AMERICAN FEDERATION OF MINERALOGICAL SOCIETIES
Volume 56, Number 5
IN THIS ISSUE
by Jim Brace-Thompson, Junior Activities Chair
This is the fourth in my series of columns proposing a merit badge sort of system for junior members enrolled in the AFMS Future Rockhound of America program. I welcome your thoughts about such a system and ideas for activities to build badges around. This month, I'd like to turn to a topic of particular relevance given the upcoming AFMS/CFMS Show in Ventura, California. Namely, showmanship! Please encourage any and all junior members who may be able to attend to enter a display (either competitive or not) this June. (May is the deadline for exhibitor applications.)
A fun part of collecting and the lapidary arts is sharing what we've found or made. We get to "show off" and also learn from others, getting advice, sharing tips, and just generally forging bonds of friendship and networks of like-minded individuals. But building an effective display involves more than getting a glass-fronted box and throwing in a bunch of rocks. The junior program leader should obtain a copy of the AFMS Uniform Rules, read through it, and then at a monthly meeting, hold a seminar with your club's kids to go over the basics of building an effective display. This should include a "tip list" of do's and don'ts of displaying. For instance, kids should learn such rules as:
Such a seminar should be hands-on with a display case front-and-center to vividly illustrate display techniques (for instance, to show the difference that lighting can make, to show how specimens can get lost against a "busy" background of plaid versus how they can be highlighted against a neutral background like beige or eggshell white). Finally, a nice touch is a brief slide show of award-winning cases from local or federation shows. Kids who follow up such a seminar by creating an effective public display could then earn a merit badge for "Showmanship."
Note that while I've focused on preparing a display for a rock show, this could also be a display at a county fair, elementary or secondary school, a science fair, etc. Opportunities abound. For instance, my own local public library has a display case in its foyer and welcomes individuals and nonprofit organizations installing educational displays for a month at a time. Check for opportunities like these in your community.
Learn the techniques of assembling an effective display. Then gather together the best of your rock, mineral, or fossil collection or your lapidary artwork and prepare a display for public exhibition. Such a display might be done individually or collectively.
As with my previous merit badge ideas, I welcome your comments (email me at firstname.lastname@example.org). Helping to encourage kids with activities like these is a sure way to help them learn, build a network and-as always-have fun!
from Ron Carman, President
I have just spent a most enjoyable weekend at the first regional federation show of 2003, the South Central Federation show hosted by the Clear Lake Gem & Mineral Society. The host club put on a great show, and even the weather cooperated somewhat; setup day was damp, but Saturday and Sunday were sunny and mild, with a south wind. At this time of year in Texas the weather is too often stormy on week ends and clears up Monday, but this weekend worked out very well. The South Central Federation annual meeting and Rollin' Rock Club official meeting also went very well. It was a pleasure to see how well the meetings have been streamlined so things goes smoothly - well, as smoothly as they can, anyway. Well done, everyone! If this is an indication of things to come, I really look forward to attending more shows later on in the year.
There's another item at the show I found encouraging; there were more competitive cases entered than I had seen in several previous years at regional shows. Ten applications were submitted; unfortunately two couldn't make it. Of the eight actually entered, six won blue first-level ribbons and four received SCF trophies, which speaks very well for the quality of exhibits at that show. In some of my previous letters I have bewailed the lack of competitive entries, so I was delighted to see this renewed interest in exhibiting. I managed to read most of the judging comments, and it seemed to me the judges were quite fair with their critiques. I have been told in the past that sometimes the judges' comments (or lack thereof) discouraged many exhibitors. Here at this show, all point deductions were documented and all the exhibitors had the opportunity to discuss their critiques with the judges if they wished. I know from experience that a first time exhibitor can really be soured on competition if he receives too many inappropriate or thoughtless comments, and I have been happy to see a noticeable improvement in the quality of judging over the years that I have showed. The upcoming training sessions for judges at Wild Acres is just one example of how our Federation is trying to improve the quality and expertise of its judges.
