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Stones Stories

World War I halted Russian-German friendship for eight long years of bloodshed and mutual distrust. The Rapallo Treaty of April 1922 restored normal relations, and the credit for this went not to politicians, but to men of action. Such as the German scientist and businessman Friedrich Kranz.
Living on the edge of a hole 240 meters deep and nearly half a kilometer in diameter is a dubious joy, but the residents of the South African town of Kimberley are quite happy. Their ”Big Hole” is the world’s oldest primary diamond deposit. From 1872 to 1914 it yielded three tons of the hardest and most expensive stone (14.5 million carats). Today there is a tourist business around the flooded excavation: tramways are laid, and a late 19th-century mining camp has been recreated.
ледниковый валун
Back in the second half of the 19th century, most geographers believed that about 10,000 years ago the territory of modern Russia was a ”sea across which ice blocks were carried, leaving erratic boulders when they melted” (from a historical sketch by Vladimir Obruchev).
The patent for melchior - an alloy of copper and nickel - was received by the French in 1827. The name was later given to it by the Germans. They caught the consonance in the pronunciation of the names of the inventors Mayo and Saurier with the name of the Evangelical sorcerer. It is customary to give primacy in obtaining ”cheap silver” to the Chinese. Historians have their ancient text about the court foundry master Li Lyan Ying who mistakenly fused the aforementioned components and was able to appreciate the result.
эоловые камни
The Dzungarian Gate is a corridor, 50 kilometers long and 10 kilometers wide, between the mountain systems of the Altai and Tien Shan, the most important section of the main branch of the Great Silk Road. Here is the continental pole of the planet - the point of greatest distance from the world ocean. Today through this ”portal” passes the shortest railroad route from Europe to Asia. About the saturated energy of the place does not let you forget the constant strong wind - nature has created here a natural wind tunnel.
Fourteen years ago, for the first time in 200 years, there was a new blue pigment. Scientists at the University of Oregon were experimenting with materials for electronics and unexpectedly received an inorganic compound with a rich blues color. It turned out that it is practically non-fading and, unlike its predecessor, cobalt, is not toxic. But its brilliance is equal to that of classical ultramarine, which was made from semiprecious lapis lazuli and was in honor with the artists of the Renaissance.
скульптура либериха
Alexander II personally harvested 150 bears during his not particularly long life. Some of the trophies went to the participants of the hunt, others were used as diplomatic gifts or donated to museums and educational institutions. The bear killed on 9 March 1865 in Lisino near St. Petersburg the emperor left in the form of a stuffed animal in the Winter Palace, as a reminder of his decisive role in saving the horn-bearer Nikonov on that hunt.
дворец Воронцова в Алупке
Cobblestones, with the light hand of sculptor Ivan Shadr, are associated with the weapons of the proletariat. During the revolutionary events of 1917, all Moscow sidewalks, including Red Square, were paved with such stones. Today’s heavy-duty diabase appeared on it only in 1930. In ancient times, this stone from the family of basalts was used by miners as a substitute for metal in making the striking part of a pick. Diamonds, corundum and topaz are the hardest of all minerals. No houses are built of diabase. The only known example is the summer residence of Count Vorontsov in Alupka.
тагарский котел
The history of non-ferrous metallurgy in the south of the Krasnoyarsk Territory began not with the construction of a refinery in 1941, and not with the commissioning of one of the world’s largest aluminum plants in the mid-1960s. The first bronze items were cast here by the Iranian-speaking Tagars long before the heyday of ancient Athens, in the 7th century BC.
монетный пресс
Russian monarchs thought broadly, but often dependently. For example, Peter the Great adopted from the British East India Company not only the scheme for building shipyards for St. Petersburg, but also the strategy of expansion to Asia and Africa. In chess, copying the moves of a stronger opponent will never lead to victory, but in politics this method can sometimes give unexpected results.