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Thursday, July 9, 2015

Ethiopian Welo Opals, Oh Pals!

     Ethiopian opals from the Welo District include this spectacular specimen discovered in October 2013. 


     The Ethiopian Welo opal mines were first discovered in 2008 in the district north of the capital of Addis Ababa (although opal was said to have been discovered in the 1930's elsewhere in Ethiopia and minimal mining began in the 1990's):





       The USGS estimates 2012 production of Ethiopian Welo opal to be 14,000 kilograms or 31,000 pounds. This estimation would change Australia's purported 95-97 percent of the world's opal production. There is not much information currently available about the Ethiopian Welo opal mines. Perhaps my daughter, Zoe, can make a field trip to the north to discover more about their deposition (or I could visit her and the opal mines!). I am quite curious about the similarities between the depositional environments in Australia and Ethiopia. 





    Opal is a hydrated amorphous form of silica with a water content ranging from 3 to 21% by weight. Because of its amorphous character, it is classed as a mineraloid, unlike the other crystalline forms of silica, which are classed as minerals.




     Australian opal is generally of a higher water content than the Ethiopian Welo opal. It is also generally found in deeper environments. Opals which get too dry are said to "craze." Often gemologists store opals in water to keep them hydrated. I take mine swimming.





      This four minute long video of Welo opals is worth a look, oh pals!

       I like the fire and the setting of this Ethiopian opal.




     Speaking of Ethiopia, here's the Peace Corps group arrival at the airport in Addis Ababa. Where's Waldo (er, Zoe?!) What an enthusiastic bunch (especially just after a 13-hour plane ride)!


                                             ^
                  
O pals, let me know your silica thoughts,
Steph

58 comments:

  1. We are just a few clicks shy of 50,000 for Partial Ellipsis of the Sun!

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  2. Congrats, Steph! 50,000 followers is quite some milestone.
    Will you present a lapel pin or sumthin to the lucky 50,000th clicker?

    EthiOPALia! Take that, Kiwis!
    Photo too small to tell where Walzoe is. Maybe near the front?
    I take my Opel swimming also… (see the 17-19-second mark). Don’t want no crazed Opels!

    LegoScoutingOurWeloOpalsLikeSomeCrazedWebelo!

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    1. I ought to present an opal to that 50,000th clicker but I don't know who clicked in then. . .


      Look front right for Walzoe.

      Liked the Webelo connection. My son enjoyed that part of Scouts a great deal.

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    2. I never understood why it wasn't Wobelis. Probably too close to the IWW Wobblies.

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    3. IWW Wobblies are new to me.

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    4. The music in the early part of the Opel swimming video was cool. It transformed into something else later in the video. Thanks for sharing it, Lego!

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  3. Yeah, congrats, but I gotta admit that maybe 10,000 of those clicks are mine.

    Maybe back row, center, right hand raised in peace sign? But she's not wearing her PC glasses.

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    1. Yes, thanks for those 10,000 clicks, jan!

      Think front right about three folks deep. . .

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    2. With the yellow headband?

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    3. No, Zoe has her arms stretched out and is wearing a white shirt and black jacket over that.

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    4. You're right about her glasses, Jan. Maybe she took them off just for the photo op.

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    5. Omar Sharif was our kindred spirit. Loved the game of Bridge.

      Zoe looks like she might have the whole world in her hands.

      LegOneMahaliaOfASinger

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    6. Do you play bridge, Lego?

      What a beautiful rendition of "He's got the whole world in his hands!" Zoe does look like that!

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    7. Are you a bridge player, Steph?

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    8. I played a fair bit in the past, including some duplicate bridge and with the Colorado Mountain Club. How about you, jan?

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    9. Yeah, though also more in the past. We taught our son to play when he was too young to hold the cards in his hand. He'd arrange them under the table, and dive down to get a card. When he was in elementary school, we had his principal over once for a few games; she criticized his bidding as too aggressive. Around the same time, a friend of my in-laws invited him to a duplicate tournament; I had to drive them there, because one was too young to drive and the other too old.

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    10. Great story about your son. My grandmother taught us to play. We recruited my younger sister, Judy, to play.

      "But I don't know how to read yet!"

      "You do, too. Now play!"

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    11. Bridge? As far as I know, bridge is just a way to get across the river.