If you haven't entered an exhibit at a show, but might consider it, ask other club members who have entered before. A good program for a club meeting would be for an experienced exhibitor to demonstrate how to prepare a case. Over the years I have taken numerous slide photos of cases at many shows, both good and not-so-good, and I have used these slides to show persons what makes an attractive case, as well as mistakes to avoid. A discussion on the Uniform Rules might also help; they are available in printed form from the Central Office, but also they are now available on the AFMS website. At first the rules may seem daunting, but you only need to know the parts that pertain to you. For example, if you are showing fossils, then don't worry about the lapidary or mineral rules. The judges use these same rules when they look at your case, so you know in advance what they will be looking for and how points are awarded. Also, when the judging is completed you should be able to talk to the judges and ask them any questions you may have about your particular exhibit. Many shows have a time set aside for exhibitors to talk with their judges.
Maybe I will have the pleasure of seeing your case in a show sometime. I hope to see you then!
from Marve Starbuck, President-elect
Seems like only yesterday I was writing the March message, and it's time for April's message! A lot of things have happened since then. While we were in Quartzsite, we attended some of the shows, met up with a lot of rockhound friends and had a great discussion with lzzie and Bill Burns.
After leaving Quartzsite, we went down toward Yuma. We had hoped to do a little scouting around the Red Cloud district, only to learn that the owners had gone to the Tucson show and the caretaker was in the hospital. So, we had a pleasant ride. Being in Yuma, we couldn't pass up a visit to Algodones, Mexico. If you have never been there, it is a real experience.
Tucson was our next destination. Having attended the Tucson show for several years it is like a reunion, seeing friends we see once a year. As usual, the regular Tucson Club show at the Community Center had outstanding displays and minerals for sale at fabulous prices! The best part of the show was purchasing a signed copy of "Rex Appeal" and meeting the authors, Peter Larson and Kristin Doonan. Their huge friend, Stan, A T-Rex, looked over everyone's shoulder. Rockhounds should buy, beg, or borrow this book and read the unbelievable story. Attendance at Quartzsite was definitely down, but Tucson was "business as usual" - gung ho! There were a lot more vendors at Electric Park this year and interest in the hobby doesn't appear to be down.
Back now in Deming, we have encountered some very unusual wet weather ... two inches in two days. The local people love it, but it doesn't make for very good rock hunting!!!
Sorry about the communication problem we have had this year. By the time you read this, we will either be home or close to it. So please direct any further mail to my home address. We will be home on or before April 1st, our club meeting night, last meeting before our show the first weekend in May. Speaking of shows, please support your own club and it's show - work, donate material to be used for door prizes, silent auction kids table etc. AND DISPLAY!!! And now that you have a display ready, take it to shows at other clubs. We all need to do what we can to keep this hobby alive and thriving. Help you neighboring clubs, they will appreciate it.
from Izzie Burns, AFMS Past President
Bill and I decided to continue with the hosting of a AFMS Booth at this show when Jon Spunaugle could not join us. Several others from the NWF did lend a hand - Glen Lee, Bonnie Glismann ( a great gal) and her husband Dick, Joan and Evan Day, Carl Unruh (even though his health was a concern) and from the Southeast Federation Frank Decaminada and his wife. We talked to many people explained our organization, informed some people of societies in Boston, New York, Colorado, etc. It was great to see many friends from all over the country and meet new people who share our hobby.
One of the great things that we found was the exchange of ideas with other people from similar booths, such as, Friends of Mineralogy, The Mineralogy Society of America ( which differs from us as they are not a nonprofit organization), Paul and the other BLM Representatives, John Nichols and others of the Forestry Department, Dave Frank and others with the USGS, and many more. The idea of working together and helping each other was very great to hear.
We have several letters to send with information that we failed to have with us. President Ron Carman, and President Elect Marve Starbuck both feel that we should continue this outreach program; so we requested a booth at next years Tucson GMS Show. Think about it and we will try to establish a sign up time sheet for manning the booth. Next year will be the Fiftieth Anniversary of the Tucson Club Show.
from Izzie Burns
Lewis & Clark Bicentennial Signature Event. January 14 -16, 2003
Bill, Brenda Hankins and I journey to Monticello in mid-January for the kick-off event of the Lewis & Clark Bicentennial. What an affair it was!
