Python wrappers for the Generic Mapping Tools on the way


An interface for interoperability between the Generic Mapping Tools (GMT), a tool used by geophysicists to create research-quality figures, and Matlab has recently been developed that allows GMT users to interact with Matlab and Matlab users to make use of GMT.

GMT wrappers are currently also being developed for the Python programming language, particularly to be used in the IPython/Jupyter notebook due to an initiative by Leonardo Uieda (and his professor Paul Wessel) whose Postdoc is being funded by the NSF. You can watch his talk at the SciPy 2017 conference below.

Some of the mentioned advantages to which I attest  include:

  • Begin and End statements are introduced to eliminate the need to pipe postscript results into a file in each line of code being written. This also eliminates the need to use the -K and -O flags which keep the file open and updates it, respectively. The -K and -O flags are a major confusion for newcomers to GMT.
  • temporary files are created under the /tmp directory, in Linux, so they will automatically be cleaned once the jupyter notebook is closed or the operating system is rebooted. Moreover, every project will have its own  directory so files from different projects don’t get mixed up.
  • GMT documentation straight in the Jupyter notebook
  • Matplotlib- & Basemap-like behaviour, particularly inline viewing of figures, using
  • Pythonic aliases make the compact GMT flags

To contribute:


Cook, T. (2017), A powerful new tool for research, Eos, 98, Published on 17 July 2017.

Animation of the Italy Earthquake’s Seismic Velocity


A “real-time” animation of the seismic (vertical) velocity of Italy’s 5.5 Mw earthquake that hit between the Aquila and Rieti provinces. The second half of the animation shows the whole country and surrounding area.

Real-time indicates that the video reflects how the waves propagated in real-time. It’s neither slowed down not sped up.

Red color indicates relatively higher vertical velocities indicating the ground is moving upwards while the blue color indicates the lower (negative) velocities indicated a downward movement of the ground. Color intensity refers to the magnitude.

Jacqueline du Pré – Interview & Dedication


In a previous post you read about Jacqueline du Pré‘s loss of ability to play. In this post I share with you a previously unpublished interview with her from 1980. Following that is a re-edited version of a film made in 1967. She was in love with Elgar’s concerto (see previous post for her performance)

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Fluid Mechanics video lectures


In a previous post we selected some resources on fluid dynamics. In that post we suggested the videos from the National Committe for Fluid Mechanics (notes on the website) that date to the 1960’s and is an excellent exposition to fluid mechanics. We share them below following a very clear demonstration of Euler’s equation and Bernoulli’s integral:

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NASA Launches a Rocket from an Airplane to deploy CYGNSS


On December 15, 2016 NASA successfully launched 8 small satellites by releasing a rocket from an airplane. The 8 satellites form the Cyclone Global Navigation Satellite System (CYGNSS) for tracking and studying the inside of tropical storms and hurricanes.
This step of releasing a rocket from an airplane is part of cutting costs.

Fluids in Motion – selected videos


Fluid dynamics keep astonishing scientists. Every video or animation of a fluid dynamics experiment brings new information and provides stunning displays.

Here are a few video from the APS Fluid Motion gallery.

Starfish larvae generate vortices when swimming which it utilizes to capture and eat algae.


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Four Days at Saturn – Cassini full-frame video