Moqui Marbles: a Natural Notable Meteor Wrong

Round metallic orbs often found in desert sandstone are often wrongly believed to be a meteorite You have just discovered 'Moqui Marbles...'

Iron Nodes from Sandstone Formations

Moqui Marbles are found extensively in the Navajo Sandstone Formation within the Grand Staircase Escalante National Monument, Utah and throughout the American southwest, notably including Utah are the states of Arizona and Colorado across the geologic formation known as the Colorado Plateau.

I have seen similar formations in south central Colorado, at Garden of the Gods National Monument and innocently gathered one in the early 1980s that I had found lying loose upon the ground near a footpath, adding it to my collection of interesting rocks and formations.

For a number of years I had entertained the spurious notion that this might be an iron meteorite although I really knew all along that it was not. This was mostly because of where and under the conditions of which it was found. Other specimens similar to the one I gathered were plainly visible embedded in the sandstone cliffs above and around me.

Generally round or smooth spheres of compacted sandstone surrounded by a concretion of iron oxides, these Moqui Marbles are also known as Shaman Stone or Thunderballs. They have been a part of the native Indian spiritual rituals of the region for properties that they alone understand. Modern spiritualists, nature-healers and Wiccan beliefs include such items in their repertoire of healing and cleansing stones and gems.

Embedded in the sides of sandstone cliffs, Moqui Marbles can often be found sheared in half where sandstone blocks have broken free, leaving a round bull's-eye formation of rusted iron. Sometimes the sandstone block that breaks away takes the entire Moqui Stone with it, leaving instead a half-round hollow in the remaining rockface. Again, I have seen these in and around the sandstone formations of Garden of the Gods National Park, Colorado.

Now protected in Utah's Escalante National Monument, these stones cannot be legally collected by rock and mineral prospectors. Ones legally or previously acquired before legislation can be found in gem and mineral shops for sale as well as on the internet. Often these are marketed under the umbrella purpose of being mystic healing stones in that venue.

Similar in form and function to bogi stones, their purported usage are to stabilize energies, communicate with animals, welcome the spirits of the dearly departed and generally impart harmony to the user, and other nebulous attributions. Being iron and having at least outward properties consistent with general notion of what a meteorite looks like, these might easily be confused as being a genuine iron meteorite.

Since meteorites (especially iron meteorites) tend to be most often found in deserts with the aid of metal detectors, they could by cursory field test incorrectly be considered the erstwhile space rock. Discounting activities of man, one tends to not find iron deposits lying upon the surface unless they are from meteor falls.

The roundish shape of Moqui Marbles however might suggest a man-made albeit severely rusted product such as artillery ammo, discarded iron rivets or railroad spikes or some form of rusted cast iron ball-bearing.

If it appears to be iron and does not outwardly resemble the business end of a claw hammer, the amateur meteorite prospector usually assumes incorrectly that they have found a meteorite. Moqui Marbles could easily gain inclusion to the meteor wrongs nomenclature because they are not meteor-rights.

Moqui Marbles in Sandstone Cliffs

iron nodes (Moqui Marbles) in the side of a red sandstone cliff

(image source)

Moqui Marbles are created over time by water that permeates sandstone layers and dissolves pockets to which later, iron oxides such as hematite, goethite and limonite are deposited. Formed millions of years ago, the sandstone which imprisons the iron node eventually weathers away, revealing the iron concretions as seen in the image above. Someday, these too shall break away and fall the valley floor below.

Exposed to the elements of windblown sand, water and other natural processes, these iron formations erode too and also take on curious shapes. Weathered shapes that can suggest flat saucers, walls or towers are not uncommon discoveries. A round orb on a short stalk can occur. Bogi stone are subjected to the same weathering elements and are often discovered this way as well.

Some otherwise round spheres have shapes that suggest a button or a nose on one or more sides of a roundish orb. Many of these nodes are even found lying free upon the ground, often rolled together by natural forces (wind, rain runoff, etc.) into congregations of similarly-freed orbs. The effect can be quite amazing to see where dozens or more are similarly gathered together. They look like rusty iron eggs laid by some ground-nesting Steampunk dinosaur.

Iron Nodes by the Dozens

Moqui Marbles (hematite concretions) lying upon the ground

(image source)

The Moqui Marbles acquired their reputation as Shaman stones because the American Indian shaman would use them in spiritual rituals, and casting them into the fire where they would heat up and explode, sending sparks skyward.

Moqui Marbles were formed by flowing water which dissolved the surrounding material over millions of years. This is interesting to geologists and geophysicists of NASA because concretions exactly like these have been found upon the planet Mars by the Opportunity rover. Sensitive to the tribal name Moqui there has been restraint in calling the Martian discovery of Moqui Marbles by that name. Another term has been used.