There were many interesting programs - Conversations on Jefferson and Lewis and Clark; Babies, Bears, & Bullets; Stories From The Trial,; What's Lost, What's Left; Protecting the Land Explored .....; Cooking with Lewis & Clark; Clay Jenkins in An Evening with Jefferson and Lewis (a marvelous program), Makoche- Discovery through Music (part of an Opera to be presented later by the Missouri Univ.); Indian dances and interpretations; USGS, Musical Programs, Drum and bugle corps; etc. The highlight was the Commencement of the National Lewis and Clark Bicentennial on the lawn at Monticello in temperatures of about 20 degrees.
There were many more sites to see, book signings, cocktail parties, even one to honor Gail Norton. She represented President Bush and excepted a Indian blanket for him with a cowboy hat on it and given to show that the Indians and cowboys are now friends. There were many memorable presentations given.
In my view, the greatest presenters and authors of Lewis and Clark Expedition material were James Ronda, Univ. of Tulsa; Gary Moulton, a historical Editor who did the thirteen volume, "Definitive Journals of Lewis and Clark" which the AFMS committee is using as part of our research about rocks, minerals and fossils that the Corp saw; Dayton Duncan and Ken Burns, Co-authors of the Documentary, Lewis and Clark: The Journey of the Corp of Discovery; and of course Clayton Jenkins. It seemed to me that every phase of the journey was covered even to a book that told Seaman, Lewis dog's story. I would recommend that for elementary school children. There were several rooms at Newton Hall on the University of Virginia, as well as, their book store with books to sell, and booths to advertise the following Signature Events ---
Falls of the Ohio
Three Flap Ceremony
Expedition's Departure: Camp River Dubois
St. Charles: Preparations: Complete the Expedition Faces West
Heart of America: A Journey Fourth
First Tribal Council
Oceti Sakowin: Remembering and Educating
Circle of Cultures: Time of Renewal and Exchange
Explore the Big Sky
Destination 2005 -The Pacific
Among the Nez Perce
Clark on the Yellowstone
Home of Sakakawea
Confluence With Destiny:
For more information on these events contact event organizers or see the National Council of the Lewis and Clark Bicentennial's website <www.lewisandclark2OO.org>.
Even though the registration fee for this event was $200.00 per person, the weather was miserable, two snow storms and temperatures of 9 degrees in a place where you were forced to walk in the snow to meetings as you could not park on the Virginia Univ. Campus. Bill and I felt it was worth it, even if The Daily Progress of Charlottesville, Virginia did report that "Bill Bums of Monterey Park, CA did not like the white stuff."
We were so busy that we were unable to get together with Brenda to really have time to discuss the booklet which the AFMS Lewis & Clark Committee is preparing, but we shall "persevere on " just as Lewis and Clark and their Corp did.
from Glen Klein, Faceters Symposium Chair
FACETERS SYMPOSIUM 2003
We're delighted to be able to share the list of speakers who will share their expertise with interested faceters during the Faceters Symposium being held concurrent with the AFMS/CFMS Convention and Show in Ventura.
THOMAS CHATHAM…..The son of discoverer Carroll Chatham is the current President and director of Chatham Created Gems. Tom will let us in on some of the facts surrounding the methods and events that have made it possible for Chatham to be the leader in the art and science of Created Gems since 1938, when his father created the first laboratory grown gem quality emerald.
EWING EVANS….."KISS, Keep It Simple Stupid " is the title. This three-time individual top-scoring competition Facetor of the World will give a presentation, about what he knows better than anyone…how to POLISH a competition gemstone.
DR. ANTHONY (Tony) KAMPF…..The Curator of Gems and Minerals at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County has guided many trips to various gem areas. He will tell us about his favorite destination, the State of Minas Gerais in Brazil.
