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Category: Killer Geology

Mother Nature is out to get you.

You Put What on Your Face?

You Put What on Your Face?

This is the daily short science blog for the Merry Blogmas 2017 campaign. I will happy when it’s over. Even with decreased or no citations, daily blogging is a bit much. | Today’s post is a ramble about the science and pseudoscience of clay-based facial skin treatment. THE PSEUDOSCIENCE OF CLAY-BASED SKIN TREATMENT I’m not saying that all skin treatments are fake or lack a scientific basis; however, the amount of pseudoscience in the beauty and cosmetics industry is staggering….

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The Terrible Menace of Kaolin Pesticide!

The Terrible Menace of Kaolin Pesticide!

This is the daily Merry Blogmas 2017 science post for December 18. | Did you even know that clay minerals like kaolin are used as pesticides? It came as a surprise to me, truth be told. I have had held some hefty pesticides and hazardous materials certifications over the years. So how did I ever miss knowing this? Seriously, that sucking noise you hear is my tongue being removed from my cheek. INTRODUCING KAOLIN Koalin is a catch-all name for…

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The Roach-Killer Rock

The Roach-Killer Rock

This is the daily Merry Blogmas 2017 short science post for December 17. 2017. | Today’s topic is boric acid. THERE ARE NO BORIC ACID MINES Seriously, I really should have saved this up for my other blog but this blog is on a schedule. Thus it gets priority these days. I was calmly surfing the net, looking at do-it-yourself recipes using borax, when I came across a site that I refuse to mention here. This unmentionable site not only recommended…

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a Brief History of Spark Plug Insulation

a Brief History of Spark Plug Insulation

This is the daily Merry Blogmas science post for December 14. | Today we look at something I know you’ve all been wondering about for years. Wonder no longer for I will reveal the history of spark plug insulation in all its glory. Enlightenment on this electrifying subject is now here! WHY CARE ABOUT SPARK PLUG INSULATORS? Personally, I think this history-of-technology stuff is really cool. I hope you get as much a charge out of this as I did. In…

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Ideochromatism

Ideochromatism

This is the bite-sized Merry Blogmas 2017 science post for December 13. Only 12 more to go until Christmas! It’s one of those physical properties you never hear about it school. For example, I personally learned about it from reading a book in graduate school on the science of color. Ideochromatism is a really cool thing because it explains a lot about the things we use as pigments. WHAT IS IDEOCHROMATISM? Ideochromatism is the property of being self-colored. The Latin roots…

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Merry Blogmas for December 9: DNA and Yellowstone

Merry Blogmas for December 9: DNA and Yellowstone

We continue  today with our daily “Merry Blogmas” posts on fun bite-sized science topics, which will run until Christmas. THE BIRTHPLACE OF DNA FINGERPRINTING BY THE PCR METHOD The banner image today (above) is a photograph of Octopus Spring in the Lower Geyser Basin of Yellowstone National Park. If this spring was anywhere else, there would probably be a shrine here for this is the birthplace of modern “cheap and easy” DNA profiling. If you didn’t know Octopus Spring existed,…

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Merry Blogmas for December 8: Why Should I Care About Alunite?

Merry Blogmas for December 8: Why Should I Care About Alunite?

We continue  today with our daily “Merry Blogmas” posts on fun bite-sized science topics, which will run until Christmas. WHAT IS ALUNITE AND WHY SHOULD I CARE? Most people outside of geologists have probably never heard of alunite but this rock has had wars fought over it. Alunite was a major source of potash alum from antiquity up until the 19th century. Potash alum was and still is one of the most important commodities in the world, used in medicines,…

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Merry Blogmas for December 4: Sulfur

Merry Blogmas for December 4: Sulfur

We continue  today with our daily “Merry Blogmas” posts on fun bite-sized science topics, which will run until Christmas. SULFUR Sulfur is one of the coolest elements going. It’s also on the smelliest things on the planet. It stinks enough that I included it in the article I wrote for listverse.com on 10 rocks that stink. Sulfur has some really cool properties. It’s a soft yellow mineral that can be set on fire. It burns with a blue flame. While…

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Merry Blogmas for December 2: Diatomaceous Earth

Merry Blogmas for December 2: Diatomaceous Earth

What’s a Diatom? Diatoms are microscopic algae creatures that live in oceans, seas and deep lakes. When they die, their hard shell-like skeletal remains fall to the lake or sea bottom. Their fossilized remains are made of amorphous silica with the approximate chemical composition of opal, SiO2·nH2O. The “n” in that chemical formula means that the amount of water mixed in with the silica dioxide is not really known. Layers of pure fossilized diatom remains are called diatomite. What’s Diatomaceous Earth?…

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Merry Blogmas for December 1: Cinnabar

Merry Blogmas for December 1: Cinnabar

Merry Blogmas! I have decided to join the blogmas insanity and post a short blog post everyday until Christmas. Other than the regular weekly blog posts, the blogmas post will all be off-the-top-of-my-head brain dumps without citations. CINNABAR It’s one of the coolest minerals going: It’s mercuric sulfide. Its mineral form is called cinnabar. It has a mineral formula of HgS. It’s the main ore mineral for mercury. The mercury mines of Almaden, Spain are the largest in the world…

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