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Miscellaneous

    (February 2009) Update: „King is Ours“ is the title of a US-campaign aimed at preventing the production of the Martin Luther King Memorial in China. The memorial which will cost an estimated 100 million USD to build, will be erected in central Washington D.C. King was one of the most influential and important leaders of the African American Civil Rights Movement. He held his famous speech „I have a dream“ before the Lincoln Memorial. In it he developed the idea of a society without segregation or racial difference. King was assassinated in 1968.

One of the great moments for geologists around the globe struck in Hawaii last year when routine test drillings made during the course of a global-warming-project pierced an active magma chamber a mere 2,5 km below the earth’s surface. The molten lava rose several meters in the drill-hole before hardening. „This is a unique opportunity to observe how granite ensues“, according to a scientist, who contributed to the BBC production.

A modern-day Rosetta-Stone was developed by an international group of linguists. With the help of this disk, it should be possible to read some 350.000 pages of text steming from a span of several thousand years and many different languages. The problem with popular digital data memory is that the format is soon redundant. That is why the Rosetta-Project reverts to analog data storage: the information is engraved in the surface of the nickel disk and can be read with the help of a microscope, albeit a powerful one. Similar to the original Rosetta-Stone, which carried the same text translated in three ancient languages, making it possible to decipher hieroglyphics for the first time, the modern disk will bear the text in all living languages. The disk is to be distributed all around the world. The Rosetta-Stone, found in 1799 during one of Napoleon’s expeditions to Egypt, is among the most prised possessions of the British Museum in London today. It was made of a dark granodiorite.

„Contemporary Design with Stone in Architecture and Construction” is the title of a new Master course recently launched by Milan Polytechnic University. The course, directed by Professor Marina Molon, co-directed by Professor Massimiliano Caviasca and coordinated by Professor Barbara Bogoni, began in January 2009 and will conclude in December 2010. The two-year courses focus on I and II level Italian and international graduates, professionals already working in the sector and companies seeking to specialise their technicians.

„Austroraptor“ or „thief of the south“ is the name of the dinosaur whose petrified bones ware found in Argentina. The carnivorous predator was approx. 5 m long, unsusual as scientitst consider him to be an early link to birds, a close relative of Velociraptor of Mongolia which made Spielberg’s movie „Jurassic Park“ famous. Source: Informativo DRM-RJ.