Not Rocks

Everything else

Rainbow Gem Suncatchers

cut gems window clings rainbows shiny

Gem Stickers on a window on an overcast day. Photo from Rainbowsymphonystore.com

Would you like to have rainbows in your home? These window clings look like clear plastic stickers in the shapes of cut gems, but they also contain diffraction gratings so that they will turn light from the Sun into shiny beautiful rainbows.

rainbows all over a kitchen

What your home will look like after installation of the rainbow gem window clings. Results may vary. Photo from Rainbowsymphonystore.com

If you are interested, buy them from the Rainbow Symphony store. I am not affiliated with Rainbow Symphony and I won’t make any money if you buy these. I saw these when I was purchasing ISO compliant eclipse glasses and thought of the club.

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Carborundum

iridescent purple and green silicon carbide

In Mark Sherwood’s case at the Spring 2017 show. Photo by Stephanie Reed

At Mark Sherwood’s talk “Earth Science… Facts, Frauds and Scams” he mentioned carborundum (also spelled carborundrum). It is made of silicon carbide, but it is not a natural mineral that you can find in the ground. If you want to find some carborundum, look in a chimney. At an iron foundry, the carbon and silicon in the smoke rise and precipitate on the inside of the chimney. When the chimney is cleaned, they find these nice silicon carbide deposits. They are iridescent and pretty enough to buy, but don’t be fooled. Some sellers will say that carborundrum or moissanite and pretend like it is from some secret mine or even a meteorite, but it is really a man-made mineral.

Note: Moissanite is a naturally occurring silicon carbide, but it is very rare and it doesn’t look like the specimen pictured above. It actually looks like tiny green glass crystals. They are usually heat treated to increase clarity. If so, the seller needs to disclose that the specimen has been heated or they are being fraudulent. Buyer beware.

Rooster Rock

rooster_rock_and_crown_point_2004.jpg

Rooster Rock, Crown Point, and the Vista House (top right, on top of Crown Point). Photo by Lyn Topinka, http://columbiariverimages.com/Regions/Places/rooster_rock.html

rooster rock.png

Photo by Thomas Kuo, from Google Maps. This is Crown Point and the Vista House seen close up from the other side.

Celebrate the new Year of the Rooster by going to Rooster Rock State Park in Portland, Oregon. Rooster Rock is a large basalt feature located on the Oregon side of the Columbia River at River Mile (RM) 129, just below the base of Crown Point. It is also called Woutoulat or Crow’s Roost, sometimes. There is a Vista House on top of the Crown Point, which is a lava flow. The state park has many amenities including: a boat ramp into the Columbia River, fishing, swimming, windsurfing, hiking, ADA accessible picnic shelters, parking lots, restrooms, two disc golf courses, and a clothing-optional beach. Also, Lewis and Clark camped there on November 2, 1805.

Sources: http://columbiariverimages.com/Regions/Places/rooster_rock.html http://oregonstateparks.org/index.cfm?do=parkPage.dsp_parkPage&parkId=126

Baker’s Quarry Cake

This is what happens when you ask a geologist to bake a cake. http://blogs.agu.org/mountainbeltway/2011/01/24/east-wall-of-bakers-quarry/ has a very funny description of the quarry and how it was formed. Make sure you read the whole thing!

Historical records indicate that quarrying operations began in earnest around 9:30pm, although there is anecdotal evidence of small scale nibbling, particularly in the Strawberry Granite, prior to that time. Though only crumbs were removed, a few locals reported their findings to others. Resulting hype and rumor-mongering built up public anticipation to a frenzied hum. When the echoes of dinner had faded, industrial-scale excavations began at Baker’s Quarry.

The real Baker’s Quarry is a mine in Monroe, North Carolina, also known as Martin Marietta Materials. This is what it looks like.

