Friday, September 03, 2010

Notes on Madam How and Lady Why: Ch. 4 The Transformations of a Grain of Soil

Ch. 4 The Transformations of a Grain of Soil

 P. 78 In 1529 in Mexico, the conquistador Cortes ordered one of his men, Montano, to lead a very dangerous expedition to retrieve 60 lbs of sulphur from Popocatépetl (Popo’s Crater), which was used as gunpowder:

 P. 79-80 The difference between soul/spirit and physical body

 P. 81-83 Description of lava flow

 Video of Kilauea (Hawaii) erupting:

 Whinstone: any various hard, dark-colored rocks, esp. basalt and chert (Free Online Dictionary)

 Slag: vitreous (glass-like) residue left by the smelting (melting or fusing) of metallic ore (Free Online Dictionary)

 Cinder: a burnt or partially burnt substance that cannot be reduced to ashes but is incapable of further combustion (Free Online Dictionary)

 Fascinating photo essay of volcanism and other geologic phenomena in Hawaii:

 P. 85-96 Kingsley explains the rock cycle

 Madeira: an island near Portugal

 Lothians of Scotland: Lothian is a region in Scotland which includes Edinburgh and Dunbar (Wikipedia)

 Rock cycle:

 Advantages/fertile soil:

 Advantages/mineral resources:

 Advantages/geothermal energy:

 Potash: a potassium compound often used in agriculture, being an ingredient in fertilizers (

 Magnesia: also called periclase; magnesium oxide (

 Silicates: types of rock that consist predominantly of silicon/oxygen; most of the Earth’s mantle and crust are made up of silicate rocks (

 Carbonic acid gas: carbon dioxide gas (absorbed from the air by plants in photosynthesis) (

 P. 88 Eruption of Skaptar Jokull in 1783 (and some other stories of volcanoes affecting the weather):

 West India Islands: West Indies, a group of islands just to the east of South/Central America

 Giant’s Causeway/Fingal’s Cave: Two corresponding areas of unique lava formations in Ireland and the Hebrides (near Scotland); they figure in legends about Finn McCool (Fionn Mac Cumhaill)'s_Cave's_Causeway

 An example of a trap dyke in the Adirondacks of upstate New York:

 Chalk:

 An old geological map of the British Isles (volcanic—igneous—rock is labeled ‘E’ for “eruptive rocks” and is colored dark red):

 Some very cool pictures of rock formations in the South of England (Wessex), and more geological maps of the British Isles and Europe:

 Since we live in Texas, a geological map of our state (igneous rock shown in pink):

 Virtual geology field trips:

 Geological structures and landforms in Dallas County:

 Madam How’s ice plough: glaciers

 Madam How’s gentle spade: rain

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