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Briefly noted

Darvaz Crater. Photo: Tormod Sndtorv / Wikimedia CommonsThe title „A spectacular place“ best describes the Darvaz Crater in Turkmenistan, also known as „door to hell“. It is a smoldering natural gas cavity with a diameter of 70m. In 1971 geologists discovered a cave filled with natural gas. When the roof caved in, it was decided to ignite the gas in the hope that the fire would soon burn out. But it is burning to this very day.

Natural stone for cultural heritage: local resources with a global impact“ is the title of a conference to be held from September 19 – 22, 2017 in Prague, Czech Republic.

MVRDV architect and developer Provast have released plans for two residential buildings in The Hague, called Grotius Towers referring to Grotiusplaats close by. „The façade of both towers will be executed in natural stone with their base consisting of a color gradient changing from beige to darker hues, and larger windows and specific detailing for a ,soft’ landing at street level,“ the architects’ webpage informs.

Egypt wants to make its stone sector more professional. Tarek Kabil, Minister of Trade and Industry, „has stressed the ministry’s keenness to set necessary mechanisms and rules to control the conditions of non-official facilities in the sector and merge them with the official sector, which helps develop the industry, increase the value of products, and improve their ability to penetrate foreign markets,“ as said in a report in Daily News Egypt.

French CTMNC (Centre Technique des Matériaux Naturels de Construction) has published a book on public places and paths in natural stone. The publication in French with more than 300 pages can be ordered via Pierre Actual website.

Analogwatch. Foto: AnalogwatchMarble is the material for the body and face of the „Mason“ Analogwatch collection. The watch is Swiss made weighing 56 g. In the case of the „Classic“ collection, only the face is made of natural stone. Part of the profits go toward elimination of damage caused by strip-mining.

The European Parliament wants to force importers of textiles brands to care about the labor conditions in the producing countries. The Parliament has adopted a resolution which urges the Commission to table a legislative proposal.

Water sources have dried up after illegal stone mining in in Majhuwagadhi of Khotang district, the Kathmandu Post reports.

Why Knoxville, Tennessee was called „The Marble City” is topic of a report in the Knoxville Mercury.

Mars soil under the right pressure can be transformed into building stone – stronger than reinforced concrete, a team of scientists has found out with tests of similar Earthen material. The Martian stone could help facilitate human settlements an the Red Planet.

Obscure stonemasonry at cathedrals is compiled on a webpage.

Video of the month: fascinating time and again: Monument Valley rock formations.

(01.05.2017, USA: 05.01.2017)