xMiscellen(November 2008) „Success beyond all expectations” was the assertion of Marmomacc’s press-release. The Veronese fair counted over 63,000 visitors – less than the 65,000 visitors of the previous year – however there were more exhibitors: 1536 vs. 1510 the year before. The fair also covered more floor space than in 2007 booking a total of 77,000 m² .

Honourable mentions for an innovative Swiss ski. One of the Red Dot Design Prizes 2008 was awarded for a ski the core of which is cut of an ultra thin layer of granite. The secret lay in the carbon fibre encasement – the symbiosis gives the ski entirely novel properties according to experts. The carbon-fibre technology was developed by the Kuse brothers, engineer and stonemason from Germany and their firm TechnoCarbon. The ski is produced by the top of the line Swiss company zai. The incorporated stone is ordinary Calanca-valley granite from Grisons.

Desert pebbles stacked one ontop of the other – that is the shape of the gigantic „King Abdulaziz Center for Knowledge and Culture” currently being built in Saudi Arabia. The complex built on the site of the first oilfield will house a museum, a library, a theatre, cinemas to name but a few of the cultural facilities according to the website. The complex is being built under the auspices of Saudi Aramco, the worlds’ largest oilproducing company. The project was designed and drafted by the Norwegian Architects Snøhetta. The complex is scheduled to be completed in 2012. Video.

The ideal material for countertops is granite according to US consumers. That is the result of a survey conducted among 2021 adults commissioned by the Marble Institute of America (MIA) in October 2008. Background for the survey is the increasing use of synthetic stone in this important segment of the market as well as campaigns in the media attempting to brand granite as a dangerous source of Radon. The study shows that 55% of adults surveyed would chose granite as the counter-top of their choice in a dream-kitchen. Only 9% would chose synthetic stone. As for the purportedly harmful effects of radon emissions, 84% of those questioned were certain or of the opinion that natural stone is one of the safest and most durable and beautiful materials for countertops. Apart from this, natural stone is considered a sure investment: 90% felt that natural stone countertops would increase the re-sale value of their home. The results reflect consumer opinion across all demographic groups according to a MIA press-release.

Care of natural-stone kitchen countertops from installation to maintenance is compiled in a documentation by the Marble Institute of America (MIA). The 28-page pamphlet entitled „A Homeowner’s Guide to Natural Stone Countertop Installation” can be downloaded for free at the MIA website.

A look into the core of earth’s history was recently taken by German palaeontologists. In Obernkirchen by Hannover scientists discovered 140million-year-old dinosaur tracks. Footprints of Raptors – the sickle-clawed carnivorous depicted in Jurassic Park are nothing short of sensational. Until recently it was thought that these beasts only inhabited Asia. There is some controversy over the site in Bernburg in Saxonia-Anhalt where a scientist claims to have found 243 million-year-old tracs – till now tracks have been dated 15 million-years later. Another sensational discovery was made by scientists in Inner Mongolia: the fossil of a dinosaur weighing all of 160 cm whose body was covered in feathers. The dove-sized animal was unable to fly presumably using its tail-feathers for mating-rituals only. It is thought to be one of the missing links between lizards and birds, according to the journal Nature (455: 1105-1108).