Charles Brian Orner


Interested readers will discover additional details here in a wide variety of areas, including the arts, astronomy, business, culture, environment, gaming, geography, language, history, literature, music, mythology, philosophy, politics, religion, and science. Spend a little time with the notes; it'll pique your interest. Then buy the book. Most notes have been taken from public sources such as Wikipedia. The remainder are given attribution.

Chapter 31

1    Tailings, also called mine dumps, culm dumps, slimes, tails, refuse, leach residue or slickens, are the materials left over after the process of separating the valuable fraction from the uneconomic fraction (gangue) of an ore.
      In mining and in archaeology, overburden (also called waste or spoil) is the material that lies above an area of economic or scientific interest. In mining, it is most commonly the rock, soil, and ecosystem that lies above a coal seam or ore body.
2    Ilse Koch (September 22, 1906 – 1 September 1, 1967) was the wife of Karl-Otto Koch, commandant of the Nazi concentration camps Buchenwald (1937–1941) and Majdanek (1941–1943). She was one of the first prominent Nazis to be tried by the U.S. military. After the trial received worldwide media attention, survivor accounts of her actions resulted in other authors describing her abuse of prisoners as sadistic, and the image of her as “the concentration camp murderess” was current in post-war German society. She was known as “The Witch of Buchenwald” by the inmates because of her alleged cruelty and lasciviousness toward prisoners. She is also called in English “The Beast of Buchenwald,” “Queen of Buchenwald,” “Red Witch of Buchenwald,” “Butcher Widow,” and, more commonly, “The Bitch of Buchenwald.”
3    In a normal conveyance between private parties in Pennsylvania, the so-called “Dunham Rule” governs whether use of the term “minerals” includes or excludes oil and natural gas. Dunham & Shortt v. Kirkpatrick, 101 Pa. 36 (1882). The rule is as follows: if, in connection with a conveyance of land, there is a reservation or an exception of “minerals” without any specific mention of natural gas or oil, a rebuttable presumption arises that the word “minerals” was not intended by the parties to include natural gas or oil. Highland v. Commonwealth, 400 Pa. 261, 161 A.2d 390 (1960)
4    In Morrisville, Pennsylvania it is illegal for a woman to wear any kind of cosmetics without first acquiring a special permit.
5    Rendezvous with Rama is a hard science fiction novel by Arthur C. Clarke first published in 1973. Set in the 2130s, the story involves a 50-kilometer (31 mile) cylindrical alien starship that enters Earth’s solar system. The story is told from the point of view of a group of human explorers who intercept the ship in an attempt to unlock its mysteries. This novel won both the Hugo and Nebula awards upon its release, and is regarded as one of the cornerstones in Clarke’s bibliography.
6    In myths dating to the classical period of Ancient Greece (510-323 BC), the site of Delphi was believed to be determined by Zeus when he sought to find the center of his “Grandmother Earth” (Ge, Gaea, or Gaia). He sent two eagles flying from the eastern and western extremities, and the path of the eagles crossed over Delphi where the omphalos, or navel of Gaia was found.
7    Supplicants to the Oracle at Delphi were interviewed in preparation of their presentation to the Oracle by the priests in attendance. The genuine cases were sorted and the supplicant had to go through rituals involving the framing of their questions, the presentation of gifts to the Oracle and a procession along the Sacred Way carrying laurel leaves to visit the temple, symbolic of the journey they had made.
8    Pneuma is an ancient Greek word for “breath,” and in a religious context, for “spirit” or “soul.” It has various technical meanings for medical writers and philosophers of classical antiquity, particularly with regard to physiology, and is also used in Greek translations of the Hebrew Bible and in the Greek New Testament. In classical philosophy, it is distinguishable from psyche, which originally meant “breath of life,” but is regularly translated as “spirit” or most often “soul."
      Supplicants to the Oracle at Delphi would be led into the temple to visit the adyton, put his question to the Pythia, receive his answer and depart. The degree of preparation already undergone would mean that the supplicant was already in a very aroused and meditative state, similar to the shamanic journey elaborated on in the article.
9    The phrase “a thousand points of light” was used by George Bush in his speech accepting the presidential nomination at the 1988 Republican National Convention in New Orleans. Written for Bush by Peggy Noonan and Craig R. Smith, the address likened America’s clubs and volunteer organizations to “a brilliant diversity spread like stars, like a thousand points of light in a broad and peaceful sky.” Bush reprised the phrase near the end of his speech, affirming that he would “keep America moving forward, always forward—for a better America, for an endless enduring dream and a thousand points of light.”
