Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Rojo Eh - GEO 046

GEO 046
Red Mica
Class: Mineral
Location: Canada

So I hope everything went well over the weekend for those who celebrated Christmas and I got a brand new camera that has a super zoom and focus so expect some very nice pictures for the smaller objects in the museum. Also, it has a nice feature that allows me to draw a line and it gives me an exact measurement of how long it is. So I grabbed the first thing I saw in the museum that had a label and presto I present you a nice Red Mica specimen up from our neighbor to the North: Canada.

Now for those of you who know a thing or two about minerals will know that mica is just a broad term for a variety of minerals usually demonstrating very nice cleavage - meaning that they break along straight lines and in this case nice flat planes. There are two micas that are most well know, muscovite and biotite and they have a variety of uses. That being said I don't have the necessary equipment with me to determine the exact nature of this particular mica but a little bit of browsing the internet has me believing it to be Phlogopite.

If this red mica is in fact phogopite then its chemical composition is K(Mg,Fe,Mn)3(AlSi3O10)(F,OH)2. Micas are quite a useful mineral and are used in making capacitors for electrical components. If you would like more information on this particular red mica check here.

Friday, December 24, 2010

'Twas the Night Before Christmas - PUB 004

PUB 004
Fred Waring and The Pennsylvanians Album
Media: 33 1/3 Vinyl Record
Year: 1955
Details: Decca Records

Well I believe that this post is fitting for the eve of the biggest holiday of the year. Here is another vinyl 33 1/3 RPM record and is perfect for the Christmas season. This album entitled "'Twas the Night Before Christmas' (DL 8171) is a Christmas record from Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians including the Orchestra, Glee Club, and Soloists. This is the 1955 Decca Records version and has famous Norman Rockwell as the cover illustrator. The record has a variety of songs including 'Twas the Night Before Christmas and apparently this version is the 'definitive' version, better than his 40's and his 60's versions.

The songs it features are:
  • Jingle Bells
  • Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer
  • Santa Claus is Comin' to Town
  • 'Twas the Night Before Christmas
  • Adeste Fideles (O, Come all Ye Faithful)
  • Beautiful Saviour
  • [Medley of:] The First Nowell, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Carol of the Bells
  • Cantique De Noel (O Holy Night)
  • Oh Gathering Clouds
  • Silent Night
The back of the cover has an about section which I will copy here. "Fred Waring says, 'It's been a number of years since we got together with the imaginative and talented Ken Darby on a musical setting for Clement Clarke Moore's delightful old-young ballad, but from the first season we sang it ''Twas the Night Before Christmas' has been the 'most requested' selection not only with our listeners and viewers, but with The Pennsylvanians themselves. It is one of the pieces which is great fun to perform as well as to hear. "The other selections included in this Yuletide album, you will note, are of a variety to fit the many moods and occasions of the whole Christmas season - ranging from a very jolly version of 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer' and 'Santa Clause is Comin' to Town' to the majestic 'Adeste Fidelis.'
"Whether the voices and manner of children or the great breadth of the vested choir, Christmas is a time of singing - particularly of group singing. It is quite natural that our own singing organization should have, through the years, gained some traditional recognition for Christmas music. We believe that you will find in this collection - and in its companion album, 'Christmas Time' - the very best of all the Yuletide music we've done - best in selection, in performance and in fidelity of recording."""

Well I think that sums it up quite well. You can learn more about these records at this Fred Waring and the Pennsylvanians forum link. And have a happy and safe holiday! To quote the namesake record:

"Merry Christmas to All! And to All a Good Night!"

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Roly-Poly Isopod - NH 019

NH 019
Category: Crusteceans
Family: Armadillidiidae

So we all know what these guys are, well I'm sure you all think you know what these guys are. They are known by a variety of names including pill bugs, roly polies, potato bugs, and many others but less commonly by their actual name. They are woodlice. However despite their names they are not actually bugs, nor insects for that matter - they are crustaceans and thus more closely related to crabs than millipedes. While I can't say for certain it seems as though that these two guys belong to the genus Armadillidium in the family Armadillidiidae. Just skimming the internet it's likely that they are of the species A. vulgare which is the common woodlouse originating in Europe but has since spread to the Americas.

I collected these guys under a stone slab outside of Baker Tower, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY in early September 2010. And while I have given you a species name that is only temporary as I am completely unsure about that, however I'm fairly certain of the family. If you are looking for some more information about them you can find this Pill Bug science page enlightening about their habitat, life cycles, and reproduction or you can check out the A. vulgare page for more information about that particular species.

Museum Errata

So going through some boxes I found my lot of labels and some of them belonged to items already posted. Thus I am posting this errata to add more data to three of the objects.

GEO 014 - Ruby Grains; The exact locality is named rather than going off the hunch I had and more details are given on what these exact grains would have been used for.

FOS 009 - Orthoceras; Location was 'To Be Determined' but it has since been determined. This fossil was found in Morocco and is of Devonian age.

HS 011 - Pocket Sundial; Added some more details on the uses/age of the reproduction.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Moroccan Trilobite - FOS 013

FOS 013
Location: Morocco
Family: Calymenidae
Details: mounted

Well it's getting nearer to Christmas so here is a nice large trilobite fossil just for you. Now I got this particular specimen at a yard sale, pre-mounted, and it does have a note label on the back of the wooden plaque. This trilobite belongs to the genus Diacalymene, and the label doesn't offer any species name but my research seems to point that there is only one species in this genus that being D. ouzergui. So I'm betting that it belongs to that one. However it should be noted that these particular fossils are often confused with the genus Flexicalymene, so it is possible that whoever typed up the label got the two mix-matched.

Now the label also gives a brief description on this trilobite genus. It reads "These Silurian Period trilobites lived about 425-450 million years ago. Trilobites are extinct marine Arthropods having the body divided by two furrows into three parts and found as fossils in Paleozoic rocks. These large artifacts are excellent examples displaying well this Arthropod's structural detail." This specimen, as are most from this genus, was mined in Morocco (North Africa).

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Flipflash Instamatic - HS 015

HS 015
Kodak Instamatic
Era: 1970's
Details: black

So it's been awhile since I've posted up something from my camera collection. This one isn't that old, but oh well. It is a Kodak Instamatic X-15F and the model was made between 1976 - 1988. I don't have too much information about this particular one. It uses a 126 film cartridge and does not require batteries to operate. You need to also buy the flipflash stick in order to have the flash to operate. As you can see in this flipflash photo the stick has eight bulbs, which after you use the first four you need to flip the stick over to use the other four bulbs. The focus works for objects that are at least four feet away.

