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Miscellaneous

       (January 2009) An unusual mineral exhibit was opened in October 2008 in Germany in the state of Saxony. The exhibit, held in the old mining town of Freiberg, not only shows over 5,000 unusual pieces stemming form the famous private collection of Pohl-Ströher, well known among experts in the field. The presentation titled „Terra Mineralia“ (in German) is also innovative. It was already compared to the Smithsonian Institute in Washington D.C. and to the Musée National d’Histoire Naturelle in Paris.

50 million years ago the Indian Continent collided with the Eurasian landmass at relative high speed thus causing the earth to fold to the Himalayans and the Tibetian Highlands piling rock to incredible altitude. Scientists of the GeoForschungZentrum Potsdam (GFZ) in cooperation with the Indian National Geophysical Research Institute (NGRI) now believe they have found (in German) the cause for the high-speed collision: according to their findings, the Indian continental plate is but 100 km thick and thus much thinner than its Eurasian counterpart weighing in at 200 km thickness. Thus it could glide on the hot magma with relatively little resistance. Incidentally, the highest speed reached was about 20 cm per year.

Among the biggest natural-stone constructors of the world, are the coral reefs, having ensued over millions of years through metabolism of calcium in warm waters. Since about ten years it is known that cold-water-reefs also exist. They extend from Spain to Norway in the Atlantic Ocean at depths of 100 until 1000 meters. As with the prior, the existence of the latter is also endangered.

The area around San Francisco, the so-called Bay Area, has been chosen as a role-model-region for the transition from petrol to electricity-driven cars until 2012. Is this a chance for the natural stone industry? After all, 250,000 „filling stations“ as well as 200 batery swap-centres are planned. These need to be planned – using ecologically friendly building materials, of course. The project „Better Place“, entertains similar plans for Denmark, Australia and Israel.