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 Cue "Twiligt Zone" Music

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PostSubject: Cue "Twiligt Zone" Music   Tue Nov 06, 2012 10:30 am

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Here’s a bit of trivia for you.

In November 2006, geologists from the mining company Rio Tinto found what they believed to be a new mineral in Serbia and enlisted the help of the London Natural History Museum to confirm it. Chris Stanley at the NHM Googled the chemical name for the mineral (sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide) and what came up as a hit was “kryptonite”.

In the 2006 movie “Superman Returns”, Lex Luthor steals a kryptonite fragment from the Metropolis Museum. The case it’s stored in has the words “sodium lithium boron silicate hydroxide with fluorine” on it.

So, apart from the “with fluorine” element, it’s the same stuff. I saw the type specimen exhibited at the NHM but it ain’t green, doesn’t glow and isn’t radioactive. I still suspect it may have originated on the planet Krypton. Although it’s now colloquially known as “kryptonite” in the mineralogical community, it was given the formal name “jadarite” (shame on you, geologists… where’s your sense of fun?).

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PostSubject: Re: Cue "Twiligt Zone" Music   Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:14 pm

I would imagine cavities are rare on Krypton then. Laughing
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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Cue "Twiligt Zone" Music   Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:25 pm

...and plenty of light, E. Laughing

That's just plain weird. Leave it to Rio Tinto.

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PostSubject: Re: Cue "Twiligt Zone" Music   Tue Nov 06, 2012 1:29 pm

Since we're on a weird trip...



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Until August of 2000, it was thought that the largest living organism was a fungus of the same species (Armillaria ostoyae) that covered 1,500 acres (600 hectares) found living in the state of Washington. But then mycology experts surmised that if an Armillaria that large could be found in Washington, then perhaps one just as large could be responsible for the trees dying in the Malheur National Forest in the Blue Mountains of eastern Oregon. Researchers were astonished at the sheer magnitude of the find. This most recent find was estimated to cover over 2,200 acres (890 hectares) and be at least 2,400 years old, possibly older.

To go into the forest where this giant makes its home you would not look at it and see a huge, looming mushroom. Armillaria grows and spreads primarily underground and the sheer bulk of this organism lies in the earth, out of sight. Occasionally, during the fall season, this specimen will send up golden-colored "honey mushrooms" (see photo, above left) that are the visible evidence of its hulking mass beneath. Scientists have not yet begun to attempt to estimate the weight of this specimen of Armillaria.

How is it possible for a single fungus to get so big? Scientists who study this species of funges have postulated that the huge size may be a function of the dry climate in eastern Oregon.

Spores have a hard time establishing new organisms, making room for the old-timers to spread. Without competition from other specimens this enormous Armillaria has been able to grow and spread unchecked.

And yes, the honey mushrooms are supposedly edible, but apparently not very tasty. Several Extreme Science readers wrote to complain that yes, in fact, the Honey mushrooms are very tasty.
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PostSubject: Re: Cue "Twiligt Zone" Music   Tue Nov 06, 2012 11:29 pm

I remember reading something similar about a huckleberry bush in Yaksylvania growing beside a roadway (Rt. 15, if memory serves) for miles that was, they thought, one single bush that had been spreading for thousands of years.

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Kyle Weiss

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PostSubject: Re: Cue "Twiligt Zone" Music   Wed Nov 07, 2012 1:36 pm

Do huckleberry live that long? Sp. vaccinium I've eaten the fruit and slept next to quite a bit near the coast out here, but they don't get particularly big. Except to identify, I don't know much about them.

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