There are some interesting tidbits of rock-related news out there in the world. Time for another Topical Tuesday round-up!
Fuel Entertainment, a Canadian company is planning an an unusual excavation into the not-so-distant past. They want to excavate a New Mexico landfill in the hopes of finding millions of Atari cartridges from the widely panned ET video game which that company released in 1982. Supposedly, in 1983 Atari buried millions of the unsold cartridges in New Mexico and encased them in concrete. The BBC article (linked to above) doesn’t answer a critical question about the planned excavation: Why bother? I mean, I get that this year is the 30th anniversary of the stuff being buried-but why dig up those kind of bad memories?
In slightly more serious cultural preservation news, the BBC also had two great pieces in their magazine this week about how a small group of people in Timbuktu rescued over a quarter of a million manuscripts (some dating back to the 1200′s) from Timbuktu’s libraries before those institutions collections were torched a few months ago by radical Islamist rebel group Ansar Dine. Ansar Dine had already attacked many of Mali’s cultural heritage sites in 2012, claiming that the ancient sites were idolatrous. In the wake of this destruction last year, a coalition of families decided to get as many precious manuscripts as they could out of Timbuktu, and out of the reach of the rebels. Using buses, carts, and even canoes, they smuggled thousands of documents out in metal boxes.
In Ecuador, landslides partially caused by volcanic activity burst that countries biggest oil pipeline last Friday. Pumping of oil through that pipeline resumed today, but not before an Amazon tributary, the Napo was contaminated with spilled oil, hurting the drinking supply of thousands of people. Ecuador isn’t exactly a stranger to oil spills. In April, the second-largest oil pipeline in Ecuador burst, spilling an estimated 5,500 barrels of oil.
Geology is getting cut from the High School curriculum in West Bengal, which I think is sad. From the article: “Subjects having similar fate like Geology include Malayalam, Marathi, Assamese, Modern Tibetan, Pali and French.” Really?
Geologists in Alaska apparently haven’t gotten the memo that their subject is deemed by some to be as unimportant as Modern Tibetan or Assamese, and in the past three years they’ve discovered 12 new active volcanoes. Alaska is home to 31% of active volcanoes in the USA, including some that are currently erupting. So there.