ART KAVAN….."The Basics of Competition Cutting and the Use of Mechanical and Optical Aids " is the title. This award winning team member in the Australian IFC competition will give us information on understanding the basics of cutting an excellent/or competition gemstone.
RALPH MATHEWSON…..This award-winning Australian IFC competition Facetor will give a presentation on his unique and non-subjective method of fairly scoring the work of competition Faceters. His system removes the problem of judges who are biased.
JONATHAN (Gearloose) ROLFE…..The man who has brought the amazing BATT lap to the faceting world will have a Powerpoint presentation on "Effects of Surface Complexity (Fractal Geometry) to Polishing Lap Performance." This will be a major contribution to the understanding of polishing mechanics.
ROBERT STRICKLAND…..The man who has made it possible for Faceters to become facet-cut designers will give a presentation about his latest and well-received Windows version of Gemcad.
STEVE ULATOWSKI…..The head of New Era Gems constantly travels to gem mine areas of the World. His company supplies much of that great faceting rough that all Faceters want. We will hear about some of the trials and tribulations of going to the gem mine areas.
CARL UNRUH…..Carl will give us a speaking presentation along with view graphs of the processes he goes through to facet a 560 carat piece of rough citrine.
PANEL OF EXPERTS PRESENTATION…..This will be a question and answers presentation, where any of the attending Faceters can raise a faceting question of their own choosing. Then, the other Faceters and our Panel of Experts will discuss the subject.
TWO SPECIAL GUESTS…..We are honored to have as two additional members on our Panel of Experts, FRED VAN SANT and GLENN VARGAS. Here is your chance to meet these two faceting legends of our time.
HOSPITALITY HOUR…..There will be a Hospitality Hour on Friday evening. This is your chance to speak face to face with our speakers, and the other Faceters that have traveled from many far off areas.
AWARDS LUNCHEON…..Enjoy a great lunch, and see who the winners are of the Novice, Advanced, and Master competitions. Also learn who had the most "Beautiful Gem." Get to meet and talk to more Faceters, who you have only heard about before.
FACETING MACHINES…..Our Symposium room will also have two tables filled with the products of two of the best known and used faceting machines manufacturers. FACETRON and ULTRA-TEC will have representatives there for you to talk to.
UNITED STATES FACETERS GUILD…..The Faceters Guild of Southern California offered the Symposium room for use of the USFG to hold a General Meeting of members and other interested Faceters. The USFG has accepted this offer. ART KAVAN will chair the USFG meeting Sunday afternoon.
COMPETITIONS…..There will be competitions for the Novice, Advanced, and Masters levels. Start work on your entry now. Time is getting short! In addition, there will be a fun contest, where everyone is encouraged to bring in their most "Beautiful Gem." The attendees at the Symposium will do the judging, by looking at the case full of gems and then marking their ticket with the number of the gem that they think is the most Beautiful. The gem that gets the most votes will be the winner.
As everyone can see, this is an outstanding list of speakers and presenters. Nothing on this scale has ever been presented in the faceting world before. If you would like more information about entrance fees, hotels, competition requirements, etc. just ask for the Packet, and send your snail mail address to:
Glenn Klein, Chairman
Space Rock Day
Saturday, June 7 will be 'Space Rock Day'. Robert Verish, discoverer of two of the Mars Meteorites, and fellow meteorite hunter, Dale Lowdermilk, will speak on finding and identifying meteorites. Meteorites are masses of metal or stone that have fallen to Earth from outer space. You will have the chance to see a Mars meteorite, other meteorites and tektites. There will also be a replica of "The Old Woman" meteorite, the second largest meteorite discovered in the United States that was found in the Mojave Desert. Miniature Mars Rover vehicles from the Planetary Society's Red Rover Goes to Mars Project will be on hand to give kids the opportunity to direct a mini-Mars Rover across an alien landscape.
The Field Trip Committee is developing plans for some interesting trips. A couple of different sites are being considered based on type and availability of material, accessibility, and distance. Additional information will be forthcoming as details are finalized.
