In 2011 a group of researchers drill into 15 stones and insert GPS devices in each one of them. The stones are planted in the southern playa of the Death Valley National Park in California. The researchers hope to track the stones’ movement in time. They wait.
Two sisters collect rocks from a blackwater river. With their knees deep in the water they reach with their arms into the dark wet surface and with their hands feel for size, texture, and weight. The selected rocks are stored in their pockets and bags. Occasionally, the sisters’ hands emerge with what first feels like rock but is revealed to be a turtle shell. The shells vary in size, texture and weight. When a turtle shell is surfaced the sisters use a pocket knife to engrave their initials and date on the ventral plastron (lower shell). The shell is then thrown back into the river.
Ann Makosinski, a 15 year old from Victoria, British Columbia, invents a battery-free LED flashlight powered by the heat of the human hand. The hollow flashlight is a result of her interest in harvesting surplus energy, the energy that surrounds us but is never used. With the use of four Peltier tiles and the temperature difference between the palm of the hand and ambient air, the flashlight provides bright light without batteries. Her invention qualifies her as a finalist in the Google Science Fair, the top winner will receive $50,000 scholarship and a trip to the Galapagos Islands.
In December 2013 a storm hits the Death Valley National Park in California, leaving behind an inch and a half of rain. Overnight the rain freezes into large thin sheets of windowpane ice. The next day a group of researches return to find a surface covered with ice, afternoon sun and a steady wind. They hear the ice crack and the stones begin to sail. The mystery of the sailing stones is solved.
...All they found of him was a muddy set of prison clothes, a bar of soap, and an old rock hammer, damn near worn down to the nub. I remember thinking it would take a man six hundred years to tunnel through the wall with it. Old Andy did it in less than twenty. Oh, Andy loved geology. I imagine it appealed to his meticulous nature. An ice age here, million years of mountain building there. Geology is the study of pressure and time. That's all it takes really, pressure, and time. That, and a big goddamn poster.
A retired Swiss in Paris walks the streets in search of mementos. He stops outside the façade of the late 15th century Hôtel de Sens and takes a picture with his phone. In July 28, 1830, during the July Revolution, a cannon ball hit the front of the building and can still be seen. Delacroix’s Liberty leading the people celebrates the 1830 event. The Swiss continues his search and stops at the side of Le Centorial building, the current LCL headquarters. In 1918 a German plane bomb damaged the façade, an inscription reads BOMBE D’AVION 30 JANVIER 1918. The Swiss takes a picture with his phone. He gets home, uploads the pictures into his personal blog and titles the post A few traces...
This photo shows an old man holding a turtle he found on his family's property in Washington, Pennsylvania, on May 2, 2012. The man believes it is the same box turtle his son carved his initials into the shell of, 49 years ago. Because turtles have such a strong shell, the engraving most likely didn’t harm the animal.