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Monday, July 7, 2014

Take a good look at Kyanite, Andalusite, and Sillimanite: Aluminosilicate Polymorphs!

Take a good look at these three minerals:






Kyanite
Al2SiO5




Andalusite
Al2SiO5








Sillimanite Al2SiO5 (in                                                 schist)


    Would you have guessed that these three disparate minerals all have the same chemical formula? The three minerals are all polymorphs of Al2SiO5. They exhibit the widely varied forms, dependent on the temperature (x axis) and pressure (y axis) at formation.




       The crystal systems of the minerals vary from kyanite's triclinic to andalusite and sillimanite's orthorhombic crystals. In particular a variety of andalusite called chiastolite shows these marked crosses:







    The distinctive blue of kyanite, from the Greek meaning "deep blue" shows different hardnesses in different directions. 

     And sillimanite occurs in metamorphic schists formed at relatively high temperatures and pressures.

      A Plume friend was wearing a "kyanite" necklace which brought back my final mineralogy project on the KAS polymorphs...and reminded me of our final exam. We were all given different pieces of wallpaper and were to describe the symmetry of the design. It was quite a surprise and one of the exams from which I learned the most!

     Your swatches of wallpaper (not the computer kind) will be winging their way to you soon:





And for extra credit, 2 advanced wallpapers 


1



2


Looking forward to mineralogy, petrology, and symmetry discussions with you,

Steph
(Word Woman)
  
Whoa--check out this visual representation of the first 1000 digits of pi after the decimal point. That's YOUR WALLPAPER to analyze ;-



Gotta love Wyoming, where the signs point out geologic formations and their ages:



Does your state do this?!

53 comments:

  1. SS,

    The kyanite illustration actually looks a bit like the graph above it.

    The lower-left-hand wallpaper is obviously an expanded detail from a bar code of the can of baked beans I bought today at my local Piggly-Wiggly.

    Legiggly

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    Replies
    1. Lego, the new pi wallpaper added above reminded me a bit of your math puzzle this week at Puzzleria! It would be fun to see a visual representation of all the possible data points in your puzzle. . .

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  2. The kyanite sample does resemble the graph in color and shape. Spectacular crystals.

    Do they have Piggly Wigglys in the midwest? Never been to one but I CAN see having a CASE of the Legigglys just looking at the sign.

    Interesting that in a Google search, wallpaper now mostly means something you put on your computer screen and wall covering is what is put on walls.

    I don't know if you put flowers on your wallpaper if that's the new definition of wallflower...

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    1. Staring at wallpaper covered with images of fish can give you a case of walleye.

      And in Francophone Belgium, wallpaper is often decorated with pictures of balloons.

      The middle wallpaper image in the top row looks like a woodgrain pattern. If those are natural logs, then it must be WALL-E.

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    2. Then there's wall-o-water for your tomato plant.

      Why balloons in Francophone Belgium?

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    3. I guess the Walloons must just like them... ;-)

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  3. Speaking of wallstuff, tomorrow Nina Lagergren, half-sister of WW II Swedish diplomat Raoul Wallenberg, will be in Washington to receive a Congressional Gold Medal in his honor. That article, btw, was written by US Ambassador to Sweden Mark Brzezinski, brother of Mika and son of Zbigniew. Ms. Lagergren's daughter, I learned, is married to former UN Sec'y General Kofi Annan. Lagergren is being accompanied to DC by my niece, who is a summer intern at the US embassy in Stockholm. So many interesting connections!

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    1. What a mitvoh Mr. Wallenberg gave to those people. So glad your niece will accompany Ms. Lagergren to D.C. It will be a wonderful day tomorrow to honor him!

      And Kofi Annan is a Macalester grad...many, many connections indeed.

      Will you and your wife make that trip to Sweden to visit your niece at the U. S. Embassy?

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    2. That's why my wife & her sister are in Copenhagen (actually, now enroute to Sweden). They were going to be visiting niece in Stockholm, but now she's flying to DC, so she visited them in Copenhagen first. (Every family trip with this group seems to turn into a problem of chicken, fox, and grain.)

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    3. I wondered about that.

      Maybe you'll see your niece stateside then? Too bad no Sweden for you. It would have been great to afjord the time for the trip.

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    4. Understand about the chicken, fox, grain issue too!

