Archive for December, 2009

astronomyThis is one of my favorite space image sites.  Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

Astronomy Picture of the Day (APOD) is originated, written, coordinated, and edited by Robert Nemiroff and Jerry Bonnell.  The APOD archive contains the largest collection of annotated astronomical images on the Internet.  They have been doing this since 1995.

In real life, Bob and Jerry are two professional astronomers who spend most of their time researching the universe.  Bob is a professor at Michigan Technological University in Houghton, Michigan, USA, and Jerry is a scientist at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland USA.

Jerry is a married, mild-mannered, and lazy guy, while Robert is much the same, but recently divorced.  Each might appear relatively normal to an unsuspecting guest.  Together, they have found new and unusual ways of annoying people such as staging astronomical debates.  Most people are surprised to learn that they developed the perfect random number generator.

Check out the Astronomy Picture of the Day Web site for more great info!

Pearls

Author: admin

pearlsMost pearls today are cultured.  Marine and freshwater mollusks (oysters and mussels) are collected and a small shell bead placed inside.  The mollusks are then returned to the water where they make the pearl.  Layers of calcium carbonate are secreted, coating the piece of shell, to form a spherical, oblong, or irregular-shaped pearl. 

It takes roughly 3 to 7 years for mollusks to produce a single pearl. The color of the pearl varies depending on the type of mollusk.  (The oysters and mussels that make the pearls are not related to the edible varieties of oysters and mussels.)

Most natural and cultured freshwater pearls are found in the waters of Japan, China, and the South Seas, however many are harvested along the coasts of Australia and the rivers of Austria, France, Scotland, and Ireland. Cultured freshwater pearls are also grown along the Mississippi River in the United States.

 Healing Properties of Pearls

Some healers use pearls to help balance body rhythms and hormone levels with lunar cycles, and to harmonize human beings with the natural world.  The inner glow of pearls is thought to tap inner-wisdom and nurture love.  Pearls are also believed to signify innocence and faith, stimulate spiritual transformation, and encloses you with an aura of calm and beauty.

To see some of our pearl necklaces and other jewelry, click here.

Jasper

Author: admin

jasperJasper is an opaque rock of virtually any color stemming from the mineral content of the original sediments or ash. Patterns arise during the consolidation process forming flow and depositional patterns in the original silica rich sediment or volcanic ash.

Jasper exhibits combinations of patterns, such as banding from flow or depositional patterns (from water or wind), dendritic, or color variations resulting in what appear to be scenes or images, on a cut section.  Diffusion from a center produces a distinctive appearance, for example, Leopard Skin jasper, or linear banding from a fracture, as seen in Leisegang jasper.  Healed, fragmented rock produces brecciated (broken) jasper.

The classification and naming of jasper presents an enormous challenge. Terms attributed to various well-defined materials includes the geographic locality where it is found, sometimes quite restricted such as “Bruneau” (a canyon), “Lahontan” (a lake), rivers, and even individual mountains.  Many are fanciful such as “Forest Fire” or “Rainbow,” while others are descriptive such as “Autumn,” “Porcelain,” or “Dalmatian.”  A few are designated by the country of origin, such as a Brown Egyptian or Red African.

Healing Properties of Jasper

Each variety of jasper has unique properties, although jasper as a whole is always regarded as a stone that gives a sense of well-being. 

Fancy jasper is a jasper of fairly scrumptious colors: mauves, lilacs, creams, and greens.  Fancy jasper is related to whims, visions, and fantasies, especially those related to romance. 

Rainbow jasper helps us focus without overanalyzing things, such as the focused attention needed for target shooting or archery. 

Silver-leaf jasper is natural sophistication and encourages willpower.

Jasper gives one the courage to speak out and have personal independence.  Jasper helps balance the emotional energy in the body.

Leopard Skin Jasper is said to bring one what they need.  Poppy Jasper is said to help bring joy into life.

It also protects from fears in the night.  Jasper was thought to drive away evil spirits and protect against snake and spider bites.  Opalite Jasper is said to help one sleep.

Jasper is common and widely distributed, occurring chiefly as veinlets, concretions, and replacements in sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, as in the Urals, North Africa, Sicily, France, India, Venezula, and Germany.  Some varieties are color-banded, and beautiful examples of jasperized fossil wood are found in Arizona.  Jasper is also found in California, Utah, and Wyoming.

To see some of our jasper gemstone necklaces and other jewelry, click here.

