. Loftin participated in. We had Lynk boxes in Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Cedar City, St. George, Austin, Nacogdoches, Houston, Maine, Chicago, and Pittsburg. The Lynk boxes were between the phone and where the phone plugs into the wall, and they controlled the advancing of slides in a slide projector. Needless to say, this was well before webinars, on-line meetings, and real-time collaboration, as described in Song 085 – Merging Mind & Matter. One of the most interesting aspects of this slide-based teleconference was the fact Bowen placed an order for the first head-mounted display for NASA’s Johnson Space Center during the teleconference, when he realized Jean-Jacques Grimaud, who invented and was the first to sell head-mounted displays, was participating in the teleconference from San Franciso. I had met Bowen at a NASA technology transfer conference, where he described training astronauts in Germany remotely from Clear Lake, Texas. Bowen used the head-mounted displays to create a training program for fixing the Hubble Telescope, and won the best of NASA Award for the work. By the time this song was written, in September of 1998, Bowen had set up a CAVE (Computer-Aided Visualization Environment) at the new University of Houston Research Center (former Schlumberger Research Center on I-45 in Houston, Texas). I volunteered and helped him form the VR-Geo consortium (Virtual Reality in Geosciences, which is an on-going research consortium, now administered in England and Germany). We would bring oil company folks through the CAVE, demonstrating walking through the solar system, around the International Space Station, and through an aquarium full of fish in true three-dimensions. Always remember a scientist from UNOCAL, who said to me “I can’t believe you get paid to do this.” I didn’t get paid. It was all because I liked Bowen and because I was using his facility to do a proof-of-concept for Walden Visualization Systems, which later merged with Energy Innovations and became Continuum Resources International Corporation. This demonstration was what got Kjell Finstadt to invest in Continuum. And Song 086b – Be Still Geoscientists was written when all of this work was being done. It was fun, and it was a very exciting time, a time of recovery from my personal and family failures.

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