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Saturday, April 22, 2017

Novaculite: 99 Percent Pure Microcrystalline Quartz, the "Ivory Soap" of Napping Stones

      Novaculite is a 99 percent pure, microcrystalline quartz mineral, similar to chert or flint, found only in the Ouachita Mountains of western Arkansas and eastern Oklahoma. So-called "Arkansas stones" or "Ouachita stones" are used as sharpening tools or whetstones (and in these colorful nail files).




     Novaculite was also used by native Americans in tool napping and sharpening. 




         The extremely thin edges of napped novaculite are very sharp; they were used in early medical scalpels. The word “novaculite” is derived from a Latin word meaning “razor stone.”




      The striking outcrops are seen here in western Arkansas, exposed in the Benton-Broken Bow uplift which runs from Broken Bow, OK, to Benton, AR (near Little Rock).







      The color of novaculite varies widely depending on minor impurities.




     

     Arkansas novaculite samples have, on occasion, been imported to Colorado ;-).



Arkansas rocks: sharp, very sharp!
Steph

And a few images (after the rain) from Denver's March for Science today:
















25 comments:

  1. So glad you got to March for Science! I wasn't able to make a march, but my recently-retired scientist sister marched in Washington DC and environmental scientist daughter Trinity marched in Springfield MO. I wrote a bit about them and the March here: https://topofjcsmind.wordpress.com/2017/04/22/earth-day-and-science-march/

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    1. Hi Joanne. Great to read about your sister and daughter and the Marches for Science.

      What heartened me, post-March, was to not see any trash strewn on our beautiful Civic Center. There was trash everywhere after the 4/20 event in the same location just two days earlier.

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  2. How do you say razorback in Latin?

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    1. Wild boar/bore: the ultimate oxymoron, eh?

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    2. My wonderful junior high earth science teacher, Mr. Monte, self-identified as a tidal bore, when we were learning about them.

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    3. You say tidal bore, I say title bore. ;-)

      I, too, had a wonderful 9th grade earth science teacher, Tom Deshais, who gave us college-level work. It was wonderful.

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  3. Although I did not attend any science march events myself, I did hear that someone carried a sign at one march that read:
    "If you're not a part of the solution you're a part of the particulate." I kind of like that one.

    I am concerned, however, that whoever imported those novaculite samples from Arkansasto Colorado may be guilty of "transporting 99-percent pure minerals across state lines for geological purposes." ;-).

    LegoWhoIsAMannWhoActsLikeHeIsAPartOfTheParticulateNotTheSolution

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    1. Hey, Lego, I saw one that said "If you're not part of the solution, you're part of the precipitate." I wonder if you were "helped" by auto-correct, perhaps?

      Shhhhhh, don't tell Arkansas about their rock samples, please.

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    2. No, Steph. I cannot blame auto-correct. (I don't even know if it even edits the text my comments at all... of course, I never make spelling misteaks!) The reason I wrote "particulate" rather than "precipitate" is that I am no scientist... that is, I really AM a part of the precipitate! Or particulate. Take your pickulate.

      I in no way meant to imply that present company was in any way culpable regarding the rock sample caper.

      LegoAdmitsThatArkansasWantsHimLordHeCan'tGoBackThere(NoteTheRailroadBedOfNovaculteSamplesAppearingAtTheNineToElevenSecondMarkInTheVideoClip)

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    3. Lego, I am in a NOVA cult, too. Thanks for the link.

      "Pickulate" -- I'm going to find a way to use that in my writing.

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  4. Replies
    1. Steve, huh? He just doesn't seem like a stream of hot gas. . .

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  5. Perovskite has been mentioned here only in passing, I think, but we may be reading more about it in the future. (Wikipedia has more information about Perovskite solar cells.)

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  6. I was going to talk about how the Ozarks came from the French explorers' phrase "Aux Arcs" and the great arc of a bend in the Mississippi River, but then I read about Don't give me any of that French merde. . .

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    1. The kind of woman my late mother-in-law would praise as "a regular goddammit". (She also labeled her 2-year old granddaughter so.) What brings this 5-year old obit to mind now? I wonder if Le Pen has her spinning in her grave? And, speaking of lapin, United customer service does it again!

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  7. New post on "Gaiman, A Fun Guy, on Beatrix Potter, Science, and Art: You Can't Have One Without the . . . Others" is now up.

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