Now I don't have the exact information about this particular camera but I'm fairly sure that it was given as a gift from the same person who kindly gave me the last old camera I posted. Other than that there isn't a whole lot more that I can add off the top of my memory, though it does make a great addition to the collection. If you know of any more information other than what I've been able to find post a comment to let me know. And if you happen to have one and would like to know some tips on it check out this Kodak Instamatic site.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

5 Cents and 6 Pence - CC 317

CC 317
Rhodesian Coin
Origin: Rhodesia (Zimbabwe)
Unit: 6 pence or 5 cents
Details: country no longer exists

I currently don't have the bulk of my coin collection on me, but I still have a few coins and bills lying around in museum storage, so I don't have a wide selection of interesting coins to choose from. However, I did find this rather interesting copper-nickel 1964 coin. What's so interesting is that not only does the country no longer exist but when it did exist it was an unrecognized state. A few Coin Collection posts ago I had a 'Toko' bird coin from Botswana, which lies right next to Zimbabwe on the Southern tip of Africa. From 1965 to 1979 this region was known as Rhodesia, named after the famous Cecil Rhodes, whose namesake is also used for the acclaimed Rhodes Scholarship. Rhodesia was subsequently reverted back to British Colonial rule for a short period of time, then known as Zimbabwe Rhodesia or Southern Rhodesia. However in April of 1980 it was formally recognized as its own country now known as Zimbabwe.

Another odd feature of the coin is that on the obverse there is inscribed 6D and 5C to describe its monetary value. This stands for both 6 Pence and 5 cents respectively. During the time that this coin was made, 1964, Rhodesia was using the Rhodesian Pound-very similar to the British pound. Then in 1970 they finally decimalized and converted to the Rhodesian Dollar. So I'm going to take the fact that they were starting to try and slowly transition to the new currency. When they did eventually switch 1 dollar equaled 2 pounds. Here is some more information on the Rhodesian 6 Pence/5 Cents coin.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Mercury Sulfide - GEO 026

GEO 026
Cinnabar in Calcite
Class: Mineral
Location: Mexico

Well it's been about a month since I last posted something from the Geological Collections so here you guys go, it's not 'pretty' by any means but is somewhat interesting. Now this particular mineral specimen is known as Cinnabar as is a mercury sulfide, being that its chemical composition is HgS. cinnabars are normally more reddish in color but can also be transparent/translucent like this particular piece. But this chunk is actually cinnabar in calcite, which is actually another fairly clear mineral.

I got this mineral from an estate sale in Walworth, New York and the actual specimen comes all the way from it's original location of Chihuahua, Mexico. Now more information about this mineral species can be found at this cinnabar data page. There you can find some normal mineral information, such as its specific gravity of 8.1, its hardness of about 2-2.5 (which is pretty low on Moh's Scale of Hardness; Diamond is the hardest and is a 10), and it has a bright red streak when used on a white streak plate.

Amelia Earhart Possibly Found?

Amelia Earhart's Jacket

So I don't normally do this, but it's a quite interesting news story that does fit into the museum context. That said I have created a new tag, Current, in which I will occasionally post up news stories or other scientific/historically noteworthy articles. Seeing as the Smithsonian has some nice displays on Amelia Earhart I thought I should share the news. A few bone fragments, whose owner may in fact be Earhart herself, have been found cast away on a Pacific Island.

Now I'm sure many of you have heard the story on how Amelia Earhart, world class aviator, went on what would become her last flight and never came back. The accepted answer was that her plane went down over the Pacific and she died in the crash; but there are of course lots of crackpot conspiracy theories abound with what 'really happened.'

You should, however, take this with a grain of salt at the moment. There is no proof as of yet that these are her bones. DNA testing will take place over the coming weeks where we will finally find what these really are. However fish and bird bones found in the area suggest that they were prepared by someone with a Western background rather than by a Pacific Islander, so there is some more evidence that these come from a long gone castaway.

Anyway, exciting news to say the least. And read the full USA Today article here. And again sorry about the photo. It's a picture of Earhart's jacket from the Smithsonian's American History Museum and I only had a few megapixel camera at the time.

Thin and Dusty - NH 012

NH 012
Long-Bodied Cellar Spider
Category: Arachnids
Family: Pholcidae

Sorry for the lack of updates over the past week, but it was finals week so I was busy studying. However the year is over and for the next month you should all be expecting lots of new updates. And don't worry, I haven't forgotten Spider Saturday. Speaking of Spider Saturday, if you haven't already check out last week's specimen which was the giant Golden Orb Weaver. This week, however, is something a bit smaller and a bit more fragile. I posted a similar specimen awhile back, the Cellar Spider, and this particular spider is in the same family (if not the same species).

This particular guy is also a Fulcid (the cellar spiders), and was found at Cornell University sometime in early September 2010. A little bit of quick identification by a friend has this guy classified as a Long-Bodied Cellar Spider (Pholcus phalangiodes). However, if you note from the previous cellar spider's post I had temporarily classified him as a Pholcus phalangiodes and unfortunately seeing as I'm not actually an expert on arachnid identification I'm just going to go out on a limb and say that the previous post (NH 021) was incorrectly identified (at least to the species level), though this is just my personal judgement. They are at least in the end both of the family Pholcidae.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

New Display

Just a quick update on the Museum's physical manifestation. This weekend the museum has been updated with a brand new display case. As you can see many of the best permanent exhibits are now on display in this professional case, complete with glass shelving, mirror backing, and electric lights. The top shelf has on display most of the most historical artifacts while the lower part (not pictured here) has on display a more genealogical display on its top shelf.

It's just a very nice addition to the Sholesonian's display collection so that the best of what is posted up here can be on display for all to see.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

JFK Vinyl - PUB 003

PUB 003
JFK Original Speeches
Media: 33 1/3 Vinyl Record
Year: 1963
Details: only speech excerpts

I haven't posted anything from the Publications Collections since the birth of the blog back in October, so this has been way over due. Back when I moved in the mid-1990's the old house owner left a bunch of old vinyl records in the garage. I've kept about half of them and will be posting many of them up here (most of them are records from famous broadway musicals). Today's however is fairly interesting in its own right. Entitled 'John Fitzgerald Kennedy: The Presidential Years - 1960-1963: Original Speeches.' Produced by the Pickwick International company, the 33 1/3 RPM record has clips from 16 of the 35th president's greatest speeches.

