By Andy Thompson, MSDC Secretary
MSDC President David Hennessey called the meeting to order and warmly welcomed all members and guests and thanked everyone for coming. He invited any guests who wished to introduce themselves and share their reason for attending and one person said he wanted to improve his ability to identify minerals. Dave then thanked MSDC’s past presidents who were present and said he hoped that next year, if someone volunteered to replace him, he could join that group.
John noted that our membership had increased by one person paying their dues.
Old and New Business
No old business issues were raised but several new issues were discussed. Dave commented that many of the Smithsonian museums were reopening and the National Museum of Natural History (NMNH), the club’s meeting place, was moving in that direction. However, the NMNH was several months away from reopening to the public and as yet there was no firm date for doing so.
New business also included the news that the club’s parent organization, the Eastern Federation (EFMLS) announced that due to the State of New York’s covid-related restrictions about large public gatherings, the annual convention for 2021 was cancelled. The September Wildacres session held in North Carolina, however, is open and Dave highly recommended participating. Although the May session was cancelled, the September session is still a “go” (see: Wildacres - EFMLS).
Ken Reynolds invited everyone to participate in the GLMS-MC monthly meetings, held on the second Monday of most months. For information on upcoming topics, speakers and programs, see GLMSMC - Welcome!.
Geology in the News
Bob shared that Pandora, which claimed to be the world’s largest jewelry “making” company, will cease using mined diamonds (see: Pandora, world's largest jewelry marker, will no longer use mined diamonds - CBS News). Discussion included a story about a newly engaged woman’s requirement that her engagement diamond be lab created, thereby avoiding damage to the environment and the violence associated with blood diamonds.
Lastly, Andy P reported a story described in a New York Times article of April 29, 2021 concerning the meteorite that astronomers traced as having originated from the asteroid Vesta. In the early hours of June 2, 2018, in a very rare event, a large asteroid was detected headed toward Earth. That night it exploded in the air above a national park in Botswana. Because scientists had tracked the meteorite’s path before it entered the Earth’s atmosphere, they could develop its orbit and traced it back to the asteroid Vesta.
Scientists concluded that the asteroid began its journey 22 million years earlier when two asteroids collided and started a large asteroid shard on its journey toward Earth. As of November 2020, 24 small meteorites had been found in the Botswana site. Further discussion ensued.
With no further geological news reported by attendees, Dave called for and received a motion to close this portion of the meeting. He asked Yury to introduce the evening’s program and presenter.
Human consciousness arose but a minute before midnight on the geological clock. Yet we mayflies try to bend an ancient world to our purposes, ignorant perhaps of the messages buried in our long history. Let us hope that we are still in the early morning of our April day. — Steven Gould