Garnet

Author: admin

garnetGarnets are a related group of minerals.  Members of this group include  almandine (red to violet red); spessartite (yellow, rose, or orange to reddish-brown);  pyrope (deep red);  grossular (white, yellow, yellow-green, brownish-red, orange or black);  and andradite (colorless, yellow-green, or brown to black).  The most prized garnet is an emerald green variety called demantoid and is a member of the adradite group.  Most well-known garnets are red.

The garnet is known as the stone for a successful business  and for stimulating success in business.  If your business is not as good as it should be, just put three or more garnets on your desk.

It is believed that if a garnet is put under a pillow, it will cure depression.  Garnets can be used to make a person popular and have self-esteem when worn as jewelry.  It helps protect one on trips.  Garnets bring constancy to friendships.

Healing Properties of Garnet

Garnet comes in many colors, but now we will speak only about red garnet.  The garnet is associated with the thyroid and spleen.

It helps cleanse and purify both when held over the area.  The garnet is usually held in the hand or placed on top of the head when searching or meditating on past lives.  Information that is beneficial and helpful will usually be released for the searcher.

The garnet is a stone of purity and truth, as well as a symbol of love and compassion. The information released in a search may be painful, but it will always be what the searcher needs.  The garnet will help everyone’s security level and spiritual awareness. It can also help increase the sex drive.

Currently, the world’s largest supply of garnets is the continent of Africa. In December 1996, a student in Central Australia discovered what is thought to be the largest single garnet ever found, measuring nearly one hundred feet across!  Other sources of garnet include India, Soviet Union, Brazil, and the United States.

Emerald

Author: admin

emeraldThe proper name for the emerald is beryl, but there are different colors of beryl.  Emerald green is the color as well as the stone.  Most emeralds have inclusions (bubbles) in them.  If the stone has too much blue in it, it is then an aquamarine. Pink beryl is morganite, yellow beryl is golden beryl, yellow-green beryl is heliodor.  There is also a rare red beryl.

An emerald of the right shade of green can be more valuable than a diamond.

The emerald is the sacred stone of the goddess Venus.  It was thought to preserve love.  The emerald has long been the symbol of hope.  It is considered by many to be the stone of prophecy.  For some, the emerald acts as a tranquilizer for a troubled mind. The emerald is said to bring the wearer reason and wisdom. 

Healing Properties of Emerald

Emerald is used by healers to help heal the heart. 

Emerald is a stone of great harmony, wisdom, and love. Giving your lover an emerald will bring the lover closer if the giver’s motives are pure love.  The emerald can be a bridge between two people. The emerald vibrates with love.

The best emerald comes from Colombia and Brazil.  Emeralds can also be found in India, Australia, South Africa, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe.

Turquoise

Author: admin

turquoiseTurquoise is a stone that has been prized for many years.  Turquoise is one of the oldest protection amulets, and it was also known as a symbol of wealth in many ancient cultures.  The ancient Egyptians used turquoise in jewelry. 

Turquoise is greenish-blue or pale sky blue.  The name means “Turkish stone” as it came to Europe by way of Turkey.

Strength, protection from harm, psychic sensitivity, and connection to the spirit world are its major focus.

If given a turquoise by a loving friend, that stone would protect the wearer from negative energy and bring good fortune.  The turquoise is the symbol of friendship.  It also brings peace to the home.

This stone is a very personal and meaningful stone to one who wears it.  Turquoise takes on the characteristics of the owner.

Healing Properties of Turquoise

Neutralizes overacidity, alleviates rheumatism, gout, stomach problems, viral infections, increases growth and muscular strength, alleviates pain,  and relaxes cramps.  It contains anti-inflammatory and detoxifying effects. 

Wear on or near the solar plexus.  Use with copper to increase the power of turquoise.

Turquoise was mined more than 6,000 years ago in Sinai.  The best turquoise comes from Iran, but not much is exported now.  Much of the turquoise comes from Mexico and the United States today.

unexplained-mysteriesThis is one of my favorite places to hang out and talk about weird stuff. 

Ancient civilizations, cryptozoology, aliens and UFOs, metaphysics, psychic phenomena, paranormal, sightings, urban legends…  it’s all here.

This is one of the more well-known sites online of its kind.  There are almost 80,000 members, and they’ve been around for years!

Come join the fun!

oatmeal-cookiesThese are my favorite cookies to make.  The cranberries are nice for the holidays, but the flavor in these are scrumptious all year ’round.  This is my own special take on a classic.