The two sides include experts of these speeches:
Pre-Election - November 6, 1960
Election Eve - November 8, 1960
Oath of Office - January 20, 1961
Inaugural - January 20, 1961
State of the Union - January 31, 1961
Alliance for Progress - August 6, 1961
U.N. Address - September 26, 1961
Peace Corps - March 2, 1962
U.S. Steel - April 12, 1962
On Labor - September 3, 1962
On Cuba - October 23, 1962
Birmingham Segregation - May 13, 1963
Berlin Wall - June 26, 1963
Nuclear Test - July 15, 1963
Houston - November 21, 1963
Dallas - November 22, 1963

The back of the record's sleeve has a reprint of The New York Times from Saturday November 23, 1963 which has a memoriam for the late President Kennedy. While I can find no discernible date of when the record was made, I have done a little research and it may have been in 1963, but according to Amazon it was in 1995 but I'm fairly sure it was before 1995 and most of the other records were from the 1960's so I'm going to go with 1963 for now.

And as a side note, when I took the picture the face recognition found JFK's profile and asked me if someone blinked. Thought it was funny enough to share.

Giant of a Spider - NH 099

NH 099
Giant Golden Orb Weaver
Category: Arachnids
Family: Nephilidae

Don't worry I haven't forgotten about Spider Saturday, but in celebration of the Sholesonian's 'Birthday' yesterday I'm giving you guys the spider of the Natural History Collection. This behemoth of a spider is over eight inches long and I have actually included a standard US quarter for scale. This particular guy comes from Jember, East Java, Indonesia so if you aren't particularly fond of large orb weaving spiders you might want to cancel next year's vacation plans to Indonesia. But really these Giant Golden Orb Weavers (Nephila maculata) are essentially completely harmless to humans. They do have some venom but it isn't deadly to humans.

Being the largest orb-weaving spider, these guys can spin webs that are up to 6 meters tall and two meters wide (for scale your refrigerator is about 2 meters tall). They generally eat large insects that may fall into their trap, but they themselves often fall prey to birds and natives. This specimen is clearly a female as indicated by its enormous size. The males of the species can be over a hundred times smaller and are sometimes eaten by their mate. Thus the male will have to sneak up on the female while she is eating in order to mate. Their webs are incredibly strong and have been used in fishing nets for centuries, the stuff is tougher than Kevlar.

So hopefully you enjoy this monstrous beast, and if you would like some more information on these giant spiders just check this link. Also if you are interested in getting one of these guys email the museum and I can direct you where you can get one without having to travel to Indonesia. Also, it may be interesting to note that the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles has a spider pavilion which does have Nephila maculata among other large arachnids, where you can walk around check them out.

Also, I will work on taking a better photograph. There is some nice intricate golden designs on the body that you might not be able to see.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Squirrelly Money - CC 020

CC 020
Belarusian Bill
Origin: Belarus
Unit: 50 Kapeykas
Details: 1992 mint

Apologies for not posting anything up lately, but hopefully tomorrow I'll be posting up something exciting - one of my favorite pieces in the collections. But for today I just picked one of the specimens from the coin collection that I had previously photographed. And this particular bill comes from the Eastern European country of Belarus (it's between Russia, Poland, and Ukraine).

This 50 kapeykas bill was minted in 1992 and features a squirrel on the reverse. The 1992 mint was part of the First Ruble group (a kapeyka is 1/100th of a ruble), which has since been replaced with the Second Ruble group in 2000. I can't really read most of it, so I'm not sure if there is any other pertinent information on it, but it's just a small post to satisfy any thirst for more posts you may have.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Smithsonian Page

Hope Diamond

Hey everyone, because you are enjoying all these nifty specimens that I've been posting up I thought you guys might enjoy some awesome stuff about other museums. So I recommend that you all go and check out the Smithsonian Facebook Page, they've recently been posting up pictures and information in a series called Smithsonian Snapshots. These are really interesting and cool pieces in their collections that aren't on display. So far they've posted up some Woolly Mammoth flesh, Rosa Park's dress, and Pablo Picasso's handwritten list of artists. I've really been enjoying seeing what they've got and thought you all would as well.

P.S. And sorry about not posting anything up recently, it's study week here and finals are on their way. But don't worry there will be more posts to come. And sorry for the poor quality of the hope diamond, but I had only like a 2 megapixel camera the last time I was at the Smithsonian.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Tiny Hopper - NH 015

NH 015
Jumping Spider
Category: Arachnids
Family: Salticidae

I was going to post up a my really good spider up today but haven't had time to photograph it right, but I haven't forgotten Spider Saturday so I'm presenting the smallest vial in the collection today. I don't have too much information on this particular specimen. At the moment I only have the family name (Salticidae), which is the grouping for jumping spiders. More unfortunate news is that this guy was collected before I was keeping good tabs on collection dates and localities, thus there is very little exact information on it.

Jumping spiders are active hunters. So instead of building a web and waiting for prey to get caught, they go out and will scour for food. They can jump several times their body length (forwards and backwards) and while they don't have webs they still do have silk that they anchor to the ground before they jump so in the event they end up falling a great height they will be able to climb back up to live another day. What's also interesting about this family is that they are very curious creatures, especially when it comes to humans.

This jumping spider was found above the mirror in a bathroom in Baker Tower, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA sometime in early-mid September 2010.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Touring Model Model- HS 008

HS 008
Replica Model T
Era: Early 20th Century
Details: replica, made in early 21st century

Today, in order to break the tradition of posting up mostly insects, coins, and rocks I am presenting a nice model from the Historical Collections. Now unfortunately I was unable to locate the Certificate of Authenticity before I had to leave, but I do have it and I will hopefully be able to retrieve over winter break. Now this is a superb diecast replica of the 1909 Ford Model T Touring automobile. It is a 1:32 scale model, and has a lot of movable parts. The back doors open and close as does the hood (on both sides), the hand crank in front cranks, and of course the wheels spin. The model comes from the National Motor Museum Mint. I'm fairly sure that this was a gift from my godmother years back, but it has a nice museum feel to it and makes a great addition to the Sholesonian. Unfortunately the real axle is slightly bent, so it isn't in perfect mint condition, but the rest of the vehicle is in tip-top shape.

