bituminize

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This is a look at one of our favourite ammonites, prior to the outer matrix being polished. These ‘Cannon ball’ nodules (rocks) are thought to be exclusive to the Yorkshire Coast, found nowhere else in the world. They rarely contain fossils, but when they do, they typically contain an Eleganticeras sp. ammonite. This fossil here is featured as found. Some of the outer chambers were broken open when we cracked open this rock, which allowed a rich smell of bituminous oil to be released.

On This Day: April 21

World Fish Migration Day

  • 1792: Tiradentes, a Brazilian revolutionary influenced by Rousseau and American Revolution, executed for leading independence movement.
  • 1834: 30,000 march protesting imprisonment of Tolpuddle Martyrs, who unionized to protect their wages.
  • 1841: Anselmo Lorenzo is born in Toledo, Spain. He was a defining figure in the early Spanish Anarchist movement, earning the often quoted sobriquet “the grandfather of Spanish anarchism,” in the words of Murray Bookchin; “his contribution to the spread of Anarchist ideas in Barcelona and Andalusia over the decades was enormous”.
  • 1856: Stonemasons and building workers in Melbourne achieve an eight-hour day, the first organized workers in the world to achieve an 8-hour day, with no loss of pay.
  • 1879: Birth of Raden Ayu Kartini a prominent pioneer in the area of women’s rights for Indonesians.
  • 1894: Start of the US national eight-week Bituminous Coal Miners’ strike.
  • 1898: Errico Malatesta and others stood trial for criminal conspiracy in Italy.
  • 1908: Anarchist poet Carlos Pezoa Véliz dies in Santiago, Chile.
  • 1913: André Soudy, a member of the Bonnot Gang, was executed.
  • 1921: Police fire on IWW-organised striking miners at Neversweat mine in Butte, Montana. Two are killed and thirteen are wounded.
  • 1939: Birth of Helen Prejean. She was an activist against the Death Penalty.
  • 1972: During the Quebec general strike, the Quebec government passed Bill 19 into law, forcing the unionised workers back to work, and banned fundamental trade union rights for a period of two years.
  • 1989: In Beijing about 100,000 students gather in Tiananmen Square to commemorate reform leader Hu Yaobang leading to democracy protests.
  • 1997: 2,500 Goodyear Tire United Steelworkers union workers start three week strike in plants across US for job security, wages and benefits
  • 2003: Death of Nina Simone, singer, songwriter, musician and civil rights activist.
  • 2011: Shanghai truck drivers enter second day of protest against inflation.
  • 2013: Death of Leopold Engleitner an Austrian conscientious objector, Jehovah’s Witness and Holocaust survivor.
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yorkshire.fossilsThis rock on the foreshore of Saltwick Bay was peppered with tiny pyritised ammonites from the Bituminous shales. Although very attractive we left this for other fossil hunters to find, maybe it resides in somebody’s collection now 

What He Told Me

We knew there was something wrong with him. Something about the way he was sitting. We’d given him a wide berth; the smell alone warranted that. But still, there was a disconcerting amount of tension in the man. I knew I wasn’t the only one worried about the potential for violence he signaled.

Peristaltic ripples of dread pulsed through my gut when the train slowed to a crawl. Another service outage. The train stopped completely, accompanied by the automated message indicating a technical issue and an assurance that we would be moving again soon. At least the lights stayed on this time.

Nervous smalltalk ebbed and flowed. We’d stopped in a bad place. The emergency exits were unobstructed, but they led to a cement wall. The tunnel was excruciatingly narrow and felt claustrophobic, even within the relative roominess of our subway car. We were in the first car of the train. At the front was the locked compartment housing the conductor and her controls, and the rear led to small gap separating our car from the next one in line. The man sat in the corner seats closest to that exit.

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We’re not sure exactly where she was born, or when she was born, but we know that Mary Harris was from somewhere in Cork County, Ireland, and immigrated to North America with her family as a child to escape the Irish famine. In her early twenties, she moved to Chicago, where she worked as a dressmaker, and then to Memphis, Tennessee, where she met and married George Jones, a skilled iron molder and staunch unionist. The couple had four children.  Then tragedy struck: a yellow fever epidemic in 1867 took the lives of Mary’s husband and all four children. Mary Harris Jones returned to Chicago where she continued to sew, becoming a dressmaker for the wealthy. “I would look out of the plate glass windows and see the poor, shivering wretches, jobless and hungry, walking alongside the frozen lake front,” she said. “The tropical contrast of their condition with that of the tropical comfort of the people for whom I sewed was painful to me. My employers seemed neither to notice nor to care.” Then came the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. Mary once again lost everything.