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    5. Unfortunately, niece will be back in Sweden by the weekend, so I won't have a chance to see her this trip.

      Like your pi mandela. Reminds me of the old Simon toy. If Simple Simon met a pi mandela....

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    6. (that should be "mandala", not "mandela")

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    7. Such a cool mandala, indeed. Had not seen the Simon toy before...

      Awaiting your pi symmetry analyis, jan and lego ;-).

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    8. analysis...There really ought to be an edit button!

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    9. jan,
      Sounds like you have quite a niece there with lots on the ball. If not too personal a question, what do you think she'll be up to 10 or 20 years from now?
      lego...

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    10. Not really sure, and don't think she is, either. But I wouldn't be surprised if she were working for the State dept, or an international NGO.

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    11. She might be the answer to a Puzzleria! puzzle!

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  4. When an orbifold replicates by symmetry to fill the plane, its features create a structure of vertices, edges, and polygon faces, which must be consistent with the Euler characteristic. Reversing the process, we can assign numbers to the features of the orbifold, but fractions, rather than whole numbers. Because the orbifold itself is a quotient of the full surface by the symmetry group, the orbifold Euler characteristic is a quotient of the surface Euler characteristic by the order of the symmetry group.

    Take 2 and call me in the morning.

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    Replies
    1. 17 wallpaper groups--I took 2 (or maybe 3) and am now calling in the morning, Paul. Wall covering just doesn't have the same panache.

      I have added a new wallpaper or two for advanced symmetry study.

      Symmetry study can make one's head spin. Just look in the mirror plane for the answer.

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  5. 17 wallpaper groups, eh? Here's a threesome. Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk.

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    Replies
    1. Good laugh for a Wednesday, Thanks. I never paid attention to their names before today. Did you?

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    2. Of course, I knew their first names, but not their last. . .

      This seems to be the week of triads. Suppose we could write a term paper comparing the graph showing kyanite, andalusite, and sillimanite to Curly (Howard), Larry (Fine), and Moe (Howard)? Is Larry kyanite because he has a different crystal class (triclinic) from Curly and Moe (orthorhombic)? Do the differences in pressure and temperature work? ;-)

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  6. Glad to see the Ebola story in Africa is getting some coverage on NPR. Next, a cure. . .

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    1. This smallpox story was scary. The US and Russia maintain "research samples" of the virus at one site each (not counting this one), despite World Health Organization recommendations that they be destroyed.

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  7. Wow, it is scary, especially if the virus sealed in glass tubes with melted glass end sealers is found to still be alive.

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    1. "Alive" isn't a word you use when talking about viruses. They have no metabolic or motile or reproductive equipment. They're just code, with a protein coat that gets them through the cell membrane. Unless you chemically disrupt them, they'll be infectious.

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    2. Is The Washington Post then drawing a distinction between "live" and "alive" in the statement below:

      "Further testing, which could take up to two weeks, will determine whether the material is live." Or are they just wrong?

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    3. They mean "infectious".

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    4. Then, how do you chemically disrupt them for good? THAT sounds scary. Is their code like computer code in that it never really truly goes away even when you hit delete?

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    5. It depends on the virus, but it's usually not too hard. Some become non-infectious just by drying out for a while. Most pathogens are inactivated by a 10% bleach solution, which is pretty standard infection control in hospitals, etc, or by many commercial disinfectants. Anything that disrupts the structure of the protein coat. Those samples in Bethesda were sealed in glass capsules to keep them from being broken down.

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    6. What's so scary about the recent story is that smallpox is so virulent, and most people in the world have no immunity (since vaccination was halted decades ago), and vaccine stocks are extremely limited, and everyone thought they knew where the only 2 samples in the world were. I was taught that any appearance of smallpox anywhere in the world now is evidence of biowarfare. Except this week we learned that it might just be evidence of careless record keeping. Any other mistakes out there?

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    7. It is quite shocking. Maybe one thing that has come out of modern-day Chains-of-Command record-keeping is at least we know where stuff is and through which hands it has passed. . .

      Is it hard/expensive to keep vaccine stocks in supply, just in case?

