Episode 2

Episode 2 of Borealis Mediation

Definitions, mineral identification and my online identify crisis! (click to download! or subscribe through podbean, podcast alley or itunes!)

Show Notes!
First of all thank you for listening! I have a power point that I am going to try and figure out how to make available with pictures to go along with this episode. Usually I will just include them in the show notes (shouldn’t be this many! ah!) Also next time we will start on quartz, which I will continue throughout the show!

Geo 101 section: Definitions


My definition: a mineral is a solid with a specific chemical composition, and structure, so to be a specific mineral the solid must have the right combination of elements AND the specific structure. Formed in a geologic process, but can also be formed through biologic processes, however if something is formed only through biologic processes it is not necessarily a mineral, biologic compound

Rock – aggregate of minerals and/or mineraloids and does not have a specific chemical compositions (dictionary)

hand sample-
a piece of rock trimmed to a convenient size for megascopic study and for preservation in a reference or study collection. (dictionary)

thin section-
a fragment of rock or mineral mechanically ground to a thickness of approximately .03 mm and mounted between glasses as a microscope slide. this reduction renders most rocks and minerals transparent or translucent, thus making it possible to study their optical properties. Syn: section. (dictionary)

Color – pretty straight forward, what color is the mineral in hand sample and thin section. (we will do a whole episode on what causes color in minerals! YAY!)

Luster – describes how light goes through the mineral, two broad categories metallic and non-metallic, pretty self explanatory, good descriptive words (intro to mineralogy)
– Subvitreous: somewhat less brilliant luster than glass
– Vitreous: the luster of glass
– Admantine: brilliant like diamond
– Resinous: luster of resin
– Earthy: dull surface that lacks and shrine generally seen with arrogates of very fine mineral grains like soil
– Greasy: luster as if covered with oil or grease generally caused by microscopically rough surface texture
– Pearly: has an iridescent pearl-like luster often produced by incipient development of cleavage surfaces parallel to the mineral surface (mother of pearl)
– Silky: has a subtly texture shiny appearance similar to silk generally produced by reflection of light from the surface of aggregates composted of parallel mineral fibers like silk.
– metallic
– sub metallic

Cleavage – crystallographic planes along which chemical bonding is weaker than others, planes along which the mineral may break (intro to mineralogy)
– we will go into this one in a later episode, when I have a chance to get together a power point with examples, I recommend finding a good mineral sample to look at as well.

Fracture – describes how a mineral breaks when broken or crushed, and not controlled by crystallographic control (intro to mineralogy)
Conchoidal: smoothly curved as on broken glass plates
Irregular or uneven: a rough surface or one with random irregularities
Hackly: a surface with sharp-edged irregularities
Splintery: resembles the splintery end of a broken piece of wood

Streak – color of a mineral when finally powdered, usually you scrape it on a streak plate (we’ll get into that in the next segment) and see what color it is, and its not always the color of the mineral. (intro to mineralogy)

Hardness – the ease with which a mineral may be scratched is a measure of its hardness, I am using and the most widely used is Mohs scale of Hardness ( next section will be on hardness) (intro to mineralogy)

Density – mass per unit volume usually expressed in units of grams per cubic centimeter (intro to mineralogy)

Smell? Yes some minerals have a distinctive smell

Taste (don’t lick all rocks minerals like arsenic that are BAD)

Feature Mineral (this week Mohs Harness Scale and mineral ID kits!):

1 Graphite talc
2 fingernail gypsum
3 penny calcite
4 fluorite
5 knife blade or nail apatite
5.5 window glass
6 orthoclase
7 quartz
8 topaz
9 corundum (sapphire and ruby)
10 Diamond
(intro to mineralogy)

-streak plate
o unglazed porcelain
o black and white
– nail
– cheap knife
– penny
– finger nail
– glass or quartz
– HCl (rust away) (anything with it in it)
– Jewelers loop or hand lens (10x)
– Magnet
– pencil


Dictionary of Geologic Terms, 3 ed., Prepared by the American Geological Institute, Bates, R.L., Jackson, J.A., editors, 1984.
Introduction to Mineralogy, Nesse, W.D., 1999
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I am on itunes!

Hell yeah!
I am going to record some stuff tonight for next weeks podcast, might try and get Kai to help me with the technical stuff so its not just boring old me! I’m going to try and find some more “me” music for the podcast, thats podsafe, we shall see what I come up with.

Its FRIDAY and the data are behaving, the thesis is behaving and ok the weather is sort of shit, but hey Friday = pub day (geologist drink a lot I will refer you to an article called “Why Geologist Love Beer” all I have to say is 175 kegs/week is a lot of beer )

have an excellent weekend to anyone who happens to read this
(sometimes I think I’m talking to myself… again… creeps me out…)



UPDATE: spoke too soon! Thats what I get for not having a window, the sun is out! and its warm! my little plants are going to be so happy!!!!!
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Show Notes Episode 1

Click here to download Episode 1

About me:
A little bit about your hostess Kathleen, background and ideas about the show. I am very nervous and new at this, so please forgive the “ummms”, I hate public speaking and talking to my computer was marginally better! 😉

Below are the books I referenced, as well as websites. I am going to try and get another episode up next week with definitions and some tools that are useful. Plus a description of an ID kit, and where to find the materials, and how to use them!

please hang in there and be nice to the baby podcaster, I think now that everything is set up it will be easier to get episodes out! That being said I have yet to try and upload into itunes! eeks!

Show outline:
– Geo 101

  • definitions, terms
  • news
  • fun facts and links

– Feature mineral

  • technical data
  • metaphysical info
  • varieties and other names

– Rambling

  • anything I want to talk about!

An Introduction to the Rock-Forming Minerals
by W.A. Deer, R.A. Howie, J. Zussman
published by Prentice Hall

An Introduction to Mineralogy
by William D Nesse
published by Oxford University Press, USA

Annals of the Former World
by John McPhee
published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux



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Podcast uploaded, and added to podcast alley…

I have no idea how to embed the podcast in one of these posts, but when I figure that out, in it goes! It is currently uploaded to podbean and podcastalley next step is to get it uploaded into itunes, but that is a task for another time!

I am tired, but I have a logo too! I really need to get back to work but I’ll type a weekly update on earthquakes later, there was a big one in the Philippines and a M 5 of the coast of Oregon! exciting!

I got my Tricky Pixie CD the other day and I am enjoying listening to it at work! 🙂

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episode 1 recorded….

Ok talking to my computer is really strange….

I recorded an episode and…
wow… ok
I am listening to it right now
and its also strange to hear my own voice
that and I say “um” a lot
very very nervous!
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Things are changing a little bit to get ready for a podcast.
I now have a blog/podcast specific email address
and I am getting everything set up to put out a podcast
I have a HUGE list of things I want to talk about
so.. we shall see!

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podcast? really? maybe!

I was thinking more about what I would want to talk about in a podcast, and there are general things…

– whats a mineral vs a rock
– hardness scale
– what are thin sections
– how do you get colors in minerals
– types of rocks
that sort of thing… I don’t have any sort of recording program though so I’ll try and put together a script and get one, and get it set up and see what I can do…
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my wonderful other half got this great idea of me doing a podcast, and because that sounds both exciting and scary at the same time… I’m going to do it! hmmmm now…. what am I going to need… time to get to work!

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