Martian 'Bluberries' are Moqui Marbles Too

The term 'blueberries' is used for the Martian variety. Images sent back by the Martian Rover craft Opportunity show that those hematite concretions look very much like tiny blueberries in a muffin.

It was theorized that water flowed on Mars millions of years ago, conditions which mirrored what also occurred on the Colorado Plateau during Earth's pre-history. If these concretion formations of iron oxide occurred on Earth under wetter conditions, similar geologic formations likely occurred during the infancy of Mars and should produce similar results. This assumption (and hope) proved to be true.

Interest in and collecting of Earth-based Moqui Marbles has probably seen an increase since discovering these same formations exist on Mars as well. Prior to this discovery, these Earthly iron nodes were easily dismissed by all but the most studious geologist, avid collector or devote spiritualist. Or, collected as being merely a natural anomaly.

Now these natural objects might actually become a sought-after commodity, objects that might cause zealous prospectors to illegally gather them for the purpose of profiteering.

Hollow Spheres of Natural Iron

Moqui Marbles, iron oxide / hematite orbs associated with certain sandstone formations of the American southwest

(image source)

Broken open, Moqui Marbles are somewhat disappointing. They are often sand-filled. The sand in the center of these iron spheres being loosely held together often weathers away quickly in the elements, leaving the harder shell of iron oxide behind. Above, we can see what some of the Moqui Marbles interiors look like.

Moqui Hill

Moqui Hill, one of the place where Moqui Marbles are found

(image source)

Close-up of Moqui Marbles

Broken and hollow Moqui Marble natural iron node formations

(image source)

From my search of the internet for Moqui Marbles there is no shortage of gem shops and private sellers that have a selection of these for sale and at reasonable prices. There still seems to be plenty to go around.

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1 Thank you for being such a good lecturer. You have educated me countless lessons in academic as well as lessons in life as well! I really value you in so many ways because without having you my dear teacher, I’m nothing!

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3 Thank you for everything! We are so lucky to have a lecturer like you!

4 Hello to my dearest teacher! I just want to thank you for being so kind and dedicated. I’m always excited to attend you lecture, because I’m sure that I’m going to learn again something new and interesting. Thank you and God bless you dear teacher!

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Why Education is Important to One's Success in Life?

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I took the LET in October 2009—and PASSED! Read about my personal experience here.

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*photo by Arjun Kartha

Precautionary Measures Before, During, and After Volcanic Eruptions

Volcanic eruptions have early warning signs that help residents around a volcano prepare before the actual eruptions occur.

Volcanic eruptions happen with early warnings unlike earthquakes that are sudden. There are early warning signs before a volcano erupts so there is at least time for residents around the volcano to prepare before the actual eruption occurs. People should know that before a volcano erupts there are warning signs such as rumbling sounds, continuous emissions of steam, increasing temperature around the volcano that results to withering of plants around and unusual behaviors of animals and earthquakes.

There are dangers that volcanic eruptions pose to people so it is important that they know how to handle situations before, during and after volcanic eruptions to avoid serious problems. The government has agencies that take care of reporting information about a certain volcano and its activities in order for people to be warned and avoid unpleasant incidents from happening.

Here are precautionary measures before volcanic eruptions:

1. Each one should be aware of the dangers that volcanic eruptions pose to lives and be prepared to face whatever circumstances the eruption may bring.

2. Prepare all necessary things to bring once evacuation is needed. Those in danger zones are warned when to evacuate. Once given the signal refrain from saying you will be all right. Refusing to evacuate will pose more serious problems.

3. Store as much food, water, light sources and batteries that are very useful in case of emergency.

4. Volcanic eruptions have ash falls so be prepared for masks or anything to cover nose and mouth.

5. Prioritize the safety of kids before other things. If you have relatives or friends who are far from the volcano, take your children there until such time that your place is safe.

Here are precautionary measures during volcanic eruptions:

1. Avoid all low-lying places because lava flows and mudflows are more likely to pass here.

2. Seek cover in case of ash falls rock falls.

3. Use masks and cover your mouth and nose to avoid breathing in ashes.

4. If you are inside a house; close all doors and windows to avoid ashes from getting inside.

5. Always stay indoors.

6. Stay in the evacuation center until further instructions. Do not attempt to leave the place unless told to do.

7. Keep a watchful eye on the kids because they might be tempted to go out and see what’s going on outside.

Here are precautionary measures after volcanic eruptions:

1. Go back to your house but leave the kids behind someone who can take care of them while you check your house.

2. Clean everything around and check all damages incurred.

3. Use masks while cleaning ash and other debris.

4. Wait for further announcements related to the volcano activities.

5. Make sure that your house is still safe for all of you.

Volcanic eruptions could be handled easier than earthquakes because there are early signs before the actual eruption so you are already prepared at the time of eruption. Always take precautionary measures in order to avoid serious problems.