10    Lucius Annaeus Seneca (often known simply as Seneca (c. 4 BC – AD 65) was a Roman Stoic philosopher, statesman, dramatist, and in one work humorist, of the Silver Age of Latin literature. He was a tutor and later advisor to emperor Nero. While he was forced to commit suicide for alleged complicity in the Pisonian conspiracy to assassinate Nero, he may have been innocent. His father was Seneca the Elder, his elder brother was Lucius Junius Gallio Annaeanus, called Gallio in the Bible, and his nephew was the poet Lucan.
11    The year 1816 is known as the Year Without a Summer (also the Poverty Year, the Summer that Never Was, the Year There Was No Summer, and Eighteen Hundred and Froze to Death), because of severe summer climate abnormalities that caused average global temperatures to decrease by 0.4–0.7 °C (0.7–1.3 °F). This resulted in major food shortages across the Northern Hemisphere. Evidence suggests that the anomaly was caused by a combination of an historic low in solar activity with a volcanic winter event, the latter caused by a succession of major volcanic eruptions capped by the 1815 eruption of Mount Tambora in the Dutch East Indies (Indonesia), the largest known eruption in over 1,300 years.
12    Number of active gas wells in the United States in 2010: 487,627. Source: U.S. Energy Information Administration
13    The worldwide average monthly production of crude oil in 2009 was 72,670,000 barrels, for an annual total of 872,040,000 barrels. This is equal to 36,625,680,000 gallons. Source: U.S. Energy Information Association, Monthly Energy Review, November, 2014
14    Niagara Falls is located on the Niagara River, which drains Lake Erie into Lake Ontario. The combined falls form the highest flow rate of any waterfall in the world, with a vertical drop of more than 165 feet (50 m). The volume of water approaching the falls during peak flow season may sometimes be as much as 225,000 cubic feet (6,400 m3) per second. The average annual flow rate is 85,000 cubic feet (2,400 m3) per second. (2,400 cubic meters) * (60 seconds per minute) * (60 minutes per hour) * (24 hours per day) * (365.24 days per year) = 75,740,000,000 cubic meters annually, or 20,010,000,000,000 (twenty trillion) gallons.
15    The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection and the Susquehanna River Basin Commission conducted a study that assessed forty one products used in fracturing operations and found that seventy three percent of the products had between six and fourteen different adverse health effects, including skin, eye, and sensory organ damage; respiratory distress including asthma; gastrointestinal and liver disease; brain and nervous system harms; cancers; and negative reproductive effects. —Diamanti-Kandarakis E, Bourgui- gnon JP, Giudice LC, et al. “Endocrine-disrupting chemicals: an Endocrine Society scientific statement.” Endocr Rev. 2009:30(4):293–342.
16    According to the United States Geological Survey, the total volume of water on Earth is estimated to be 1,386,000,000 cubic kilometers. The volume of fresh water is estimated to be 35,030,000 cubic kilometers, or 2.5% of the total water volume.
17    Scientific consensus is that a layer of liquid water exists beneath Europa’s surface, and that heat from tidal flexing allows the subsurface ocean to remain liquid. It is predicted that the outer crust of solid ice is approximately ten to thirty kilometers (six to nineteen miles) thick, including a ductile “warm ice” layer, which could mean that the liquid ocean underneath may be about one hundred kilometers (sixty miles) deep. This leads to a volume of Europa’s oceans of 3 × 1018 cubic meters, slightly more than two times the volume of Earth’s oceans.
      Scientists first suspected an ocean in Ganymede in the 1970s, based on models of the large moon. NASA’s Galileo mission measured Ganymede’s magnetic field in 2002, providing the first evidence supporting those suspicions. Scientists estimate the ocean is 60 miles (100 kilometers) thick – 10 times deeper than Earth’s oceans – and is buried under a 95-mile (150-kilometer) crust of mostly ice.” - From NASA Press Release 15-033, NASA’s Hubble Observations Suggest Underground Ocean on Jupiter’s Largest Moon, March 12, 2015
18    In astronomy and astrobiology, the circumstellar habitable zone (CHZ), or simply the habitable zone, colloquially known as the Goldilocks zone, is the region around a star within which planetary-mass objects with sufficient atmospheric pressure can support liquid water at their surfaces.
       A major question is whether planets suitable for biochemistry are common or rare in the universe. Small rocky planets with liquid water enjoy key ingredients for biology. We used the National Aeronautics and Space Administration Kepler telescope to survey 42,000 Sun-like stars for periodic dimmings that occur when a planet crosses in front of its host star. We found 603 planets, 10 of which are Earth size and orbit in the habitable zone, where conditions permit surface liquid water. We measured the detectability of these planets by injecting synthetic planet-caused dimmings into Kepler brightness measurements. We find that 22% of Sun-like stars harbor Earth-size planets orbiting in their habitable zones. The nearest such planet may be within 12 light-years.” From the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, October 22, 2013

Brian Orner