      LegoDrawConclusionsLiftSiritsSuspensionOfDisbelief

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    12. If they were taking bids for a bridge over the Rio Grande, I'd bet No Trump would win.

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  4. Our Cotswold guide had distance markers (almost said milestones) denominated in kilometers, so I spent last week letting my fellow walkers know how may clicks we had to go for each day.

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    1. Clicks as in steps? How was the walking, BTW? My friend is there now.

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    2. Clicks as in military slang for kilometers. Walking was a bit easier than expected, as it was spread out over the day with pub stops in the middle, whereas our training walks were more straight through. Not overly hilly, hotter and less rainy than I'd thought. Mostly slogging on footpaths through farmers' fields, getting up close and personal with cows, sheep, goats, wheat, barley, rapeseed and not yet mushy peas.

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    3. Seems to be quite the popular trek!

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    4. Mostly older folks, like us. Brits, Europeans, a few Americans. The guidebook was pretty easy to follow, though in some fields the path was overgrown enough that you needed a good imagination to see it.

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    5. I'd not heard much about it before this summer and now know three groups who walked or will walk through the Cotswalds.Two American groups and one British.

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    6. "Ten kliks south," the last story in Phil Klay's acclaimed collection, Redeployment, explores a young artilleryman's thoughts after a fire mission.

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    7. Added it to my list at the DPL.

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  5. Replies
    1. So, the two countries battling for world domination in the future, while the rest of us try to keep our heads above water, will be Canada and Russia, both well supplied with fossil fuels for the long run?

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    2. It's hard for me to think of Canada battling for world domination. Sure hope we will have moved on from fossil fuels by 2100!

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    3. Hmmm... Dudley Do-Right vs. Boris Badenov? Either way, the future looks Rocky. And that's no Bull (wink) (le?).

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    4. jan,
      Your gray-matter synapses tend to fire well, hitting always on all cylinders. You make better connections that drug runners milling about the Mexican border!

      LegoCanada?Russia?Sure,Let'sGoWithAHannaBarberaCartoon!

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  6. Replies
    1. I was surprised to find that I've never seen any of his films. Since reading Lawrence in Arabia (great book, btw) a year or so ago, I've been meaning to watch Lawrence of Arabia, but haven't gotten around to it yet. He was always showing up in NY Times bridge columns, though, before they got rid of them.

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    2. It's kind of campy but I enjoyed Omar.

      "Lawrence IN Arabia"-- my list is growing!

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  7. Replies
    1. Oh, the typhoons! So chambered nautilus-like! Quite spectacular images.

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  8. What's the story with the pansy-like flowers you added under Zoe's photo?

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    Replies
    1. They are columbines from a hike in Summit County over the holiday. The more usual color is blue and white. The wildflowers have been outstanding this year. The orange poppies in the background were also spectacular.

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    2. Lots of red poppies blooming in the Cotswolds.

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    3. Nice! Did you see the installation of ceramic red poppies at the Tower of London?

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    4. No. I did very little touring in London. That was the part of the week when my wife was sick.

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  9. Took my wife, the psychologist, to see Inside Out last night. If you like corny, Steph, you might enjoy Lava, the short that accompanies it.

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    1. Yes, I will look for the short; you know I like corny. Did you and your wife enjoy Inside Out? I've read good things.

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    2. She did; I not so much. She thought it presented personality development appropriately; I thought it was silly.

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  10. Replies
    1. She loved it. You know I love Kelsey Grammer (see Blaine's).

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  11. Replies
    1. I would like to go on that road trip!

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    2. I dunno. It actually took the over 11 years to complete that trip. And the amenities are lacking.

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    3. Yeah, maybe I'll just meet them there. . .

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  12. New Horizons has already produced useful knowledge: after reading about Charon's chasms, I was inspired to look up the pronunciation and discovered that I'd been pronouncing it wrong ever since it was discovered. I like Barbara Mikulski's bumper sticker.

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  13. I was also surprised at "Chair'on."

    The chasms didn't look as impressive as the Grand Canyon somehow. Maybe it's the lack of color. . .

    Great bumper sticker!

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  14. Happy Bastille Day, PEOTSers!

    Deciding whether we've all had enough Pluto and New Horizons news for this week's post. Have you? It is so exciting, though!

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    1. Bastille Day Special: "If Only We Had Taller Been: New Horizons Makes the 3 Billion Mile Trip Past Pluto" post is now 'sup ;-).

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