Get your entry form in soon to participate in the Mermaid Contest. We're looking for jewelry, lapidary, sculpture, anything that has been worked in rock, mineral, gemstones, or a combination thereof that depicts a mertnaid. Deadline is May 1, 2003. Forms can be downloaded from the website or contact Keri Dearborn at (818) 883-5253 or GemboreeDisplay@aol.com. Mail completed forms to Keri at 20982 Ave San Luis, Woodland Hills, CA 91364.
Don't forget to visit us at: <www.afms-cfmsgemshow.org>
We have set aside a block of rooms at reduced rates at several hotels/motels ONLY available when you ask for the "Seaside GEMboree" special rate. Some of these have reservation cut-off dates after which the price will be based on availability. Since Ventura is a popular tourist area, you should make your reservations early. Rates shown are with the "Seaside GEMboree" rate and do not include tax. Those rates without cut-off dates may be subject to change.
Country Inn & Suites by Carlson
Clarion Ventura Beach Hotel
Four Points Sheraton
Holiday Inn Beach Resort
Camping at Ventura Fairground
Camping at the fairground, a block from the beach is an enjoyable experience. While full hook-ups are not available, there are water sources and showers as well as sanitary dumps on the grounds. Limited spaces with electricity are available for persons with special needs on first come basis.
When approaching the fairground parking area, watch for signs directing you to the RV camping entrance. If you wish to be parked next to friends, we ask that you arrive together.
from Shirley Leeson, AFMS Historian
1972 DR. CORNELIUS SEARLES HURLBUT
1973 DR. ROBERT L. NICHOLS
1974 DR. VERNON J. HURST
1975 DR. CLIFFORD FRONDEL
1976 DR. OTTO C. KOPP
1977 DR. WALLACE DEAN LOWRY
1978 DR. PETER LEAVENS
SPECIAL 1978 RICHARD W. BURNHAM,
1979 DR. TRAVIS HUGHES
1980 DAVID E. JENSEN
1981 MARY E. MROSE
1982 WILLIAM H. GILLESPIE
1983 DR. ABRAHAM ROSENZWEIG
1984 DR. GERALD H. JOHNSON
1985 DR. HORACE WINCHELL
1986 DR. HOWARD ROSS CRAMER
1987 CURT G. SEGELER
1988 DR. JO LAIRD
1989 DR. ROBERT E. WOODRUFF
1990 DR. LANCE E. KEARNS
1991 DR. WILLIAM M. KELLY
1992 DR. JOHN EDWARD CALLAHAN
1993 VANDALL T. KING
1994 JOSEPH J. PETERS
1995 JAY LININGER
1996 BRUCE K. OLDFIELD
1997 DR. STEVEN C. CHAMBERLAIN
1998 DR. DARREL W. SCHMITZ
1999 DR. ROBERT B. COOKS,
2000 Dr. JEFFERY E. POST
2001 MARC L. WILSON
2002 DR. MICHAEL A. WISE
from Jon Spunaugle, President AFMS Scholarship Foundation
It gives me great pleasure to share with you the names of the student recipients of the AFMS Scholarships for 2002. The Foundation continues to grant two, $2,000 scholarships per year, to two students from the six participating Federations. Thus the total for each student is generally $4,000 per student over two years. This last year students who received grants in the Fall were:
CFMS - 1st Year students
EFMLS - 1st Year students
MFMS - 1st Year students
NFMS - 1st Year students
RMFMS - 1st Year students
SCFMS - 1st Year
All contributions made by clubs or individuals to the AFMS Scholarship Foundation are invested. The interest generated from these invested funds is used for these scholarships. In 2002 the Foundation reached the $1 million level in grants awarded to graduate earth science students.
I like to comment on the March 2003 NFMS Newsletter article "Protecting Privacy" submitted by Bill Patillo.
Although it is good to know information like this, the article may be providing the readers with a false sense of security. Your privacy may be in danger in other ways.
Many people are not aware of the fact that their private life can be tracked without their knowledge. According to Simon Davies, director of the human rights group Privacy International: "There has probably never been a time in history when so much information has been amassed on the population-at-large. Details of the average economically active adult in the developed world are located in around 400 major data basis - enough processed data to compile a formidable reference book for each person."