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  8. The US military vaccinates personnel deploying to the Middle East. The vaccine contains the vaccinia virus, which is related to smallpox, and isn't safe for people with compromised immune systems or pregnant women. There's no way to test the effectiveness of any new vaccine. And there's little economic justification for development and wide deployment of a vaccine against a disease that doesn't exist anymore. (A big real public health challenge is getting people to use the proven existing vaccines against existing illnesses, instead of listening to bubbleheads like Jenny McCarthy.)

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    1. Interesting about vaccinating personnel headed to the Middle East.

      Totally agree about people using proven existing vaccines. I always asked if my kids were using the first batch out of a lot...but I always had them vaccinated. (Once we returned to have a later vaccine dose).

      This really belongs with the hummingbird last week; the chirps are pretty interesting and dinosaur-like when slowed down:

      http://m.wnpr.org/

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    2. The full link:

      http://thebeaker.org/post/91070074324/watch-an-entire-song-hidden-in-a-single-chirp

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    3. I think you mean:

      http://wnpr.org/post/listen-closely-theres-something-hidden-hummingbirds-chirp

      (Can't get away from the hometown NPR station, eh?)

      Weren't we just talking about the ST:TOS episode "The Devil in the Dark"? This piece reminds me of Wink of an Eye.

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    4. I did mean that...but then found the other article I liked better. Of course, you'd be paying attention. . .And you're right, I do like my local NPR station!

      Taking stock indeed! (I really wasn't much of a Trekkie growing up; enjoying Star Trek now though). I have a sense you are good at Pandemic also (steel trap and all. . .)

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    5. You're right that the other version of the hummingbird story is better.

      There's another side to leks, though. Sometimes, they serve not to allow individuals to "show off", but just to multiply their attractiveness by sheer weight of numbers. In some firefly species, rather than solitary males flying around flashing, hoping to get a response from a female on the ground, the males in an area all gather in a single tree and flash synchronously, creating a giant beacon to attract females. In Southeast Asia, there are leks that are so well established that they are used for navigation and appear on aerial charts. A firefly with similar habits in the Great Smoky Mountains in Tennessee puts on a show every year, attracting thousands of members of a certain hominid species.

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    6. Fascinating stuff. Amazing that leks would be so dense as to appear on aerial charts for navigation in southeast Asia.

      Have you seen the firefly display in the Great Smoky Mountains? Going to bring my blue or red-lit flashlight!

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    7. Never been to the Smokies to see them. They're only active for a week or so, and you can't predict exactly when, and there's a lottery for shuttle tickets from the park entrance, so you have to be pretty dedicated with a flexible schedule to make it happen.

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  9. From firefly flashing to human movement--the Science of the Swarm:

    https://news.brown.edu/articles/2014/07/virtual

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  10. Waitin' for David's graph, here!

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    1. Thanks for the data, David!

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    2. Recalculating...here is the corrected date / ratio graph:

      Graph of RATIOS of MONTH/YEAR (x axis) vs DAYS OF YEAR (y axis)

      Smallest ratio is day 31 at 1/31 and largest is day 335 at 12/1.I have no idea what happened to data for the last 4 days of the year. You get the picture.

      http://coloradocountry.smugmug.com/PUZZLES/i-xSF5Mx2/A

      Please let me know if you can read it the graph all right. I imagine you get the general idea.

      Smug Mug was the hardest part of the deal.

      Did you think it would look like this?

      WW

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  11. Another marine "living fossil from Nrw Zealand:"

    http://www.niwa.co.nz/news/northern-hemisphere-fossil-discovered-living-in-new-zealand

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  12. Not sure why, but an animal that drills holes in tube worm tubes reminds me of an old Sidney Harris cartoon whose panels are captioned "Dung", "Dung Beetle", "Dung Beetle Dung", "Dung Beetle Dung Beetle", etc.

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  13. Or, as De Morgan said:

    Great fleas have little fleas upon their backs to bite 'em,
    And little fleas have lesser fleas, and so ad infinitum.

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  14. Hehe...

    Just added a photo of Wyoming Geologic Signs.

    Does your state have these, PEOTSians? I think it's a great idea.

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    1. No. For the past 435 - 500 million years, our signs have said:

      NEW JERSEY: YOU GOT A PROBLEM WITH THAT?

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    2. Chortling, guffawing, til water came out my nose.

      Are you sure you don't do stand-up (for geeks) ? ;-)

      . . .Hey, where's Lego?

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