Now, I'm sure that most of us are familiar with the story behind Henry Ford's Model T, but if you need a refresher you can check out the Model T's Wikipedia page.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Alien Invader - NH 026

NH 026
Marmorated Stinkbug
Category: True Bugs
Family: Pentatomidae

Today's insect comes from the Pentatomidae family, and you may know it by its common name: the stinkbug. This particular specimen is a Brown Marmorated Stinkbug and was collected inside Baker Tower, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA on the 15th of October 2010 around 6:00pm. The Marmorated Stinkbug (Halyomorpha halys), has a brownish camouflage-like color but when placed into the alcohol its wings opened up and the liquid diluted the color a bit to reveal some yellow striped patterns underneath.

What's so interesting about this particular exhibit is that as it turns out this species of stinkbug is actually a huge pest in the Eastern United States. Originally from Asia, they eventually made it to Pennsylvania and have spread since then. They infiltrate houses (and most people don't want stink bugs in their homes) as well as eat and destroy crops. Since their discovery in Allentown, Pennsylvania in 1998 they have spread to 15 states and counting including New York. This China native has become a serious invasive species creating many problems here in the Northeast. However, there is no way to control this species at present.

And have a happy first of the month!

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Atrypids - FOS 012

FOS 012
Pseudoatrypa Shell
Location: Ovid, NY
Family: Atrypidae
Details: only fairly certain on ID

I apologize for not posting anything in awhile, but I didn't have any of my materials/data over the extended Thanksgiving weekend (hope everyone had a happy one by the way), and this week is pretty busy for me so don't expect too many new posts in the coming few weeks. But I finally found out the family for one of my fossils, which is why I haven't posted too many fossils seeing as it takes a little bit of work to identify them. I've been working with bivalves recently at the PRI and in researching another genus I found a Fossil Site where I noticed a specimen that looked very similar to one in my collection.

The bivalve this professor collected was a Pseudoatrypa devoniana, and since I'm not an expert in this area and don't have too much time on my hands I am going to temporarily identify mine under the same genus Pseudoatrypa. It belongs to the Atrypidae family which I'm fairly confident in, seeing as the general characteristics are the same and location is also very similar. This one was found at Camp Babcock-Hovey in Ovid, New York back in 2008. There is a little more information on this genus at this paleontological site. They're stationary suspension feeders.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Tweet Tweet

The Sholesonian is now on Twitter.

Seeing as how some people don't want to keep checking the website only to find I have yet to post something for the day, I have decided to create a Sholesonian Twitter account where the newest post will be 'tweeted.' I also have the Twitter account following over a dozen top science accounts to keep you all posted on the latest breakthroughs and discoveries.

Humped Cricket - NH 067

NH 067
Camel Cricket
Category: Grasshoppers and Kin
Family: Rhaphidorphoridae

So, glancing at the Collections of Natural History page I realized that I haven't really posted anything up from other than spiders and a few other insects. That being said I am now going to present the first from the Grasshoppers and Kin group: a Camel Cricket. Now when I first collected this guy he was temporarily identified as a mole cricket, I think someone may have told me that's what they looked like. But with a bit of research it turns out that it is actually a camel cricket-easily identified by its humped back. It was living under a rock in the Cornell Arboretum, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA and was found on October 26, 2010 at 5:30pm.

There isn't much else to say about them. It seems that they have a tendency to accidentally find themselves indoors and will make a new home in a basement or other similar dark and damp place. They are pests only in that they come into houses and are unwanted but other than that they don't really cause any harm. I am going to temporarily classify him as a Spotted Camel Cricket (Ceuthophilus maculatus), but as always this is only for the time being unless an expert can help me out on this front. But if you want to learn more about the Rhaphidophoridae family you can check out the link.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Hornbill Coin - CC 059

CC 059
'Toko Bird' Coin
Origin: Botswana
Unit: 5 thebe
Details: bronze

Well I haven't posted up any coins in awhile so I decided to pick another with a random blind pick, and the winner is this interesting Botswana coin. For those that don't know, Botswana is a fairly large country in Africa situated above South Africa; and I have just learned that the currency there is one of the strongest in Africa. This particular coin is from 1991, struck in bronze, and is worth 5 thebe. The currency of Botswana is the pula and is broken into 100 thebe (similar to the American system). On a side note, the word pula means rain alluding to the fact that Botswana gets so little rain that it is prized when it comes. Thebe, on the other hand, means shield.

What is particularly interesting about this coin is the bird that they have on the reverse - a Southern Yellow-Billed Hornbill, which the actual bird reminds me a lot of the bird from The Lion King. These birds are a common sight in Botswana so it makes sense that they might have some pride in them. I also found this very cool website that's a Coin Zoo, where the author has lots of coins with animals on them (I have lots more to come as well). And it's interesting to note that on that site the author mentions how the bird is often referred to as the 'Toko' bird as a mis-attribution to its genus Tockus by other coin collectors, as when I received the coin it had 'Toko bird' written on the original holder. The coin's obverse features an interesting seal, with the word 'PULA' written on the banner.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Long Jawed - NH 013

NH 013
Long Jawed Orb Weaver
Category: Arachnids
Family: Tetragnathae

It's Spider Saturday once again, and while I promised some of you that I would be posting the newest arachnid addition to the Sholesonian, the permanent display has yet to be finished so you'll have to wait a little bit longer (maybe next week but I can't be sure over the holiday weekend). So I have decided to post up one of my favorite spiders from the vault. This guy was collected on the Thurston Avenue Bridge, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA sometime in September after dusk. The bridge is literally crawling with thousands of these guys and other spiders and they are most prominently seen at nightfall.

What's cool about these Long-Jawed Orb Weavers is that you can actually see that their jaws are longer than other common orb weavers, but also they have a longer pair of legs in the front. You can clearly see both distinct characteristics in the photograph, and I think that it makes a great new addition to the museum. It isn't poisonous but does have a certain unnerving quality to it that makes it one of the finer pieces. It belongs to the family Tetragnathae, and I'm pretty sure I've broken it down into the Tetragnatha genus. Other than that I don't think I can get species at the moment, a lot of them look similar.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Digging Deep - GEO 001

GEO 001
Drill Core
Class: Rock
Location: Unknown
Details: rock unknown

Sorry Sholesonian patrons, but I have been quite busy this past week and literally have not had the time to write out any posts. It is now finally Friday, so I have a bit of time to write up this post that was supposed to be for Wednesday, but studying got in the way. Now unfortunately, today's specimen has no locality or identification information at all because I purchased it at the same Newark, New York yard sale that I got the 'Peach Fuzz' piece from. So there were plenty of cheap large and interesting rocks/minerals but most no longer had any sort of label making them essentially worthless for a museum but very nice to look at and useful for teaching.