Law-enforcement agencies rely on modern surveillance techniques to monitor Internet, and E-mail messages, faxes, and digital phone calls. This is done through a global network of satellite receiver stations, a system known as ECHELON.
Even medical records are really no longer private. In the book Database Nation-The death of Privacy in the 21st Century, Today, "medical records have an expanded role·They are used by employers and insurance companies to decide who should be hired and insured. They areused by hospitals and religious organizations to solicit donations. Even marketers are buying up medical records in search of sales leads."
People who use the internet are especially vulnerable to uninvited scrutiny. Many users expect that just retrieving information or documents from sites are anonymous. Not so! It is possible for others to record many online activities, which can be used in various ways.
The service provided by Google is really nothing new. It is just quicker. Reverse directories have been available for years from the telephone companies for a fee. Also, Google is not the only one providing this service. For example Freeality.com lists a number of these. If you go to that site you will find a number of listings from which to choose.
So you have a phone number - who does it belong to? Utilize: ÎE-Mail & Reverse Lookup. There are five options in that category: ÎPhone Number.com, WhitePages.com, SMART pages.com, ThinkDirect and Anywho. Enter the phone number, search and, usually, you will get a name and address. On using my own phone number, four out of the five gave me my address. Now all you have to do is go to ÎFind People Search Engines.
There are a few: ÎPhone Number.com, White Pages.com, US Search "FIND ANYONE!", Anywho, ThinkDirect, ICQ, 411Locate, Four11, WorldPages, WhoWhere.com and Yahoo. Pick anyone of them, or all just for the exercise, and plug in the name and address and some of them will give you an option for a map. Plugging in my address I checked these services and seven of them gave me a map. There are MAPPING programs on a CD that you can buy. Just plug in the address, voila.
It should be clear that the information on how to have a telephone number removed from Google's search service through MapQuest will not eliminate the possibility of finding where a person lives.
So even if making the request through ÎGoogle takes you off all mapping services, (which I doubt it does, since there are others) if someone wants to find you through your phone number, even if it is unlisted ( for a fee ), they can.
There is a saying that has been going around for a few years now - "you can run, but you cannot hide." If you have gone to the above mentioned site you no doubt noticed other ways to find people for a fee such as: Cell-Phone-Numbers "Reverse Cell Lookup. NO HIT - NO FEE; Cell Phone Directory." ; Cyber Detective "Find Out Anything About Anybody."; and for a $ 25 fee Net-Vestigator "The Most Complete Investigation Software Package Available Anywhere!" "Find Out Anything About Anybody" ...is a program which offers you access to same databases used by professional investigators. Some of the information you will be granted access to is difficult for even government agencies to find! It's safe and legal to use, and best for all, it can be done without anyone ever knowing!
Scary! I guess the best advice is, do not get anyone mad at you. If someone wants to find you, they can. Besides, as Bill Patillo noted, there is a positive side to the services.
This letter is in response to Marv Starbuck's article on judging. (March, 2003 AFMS Newsletter, page 3). I will never enter a case in competition The reason, a few years ago I was attending a federation show. Since I am handicapped I frequently seek a place to rest . I watched these two judges seat themselves in front of a case. They sat there for over two and one-half hours. While passing I overheard one say, "there must be something we can find wrong".
I am a retired educator and part of my job was to evaluate staff. One year while working with this particular teacher I could find no area of improvement that I could give suggestions on how to do so. I did not make any suggestions for improvement because I could not show this teacher how to improve. My superior reprimanded me and then said," you can always find something wrong".
If there is a finger print on the outside of the glass, forget it. To me, this is a hobby, I am not going to subject my self to criticism because I put a specimen in the case turned the wrong way. I am very interested in this hobby. Each school year I give a presentation on rocks, minerals,and fossils to about 1000 students . they are small groups, about 20-30 so they can look at and handle the specimens. This is my sixth year as editor of our newsletter.
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