Bakers quarry mine north carolina aerial view map

From Google Maps

Geode Cake

a white layered cake with a blue candy geode decoration

Cake by Whisk Cake Company, http://www.whiskcakes.com

A talented baker made this geode layer cake with fondant for the layers and a rock candy geode surrounded by gold and silver leaf. I am very impressed with the banding in the geode. It looks very tasty. This cake was recently featured on Cake Wrecks in their Sunday Sweets section, which is a day of beautiful cakes to contrast with the awful cakes on other days. There are other geode and rock-related cakes including a malachite cake posted that day, so be sure to go to the Cake Wrecks post “Oh Em Geode” and see the rest.

Curb Showing Hayward Fault is Replaced

Hayward, California is the home of the Hayward Fault, which is a break in the Earth’s crust. Geologically speaking the Hayward Fault moves very fast. You can see that the tectonic plates are always moving when you look at the roads. Since it only moves a few millimeters a year, the roads and/or curbs don’t crack but instead gently wiggle apart at the seams.[*] See how this curb at Rose and Prospect has moved over time?

curb a few inches offset hayward fault

This is how the curb looked in 1974. It has already drifted several inches from where it was originally. Photo from http://www.geologyfieldtrips.com/haywardresidential.htm

hayward fault curb 2012 with people standing on top

This is how the curb looked in May 2012. See how far this piece has moved away? Photo by Andrew Alden at oaklandgeology.wordpress.com

If you want to go to California and see it for yourself, you are out of luck. The city has just replaced the curb. This is probably the first time that road work has made it into the New York Times. Read the article here: A Curb is Repaired and a Seismic Marker is Lost

[*]Note: Cracks in the road are not caused by plate tectonics. They are caused by thermal expansion/contraction, road salt, heavy trucks, and degredation of the road bed.

Delightful Daylilies

pink and yellow daylily

Photo by Stephanie Reed

The Snows had a delightful daylily party at their place this weekend! First there was food, then we viewed their amazing rock collection in their impeccably organized basement (complete with a fluorescent rock display that rivals several museums), then we saw their daylily garden and had a walk through the woods! There was even a real turtle in the yard! Ed brought some teeth for Martin to identify and there are some photos of the teeth. I didn’t know there were so many different shapes and colors of daylily so there are tons more photos on the Google+ here.

Since this is ostensibly a website about rocks and fossils, here’s a picture of two of the teeth. I don’t remember what Martin said they were.

two fossilized teeth in the palm of a person's hand

Photo by David Reed

Now With HTTPS

Good news! Showmerockhounds.com now uses HTTPS by default, so it will be better and more secure. As the EFF points out as part of their Encrypt the Web initiative, strong encryption protects our users in various ways, including defending against surveillance of content and communications, cookie theft, account hijacking, and other web security flaws. HTTPS sites also rank higher in Google search results. The best part is that you don’t have to do a thing. Just keep visiting showmerockhounds.com .

For more information, see here: https://en.blog.wordpress.com/2016/04/08/https-everywhere-encryption-for-all-wordpress-com-sites/

Ironwood

A piece of ironwood seen from below

At a previous meeting, Martin Mueller showed off this piece of ironwood. Ironwood is not a rock or mineral, and although it may look similar, ironwood is not petrified wood. It is a name for many different types of wood that are said to be hard. It has a nice wood grain texture at the polished bottom. Sadly, I have forgotten what kind of wood this is and where it came from (it wasn’t from Westeros!). Does anybody know?

A piece of ironwood seen from the side.

Phonemageddon Neutralized

No need to worry about Phonemageddon because showmerockhounds.com is already compatible with mobile devices.  Phonemageddon, as some people are calling it, is a change in Google’s search algorithm that will reward sites with “mobile-friendly” designs and push down those which aren’t optimized for mobile viewing.

More information here: http://gizmodo.com/are-you-ready-for-googles-mobilegeddon-phonepocalypse-t-1698947927

Test it for yourself here: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/mobile-friendly/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.showmerockhounds.com