A Teacher's Guide: Tips on Writing an Organized Five Paragraph Essay

As a teacher of elementary and middle school students, one hurdle is teaching the skills to write an organized five paragraph essay. While there are many different methods to choose from, there is a simple formula that can be applied every time.

As a teacher of elementary and middle school students, one hurdle is teaching the skills to write an organized five paragraph essay.  While there are many different methods to choose from, there is a simple formula that can be applied every time.  By creating a strong thesis statement, using a graphic organizer, and implementing the introduction-body-conclusion format, your students can produce a well written five paragraph essay for any writing assignment.

The Thesis Statement is the backbone of any well written essay. As defined by Webster's Online Dictionary; "A thesis statement is the main point that is to be proven by an essay. Usually backed up by examples, the thesis statement is the theme of that whole piece."  By dividing the thesis statement into three parts, you have effectively mapped out the three body paragraphs of the essay.  This is often referred to as a 'three-prong' thesis statement.  Each 'prong' or point mentioned in the thesis identifies the the topic sentence of one of the three body paragraphs.  For example; If you are writing about soccer, your thesis statement might read like this: 'Commitment, strategy, and team work are important elements of a winning soccer team.' With this one sentence, you have told the reader that the main ideas of your body paragraphs are commitment to the sport, strategy of the game, and the importance of team work.

Once you have established a strong thesis statement, it is important to organize your thoughts and any supporting information.  One of the most effective ways to do this is by using a graphic organizer.  A good graphic organizer is simple yet effective, providing space for the writer to list all the facts relevant to their chosen topic.  It provides a visual map to follow while writing the final essay.  The most effective graphic organizers use shapes such as circles or squares, connected with lines to show the flow of information.  It is important to remember that many students will need multiple copies of the graphic organizer as mistakes will be made.  In addition to the thesis statement, and supporting details, the graphic organizer should help to organize the opening and closing thoughts.  Remember that people usually remember the first and last thing that they read from any document. 

As the author, it is important to grab the reader's attention with a strong attention getter or 'hook'.  The most common attention getter is the question.  'Have you ever wondered what it takes to be a valued player on an amazing soccer team?'  Another effective way to get the readers attention is to create a mental image that the reader can become part of.  'Crisp morning air whipped at my face, the smell of fresh cut grass in the air.  Focus!  Focus!  Tom takes the ball.  He is dribbling toward me, his feet moving fast.  I center myself, ready and waiting.  He passes!  With one swift kick, I send the ball sailing passed the goalie to score the first point of the game!'  The introduction of any writing assignment should begin with an attention getter, and once the reader's interest has been piqued, it is important to keep it.  The introduction should tell the reader some basic information about the topic and then finish with the thesis statement. The following body paragraphs should give facts to support the three main points mentioned in the thesis statement.  One paragraph dedicated to each point will create the three necessary body paragraphs.  Each body paragraph should have a topic sentence, at least three supporting facts or details, and a closing sentence.  The final paragraph of the essay is the conclusion.  This is where you need to 'sum up' the information given in the body.  One way to create a solid conclusion is to restate what is said in the introduction.  Take the basic information, and even the thesis statement, and rewrite it.  Be sure to include reasons why the information is important or helpful.  Make the reader feel that their time was well spent.  After completing the written assignment, it is important to remember to edit, edit, edit!  A well written essay can be ruined by too many mistakes in grammar and sentence structure. 

As a teacher, is is important to give students the strongest foundation for writing possible.  Using the simple formula based on the three-prong thesis statement will give them a pattern to use with any writing assignment.  By teaching them to use a graphic organizer to organize their thoughts and information before writing, the process becomes much easier.  And, of course, following the standard five paragraph format will ensure that they are prepared for assignments throughout their education.

Sample Five Paragraph - Graphic Organizer:

K+12 Education in the Philippines

Review of the newly implemented K+12 Education in the Philippines.

The Enhanced K+12 Basic Education Program in the Philippines has been officially started. It has been initiated by the Aquino administration where students will have to undergo a new system of education.

This program will require all incoming students to enroll into two more years of basic education. Thus, the K+12 System will basically include the Universal kindergarten, 6 years of elementary, 4 years of junior high school with an additional 2 years for senior high school.

Moreover, the program aims to uplift the quality of education in the Philippines in order for graduates to be easily employed. The program also aims to meet the standards required for professionals who would want to work abroad.

Most importantly, the system aims to fully enhance and develop the students in order for them to be well-prepared especially in emotional and cognitive aspects. Through this, graduates will be able to face the pressures of their future workplace.

However, not all are in favor of the K+12 Education. There are students complaining of the additional years and there are parents who are not in favor of the additional expenses. But indeed, it is an undeniable fact that additional years in the education system will really require more budgets not just from the government but from the parents as well.

