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November-December 2014

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Letters

PERSONALIZED PLATE
by Alexander Schauss

The saga of my trying to obtain an Arizona personalized license plate with the initials PRKYBOX ended successfully with receipt of the requested license plate, pictured here, in yesterday's mail.

Alex Schauss with his hard-won Arizona license plate.

After hearing from the state's motor vehicle department (MVD) that the requested letters were considered “obscene and offensive” under an obscure state regulation, I decided to challenge the decision of the MVD's Special Plates Review Committee.

With the help of mineral collectors from around the state, and even some out-of-state supporters, I submitted a package of information on Willard Perkins and the importance of his invention of Perky Boxes to mineral collectors. Also included were numerous letters in support of issuing the plate and the very timely article titled “Willard J. Perkin ‘Did Perky’,” written by Peter K. Megaw, that appeared in the Through the 'Scope column in the May/June 2014 issue of Rocks & Minerals (pages 271–274).

ILLINOIS GALLERY
by Richard Berg

 

The Illinois State Geological Survey, a division of the Prairie Research Institute at the University of Illinois, is forming a new exhibit gallery devoted to Illinois geology. This Geology of Illinois Gallery will be a permanent exhibit and will display the natural geologic wonders of Illinois. It will showcase exceptional minerals and fossils of Illinois and will include educational information and exhibits.

Our goal is to increase earth science awareness and introduce geologic concepts. The gallery will be open to the public and will encourage school field trips and visits from those who are curious about early life, the development of life forms, and the foundation of rocks and minerals.

I would like to personally invite your readers to become a Friend of the Gallery by considering a financial and/or specimen donation to assist us in establishing this as the state's premier display of Illinois geology. Donors can rest assured that their specimens will be preserved and cared for with the utmost respect and that all contributions will be recognized. I hope readers will join us in creating the Geology of Illinois Gallery. Please note that all donors will be recognized on the Friends of the Gallery plaque prominently displayed in the gallery. For more information on the gallery, including ways to make a donation, please visit our website: http://www.isgs.illinois.edu/geology-illinois-gallery-seeks-donors-and-exhibitors.

POLYHEDROIDS
by John S. White
 

When I wrote the Mineral Mysteries column titled “Polyhedroids” that appeared in the May/June 2014 issue (pages 275–278), I had forgotten that I had a specimen in the basement of my home that would have provided a great image to add to the discussion. This is a sample of quartz from Greenville County, South Carolina, and when I obtained it fifty or so years ago, it was referred to as “angle plated quartz.” What is evident about this piece is that it clearly is the product of the same or a similar process that produced polyhedroids, and it is easy to believe from its appearance that it represents quartz infilling around a cluster of very thin plates of calcite crystals. It now has a more prominent place in my mineral collection. The piece (shown here) has been sawn on the bottom and top and stands 17 cm high.

Specimen representing quartz infilling around a cluster of very thin plates of calcite crystals.

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