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January 25, 2016

Monday Geology Picture: Salt Lamp

Although I haven’t yet featured such a gift on my annual What to Buy a Geologist for Christmas list, some of my wonderful relatives recently bought me a rock lamp for Christmas. Specifically, they bought me a pink colored Himalayan salt lamp. The lamp consists of a large crystal of salt, or sodium chloride, that is mounted on a pretty wooden stand. The lamp provides a lovely, soft, pale pink light. …

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July 19, 2012

The Geology of Star Trek: The Next Generation Episode “Chain of Command, Part I”

Like my fellow geoblogger Jessica Ball, I wish that I could be a geologist on Star Trek. I can think of no better, more exciting job than traveling the universe as a geological researcher for the United Federation of Planets. Sign me up, Starfleet! Maybe one day in my life– or in my children’s or grandchildren’s lives– there will be opportunities for Earth geologists to travel to other planets and …

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January 26, 2012

Global Warming is Scary

When I was visiting my friends in Abu Dhabi a couple of weeks ago, we had dinner at a local mall just before I headed to the airport for my flight home to South Africa. As we were leaving the mall, I bought myself a few children’s books in Arabic. After I finish up my PhD in April, I’m hoping to work through these Arabic children’s books as a way …

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December 16, 2011

Friday Geology Picture: Red, Red Las Vegas Rocks

For the final picture in geology picture-a-day week here at Georneys, I’ve selected a landscape from Red Rock Canyon, Las Vegas. The canyon’s name originates from the color of fossilized sand dunes that have been oxidized, converting the Fe (iron) in the rock from a 2+ to 3+ charge, which changes the color of the sandstone from white-tan to bright, rusty red. Recently, Red Rock Canyon was in the news …

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November 27, 2011

Science Kits for Girls? Mystic Crystals? Say What?!?

Circulating around on twitter at the moment (I noticed it on Ed Yong’s twitter feed) is a link to a line of “Science Kits for Girls” products made by a company called Wild! Science. In general, I am a big fan of science kits and simple science experiments for kids. When I was a child, I had a great time growing my own rock candy on strings in jars and …

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October 3, 2011

Geology Word of the Week: R is for Rutile

def. Rutile: A high-pressure, high-temperature mineral that is the most common form of titanium oxide (TiO2). Rutile is commonly found in metamorphic rocks, such as eclogite. Rutile is also found as an accessory mineral in igneous rocks, particularly in deeper-formed plutonic igneous rocks and also volcanic rocks with deep sources, such as kimberlites. Rutile is an important economic mineral that is mined for titanium. Rutile often forms as thin, needle-like …

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September 26, 2011

Wilgewandel Weather Stones

Stones that know the weather? Surely, that’s pseudoscience! Not when you follow these guidelines: You can find these Weather Stones at the Wilgewandel Holiday Farm in Outdshoorn, South Africa.

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September 4, 2011

Geology Word of the Week: N is for Nummulite

def. Nummulite: 1. A fossil or living foraminiferan of the Nummulites genus (or a related genus) that has a disc-like, spiral, calcareous skeleton. Fossil nummulites range up to several inches in size, making them quite impressive protozoa (single-celled, eukaryotic organisms). Nummulite fossils are common in Tertiary rocks, particularly in the Mediterranean area. The term nummulite originates from the Latin word “nummulus,” which means coin. 2. The unwitting star of a …

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July 20, 2011

Geology Word of the Week: H is for Halokinesis

def. Halokinesis: 1. The movement of salt and salt bodies. The study of halokinesis includes subsurface flow of salt as well as the emplacement, structure, and tectonic influence of salt bodies. Another term used to refer to the study of salt bodies and their structures is “salt tectonics.” 2. The magical (and non-existent) ability to move salt with your mind. This week, as usual, I have been asking for suggestions …

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