ROCKWOOD ROCKHOUND NEWS for
Welcome back to another year!
We hope everyone had a great summer and
are all ready to start back to our regular routine.
We will begin the year by welcoming back Dr. Michael Fuller.
He has had another very successful year at Tell Tunenir.
The lake is filling up so they left the monastery & went back to
excavating the village. Some great
finds were made so it will be exciting to hear all about it.
Trips To Far & Distant Places!
By the time this bulletin is
published several of our members will be at the Midwest Federation Show in
. We will take lots of pictures and
will share our trip with the club at some future meeting.
Schlichter is going to continue with his “Mineral of the Month” Talks.
In September he will tell us all about selenite.
If you have a nice piece of it, bring it along to show us.
Pyrite suns are found in the coal mines of
at the 300 foot level in a very narrow seam laying on top of the coal vein.
Miners in four mines bring them out in their lunch buckets, thus
preserving what would otherwise be destroyed in the mines. Originally
thought to be marcasite, research by the Smithsonian Institution has proven them
to be pyrite and therefore, very durable. Surrounded
by black shale and coal, a very difficult cleaning process unveils their hidden
beauty. Dating in age to 35 million
years old, one of the present theories of origin has them as a pyritized fossil
replacement of a lily pad. Their
natural beauty lends them to a variety of jewelry making ideas.
(Via Lithnics via Golden Spike News)
’ most famous fossil site is Mazon Creek.
Scientists think the area was a delta where one or more large sluggish
rivers entered a shallow
subtropical sea. the sea in
turn covered most of what is now
during the Pennsylvanian Period, about 300 million years ago.
Scientists have found
and described more than 350 types of plants and 320 animals from fossils from
Mazon Creek, including both land dwelling and marine animals.
The most famous is a bizarre creature know as the Tully Monster which was
’ state fossil.
Rapid burial in the
delta’s soft sediments created some remarkable fossils.
140 Insect fossils have been found
and named here.
dwellers included more than 60 species of
millipedes, centipedes, scorpions, and spiders.
Nine known small amphibians preyed upon them.
More than 34 species of freshwater fishes, shrimps and horseshoe crabs
inhabited ponds and streams in forests that
grew on shore. In the near shore
waters of the delta front were fishes, and a
variety of invertebrates, including mollusks, shrimps and worms.
Some are soft bodied animals that are rarely found as fossils.
Color patterns can even be seen on the skin of some of these animals!
Traces of gills, internal organs, and hatchlings with yolk sacs can be
seen on fossil fishes. Tentacles can
be seen of fossils of animals similar to jelly fishes.
Murphy’s Law of Computing
When you get to the point where you really understand your computer, it’s
For every action,
there is an equal and opposite
He who laughs last
probably made a backup.
A computer program
will always do what you tell it to do, but rarely what you want it to do.
A complex system that
does not work is invariable found to have evolved from a simpler system that
worked just fine.
(Via MWF Internet)
A Tumbling Tip
In tumbling stones, particularly during the polishing phase, one of the more
important factors is the speed with which the stones roll inside the tumbler.
Various means of slowing the action down have been used; plastic pellets,
rice hulls, corncobs, walnut shells and many different thickeners from sugar to
soap have been tried. I think I may
have hit upon the ideal thickener because it can be fine-tuned to give the exact
degree of retardation of the tumbling action desired for a given charge.
Metamucil! Try it; you might
like it! Prepare
our charge as usual with the normal amounts of stones, water, and
polishing medium, be it tin oxide, ceric oxide or alumina and water.
Add a teaspoonful of Metamucil and tumble the resulting mixture for a few
hours. Check the thickness of the
slurry. If it is what you want,
continue. If too thick, add a little
water; if it’s too thin, add more
Metamucil. Check every day to make
sure it’s doing what your want. It
is really surprising how well this simple additive does.
Voice from the Past
It was great hearing from one of our former members, Bob
Beckman. Bob was a member from
1977 until 1995 when he moved into a retirement home in
. He was an active member serving as Editor for the Rockhound News and as
Treasurer for several years.
Bob is now troubled with arthritis and back problems, he is no longer able to do
any lapidary work. Therefore, he
wants to sell his Cabouchon Machine. Here
is a description.
Used Star Diamond
6-inch Cabouchon Machine, including a 1/3 h.p. motor and a 24x 36 cab making
attachment. Also comes with
approximately 20 lbs of semi-precious rough, including some opal and turquoise
Make an offer.