This piece from the Geology Collections is a drill core sample from some unknown locale. Drill core samples are very important for collecting scientific data. They are used predominantly in geological surveys to determine the strata layers and collect samples of deep rocks in the crust. But they are also heavily used in the oil industry, where the oil companies hire geologists to find the best places to drill for oil, so they use these rather long rock samples (this one is only 26 cm but they are usually feet long) to determine the makeup of the rock layers.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

18th Century Watch - HS 011

HS 011
Pocket Sundial
Era: 18th Century
Details: replica, made in early 21st century

So, I was looking at the blog and realized that I haven't posted anything up from the historical collections in awhile. Thus today I bring you a blast from the past - 18th century past that is. Years ago I visited Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. It's pretty interesting, they do all the re-enactments and such showing exactly what life was like back in the 1700's before the United States was. Now as much as I liked seeing and learning the history there was one particular souvenir that I really wanted. It was this pocket watch, well predecessor to it.

Back then, technology was pretty far back from where it is today. Benjamin Franklin still had yet to invent the bifocals, something we still consider to be low tech. The pocket watch that we still think of usually with a gold chain, were around at this time but were high luxury items that very few people could afford (it was spring driven so you would have to keep winding it up as well). So for the more middle class they had these pocket watches that were sundials. And for those who don't know sundials tell time using the relative position of the sun which creates a shadow and the shadow indicates the time. However because sundials require a fixed position in order to work, a pocket version doesn't seem to make sense. But with the simple addition of a compass, one can simply orient it North and find out the time. Given enough sunlight however.

EDIT: I found the actual instruction booklet that the compass came with so here is an excerpt giving some more information for you. "This type of instrument was made in England and Germany in the middle 1700's and, quite naturally, proved a useful item in early America, as a timepiece and functional compass. A pocket watch of that time was too expensive and fragile for the frontier.
Now and then parts of an old compass will turn up - sometimes in a garden when struck by a plow, or on an archaeological dig. Such a find was made in 1965 on Roger' Island, near Fort Edward, New York."

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Acting Crabby - NH 020

NH 020
Crab Spider
Category: Arachnids
Family: Thomisidae

I apologize for not posting anything in awhile, I've been a little busy lately. But it doesn't matter because it's Spider Saturday! Now, since I've been busy I don't have too much information on this guy, only his family which is Thomisiade. What I like about these spiders is that they differ from the usual color scheme and they have the distinctive angled front legs which look look oddly enough like their namesake: crab spiders.

The unfortunate thing about this particular guy is that I don't have complete labeling data for him. I know that he was captured in early September, but locality wise I think it may have been at Baker Tower, Cornell, Ithaca; but I'm not positive about that. It is kind of odd though that I found him indoors because crab spiders like to live on flowers (hence the yellowish coloring) and ambush their prey rather than building a web and waiting. Also another interesting fact about them is that they continue to resemble crabs in that they are able to walk sideways. Now running through the pages associated with the crab spider Wikipedia page, I think that this guy (or girl for that matter) is in the genus Misumena though I am entirely unsure about that - those in this genus are the flower crab spiders. And for those who have always wanted pictures with some sort of scale, here's one finally.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Bookworm - NH 056

NH 056
Category: Bristletails
Family: Lepismatidae

So yesterday I stumbled upon an insect preparation file online which eventually lead me to be able to correctly identify what one of the 'unknown insects' in the collection is. It would be NH 056, which when I first found it on the floor of my room on October 26, 2020 at 11:00am. I had absolutely no idea what it was but quickly captured it, labeled it, and tentatively identified it as the larva form of some other insect. But as it turns out, it actually belongs to a completely different order, Thysanura which contains bristletails. You can easily tell from the three long filaments on the back of the insect. This one happens to be a Silverfish (Lepisma saccharina).

Now I had never heard about or even seen these guys until yesterday, and they are actually kinda interesting for a pest. You see silverfish and their cousins firebrats, actually eat books and similar items. Tapestries, papers, glue, photos, carpets, and sugars all constitute their diet. You can find some more information on silverfish here, or check out the Wikipedia page to see what they can do to books. It's a nice new addition to the collection, and it's silvery color is still visible in its vial.

And just as a side note, while the term 'book worm' is generally termed to general book enthusiasts who are always buried in their books, it is also used as a loose term for any species of insect that eats or burrows into a book. Furniture beetles, death watch beetle larvae, paper louses, along with the bristletails all make up the book worm insect group.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Bhutanese - CC 077

CC 077
Bhutan Coin
Origin: Bhutan
Unit: 10 chetrum
Details: bronze

So over the weekend I finally got around to start cataloging the large amount of coins I have (i.e. re-labeling them and giving them a Sholesonian No.). I still have only done about half of them, but I decided to choose one at random from the box I have now for today's post. And that random coin is CC 077 from Bhutan! Before I give you some more detail on Bhutanese coins, the basic information about this one is that it's from 1979 and is worth 10 chetrum.

The ngultrum (their equivalent of a dollar) was introduced in Bhutan back in 1974 replacing the rupee. It, like a dollar, is broken into one hundredths called chetrum. What I particularly like about this coin is the cool gastropod shell on front along with the interesting symbol that appears on all the Bhutanese coins. However, this 10 chetrum piece is no longer in circulation, you can check out the in-circulation Bhutanese coins here, making this piece that much more interesting. And if you don't know where Bhutan is located on the map, it's located between India and China. So now you know.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Elementary Geode - GEO 008

GEO 008
Class: Geodes
Location: unknown
Details: unknown mineral

So, today is just a boring post. It's a geode that I've had since sometime in Elementary School, so it's been in my collection for a long time. But anyway, when I first got it it was completely closed and I had to smash it open myself. It isn't the greatest specimen (the crystalline structure isn't that spectacular inside), but it is always cool to be the first person to see what the geode looks like on the inside.

