Pillows for Rockhounds

31 05 2007

It just proves that you can’t have too many rocks.

A store in Beverly Hills, the Capital of Fake, is selling pillows that look like they are made of pebbles. In reality, the pillows are composed of cotton terry material, yet have a “surprisingly natural look.”

pebble pillow

Quirky and not cheap.


Tiffany Diamond on View

27 05 2007

Ah, if only Holly Golightly were around, she might be making a bee-line to Washington D.C. where the Smithsonian Natural Museum of History is currently showing the Tiffany Diamond.

The fancy yellow diamond helped earn a 19th-century jeweler, Charles Lewis Tiffany, the nickname “King of Diamonds.” Tiffany acquired the South African diamond in 1878 for $18,000. A famous gemologist of the era, George Frederick Kunz, supervised its cutting—a task that took nearly a year.

Today, the Tiffany Diamond is the icon of Tiffany & Co., where it has been on view for nearly 70 years. Tiffany designer Jean Schlumberger designed three jeweled settings for the Tiffany Diamond in 1956. The current setting “Bird on a Rock” was mounted in 1995. This is the first time the Tiffany Diamond has been shown at a U.S. museum outside of New York.

The loan of the diamond celebrates a $1.1 million gift from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation. Also on view for the first time are two rare gemstones that were purchased for the National Gem Collection through an endowment created by The Tiffany & Co.  The exhibition runs until September 23, 2007.

Source:  Smithsonian Natural Museum of History

Earthquake Now

23 05 2007

Three minutes ago an earthquake hit close to Riverside, CA (I am in West Los Angeles.)earthquake t-shirt, geology t-shirt, geologist gifts

According to the California earthquake report website:

A minor earthquake occurred at 11:15:15 PM (PDT) on Wednesday, May 23, 2007.
The magnitude 3.9 event occurred 3 km (2 miles) SE of Devore, CA.
The hypocentral depth is 10 km ( 6 miles).

This was 82 km (51 miles) ENE (78 degrees) from downtown Los Angeles.

Geo-Pict: Ganges River Delta as Art

16 05 2007

The Ganges River forms an extensive delta where it empties into the Bay of Bengal. The delta is largely covered with a swamp forest known as the Sunderbans, which is home to the Royal Bengal Tiger. From the Earth as Art collection of the USGS.

USGS Marks Rachel Carson Centennial

15 05 2007

The US Geological Survey’s Patuxent Wildlife Research Center is celebrating the centennial of environmental pioneer Rachel Carson’s birth (May 27, 1907) in May 2007. The events are planned in partnership with the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Patuxent Research Refuge, on which the Research Center is located, and the Rachel Carson Council of Silver Spring, MD.

A central part of the event is a program of talks honoring the legacy of Rachel Carson to environmental science; that legacy is evident in much of the scientific work from Patuxent. Silent Spring, her most renowned book, was based in part on the work of scientists at Patuxent and its publication motivated development of the wildlife toxicology, and other programs, at Patuxent and throughout the Federal government.

Maryland legislators have also passed bills to declare May 27 Rachel Carson Day.

The aim of science is to discover and illuminate truth. From Carson’s remarks at her acceptance of the National Book Award for Nonfiction.

Only within the 20th Century has biological thought been focused on ecology, or the relation of the living creature to its environment. From Carson’s essay on the biological sciences in Good Reading, 1958.

Learn more about this remarkable woman at www.rachelcarson.org.

Is Asia Being Stuffed Under Tibet?

11 05 2007

The leader of an international collaborative seismic project says the Himalayas were formed when India pushed into the Tibetan plateau, and that Asia may be doing the same. Cornell geologist Larry Brown points to the mountain range as an example of what happens when continents collide and surimises that Asia is being “stuffed” under then northern part of the Tibetan plateau.

The researchers have been using echo sounding, which is the same basic technology used to map the ocean bottom and explore for oil and gas. In Tibet, the scientists set up explosions that generate sound waves, whose echoes off the deep rock layers are recorded and analyzed.

Read the whole article at PhysOrg.com

Source: Cornell University

Kamchatka Volcanos: Siberia Heats Up

5 05 2007

The Kamchatka Peninsula is one of the most active volcanic regions along the Pacific Ring of Fire. Over a hundred volcanoes stretch across this land mass, about thirty of which have reupted recently.

Since late April, this region has been very active. Shiveluch, one of Kamchatka’s most active volcanoes, began its latest activity with gas and steam emissions in mid- to late March 2007. This image was taken by astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) around mid-morning on or around March 21, 2007. It shows a steam plume, probably containing minor amounts of ash, blowing westward from the summit of the volcano. There were subsequent eruptions on March 29 and 30.

The volcano’s southern flank, clearly visible in this northeast-looking view, is dominated by a horseshoe-shaped caldera formed during an eruption in the late Pleistocene Epoch (the last ice age, the geologic time period that ended roughly 10,000 years ago). The caldera was subsequently blanketed by additional ash deposits, and in this image is highlighted by the surrounding snow.

On April 29, the volcano Klyuchevskaya Sopka, which is also located at Kamchatka, has spewed the powerful vapor trail to the height of up to 1.5 kilometres above the peak, and amplitude of the volcanic tremor is reported to be growing. Two lava flows came down from the crater.

Sources: NASA and Vladivostok Times