Briefly noted

(September 2012) Reopening of a quarry in Caunes-Minervois near Carcassonne is the theme of a French-language Pierre Actual Magazine article (4/2012). Quarrying of the rare red marble was made possible by an ordinance allowing the stone to be mined during 20 days a month from October to April. The restriction ensures maximum protection of the natural environment and viniculture in the region. The quarry is owned by Rocamat, quarrying is realized by Carrières de Pompignan (French-language download for 5 €).

Natural stone nail files are produced in the Pyrenees. More stylish: the files marketed in the USA (1, 2).

The symposium „Sculpture by the Sea“ will be held in Sydney, Australia, along the spectacular Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk from October, 18 to November, 04.

Every year in September, in the 50 signatory states to the European Cultural Convention will be held the European Heritage Days putting new cultural assets on view and opening up historical buildings normally closed to the public. A webpage gives an overview.

The Roman Coliseum could collapse according to experts. Already there is a 40 cm difference in levels between the South and North side. It is assumed that the substructure stemming from Roman times is breaking apart. Looking toward the global financial crisis we refer to an 8th-century prophecy according to which Rome will fall if the Coliseum falls, and the world will go under with it.

The poor infrastructure of Brazilian traffic planning is considered a hindrance to the economy and the stone branch. A truck-drivers’ strike from early August in the State of Espirito Santo brought production to a grinding halt according to the Chief of the Trade Organization Sindirochas, Emic Malarcame Costa as reported in a television report (Portuguese). President Dilma Rousseff earmarked 133 billion R$ (~ 66 billion US-$, ~ 53,4 billion €) for the improvement of roads and railways (Portuguese).

The Washington Monument in the US capital did not sink any further into the ground as a result of last year’s earthquake, officials said. The 170 m high obelisk is the tallest stone monument of the world.

Canada’s Burgess Shale National Park is showing its world-famous slate fossils dating back to the Cambium era in a website. One of the inhabitants of the seas was Marella, another goes by the name of Hallucigenia (1, 2). The Cambrian Explosion set off an explosion of life forms as well.

Space travel (1): US orbiter Curiosity has transmitted first pictures of the surface of the planet Mars.. Scientists plan to carry out detailed examination of the rock with the aid of a laser ray on the plant’s surface.

Space travel (2): Mining asteroids is what US Planetary Resources is engaged in. The idea is to mine platinum or gold with the aid of unmanned vehicles and machinery.

Video of the Month: coinciding with the end of the month of Ramadan August 19th this year, channel Al Arabia transmitted information on Kaaba’s Black Stone in Mecca (1, 2).