1/2 lb (2 sticks) butter
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1+1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
3 cups oatmeal
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/2 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat together butter and sugars until creamy.

Add eggs and vanilla.  Beat together.

Add flour, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt.  Mix well.

Add oatmeal.  Mix well.

Add cranberries and almonds.  Mix well.

Add white chocolate chips.  Mix.

Drop by rounded tablespoons onto ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake about 12-14  minutes.

Yummy! 

Warning: If you plan on eating some of these yourself, stash a few off to the side.  These have a way of magically disappearing off the plate very quickly…  😉

cattle-mutilationColorado cow mutilations baffle ranchers, cops, UFO believer
By Jason Blevins
The Denver Post
Posted: 12/09/2009 01:00:00 AM MST
Rancher Manuel Sanchez has lost four calves in as many weeks, all mysteriously mutilated. Authorities are baffled. (Joe Amon, The Denver Post)

SAN LUIS — Manuel Sanchez tucks his leathery hands into well-worn pockets and nods toward a cedar tree where, last month, he found his fourth mysteriously slaughtered calf in as many weeks.

“I have no idea what could do this. I wish I did,” he says.

Four calves, all killed overnight. Their innards gone. Tongues sliced out. Udders carefully removed. Facial skin sliced and gone. Eyes cored away. Not a single track surrounding the carcasses, which were found in pastures locked behind two gates and a mile from any road. Not a drop of blood on the ground or even on the remaining skin.

In his life in the piñon-patched pastures where his father and grandfather raised cattle, the 72-year-old Sanchez has seen mountain lions and coyotes kill cattle, elk and deer. He’s seen birds scavenge carcasses. He’s heard of thieves slaughtering livestock in the field for their meat. He can’t explain what he saw last month.

“A lion will drag its kill. Coyotes rip and tear flesh. These were perfect cuts — like with a laser or like a scalpel. And what would take the waste — all the guts — and leave the nice, tender meat?” Sanchez says, as he nudges his old Ford through rutted trails, rosary beads swinging from his rearview mirror. “No tracks. No blood. No nothing. I got nothing to go by. They don’t leave no trace.”

Every rancher who has reported similar cattle deaths — and there have been at least eight such deaths in southern Colorado this year — uses the same description.

“They just stripped this one,” says Tom Miller, who in March was one of three ranchers near Trinidad who discovered mutilated cattle.

Read more  – complete article here. 

Quartz

Author: admin

quartzQuartz crystal is a clear variety of quartz that was first found high in the frozen mountains of the Alps. Ancient people believed it was a form of ice crystals that would never melt.  It is said to have cooling powers and is a romantic stone. 

Sources of quartz crystal include Brazil, Madagascar, Switzerland, France, and parts of the Soviet Union.

Healing Properties of Quartz Crystal

Crystal is a common stone, but a powerful one.  It is mainly used in healing as amplification for the energies of the other working stones.  In healing, the crystal point is best, and the size can be important.

For meditating, the crystal ball or point can be used.  As it is a powerful stone, you should experiment with each to find what works best.

The quartz crystal has a similar vibration as humans.  This is why using crystals to meditate and keeping a crystal helps you to know yourself.  It will sometimes not work for a negative person.

Rose Quartz

Rose quartz is known as the love stone.  It helps the user feel a strong sense of self-worth, therefore being worth love.  Rose quartz is the stone of universal love.  It is also the stone of love in marriage.

When worn in jewelry the wearer feels a sense of self-worth.

Healing Properties of Rose Quartz

Rose quartz has a gentle vibration of love for the owner.  It gives inner peace and helps in all matters pertaining to love in all its forms.  Rose quartz opens the heart to love.  It also helps as a rejuvenator to the skin.  It is a lovely stone for a young person.

It is said washing the face in water charged by rose quartz will help fade winkles and keep the skin young.

Smokey Quartz

Smokey quartz is nature’s stone of endurance.  If you need an extra boost, carry a smokey quartz gemstone with you. 

It promotes personal pride and joy in living, creativity in business, and opens the path for perception and learning.

Smokey quartz is a protection stone that cleanses and clears negative energy

Smokey quartz is a grounding stone that transmutes negative energies and facilitates your ability to get things done in the practical world.  It enhances organizational skills and is good to have around in the workplace or home office.

Healing Properties of Smokey Quartz

Smokey quartz is connected with the sounds of the universe.  It makes you more aware of sounds including telepathic sounds.

Smokey quartz helps relieve depression.