Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ack! I found one!!! Piece of mind?

I haven't constructed a new blog... yet... but I couldn't resist sharing this common spelling error I found today. Read the following phrase from an (unnamed) online article:
"...[being debt free] gave him the piece of mind he wanted."

Did you catch it? "piece of mind?"... If someone gives you a piece of their mind, it is usually unwanted! The phrase the article is going for here is "peace of mind." So, now let's review:

Piece: a part or fragment of a whole. Examples: a piece of pie, a piece of string...
Peace: a state of tranquility or quiet, absence of quarrels or war.

Amazingly, the spelling of piece is correct in the article, as many people cannot get the "i before e except after c" jingle straight in their head. A Google search of the anomalous letter assemblage "peice" yielded over 7 million results! Atrocious!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

What's a blog for anyway?

Hi, again! I'm definitely glad you stopped by! I am pondering: what's a blog for anyway? It seems that a lot of people (and I do mean A LOT!) are posting their personal ramblings (not that there's anything wrong with that!).... and, it's me included... because.. why? There are other people using their blogs to generate income (imagine that!)... now some of those "smart" ones are writing how-to articles, DIY stuff, financial self-help, inspirational devotions.... so, my question to myself is: what do I know about that I can start a "smart" blog? ... Let's review:

1. Rocks... I've got rocks in my head!
2. Mars (?)... I want to know all about the Red Planet...
3. Crochet.... I do crochet everyday, and knit at least a couple times a week... nothing fancy yet
4. Mistakes... especially other people's mistakes... I would make an excellent proofreader! Let's explore this one!

Two things I hate in this world: thieves and liars... true, but that's not where I was going...
Two things: misspellings and poor grammar!
I can't tell you how many times I have picked up the local newspaper and cringed at the cut-off sentences and blatant misspellings. I thought the editor was supposed to proof the articles before they go to print? At least, in this world of cut-and-paste, the reporters could run their pieces through 'spellcheck' before submitting them for publishing? A few years back, I attended one of our regional universities. The campus newspaper was atrocious. Not only were the spelling and grammar leaving much to be desired, but the content was sometimes inappropriate for their diversified audience. I did write to the editor on that note, because I was embarrassed to share the newspaper with my friends and family (it was that bad!).

But how would I turn this obsession with correct grammar and passion for eradicating spelling errors into a fruitful blog?... I would definitely need to title a new blog.  (See that definitely? It means "without question." It is rooted in the word finite, meaning "bounded, limited in magnitude or expanse." If I had a nickel for every time I 've seen it posted as "definately" I could already pay for grad school! DEFINITELY... definitely... Definitely.... no A's people! It looks funny now, doesn't it?

I'll scan the recent posts on Facebook for more grossly overused misspellings. I will forgive the cyber jargon (maybe?). It won't take long... please watch for a new blog title from me. I think I have found my niche! LOL :)

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Ah, Spring Break is over... sigh!

So, Spring Break 2011 has come to an end! It's back to school for me... although, my original plan ( hatched the week before Break started) was to stick around close to campus and enjoy uninterrupted use of the geology lab, and maybe even prepare a thin slice of my 200+million year old rock I collected on a recent field trip. Alas, the lure of family comraderie, my nephew's Eagle Scout ceremony, etc, etc... led me on a different plan. On the plus side, I nearly finished a knitting project I am working for my sister's birthday (it won't make it in time, but I did get a lot done on it!) :)

Yes, my nephew earned his Eagle Scout badge back in November, and he is officially an Eagle Scout now! We are all very proud of him. He worked hard to earn it!

Do I really have a rock over 200-million-years old? Yes, I do! I collected it from a Triassic-period alluvial fan deposit in central North Carolina that has been exposed through local faulting and the help of railroad construction. My sedimentology class was visiting the structure recently, and I inquired about the rocks within this ancient rubble. The rockpile was created during the Triassic period (200-250mya), and any rocks therein are much older than that!

You see, a rock needs to have a "coolness factor" to stay in my collection, or it may get tossed out with "I have no idea why I'm keeping this!" So, if it isn't interesting to look at but I can say, "Oh! That's over 200 million years old!", then it's cool. I tried to find one that is interesting as well, and I found a green rock. Green could be anything, really... not likely to be peridotite, although that would be most cool! I am placing my bets on epidote maybe with some chloritization of olivine/pyroxenes, although my mineralogy professor is doubtful due to the muted color. Epidote (proper) is a bright pistachio green. My rock is not as bright as the lab sample. So, I hope to make a thin section... a thinner than paper slice of the rock that can be viewed under a microscope to identify the individual mineral grains of the rock.

<<note to self: upload microscope image of rock>>