My favorite rock hound club (Wayne County Gem and Mineral Club) loves to dig and we are always looking for new places to dig and new tools to use while digging. But there are some folks in Switzerland that we must acknowledge have done a little more digging than us while deploying more sophisticated and larger tools. In fact, they have been digging on the same project for 17 years. And in June of 2016 they completed their mission. All they had done was dig a 57 km (35 mile) railway tunnel through the Alps in south-central Switzerland: the Gotthard Base Tunnel.
All told this massive project removed 28 million tons of igneous and metamorphic rock (dominantly gneiss). That is enough rock to build a rectangular regular pyramid that is 5200’ high. Think about that! At its deepest points the Alps tower more than 2000m (6500’) above the tunnel floor.
You may have heard the theories that modern birds are descendent from dinosaurs that roamed the planet in the Mesozoic Era (225-65 million years ago), like the Velociraptor depicted above. And that some of those dinosaurs, both large and small, are now purported to have had feathers. But, have you seen any of the direct evidence?
A fellow member of the Rochester Philatelic Association likes to stimulate her Facebook friends by placing a theme word or phrase onto her Facebook Timeline each day and having her friends post philatelic responses. Well, one day in late January her theme was simply “my town”.
I decided to seek out postmarks from the many locations I have lived. Naturally, I started with my hometown of East Longmeadow, MA. I opened Google Image Search and simply typed: “East Longmeadow postmark”. I was rewarded with a page of image snippets some of which actually met my intended search criteria. About two rows down in the middle of the screen I saw this excellent and legible postmark atop the five cent 1964 John F. Kennedy stamp. I hit enter.
Retired, collecting minerals and stamps, growing flowers and vegetables, and when the spirit moves, toying with technology