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What is plate tectonics? Earthquakes and volcanoes

By |2018-04-18T09:54:07+00:00September 21st, 2017|Geology|

The world as seen from space (flattened out) When you look at a map of the world, it seems as though it was always like that - North America on top of South America, Europe north of Africa, Australia off at the bottom right. But really all of the dry land on Earth moves around like floating shapes about 60 miles [...]

What is flint good for? Stone tools

By |2018-09-06T06:55:52+00:00September 5th, 2017|Africa, Prehistory, Science|

What is flint? Flint is a sedimentary rock made out of an igneous rock. What is flint made of? It's pretty complicated. Billions of years ago, silicon and oxygen atoms shot out of a star when it went supernova. What is a supernova? About four billion years ago, some of those atoms came [...]

Ibn Sina (Avicenna) – Medieval Islamic medicine – Islamic Empire

By |2018-04-24T08:21:22+00:00July 27th, 2017|Islam, Science|

Where Ibn Sina came from: Uzbekistan Ibn Sina and the Samanids in Uzbekistan Ibn Sina (known to Europeans as Avicenna) was a scientist. He was born about 980 AD in the north-eastern part of the Abbasid Empire. That was in the kingdom of the Samanids. (It's modern Uzbekistan.) The Samanids supported science and art, so many scientists and artists [...]

What are sedimentary rocks? Shale and limestone

By |2018-10-03T09:50:54+00:00June 26th, 2017|Geology, History|

Sedimentary rocks: Limestone cliffs in Saudi Arabia Before sedimentary rocks When the Earth was first forming, about six billion years ago, there weren't any sedimentary or metamorphic rocks. The only rocks were igneous rocks like quartz. These formed when melted silica, carbon, and other molecules cooled off and stuck together. More about igneous rocks [...]

What is jade? Metamorphic rock

By |2018-04-21T12:09:20+00:00June 26th, 2017|History|

What is jade? Jade rock from Alaska Jadeite and nephrite Jade is really two kinds of metamorphic rock, jadeite and nephrite, that look pretty much exactly the same. Scientists can tell them apart using chemical tests and x-rays. Like quartz, both jadeite and nephrite are chains of silicon and oxygen atoms. Why is [...]

What is metamorphic rock? Marble, slate, diamonds

By |2018-05-28T16:21:09+00:00June 26th, 2017|Geology|

What is metamorphic rock? Slate rocks in Cascadilla Gorge, Ithaca, New York Metamorphic rocks form under pressure About 450 million years ago, some of the sedimentary rocks began to transform into metamorphic rocks. When sedimentary rocks like limestone or shale were under water, the weight of the water pressed them down. (Read more [...]