Briefly noted

(January 2013) Volcanic eruptions accompanied by ash and dust can influence the global climate at least temporarily as is well known. But Pacific sediments led scientists to discover that the reverse is also true: when glacial ice or the poles melt substantially, volcanic activity increases because the continental plates shift due to redistribution of mass which in turn cause fissures in the earth’s crust opening the path for molten lava to ascent to the surface.  

Stone dials for watches can be viewed online.

Rolling-pins and other utensils in granite by Czech Metalgranit Company.

The Stone Foundation in the USA now offers its magazine free of charge as an internet download. The magazine shows numerous design ideas in stone from around the world. The organization aims to show the traditional working environment of stone masons and foster exchange.

Replicas of Stone Age axes and knives with modern handles have been crafted by Israel’s designers Ami Drach and Dov Ganchow.

The Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington D.C. is currently adding an Education Center. Scheduled completion is planned for 2014. The Memorial itself is an impressive monument: visitors are led along a downward slanted path on the lawn gradually leading deeper and deeper into the ground as they pass along the granite walls bearing the names of fallen US-soldiers. At a certain point the din of traffic is muted and one is left alone with memory of the 58,000 casualties.   

Video of the Month: some natural stone objects are among the 22 most valuable pieces in London’s Natural History Museum and part of the permanent exhibit. Among them a fragment of the moon, the Wold Cottage Meteorite, a dinosaur’s tooth and an Archaeopteryx. Each of the pieces significantly influenced our understanding of the Earth (1, 2).