Now, I'm not positive of what the mineral is that constitutes the crystals inside. If I had to guess it would be that it's some milky quartz (SiO2) but seeing as I haven't spent too much time looking it up and I don't know where it originated from so this is just my educated guess for the meantime. But because of the almost botryoidal behavior (roundish and looking like grapes), I think it may be something else. This round like crystal structure is something that does make it interesting in the collection. And if you're wondering how large it is, it's approximately the size of a golf ball.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Plant or Animal - FOS 011

FOS 011
Crinoid Segment
Location: Hamburg, NY
Details: part of the stalk

Here's just another short post from the fossil collection. This one is a crinoid stem that I collected myself from the Penn Dixie Site in Hamburg, New York back in late-August 2009. Most of the fossils that I found there were trilobites and rugose corals (horn corals). But occasionally I found some crinoid pieces or the occasional brachiopod there (they're more common to Central New York).

Now, this is the 'stem' part of the crinoid. You see while crinoids look a lot like underwater plants, they are in fact animals. You can see from this crinoid informational page what the actual structure looks like for these pretty interesting creatures. Crinoids are actually still around, though most modern day species no longer have a stalk and just float around the ocean. Like I said this is a pretty short post, mostly because I'm tired and crinoids are little too regular for me (i.e. I see them a lot in the fossils I collect).

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Scary Cellars - NH 021

NH 021
Cellar Spider
Category: Arachnids
Family: Pholcidae

Sorry for the lack of updates the past few days, I've been both busy and tired and never got around to it. But I would not forget to give you guys Spider Saturday! So here is the next arachnid on the circuit. This guy is known as a cellar spider and while I'm most definitely not positive about the exact classification, I'm going to go out on a limb and say Pholcus phalangioides, though if you know your stuff and think otherwise please let me know. But I do know that it does belong to the family Pholcidae.

He (and this time I am thinking that it actually is a male due to its smaller size) was found funny enough not exactly in a cellar but the lowest level of the building nonetheless: first floor of Baker Tower. If you guys remember when I posted up my Harvestman a few weeks back I gave you the rundown on daddy longlegs. And while I consider the harvestmen to be the true daddy longlegs I guess there is some regional differences and these guys are often called by the same term. I really don't see it that much. Yeah they have long legs but they look very different. Not much more to say on them really, they do spin webs and this guy was captured in early-mid September 2010.

You check more about this species of cellar spider here.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Nightcrawler - NH 009

NH 009
Category: Annelids
Family: Lumbricidae

So nothing too fantastic today, just an ordinary worm that I collected. Now while I'm not an expert on insects by any means, worms (which are Annelids rather than Arthropods) are way out of my scope of identification. This means that you guys will have to go on my best guess for what this is and I'm only going down to the family classification. For now I am calling this guy just a regular North American earthworm, family: Lumbricidae. Any further would require me to do some more extensive research, of which I am too busy to do especially when their are more important specimens that need that kind of attention.

Anyway, this earthworm was found in early September 2010 (probably the 4th to be exact), later in the night. And as it turns out while I call these guys nightcrawlers, there is no specific genera or species that compromises the fisherman's term 'nightcrawler.' Rather the word is loosely used to describe any large worm that would be perfect to place on a hook to be subsequently eaten by a fish. Just a little bit of information you might like to know. Oh, and the alcohol has turned yellow, presumably from 'stuff' leaking out of the worm itself.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Darwinian Dollars - CC 036

CC 036
Honorary Darwin Bill
Origin: Galapagos Islands
Unit: 500 New Sucres
Details: Extremely good quality

First off, I should be getting some new coin holders soon so I'll be able to get started on cataloging all of my coins. And second, today I am posting up that new piece in the coin collection that I was talking about last week. I'm sure you've been able to guess by now that today's bill is from none other than the Galapagos Islands. Now I'm sure that we are all aware that these islands are not their own country but rather a province of sorts. What I didn't realize was that they were part of Ecuador (I thought it was something like Peru, which is right below Ecuador).

So you may be wondering why there are bills specific to the Galapagos and why they don't use Ecuadorian money, which by the way Ecuador uses the monetary unit sucres. But you see, one company decided to print these special bills in order to commemorate the 200th birthday of Charles Darwin. There are a lot of commemorative coins and bills for certain people and events all over the world.

If you didn't know, the Galapagos Islands are where the famed naturalist Charles Darwin spent a good deal of time studying the unique array of isolated animals eventually leading to his work on evolution and natural selection. So this bill, worth 500 new sucres (see what they did there?), was made last year to honor his legacy. The writing is all in Spanish, the official language of Ecuador and the Galapagos Islands, and features a single tortoise on the obverse with two tortoises, probably in some sort of mating ritual, on the reverse. Which of course are representations of probably the most well known species on the islands: the Galapagos Giant Tortoise (Geochelone nigra). And the reverse also has a liking of Darwin himself.

Now you may be wondering if this money is usable, and the answer is that it depends. The company will present you with its exact worth (how much the bill is worth American and how much you payed for it) which is two dollars. But I've heard stories that some people will accept it down there as legal tender, but I'm not positive on that. But it makes an interesting exhibit nonetheless and represents one of the world's most breathtaking places. I definitely want to go there sometime in the future. Oh, and just for museum purposes the serial number is CD17536.

UPDATE: So I was just informed by my friend Kelsey, who has been to Ecuador, that Ecuador has actually been using the US dollar as it's official currency now. And while Americans hardly use the $1 Sacagawea coins, they are quite popular down there. The only official Ecuadorian money they seem to use are centavo coins now. But anyway I encourage anybody who reads any of my stuff and see any errors to please let me know, that way this site will be more informative and I'll learn something new as well.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Wollaston's - GEO 006

GEO 006
Class: Minerals
Locatin: New York, USA
Details: has garnets

I haven't posted up any of the more display type minerals yet so here is one of them, albeit a tad boring due to it's lack of color. This is called Wollastonite, named after W.H. Wollaston, and has the chemical formula of CaSiO3, making it a silicate. It was originally retrieved from somewhere in New York, but judging from the fact that it is made in metamorphic processes I'm guessing the Adirondack Mountains area. I purchased it at a Rock and Gem show in Newark, New York and picked this guy out because of how similar it looks to salt and pepper. Thought it was an interesting specimen. The fact that it has those garnets also leads to my belief that it was found in the metamorphic region of the Adirondacks.

