minerals Intro

I am going to start studying mineralogy again, on my own… I think the reason I have been putting it off for so long is how traumatized I was in that class! hehehe

So I am going to study my minerals and then add some gem names and some of the association that go with them! And pictures, I’ll try and get some hand sample as well as thin section pictures. I usually don’t use minerals much in my works but I am thinking I might start trying it out. I will most likely add my thoughts on associations based on my experiences with them. I am going to try and find a nice long list of all the different varieties and gem names for each of these minerals, some of these lists will be very long and I might go back and edit these so do not in any way consider any post “done” I’ll try and make a note on the bottom when I update them. I am adding a tag “mineralogy” to all of these blog posts so you can find them and what you are looking for quickly in my random babbles and craziness!

I might move on to some petrology eventually as well, or assemblages of minerals and what associations you might use for each of them, I haven’t seen much in the way of rocks, but in nature mostly you get minerals from a rock so its good to know where the minerals come from and what other minerals are usually associated with it. But thats just my opinion!

I am going to go through the minerals from my list in mineralogy undergrad and I am going to use the text Introduction to Mineralogy by William D. Nesse

Feel free to add any associations or magical uses that I dont mention! I am coming at this from a geologic familiarity so any additions would be welcome!

So to start off some definitions and the first set of minerals: Sheet silicates and carbonates

definitions from my dictionary of geologic terms

1. A naturally occurring inorganic element or compound having an orderly internal structure and characteristic chemical composition, crystal form, and physical properties. those who include the requirement of crystalline form in the definition would consider an amorphous compound such as opal to be a mineraloid.

2. any naturally formed inorganic material i.e. a member of the mineral kingdom as opposed to the plant and animal kingdom.

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

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.

The first section of minerals:
– Quartz
– Opal
– Microcline
– Orthoclase
– Sanidine
– Plagioclase (Albite)
– Plagioclase (Anorthite)
– Nepheline
– sodalite
– stilbite
– Aragonite
– Dolomite
– Calcite

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Today in volcanology history

Today in 1991 Katia and Maurice Krafft were on Mt Unzen with Harry Glicken and 41 journalists covering the eruption. All of them were killed when a pyroclastic flow made an unexpected turn.

Why are they so important to me? The day before they died Maurice is recorded as saying “I am never afraid because I have seen so much eruptions in 23 years that even if I die tomorrow, I don’t care”

Harry Glicken was supposed to be on duty at Mt St Helens on the morning of May 18, 1980 and David A. Johnston took his place and was killed.

These are the kinds of people who inspired me to study volcanoes (don’t tell my mother) people whose love of this dangerous beauty of nature took them closer to the action then most people would dare. They did amazing work, and inspire the rest of us.

wikipedia entry on the Kraffts
Harry Glicken on CVOs website
AND the ever full of surprises Mt Unzen!

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I giggled

PAGAN Mariana Islands (Central Pacific) 18.13°N, 145.80°E; summit elev. 570 m

Gas-and-steam plumes from Pagan continued to be observed in satellite imagery during 21-28 May. Reports from researchers camped on the island, and imagery analyses, suggested that trace amounts of ash were intermittently present in the plumes during 23-26 May. The Aviation Color Code remained at Yellow and the Volcano Alert Level remained at Advisory.

Geologic Summary. Pagan Island, the largest and one of the most active of the Marianas Islands volcanoes, consists of two stratovolcanoes connected by a narrow isthmus. Both North and South Pagan stratovolcanoes were constructed within calderas, 7 and 4 km in diameter, respectively. The 570-m-high Mount Pagan at the NE end of the island rises above the flat floor of the caldera, which probably formed during the early Holocene. South Pagan is a 548-m-high stratovolcano with an elongated summit containing four distinct craters. Almost all of the historical eruptions of Pagan, which date back to the 17th century, have originated from North Pagan volcano. The largest eruption of Pagan during historical time took place in 1981 and prompted the evacuation of the sparsely populated island.

Source: Emergency Management Office of the Commonwealth of the Mariana Islands, Office of the Governor, United States Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program http://volcanoes.usgs.gov/nmi/activity/index.php

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TTBOOK: I really like this podcasts!

One of my podcasts I love to listen to at work and at home is To the Best of Our Knowledge. it is an excellent podcast for an npr fan like me! The other day they did a show called Sacred Nature and the third segment was about something the guest called “Dark Green Religion”.
“sociologist Bron Taylor tells Steve Paulson that we’re witnessing the birth of a new “dark green religion.” His book is “Dark Green Religion – Nature Spirituality and the Planetary Future.” and he talks about scientists… if you are going to listen to it and don’t want to listen to the whole episode the section I am talking about is at 42 minutes in.

Dark Green Religion – nature based spirituality, beliefs and practices where nature is considered scared, and is related to the Darwinian concept that all creatures should be considered kin because they have all come about through the same evolutionary processes, and all life shares a common ancestor. Doesn’t need to involve belief in non material divine beings or spirits.

mystic minded scientists:
A lot of scientists feel a deep sense of awe and wonder at the mysteries of the universe but this author had a hard time getting them to go on the record because well… you don’t mix science and religious thinking…

And I think thats actually the reason I went into science, my love for nature and the world around me lead me to want to understand it more, and so I study it!

well thats all for now!


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What this blog is about, for now…

Today is writing day for me! Processing data can get boring so I decided that every other day should be a day when I just write, even if not specifically on my thesis, just to get those writing juices flowing again!

What is this blog going to be about? Well, as a scientist I am trained to question everything. And I do. I am pagan, and one of the early draws was there is no one book that tells you what to think and how to act, and that fits my way I view the world. I am a do it myself, my way and then maybe I’ll listen to you kind of person, mostly because I believe thats the best way to learn, to get your hands dirty.

Sometimes I feeling the being pagan, and being a scientist are not the best match, but why the hell not!? So thats what this blog is going to be about, I love science and I love pagan thinking! So I will post little tid-bits of both!

take care!
Dusk (Monkey)
P.S. On the names thing… I accumulate them… Dusk has always been my “pagan” name and Monkey is a nickname that stuck. either one works and I will most likely switch between both depending on my mood!

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