Introducing Thomas M. Rock

i-c97ecdbbea28cff5117061a698c5711b-PA220040.jpg So far, Thomas M. is the only one to take advantage of my Donors Choose fundraising gimmicks. So, this rose quartz cobble, which I picked up while hiking in the hills near Santa Fe, shall henceforth be known as Thomas.

When you find something so well-rounded in a sedimentary deposit it's always hard to say precisely where it came from - especially when you subsequently forget where, exactly, you were hiking that day. Northern New Mexico is home to a number of pegmatites, coarse-grained igneous veins that host spectacular crystals and economically useful deposits of lithium and beryllium. Most of these are associated with the 1.4 billion year old granites in the Sangre de Cristo and Sandia mountains; the other major igneous intrusive episode in the region was 34 million years ago in the Cerrillos Hills.

There are a couple of rocks I picked up in the same spot which, on closer inspection, might actually have a bit of lepidolite (purple lithium-rich mica) in them. That's typically associated with the older pegmatites. So if I had to bet, I would bet that Thomas M. Rock is 1.4 billion years old, related to what was formerly the United States' primary source of beryllium.

If you want a 1.4 billion year old piece of quartz named after you - possibly one with lepidolite inclusions, or maybe they're tourmaline or something, they're pretty small and it's hard to tell but they are definitely an attractive deep mauve - well, you've got until Friday to donate at least $20 to any of the projects on my Donors Choose challenge slate or the California No on 8 campaign.

And for those of you giving to Donors Choose, our overlords at Seed have agreed to contribute $15,000 in matching funds!

Here's how the matching process will work. Each blogger participating in the challenge has been given an equal share of the funds, to dispose of as we see fit. That means I've got $715 to allocate.

If you donate by the end of the day on Monday, I will triple your money.

There is a challenge on my slate that's been sponsored with another matching grant. If you can dig up as little as $5 in change from underneath your couch cushions, or save $5 next week by bringing your own soda to work instead of buying it from the expensive corner store... that money could turn into $40 towards a hands-on demonstration of the water cycle for 90 students in Indianapolis. As little as $37 from you, if you give today, could finish the whole project.

If you don't donate today or tomorrow - if you procrastinate until the end of the challenge, maybe you'll donate later or maybe you'll get wrapped up in Halloween and election stuff and forget - then I'll match 50% of your donation. Donate now.

I think there are enough spare dollars in your collective pockets to wipe out my funds. I shouldn't have leftovers. But if for some reason I do, I will distribute them in such a way as to completely finish as many projects that have been partially funded in this challenge as possible.

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Well, I didn't expect to get a blog post about the rock, too! Nice! I have a few people to show this to who are going to find this absolutely hilarious in a 'Thomas, you are such a fucking geek...' sense.

I may as well play the guilt card while I'm here, too: I'm a starving under-grad and I managed to donate $20. I'm sure some of you can bring out some money, too.

By Thomas M. (not verified) on 27 Oct 2008 #permalink