Anyway, the original label had 'Garnet-Diopside' written on it so I am guessing that the black specks, the pepper if you will, are those garnets as wollastonite is generally white, the salt part. In general however, wollastonite is used in ceramics and paints. It actually isn't all that interesting a mineral but its uniqueness comes from that interesting color combination. And I just learned from this site that the 'hot spot' for wollastonite in New York is Willsboro, which is right on the Northeastern edge of the Adirondacks, confirming my suspicions.

Oh, and happy first post of the month!

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Great Blue - NH 043

NH 043
Blue Dragonfly
Category: Dragonflies
Family: Libellulidae

So I know I like to space out the collections but I looked and realized that out of all the Natural History pieces I've put up so far, only 3, they have all been vialed spiders. So to diversify the posts I decided today would be a good day to post up one of the pinned insects from the collection. And to start off I present you all with one of my favorite pinned pieces. So if you haven't been able to tell yet, this guy is a dragonfly and I am going to temporarily identify him as a Great Blue Skimmer (Libellula vibrans).

I've always been fascinated by dragonflies, they're at the top of my list insect wise. So when I started the pinned collection about 2-4 years ago I was excited that I was able to capture not just one, but three dragonflies for the collection, this one being the largest. He was collected at Camp Babcock-Hovey, Ovid, New York, USA in early August ca. 2008. I'll have to check on the date. But anyway he was living in a nearby small pond when I caught him. The wingspan is about 3.75 inches and I classified him as a great blue skimmer based on his blue color and location, and comparing him (or her for that matter) to photos on reliable sites, though I'm still not positive that I have the genus/species right. However, that is the correct family which is probably the most important.

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Funnel Web Weaver - NH 007

NH 007
Grass Spider
Category: Arachnids
Family: Agelenidae

It's Saturday, which means only one thing, that it's Spider Saturday! Today's spider is actually the first spider from outside my building I caught and vialed for the collection. This spider is a very common grass spider here in Ithaca. This guy belongs to the genus Agelenopsis and is probably a male. He was found behind Warren Hall , Cornell University, Ithaca, New York, USA and collected on September 18th, 2010. These guys build funnel webs to live and catch their prey (though their webs aren't sticky like the stereotypical spider web, but they are quite fast and agile).

This guy's web was made in a Hosta plant. If you haven't noticed from the picture, he is actually missing his two front right legs. I have no idea where they are but he was living fine in his web without them. And you may be wondering what that white stuff is in there. Well unlike a previous specimen where it was guts, this is just some of his web that caught in his legs and I couldn't get it off before I vialed him.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Winter Shoes - HS 013

HS 013
Horse Stud
Era: Mid 20th Century
Details: diamond imprint on the end

Sorry about not posting in awhile but I've been really busy this week and I'm pretty exhausted right now. But anyway I just received the newest additions to the museum today, but I'm not going to show them until next week, because they are in the Coin Collection and I don't want to keep posting items from the same collection over and over; I like to space them out a bit. But have no fear you will see them soon enough.

But today I went with something given to me by my grandfather. He grew up on a farm and owned a farm until he finally retired but kept a lot of the old stuff (some of which has been passed down to me). You may be wondering exactly what in the world this thing is. Is it a key to a wind up clock, or just some bolt to a tractor or something? Well it turns out that this is a stud that was put on horseshoes to help the horses move around in snowy and icy conditions. I'm not all too familiar with horses and real farming so I can't give you too much more information on this. I only enjoy it because it belonged in the family and tells of an older time; it's interesting to see antiques and think about how they were used in the olden days. Comparing present places and things to their older selves.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Orthoceras - FOS 009

FOS 009
Orthoceras Chamber
Location: Morocco
Details: polished in matrix

So just a quick post before I go insect collecting (I've already added 5 new specimens to the collection today NH 056-NH 060). I haven't had a fossil post in awhile so I present you guys with my Orthoceras. These are fairly easy to identify and most people enjoy them as pieces of art as they polish up nicely. I generally don't like polished up specimens but I had to make an exception for this one as they are usually only sold polished and needed one for my collection. I bought this one at the Rock, Mineral, and Gem Show in Syracuse, New York a few years back.

Orthoceras' were cephalopods and you would probably recognize their body shape by clicking the link. I may have some additional details on this particular specimen back home, but I'll have to wait before I can verify any of that (I might have a label indicating where this specimen was originally found, which is important for scientific purposes). They lived between the Ordovician and Triassic periods, and fed upon small marine animals. They generally didn't grow to be too big, only about 6 inches in length.

EDIT: From Morocco, Devonian age.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Mathematical Money - CC 023

CC 023
Boskovic Bill
Origin: Croatia
Unit: 1 Dinar
Details: no longer in circulation

Sorry about not posting anything up yesterday, but I was busy getting work done and will probably miss some more days this week (it's going to be a busy one). So because of that I'm going to make today's post a bit short so I can get back to doing some work. But anywho, I give you my Croatian dinar.

As it turns out, Croatia only used the dinar as currency after the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991 and forming their own independent nation. This seemed like a temporary monetary unit however to ease from the Yugoslavian dinar and into the Croatian kuna (1 kuna = 1000 dinar) which replaced the dinar in 1994. So this bill only existed for a short period of time. What makes it so special to me, however, is that all the dinar bills (including my 1 dinar bill) have the picture of Rudjer Boskovic on their obverse (the opposite of reverse). He was a polymath (basically a Renaissance Man), dipping into philosophy, theology, diplomacy, and notably physics and astronomy. His main contribution was in developing a theory on the forces of nature and his atomic model, but he had multitude of other ideas and theories. Hence why he was so important to put on all the bills. The reverse has a picture of the Zagreb Cathedral.

So that's why I like this one, it's rare/out of print and has a famous physicist on the cover (along with some fancy mathematical diagrams depicting some of his work). And finally I'm assuming that this is from 1991 (as the date is there) and the serial number is F0788207. Enjoy. Oh and if you didn't get the old title reference (Boskovic=Washington) it's how Boskovic's picture on the Croatian dinar is equivalent to Washington's on the American dollar.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Epic Battle - NH 003

NH 003
Banded Garden Spider
Category: Arachnids
Family: Araneidae

So, it's Saturday and I think I'll continue on with Spider Saturday here at the Sholesonian. Today is a very interesting piece that I personally collected, interesting in both how big it is and the story about how I captured it. First off, I can tell you that this is a Banded Garden Spider (Argiope trifasciata) after I mis-identified it as a Common Black and Yellow Garden Spider (thanks Kayla). Second, I should tell you how I go about collecting my spider collections. I use those plastic cups with lids that normally are used for taking ketchup and other condiments for on the go, and I just scoop them up when I find them.

