I: Granite

The only island good enough to make curling stones.

I: Granite
Waterfall over granite. Photo by Ryan Pohanic / Unsplash

Good morning. Today is primidi, the 11th of Nivôse, Year CCXXXI. We celebrate le granit, a good quartz-y rock for building.

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New Hampshire is the Granite State, thanks to its historical importance as a quarry for building materials and quirky tors. So it's the state with the most granite quarries? No, that's Texas. With the biggest granite quarry? Nope, North Carolina. Okay, the highest-quality granite? Uh uh, Massachusetts. Greatest number of mines? That's Nevada. Does its granite contain gold veins? No, that would be in Arizona. Okay, but what about quirky features made of granite that might be featured on the back of a state quarter? Okay, now you're thinking of New Hampshire, with its "Old Man in the Mountain" that has been a famous tourist sight since XIII (1805). That crumbled and fell down unexpectedly in CCXI (2003), a mere three years after the quarter came out. Happy granite day, New Hampshire.

There's a rock halfway between Ireland and Scotland that's nicknamed "Paddy's Milestone," because it once represented the halfway point on starving Irishmen's journeys for work and money and food. It's a great granite behemoth that has been whittled down to a dome by centuries of mining and quarrying. The name is Ailsa Craig, it's currently uninhabited, and it's the only place in the world where Olympic curling stones can come from.

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