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Miscellaneous

          (April 2009) In many European countries the European Minerals Day will be taking place from Mai 15th to 17th. This year’s theme is biodiversity.

Mountains can be made in seconds, not only over millions of years by folding. This is the case for central mountains found in the middle of meteorite craters of a certain size, as reported by Austrian scientists in Science (December 12th 2008). By example of the Bosumtwi Crater Lake, in Ghana, scientists found out that the centre of the actual crater rose 1,5 km upon impact. Remarkably, the underwater mountain rose as a solid mass.

On the west side of the Cumbre Vieja volcano on the Canary Island of La Palma a dangerous rift has appeared since the last eruption in 1949. Should the side of the mountain give way a tsunami could entail catastrophic repercussions for both sides of the Atlantic.

Environmental aspects of natural stone is the main theme of the Natural Stone Council studying Life-Cycle-Assessment among other things, examining the ecological impact of materials during their entire useful lifespan. Presently a study is under way in cooperation with the Centre for Clean Products of the University of Tennessee.

Stone of the year 2009 in Germany is basalt. A pdf (in German) shows its implementation and many uses.

Apes throwing stones have been observed before. But in a Swedish zoo one chimpanzee is using almost human foresight in planning his ammunition stash. In nature, apes gather stones to crack nuts. This is a spontaneous action which occurs whenever the need arises. But what does this savvy chimp plan to do with his collection of stones? He throws them at visitors, as can be read in Current Biology (Vol 19, p. 5).