Famous Fools for Fool’s Gold

So what would you do if I said, “Look! I got you some gold!” and handed you a chunk of this?

Image shows a nice piece of pyrite with octrahedral crystal faces.
It’s very golden! Image courtesy Rob Lavinsky, iRocks.com (CC-BY-SA-3.0)

Well, you would look at those lovely well-developed crystal faces, for one. You would maybe bounce it gently on your hand and determine it’s hefty but not heavy. You could take out a knife and discover you can’t scratch it. If you had a plain white bit of porcelain, you could scrape it along and see that it leaves a mostly-black streak, with maybe a little green or brown tint to it. And if you wanted to make me cry, you could pound it into a pile of black dust with a hammer. Any or all of these tests would leave you shaking your head and saying, “Dana, I’m not a fool. You can’t fool me with fool’s gold! Especially not on April Fools’ Day.”

And then if I told you that there is gold in it, but it’s invisible, you would laugh in my face because it is April Fools’ Day, so I will wait until next week to tell you that there’s invisible gold in there. Well, maybe not in that particular sample, but we can find some that definitely does have invisible gold in it. Continue reading “Famous Fools for Fool’s Gold”

Famous Fools for Fool’s Gold
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Music at Rosetta Stones, Plus Mount St. Helens Eruption Photos

Happy Friday, my darlings! We’re taking it easy today. Well, I mean, sorta easy – I’m spending my day going through the USGS database for yummy Mount St. Helens images to illustrate our upcoming posts. You will love what I’m finding! For a sneak peek, check out my Facebook feed, where I’m posting some of the ones that have tickled my fancy the most.

Once you’re done there, head on over to Rosetta Stones where I have some geology-themed songs for your listening pleasure.

Enjoy your Friday!

Image shows the remains of Mount St. Helens's summit. The volcano is covered in nearly-black ash. There is a notch in the crater wall where the lateral blast occurred. Steam rises from the vent and spills over the south rim, which is toward the back left of the photo.
Aerial view of Mount St. Helens and amphitheater; degassing. Skamania County, Washington. May 31, 1980. Image and caption courtesy USGS.
Music at Rosetta Stones, Plus Mount St. Helens Eruption Photos

A (Not Actually Very) Brief Introduction to ETEV, With Icebreakers

I imagine we have a few new folk now that we’re in shiny new digs, so before we get back to our usual routine, let’s have a few introductions. Then I’ll bring you up to speed on what’s ongoing round the cantina. And then you’ll have the floor.

So, a semi-brief history of Dana, then. I grew up in Arizona, which had lots of rocks and not enough plants to cover them up. This probably explains why I’m inordinately fond of rocks of all kinds. I mean, this is aside from the fact that rocks are a lot more fascinating than many people think. You may be dubious right now, but my long-time readers can tell you: geology rocks. Continue reading “A (Not Actually Very) Brief Introduction to ETEV, With Icebreakers”

A (Not Actually Very) Brief Introduction to ETEV, With Icebreakers

Happy Rounded Pi Day!

It’s Pi Day in those countries that write the date as month and day! This year, Pi Day is extra-coolio because it’s 3/14/16. See?

Image shows a pie (possibly a cheesecake) with the Pi symbol in the center, and the numbers of Pi written around the edge in black. I've added an arrow showing the fifth and sixth digits of Pi (59) and showing the 5 would round up to 6.
See whatcha get if you round up? Pi pie public domain image by GJ, annotated by moi.

Yep, if you round up the first six digits to the ten-thousandths place, you end up with 3.1416. Rounded Pi Day! Yes, it’s entirely silly and yet too much fun.

Happy Rounded Pi Day!

Mystery Flora Addendum: Perhaps They Begin Green?

We’ve definitely got a hellebore on our hands. Which species is the question. I’m not sure if our translucent beauties are the same species as the new ones that popped up right in their vicinity, but these are definitely fresh and healthy. Here’s a pretty pair (with a bit of Boo for scale):

Image shows a green flower that resembles our transluscent ones quite closely. There is one taller flower and one that has barely emerged from the earth. Boo is standing behind them: the tallest flower only comes up to her hip.
Mystery Flora I

They’re so new they’re still covered in earth!

Our neighbors down the street have a whole bed full of them. They’re really quite lovely. Continue reading “Mystery Flora Addendum: Perhaps They Begin Green?”

Mystery Flora Addendum: Perhaps They Begin Green?

Cryptopod: I Spy With my Little Eyespot

Almost five years ago, Lockwood, Cujo, and I were kicking around Table Rock, described in Oregon Geology as

two overlapping tuff rings, one filled with rubble and the other capped with basalt. Several dikes exposed on the flanks between the two fed the flows. The large tuff cone was the first to erupt during a deep-water interval in contrast to the second surge when the magma encountered groundwater.

It was pretty explosive in the Christmas Lake Valley area during the Pleistocene, is what they’re saying.

Anyway, Lockwood and I abandoned poor Cujo at a somewhat shady spot and went hiking up the flanks of the tuff ring, encountering all sorts of delightful volcanic and sedimentary features. But we were not alone! We had help in our geologic explorations.

Image shows a portion of Lockwood's brown hiking boot. Beside it, there is a brown butterfly with its wings closed.
Cryptopod I

It had a particular fondness for Lockwood’s boot. Continue reading “Cryptopod: I Spy With my Little Eyespot”

Cryptopod: I Spy With my Little Eyespot

Saturday Song: Uplifting

There are songs that can put us back together when we feel shattered. Songs that inspire us to pick up and keep going, songs that give us hope. This one lately has become one of my go-tos. It’s beautiful in its own right. It’s even more beautiful when I need to hear a reminder that I’m actually not as damaged as I think I am.

Which song gives you a hand up when you need it?

Image shows a woman's hands making a heart over the setting sun, with a seascape beyond. Everything has a golden hue.

Saturday Song: Uplifting

Reveal That Metazoan! Red Jelly Edition

I’ve finally pulled my categorized photos off the external hard drive, yay! Now we have lotsa material to work with. We’ll start with a metazoan, as we haven’t done one of those in half of forever.

One of the things I found most charming about Pacific Northwest beaches was the jellyfish washing up. There are little round clear ones that sparkle in the sun like a beach full of diamonds. And then there are these much larger, rarer red ones.

Image shows a transparent red jellyfish with a hole in its center, beached on a lot of rounded gravel, with green seaweed around it.
Mystery Metazoan I

They have a really rich hue, especially from certain angles. Continue reading “Reveal That Metazoan! Red Jelly Edition”

Reveal That Metazoan! Red Jelly Edition