After the fire, Mary began to travel across the country. The nation was undergoing dramatic change, and industrialization was changing the nature of work. She worked with the Knights of Labor, often giving speeches to inspire the workers during strikes. She organized assistance for workers’ strikes, and prepared for workers’ marches. In June 1897, after Mary addressed the railway union convention, she began to be referred to as “Mother” by the men of the union. The name stuck. That summer, when the 9,000-member Mine Workers called a nationwide strike of bituminous (soft coal) miners and tens of thousands of miners laid down their tools, Mary arrived in Pittsburgh to assist them. She became “Mother Jones” to millions of working men and women across the country for her efforts on behalf of the miners. Mother Jones was so effective the union would send her into mines, to help miners to join unions. In addition to miners, Mother Jones also was very concerned about child workers. To attract attention to the cause of abolishing child labor, in 1903, she led a children’s march of 100 children from the textile mills of Philadelphia to New York City “to show the New York millionaires our grievances.” She led the children all the way to President Theodore Roosevelt’s Long Island home.

A political progressive, she was a founder of the Social Democratic Party in 1898. Mother Jones also helped establish the Industrial Workers of the World in 1905. For all of her social reform and labor activities, she was considered by the authorities to be one of the most dangerous women in America. In 1912, Mother Jones was even charged with a capital offense by a military tribunal in West Virginia and held under house arrest for weeks until popular outrage and national attention forced the governor to release her. In her eighties, Mother Jones settled down near Washington, D.C., in 1921 but continued to travel across the country. She died, possibly aged 100, in 1930.  Her final request was to be buried in the Miners Cemetery in Mt. Olive, Illinois, where you can visit her grave today.

I am extremely grateful for each and every generous comment, message and feedback I have received in response to my black books project. Thank you all for the kindness you have extended towards me. The following message, which I received early this morning before I left for work, has left an indelible impression on me and I feel compelled to share it with you all.

I do not know this wonderful human named here on tumblr as

http://flaviobelli.tumblr.com.

But, I am convinced that he is an exquisite writer, thinker, feeler and soul. This is the kind of rare and articulate feedback that all artists hope to receive when sharing deeply personal work…..

“The Black Books look remarkable. A project for your hands and heart, your mind and your eyes. A way to bind leaves of grief. A way to turn the page. As days go by and years fall away so do the pages of a book pass through our consciousness. As we turn a corner so do we turn a page or turn over a new leaf. We come to the new and next chapter of our lives with same expectation and dread we experience in a book. You have chosen well, the making of Black Books. Black; The First Colour. From burned branches. From burned bones and horns. Beautiful bituminous blacks from oil-soaked soils traced on cave walls in the darkness lit by fires. Colour came more slowly to us. The ochres of mud, smeared vegetation and pulverized minerals, and blood. Then there are the Black Paintings by Goya. His private art, at the end of his life, painted directly on the walls of his villa. Those fourteen meditations on madness and death, never meant for the light of day. It is because of Ms-Excuse-Me that I have now followed you and how I come to wish you great success on your book making journey!”

aterribleterriblefate  asked:

Hey Doug, in response to your "3 things people should experience" post, I thought you'd be happy to know I once managed the almost impossible while using the "Chaos Reigns" Planechase deck. After casting Maelstrom Wanderer and cascading into something insignificant, The second cascade hit Enigma Sphinx, which hit Enlisted Wurm, which hit Bituminous Blast, which hit Bloodbraid Elf, which hit Shardless Agent. I know I'll never see it happen again, but boy, was it satisfying! :D

Oh my gosh. I’ve never done a chain that long, but I’m glad someone has!

prsntypething  asked:

I'm the one who gave you slave of bolas!

Alright! Excellent. 

I’ll be rolling out these Magic stories over the next few days. This morning, it’s time for Slave of Bolas!

I’ve had fun relating the cards I’ve been given to stories, so let’s see here… Well, Slave of Bolas is from Shards of Alara block - and boy, do I have a story that ties into that format.

The year is 2009. (Five years ago - which is kind of crazy to say!) My trusty Spellstutter Sprites - the same set which would eventually qualify me for 4 different Pro Tours is 4 different formats - had just led me to a top 16 finish at Grand Prix Los Angeles.  And just like that, I was off to the Pro Tour!

And where better to go to the Pro Tour than HAWAII?

This was the second Pro Tour Hawaii, and after hearing all of the awesome stories from the first I couldn’t wait to head there. 

After skipping the first Pro Tour I qualified for, the first Pro Tour I actually played in, Pro Tour Berlin, hadn’t gone so well - I was one win out of making day 2. But this time was going to be different. I spent every day for weeks testing for this Pro Tour, determined to crack the format.

