xMiscellen(August 2009) Wire saws are looking toward innovative implementation in disassembly of old nuclear reactors. In order to deconstruct the radioactive material, scientists have developed a super-cooled diamond wire using an air-flow coolant, which is also used to expedite the radioactive waste (German).

Stone dating back to the hell-fire-and-brimstone-time of planet Earth better known as the Hadean Era was discovered by scientists in India (Nature, 459, 1118-1121: doi:10.1038). 4 – 4.5 billion years ago our planet was enveloped in a mantle of molten rock. The findings are sensational since stone is usually effectively mixed back into the convecting mantle. Such material was last found in Canada.

Bottle-Table is the name designers Edward Barber and Jay Osgerby gave their table made of white and black marble. http://www.barberosgerby.com > Furniture > Bottle Table.

Conquest of the desert by man will be the theme of a monumental sculpting competition in the Region of Antofagasta in Chile (Spanish).

Gifts in stone are presented on the webpage of the Swedish Svarteborg Stencenter (Swedish). Tourists can book a visit to a local stonemasonry workshop.

Another stone guitar has been developed and is being marketed. This time by the guitar builder Zerberus: „Stonehenge“ (German) is the name given to the electric guitar by its German inventor Frank Scheucher. The instrument’s body is made of Spektrolith. According to Scheucher he did not merely exchange the material but used an innovative method making the instrument almost as light (5,9 kg) as a wooden-bodied electric guitar. He is still hoping to find a way to further reduce the weight.

„Notebooks“ for garden design in natural stone is how the Belgian trade association Pierres et Marbres de Wallonie describes its three new brochures dedicated to themes such as „Surfaces“, „Walls“ and „Stairs“. The publications are available in four languages and can be down-loaded free of charge.

Is it magic that allows the stonemason to actually hit the chisel with his hammer since he can’t keep his eye on both objects simultaneously? The explanation is that after but a few tries the human brain no longer perceives the hammer as a foreign tool but rather as an extension of the arm. French scientists describe this phenomenal aptitude to shift physical perception as the most important element in enabling man to use tools (Current Biology, Bd. 19, S. 12)(abstract).