Sunday, March 18, 2012

Crystalized Gold at California State Museum of Mining and Minerals

The Fricot Nugget was discovered in 1865 by William R. Davis while mining in El Dorado County. What is believed to be the largest surviving specimen of gold from the Gold Rush days weighs in at 201.4 troy ounces (about 13 pounds). The specimen was purchased by Jules Fricot who exhibited it in the 1878 Paris Exposition. The Fricot Nugget seemed to have disappeared for many years when it was rediscovered in a bank in Angels Camp in the 1940s. The bank manager did not even know its existence until an employee from the State Division of Mines located it. The daughter of Jules Fricot then donated it to California State Gem and Mineral Collection.

As a geology student visiting the California State Museum of Mining and Minerals, I thought about how just a little piece of it would pay for the rest of my education...and the other students with me! Truth is, it is a beautiful specimen that literally takes your breath away when you first lay your eyes on it and I would not want to see even an ounce missing from it. I would also hate tot see the California State Museum of Mining and Minerals closed its on the list of State Park closures. California's rich history involving the Gold Rush should be preserved and viewed by those who live here and by those visiting our state and passing through Mariposa. I watched as a couple of young children who was at the Museum visiting with their family stood at the counter with right hands lifted, saying the Junior Ranger Pledge with serious and focused faces. I felt disheartened for them in that they might not be able to bring their children here one day to do the same Junior Ranger pledge.

Our State has lost sights on what matters most. Family, education and employment. How much are we expected to lose? Why are we paying for bad planning, bank failures, and state over-spending? Why are our California politicians getting cars and cell phones (not to mention all the travel expenses)? Can they not drive their own cars? I know they all have their own vehicles and cell phones and truthfully do not think we as Californian taxpayers should be paying for this wasteful spending. Politicians get your heads out of your butts and start WORKING for us instead of stealing from us! I have a great idea for you all up in Sac - start driving your own cars and using your own cell phones and the money we save from your wasteful spending can go to saving OUR STATE PARKS!

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Zyzzyx - Yes Its a Real Place!

A conference in the Mohave with geoscience teachers made for an interesting and productive weekend. Getting back into the desert was enough for me however a day of basalt and rhyolite with Brandon Brown of CSU Fullerton was the highlight. Modesto Junior College will be hosting the next NAGT Conference in Fall - so this was also a great learning experience. Through the observations of others who organized this conference at Zyzzyx held at the C.S.U. Desert Studies Center, I was able to see what obstacles might be awaiting us. There is definitely a lot of work that needs to be done, however I think we will be hosting a great event in Fall the High Sierra Institute (a.k.a. historic Baker Station). All-in-all - a great weekend and made some new friends to boot.