New Website for African Geology

25 07 2007

The Geological Society of Africa has launched a website to present news and events pertaining to the earth sciences in Africa. The site still looks new and still a bit sparse, but no doubt more will be added in the future. However, some events and workshops are already listed, including:

Soil and Sustainable Development in Intertropical Africa Region, Douala, Cameroon, Nov 21-23. Information and the call for papers is here.

The Association of African Women Geoscientists (AAWG) will hold its fourth conference April 14-16, 2008 in Cairo.


Earthquake in Tajikistan

24 07 2007

An earthquake occurred in the eastern part of the Central Asian nation of Tajikistan this past weekend, killing three people and toppling buildings.   It measured five on the Richter scale.

On Sunday nine people also died in a mudslide that apparently was unrelated to the earthquake,  in the northern region of the country.

Sources: ReutersPravda 

Buy 3 UnEarthedTees T-Shirts, Get One FREE

19 07 2007

What better time is there to get a free shirt? It’s still hot, you’re going hiking and rock hounding and digging, but also school will be coming up on us before we know it. Between summer vacation and the start of school, you know you need more t-shirts!

That’s why, for a limited time starting July 21, when you buy three t-shirts or casual tops at UnEarthedTees you can get one free! Starting at midnight! (Yeah, I know, you’ll be at Barnes and Noble wearing a pair of big round glasses, but when you come home our sale will be ON!)
Brand new designs you might want to consider — retro rock hound fun and weird earthquake humor!

rock hound cafeEarthquake t-shirt

This offer is limited to one free shirt per order, the free shirt must be of equal or lesser value as purchased shirts and cannot exceed a retail price of USD $30.00. Read more here.

This Light Rock: Not About Music

12 07 2007

Another nifty rock find. I swear I do not go looking for these things — they findRockLites me.

More rocky decor to go with your pebble pillow

RockLites are basically oil lamps or candles made from natural rocks like golden quartz and sandstone, which are fitted with a hardened glass reservoir located on the underside of the rock. The reservoir may be filled with oil (including citronella oil for outdoor use) and a permanent wick.

From the site: “Rock candles are made out of hand select rock and stone from the Cumberland Plateau in Tennessee, the Appalachian mountain range, Pennsylvania, and as far away as Mexico!”

(Please note, if you are indeed in Mexico or even San Diego, that might not be all that far.)

They do look very cool and sandstone RockLites are now 50% off!

RockLites caught my attention on Apartment Therapy. And funny, as I blog this I am watching Chris Rock. 😀

Peanut Butter is Forever?

11 07 2007

peanutbutterAlas, the exhibition is over, but perhaps you’ve already read the news about scientists in Edinburgh discovering that peanut butter can be transformed into diamonds using pressure.

Yes, peanut butter. Into diamonds.

But not only peanut butter. One of the scientists involved, Professor Malcolm McMahon, of the Centre for Science and Extreme Conditions at Edinburgh University, pointed out that “Many carbon containing materials can be converted into diamond including peanut butter.”

The discovery seems to have been an accidental outcome of testing substances to high pressure for pharmeceutical needs, as a way to test for stability.

So what’s next? Jam to rubies?

Source: BBC

New Geo-Hazard System to Map Landslides

9 07 2007

The Philippine islands experience tropical monsoon and an annual average of 20 cyclones. Along with the fact that they sit on the geologically unstable Pacific ‘ring of fire’, means that earthquakes, tsunamis and landslides are frequent.

However, engineers have devised a new system to determine an area’s landslide risk, which they hope will improve building codes and mitigate against landslides in mountainous tropical regions hit by monsoons.

“Once geological hazards are properly identified and characterised, their effects can be mitigated, if not eliminated, by preventive engineering measures,” said Neoman De la Cruz, regional director of the Philippine Mines and Geosciences Bureau.

Read the whole article here.

4.3 Earthquake in NoCal and Joke

2 07 2007

True story that just happened:

A friend in Northern California reports feeling an earthquake that was centered in Aromas, CA and measured 4.3. She describes it as “quite a bit of a jolt and then tapered into some shuddering waves.”

She then instant-messaged her partner who was running errands in town at the time. When she heard he had been in the bank at the time of the earthquake she couldn’t help herself and asked, “Did you lose your balance?”

And this is why truth is often stranger than fiction, especially where my friends are concerned. And why the most scintillating geology news is here! LOL!