Aside from this, students will need additional classrooms, school supplies and facilities. The program would need more qualified teachers as well.

I personally believe that the K+12 Education in the Philippines would uplift the quality of lifestyle of the Filipino people. But, this could not be done without being prepared. And since the program has already been implemented, what is more important now is for students to do their best and study despite of the lack of facilities. Nothing is impossible when we persist.

As for teachers, continue to teach with love and love what you teach despites of your own personal triumphs and economic crisis. Always remember that the future of the students depends upon you.

As for the parents who have been doing their best in pursuing their child’s education, remember that the program aims what’s best for your children. It will help your children to become globally competitive and if your children will succeed, you will also succeed.

There may be a lot of factors to consider for the K+12 Education to succeed. But as long as we open our minds to change and we will take it on a positive way, we will definitely attain our most-aspired educational standards which will play a great role in our country’s development and will therefore, uplift us from poverty.

The Development of the Educational System in the Philippines

The educational system in the Philippines had undergone various stages of development. These stages of educational evolution can be traced way back from the Pre-Spanish period, to the Spanish Period, to the American period, to the Commonwealth and the Japanese period going to the present.

The educational system in the Philippines had undergone various stages of development. These stages of educational evolution can be traced way back from the Pre-Spanish period, to the Spanish Period, to the American period, to the Commonwealth and the Japanese period going to the present.

There is no definite information about the system of education in the Philippines during the Pre-Spanish period.

According to the history, the Philippine education had manifested in the culture of the people. However, there are no definite records that were available showing the types of schools that were established by the natives, as well as on the subjects or methods that they used.

There were Written and Oral literatures but all of the records that were written were accordingly destroyed by the Spanish colonizers; this was because they believed that those written records in literature were works of devils.

Some of the Oral literatures have been preserved until today and these are in the forms of proverbs, songs, maxims, epics, as well as in the forms of various tales and religious or criminological codes. There were also little knowledge in astronomy and engineering.

During the Spanish period, an educational decree was passed in an attempt to reform the educational system in the Philippines. Included in the decree are the establishments of complete secondary as well as collegiate levels, as well as the establishment of teacher-training institutions.

During the American period, a system of public education was established. The system was patterned after the American educational system. The Colleges and Universities that were organized during the time of the Spanish were continued. The programs of studies were revised; adapting the changes of time.

During the Commonwealth period and Japanese occupation, the curricula in the elementary as well as in the secondary schools were revised. Among of developments in education during the Commonwealth period were the re-orientation of educational plans and policies to carry out the educational mandate of the constitution, the revision of the elementary and secondary school curricula to carry out the objectives of education embodied in the constitution and many more.

Today, the Philippine education is patterned from the state school system of the United States. The education establishments comprised of the private schools that are owned and manage by private individuals or corporations and the public schools that are owned and manage by the state.

According to the history, the Philippine education evolves from its simple beginning and was shaped by foreign influences.

The Elements of the Teaching and Learning Process

Teaching and learning involves the process of transferring knowledge from the one who is giving to the one who is receiving. Teaching process cannot be performed if there is one element that is missing among the three of the teaching elements.

Teaching and learning involves the process of transferring knowledge from the one who is giving to the one who is receiving. Teaching process cannot be performed if there is one element that is missing among the three of the teaching and learning elements.

There is what we called as elements of teaching and learning processes. These elements are necessary to be able to make teaching and learning possible. Without one of these elements, there could be no real teaching or learning process that will exist. It is so important that the presence of these elements is present in the process of teaching, considering that all of them play an important role in the system

The elements of teaching and learning process are the teacher, the leaner as well as the good learning environment. It is being considered that learning occur when there is established relationship among these three elements. The teaching as well as the learning activity depends upon how these elements works together.

The teacher is considered as the element that has the main role in the teaching-learning process. He/she is considered as the so-called prime mover of the educational processes, thus he she directs the flow of the whole process. The teacher is the one that facilitates the whole process of leaning. He or she directs its flow and serve as main control of the teaching learning process.

The learners are considered as the key participant in the teaching and learning process. They are considered as the primary subject or the main reason why the process is implemented. The knowledge that acquired by the learners will decide if the teaching and learning objectives are achieved. Learners vary from one another in the aspects of learning. There are those learners that learn fast while there are those learners that learn in average or slower.

The favorable environment, participates in the teaching-learning process by providing a place where there is a smooth flow of communication, avoiding some common barriers between the teacher and the learner. The presence of a good environment is so much important in the teaching and learning process. The good environment provides a smooth flow of communication between the learners and the teachers, thus it facilitates a well executed teaching and learning process. A good environment is necessary for learning. The reason why we should make sure that we should have this kind of environment, as we teach or we learn.