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Rockwood Gem and Mineral Society
St. Louis, Missouri


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Comments, Etc.
Bob Morse was happy to announce that after all the bills were paid and the money divided up according to participation points, our club earned $691 on the Association Show last August. We thank everyone for all the help. This brings up another point. According to the by-laws, each club is required to have two representatives for the Association board and we need one more. This requires a meeting once every two months. How about considering this very worthwhile position?

Allen Parrott is still having health problems but at least he is out of the hospital. His address is 14212 Spring Dr., DeSoto, MO 63020 if you want to send a card.
Helen Heitland has recovered and is about to join the e-mail bunch! She has been taking computer classes at Gambrill Gardens and will soon be getting her own e-mail address. Way to go, Helen!

February Meeting
Remember Hank Schlichter's "Mineral of the Month" that he used to do for us? He is back again by popular request. In February he will talk about Quartz. If anyone has a specimen, he would like to bring to show or ask about, please do.

Our historian, Roy Cottrell, is going to make a video scrapbook about our club. We have many pictures of members-new and old, places, field trips, etc. It would be nice if we get these together with labels to give to Roy so that a permanent record could be made. Now that your editor is learning about digital stuff, perhaps we could even feature some of these historical pictures and events in a special section of the newsletter. What do you think?


The late Dr. William Pecora, Undersecretary of the Interior, calculated that all of man's air pollution during his thousands of years on earth, does not equal the amount of the particulate pollution and noxious gases from just three volcanoes: Krakatau, near Java (1883), Katmai, Alaska, (1912) and Hokla, Iceland, (1947). (Nor does this calculation take into account the 124 other active volcanoes!, Ted Robles, Ed.)
He points out that Nature's pure water is occasionally not so pure after all. A few examples: The springs feeding the Arkansas and Red Rivers carry approximately 17 tons of salt per minute. The "Lemonade Springs" in New Mexico carry approximately 900 pounds of Sulfuric Acid per million pounds of water: (more than 10 times the acid content of coal mine drainage.) The Mississippi river carries over two million tons of natural sediment into the Gulf of Mexico daily. The Paria River in Arizona carries 500 times as much sediment as the Mississippi! (Yes, one billion tons of sediment per day.)
From Lithnics, 1/2001 
Mountain Gem
Franklin, NC

Be thankful for small favors!
There is always a lot to be thankful for if you take the time to look for it: Right now I'm thinking, "How nice it is that wrinkles don't hurt!" Mountain Gem 1/2001

(Since Hank will be featuring Quartz as our mineral of the month, this article from the Gemrock appears at an appropriate time.)
Quartz Discredited!
Lilac A Rigg:Mineral Information Network In an announcement that continues to send shock waves through the internal mineralogical community, researchers at Pine Ridge National Laboratory have discredited quartz as a mineral species. The news, which was delivered to a stunned audience of mineralogists, crystallographers and geoscientists, was the result of two years of work by Drs. Philip and Rhonda Zirkle, a husband and wife team who perform crystallographic research at the lab.
After a two-year series of experiments, they conclusively determined that quartz is an ultra stable crystalline form of water in which individual atoms are locked in place so tightly that the compound survives the transition to normal and high temperatures.
As a part of the crystallographers' research, Dr. Rhoda Zirkle examined the scientific record of the early analysis of quartz and discovered that, due to a calibration error in the original equipment, the two atoms of hydrogen in quartz were misidentified as oxygen and one atom of oxygen was misidentified as silicon. Thus, instead of the formula for quartz being Si02, it should be H 20 instead. She explained that apparently no one has ever thought to confirm the original analysis. The error persisted until the Zirkles' research.
Scientists at Bell Laboratories, where quartz crystals are grown for use in the electronics industry, said the recent discovery explained a long-standing mystery. At the lab, quartz crystals are grown by "cooking" scrap quartz fragments in a hydrothermal solution under high pressure. The scientists observed that even though the process produced large, high-quality quartz crystals, the size and number of the scrap quartz pieces did not diminish.
"Clearly, something was going on that we just did not understand," said Bell Labs' spokesperson. He added that the Zirkles' results "explained everything." The synthetic quartz is formed from the water in the hydrothermal solution while scrap quartz acts as a catalyst.
In response to the announcement from Pine Ridge, the International Mineral Names Organization immediately discredited "Quartz" as a distinct mineral species. Museum creators around the world have already begun the process of re-labeling the quartz specimens in their collections "Ice, variety quartz" and have advised serious amateur mineral collectors to do the same.
"ironically," said Dr. Phillips Zirkle in and interview, "the ancient Greeks believed that quartz was water that had frozen so solidly that it would not thaw. It looks like the ancient Greeks were right all along."
Via T-Town Rockhound
The Gemrock
Independence MO

Ed. note: I only hope we don't learn that this was written on April Fool's Day and is a hoax! Such a thing has been known to happen.  


I just finished reading a very interesting book which was fiction, but was based on o historical event; the SULTANA TRAGEDY. Does that name sound familiar to you?
Well it was not familiar to me until lost October when Joan and I stopped off at Vicksburg to view the Civil War battlefield and a few museums. It was cold, windy, and early in the morning when we walked into the court house museum. We were happy to get out of the wind. The two elderly ladies who were on duty were just putting on a fresh pot of coffee and as we were the only visitors there, they asked if we would like e cup. They must have reed our minds. As we were drinking our coffee both ladies provided us with a wealth of historical information. To make e long story short, one of the displays they pointed out, mentioned the Sultana disaster.
It was the greatest Navel disaster in the history of America. It happened on the Mississippi River a few miles north of Memphis in 1865. A steamboat carrying over 2000 Union prisoners of war who had just been released from Andersonville and other southern prisoners were being token north when the boilers blew up. Over 2000 prisoners and passengers lost their lives.
One officer in the Union Army was held responsible for overloading the boat. His trial was held at Vicksburg's Courthouse. The courtroom on the second floor can still be seen with oil the old cost iron furnishings. It's worth a visit.
For good reading about this disaster, read "THE SULTANA TRAGEDY" by Terry O. Potter.


Cabin Fever Productions presents their
Annual Winter Mineral, Fossil, & Jewelry Show
at the Kirkwood Community Center 111 S. Geyer, Kirkwood, MO 63122 (between Big Bend & Manchester Rds) February 16-18, 2001

Show Hours: Fri. 4-9,
Sat. 10- 7, Sun. 10 - 4
Register at the show for door prizes.
Adults: 82
Seniors: 81
Ages 12 - 18: 81
Children under 12: 81 (FREE with Adult!)

JAN. 19, 2001

The meeting was called to order at 7:18 by Pres. Bob Morse. There were 7 members and 4 guests present.
There was no Secretary's report read - our last meeting was the Christmas party.
There was no Treasurer's report.
Our club received a check for $619.73 from the Association show. This was based on the amount of people from our club helping at the show. Joan and Hank Schlichter received a certificate for their display at the show.
A suggestion was made that we might be able to reduce the dues.
Our club is required to have two people as representatives. We only have one (Bob Morse) No one volunteered.
Joan Schlichter won the door prize.
The meeting adjourned at 7:42.
Hank Schlichter gave an interesting slide show on his trip to Alaska.

R espe ctful ly su bm itted Helen Heitland, Sec.