Now, for this particular guy I was walking from one class to another and spotted him on a bush next to Goldwin-Smith, Cornell University, Ithaca in mid-September. He was so big and different from the other spiders I have that I had to catch him, and luckily I had an empty cup with me. The unfortunate thing was that he (and I'm only using he because I actually don't know the gender) had just managed to capture lunch in his web, a common bee (NH 024) and had just started to envelop it. But I had to get to my next class so I just scooped them both up in the cup and continued on to class. The thing was that the bee would not stop buzzing and they were in some sort of epic battle in my pocket. It was amusing as when the whole room was silent all you could hear were the two of them 'fighting.' Anyway, that's the reason why he has lost two legs. And that white stuff that is in the vial is I guess 'guts.'

So anyway, hope you enjoy this awesome addition to the collection. And on a side note I went to Insectapalooza today and was able to identify some of the mystery insects of my collection and get some interesting information on their lifestyle/behavior so expect at least one of them in the coming week. Oh, and if you want to learn more about Argiope trifasciata, check out this link and you can actually see what it's like for one of them to successfully capture a bee.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Non-Desert Dunes - GEO 009

GEO 009
Jockey's Ridge Sands
Class: Sands
Location: Nags Head, North Carolina
Details: largest Eastern US sand dunes

So today is one of my favorite geological pieces in my museum, sands from the largest sand dunes East of the Mississippi River. A few years back, 2006 I believe, my family and I went on a vacation down to the Outer Banks, North Carolina. The Outer Banks, encompasses a few towns, most notably Kittyhawk where the Wright Brothers had their first flight (I also got to check out where they flew). One of those towns is Nags Head which contains these massive sand dunes. Jockey's Ridge State Park is where they are mostly located so we spent some time there and it was pretty awesome. Though there is a ton of sand, and it gets everywhere, and you start sinking into it as you walk.

But anyway, while there I of course had to get myself a sample of them (scooping it up with an empty film bottle). So what you see here are those sands in all there glory. I particularly enjoy this specimen because of how nice it looks in the vial and how cool it is to have part of the largest sand dunes in the East. This is one of the special pieces of my collection, that is pieces that are from important or significant places/people in history/the world. Oh and I included a photo of myself showing off how big these dunes were. And if you want more information check out the Jockey's Ridge State Park website.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Bon-Bons - HS 004

HS 004
Bon Bons
Era: ca. 2005
Details: French candy, blue raspberry flavor

Today I present you with another piece of foreign candy. I obtained this one too from my High School Spanish class a few years back. These are blue raspberry flavored bon-bons, which judging from the the manufacturer, The Foreign Candy Company, is a flavor that is no longer being made. They now only make green apple and strawberry flavored Eiffel Bon Bons. But I have to say that these were really good tasting treats, if my memory serves me right. They are, as you probably have guessed, a product of France and while the copyright is from 2000, I probably got this around 2005-ish. Not much else to say, these guys are just part of the cultural aspect of my Historical Significance collection, and add that sweet aspect to the museum.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Holy Coin - CC 003

CC 003
Pope John XXIII Coin
Origin: Vatican City
Unit: 100 lire
Details: excellent, no longer minted

I've got another coin for you guys today, and this one comes all away from Vatican City. Despite being the smallest country in the world, they do have their own currency. In present times they have switched over to using the Euro, but before they were using the lira (the unit of Italian currency, pre-Euro). This particular piece is a 100 lire piece from 1960 and in excellent condition. I received it as a present from my dad a few years back. Because of the limited minting, due to the country being so small, these coins are highly collectible and make a great addition to the museum.

The coin features a relief of Pope John XXIII, who served as pope from 1958 to 1963, and you can see the 'tails' side in the photo above. The approximation value of the coin, if you were to actually buy something with it is about 5 Euro cents. An interesting side note about the coins of the Vatican is that they apparently have the worlds only ATM that is in Latin, and while they have functional Euro coins, they do not mint any Vatican Euro bills.

If you want to check out other similar era Vatican coins, click here.
Or, if you want to learn more about their Euros, click here.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Shark Attack - FOS 003

FOS 003
'Shark' Tooth
Location: Unknown
Details: animal unknown

So I decided the past few posts weren't all that interesting so I decided to present this fossilized shark tooth today. I unfortunately don't know the details from this fossil, but it is still a nice addition to the museum. It was part of a gift from my aunt, along with an array of minerals. I'm sorry I can't give any more details on this one but that is the extent of my knowledge on this specimen.

But if you guys want to learn more about prehistoric sharks you can check this link out. So enjoy this fossilized tooth from an ancient predator of the deep.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Message in a Bottle - HS 009

HS 009
Glass Bottle
Era: ca. mid 20th century
Details: flower vase?

Again, nothing out of the ordinary today. But my grandfather's museum had a lot of old glass bottles so I decided to keep it going, and they're actually interesting to look at. I do find a lot of them on my property as back in the olden days people would just dump their trash out back so there are a lot of old glass bottles and pieces of pottery buried in my woods and under the pool deck (they had to do a little bit of excavation).

This is one of those bottles that I acquired from out back in the woods, in a dirt bank where we dump our organic waste (i.e. old Christmas trees and racked up leaves). It appears to just be perhaps a vase for a couple of small flowers, but I'm not an expert on antiques so it could have been for some other purpose. Other than that not much more to say. I don't think I'm going to clean it up any time soon, I like the rustic feel it has at the moment.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mystery Rock - GEO 018

GEO 018
'Peach Fuzz'
Class: Mineral
Location: Unknown
Details: mineral unknown

So nothing too notable today, in fact I don't even know what this rock/mineral is. You see a few years back, in either 2009 or 2008, there was a yard sale in Newark, New York where a couple of collectors were downsizing their collection as they were moving. This meant high-quality, large, and a big selection of specimens to choose from. I'll be posting more from this collection later on, and will have the actual name of the collection it used to belong to.

This particular piece is interesting because of it's peach-fuzz like texture. Basically the only reason I got it, and it looks pretty nice on display. Unfortunately I still don't know what it was because when they were selling them only a few had labels and this guy didn't. But still, enjoy!