The problem was that the format was Shards of Alara Block Constructed, which was, in the opinion of me and many of the players, one of the worst Block Constructed formats of all time. It very quickly became apparent that it was defined by the cascade cards in Alara Reborn, and a huge majority of the decks were just Jund variants.

Did you want to play Jund? Well, welcome to a million mirror matches. Of course, you could try and get an advantage by splashing white for Enlisted Wurm and trying to cast “Enlisted Ultimatum” - the ‘ol Enlisted Wurm cascading into Bituminous Blast, cascading into Bloodbraid Elf, cascading into Blightning. If you were really going rogue, you could try playing more white sources and Elspeth.

Yeah.

I tried to make several different non-Jund centric decks work - Naya, Bant, control - but it was pretty clear by the end of it that Jund was just the best. (The one deck I didn’t get to, but wished I would have, was the Esper deck that Kibler and his team played - but I digress.)

I wasn’t able to fly into Hawaii early to test because of college - though fortunately, my teachers are very cool about me missing a couple days in the middle of finals for me to head to Hawaii. I even have the following conversation with one of my teachers:

“So, uh, Brandon, I’m not going to be here Wednesday, Thursday or Friday. Can I make up the test and class somehow?”

“Hmm… What are you doing anyway?”

“Well, I qualified for a Magic: the Gathering Pro Tour in Hawaii, and so I’m going to go play for $40,000 and it’s really important that I go an -”

“No way! You play professional Magic? That’s awesome! Go play, man. We’ll figure out your test when you get back. I’ll be watching the coverage at home!”

Yeah, some of my teachers were basically the best.

After weeks of testing to no avail, I finally fly into Hawaii. I have a Jund with white deck that’s okay - but I have a “plan” to use the tried and true method of “talk to people at the player meeting and see if anybody has a better deck to switch into.”

There’s only one problem. I get to the player meeting, and at first everything is going okay. But then, about a quarter of the way through, I start getting a sore throat. And then, that turns into coughing.

It quickly escalates to me standing over a garbage can, holding my chest. 

To quote my testing partner Max McCall: “I have bad news. It looks like you’re going to die.”

I tell all of my teammates through raspy breaths that there’s just no way I can stay at the player meeting. I have to go back to my hotel and rest, or I have no chance of playing in the morning. I’ll just play whatever deck they tell me to - have a sleeved copy ready in the morning and I’ll play.

I think about what I might have, and I’m convinced I have mono. I had just started dating my then-girlfriend (we would end up dating for 4 years) a few weeks before I left, and all of the symptoms lined up. Mono is one thing I had never wanted to pick up because of all the horror stories I had heard and here I was.

With mono.

The night before a Pro tour.

It was nightmare situation.

I go back to my hotel room and have one of the worst, least restful nights of my life. I barely sleep at all, I feel horrible the whole night, and I’m constantly up to use the bathroom. 

Finally, the morning hits. And while I’m feeling at about 15% of my normal self, I am NOT missing this Pro Tour.

So I get up, practically drug myself into a haze on medicine, and head to the site.

I get there, and as my teammates promised, they have a deck ready for me. (I appreciate my Magic friends so much! You guys are awesome.) Barely conscious and unable to talk, I started playing.

I’ll spare you all the gory details, but the short version is that, predictably, I make a ton of play errors, do horribly, don’t make day 2, and leave the site to rest up.

I remain pretty much feeling horrible for the rest of the trip. After a day of rest Sunday is a little better, so I go back to the site and interact with some people, but I’m still feeling pretty awful.

Eventually, everything settles and I head back to Seattle.

I’m still feeling bad, once I get back, and so I go into the doctor’s office to get the inevitable mono diagnosis.

They take all the requisite samples. I wait for a while. And eventually I hear back:

“I’m sorry sir but… we’ve diagnosed you with swine flu. Please, take care to quarantine yourself.”

Oh.

I didn’t have mono. I had the then-brand new swine flu. The “only a handful of cases in America” horrible thing the news had been talking so much about. 

That would explain a lot.

I go home, continue to rest up, and eventually feel better. I don’t think much about it.

About three weeks later, I receive an e-mail that went out to everybody at the Pro Tour from Scott Larabee. It said something akin to this:

“In the weeks after Pro Tour Honolulu, several of our players have reported picking up Swine Flu. It only takes one person for an outbreak to occur, and we’d like to remind all participants of Magic tournaments to be careful to not play while they may have conditions, lest they affect other players.”

I had inadvertently  (at least in part) caused an outbreak of swine flu among pros.

Oops. My bad. 

What better way to spread an illness than to give it to a group of people who travel all over the world and handle cards?

Dear Ebola:

Please don’t infect any Magic pros, 

Signed Sincerely,

Gavin Verhey