Melting metal for casting. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by Glen Swartwout
Metal is useful for many tools. When kept well oiled in our ‘marine’ environment, these tools are one of the most precious and lasting sources of utility and value we have. They are precious. We paint bright colors on their handles so we do not lose them or forget to bring them home to a dry space when we are done using them. Otherwise, like other material things, they melt back into the jungle… and are lost, sometimes forever.
On first glance the metal element is known as a specialty of the dwarf race, and thus also of particular interest to the earth hobbits who trace a good portion of their lineage to the dwarves. They use metal implements to dig in the earth and harvest its riches of soil and rock, and even sparkling green olivine (peridot) crystals found at The Shire (just look closely at the greenish sand on the surface of the driveway!). Metal, of course, is also classically abused by the orcs with their indiscriminate digging and scraping of the earth, often leaving linear scars and rectangular patches of ground flat, barren and… boring. Dead. We hear that they call these places ‘subdivisions.’ It all sounds scary to a poor hobbit… But enough horror stories… We have glorious tales to tell of the hidden truth within the metal element. Read the rest of this entry
East Rift Zone of Kilauea Volcano. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
by Glen Swartwout
Crevices in the earth form near the Rift Zone of the most active volcano on Earth, as the land to our South (the unstable side of this fault line) sinks under the massive weight of the newest land on Earth, being deposited daily whenever the lava is flowing into the ocean… And this is a fact you will easily detect when heading to the beach, as you will see the cloud-like plume rising a thousand feet in the air. At night if you get closer to the plume you may see it lit up by the red glow of lava exploding as it hits cool ocean water, as well as with internal lightning, electrical discharges traveling through plasma (ionized gas). It is reminiscent of the Shekinah Glory, the Earthly presence of the Creator, which appears as a pillar of smoke by day, and a pillar of fire by night.
When surface lava flows pool up temporarily forming a lava lake, we sometimes even see the red glow reflected in the clouds from our cozy vantage point at The Shire, some five miles away. Now doesn’t that make you feel safe? It’s actually one of the safest volcanoes on the planet, because it rarely builds up pressure to produce an explosive eruption. You can often walk right up to a lava flow, if you can stand the heat… I wonder why the banks and insurance companies refuse to do Orc business here… Read the rest of this entry