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All of Minecraft: Pre 0.0.9a to 1.8

A history of Minecraft. (slyt)
posted by curious nu on Sep 8, 2014 - 101 comments

Hashima Island: in 1974 the coal ran out, but the ghosts remained

A few miles off the coast of Japan lies "Battleship Island," or Gunkanjima (軍艦島), the Japanese nickname for Hashima Island, due to its resemblance to the Japanese Tosa battleship. The island was formerly a densely populated coal mining town, purchased by Mitsubishi in 1890, but by the 1960s the coal was running out, and in 1974 the island was quickly vacated as Mitsubishi offered residents jobs elsewhere. Now, the island is an urban explorer's dream, though the island is not completely open to the public for tours. Last year, Google trekker walked the island, providing a virtual tour of the island. And if the roughly 40 year old ruins aren't foreboding enough, Bryan James put together a Chrome experiment called Hashima Island: Forgotten World, based on the Google maps tour of the site.
posted by filthy light thief on Apr 21, 2014 - 15 comments

Do you ever feel, like, bad about working in a place like that?

Ducks is a five-part comic by Kate Beaton based on her time working at a mining site in Fort McMurray in 2008. It's 'about environmental destruction in an environment that includes humans,' and it's sad and disturbing and shrewd all at once.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED on Apr 7, 2014 - 83 comments

1.4 million chips and 5,000 Raspberry Pis

Dave Carlson runs North America's largest (known) Bitcoin mining operation, taking 10% to 20% all bitcoins made. It was reputed to be mining $8 million dollars a month during the peak prices a few months ago. The operation takes up two warehouses (video) and apparently Carlson has special deals on bulk electricity, near Columbia River hydro-power in Eastern Washington. Carlson partnered with a shadowy Ukrainian known only by his handle "Bitfury" who designed a custom ASIC chip controlled by a Raspberry Pi, "he taught himself microprocessor engineering and designed his chip by hand at his kitchen table".
posted by stbalbach on Apr 2, 2014 - 214 comments

Internet Archive Digital Residencies

Each week, the Internet Archive's tumblr account is completely transformed by a digital resident along a theme of their choosing. [more inside]
posted by zarq on Mar 18, 2014 - 3 comments

Naturalis Historia

"My subject is a barren one – the world of nature, or in other words life; and that subject in its least elevated department, and employing either rustic terms or foreign, nay barbarian words that actually have to be introduced with an apology. Moreover, the path is not a beaten highway of authorship, nor one in which the mind is eager to range: there is not one of us who has made the same venture, nor yet one Roman who has tackled single-handed all departments of the subject."
Naturalis Historia was written by Pliny the Elder between 77 and 79 CE and was meant to serve as a kind of proto-encyclopedia discussing all of the ancient knowledge available to him, covered in enough depth and breadth to make it by a reasonable margin the largest work to survive to the modern day from the Roman era. The work includes discussions on astronomy, meteorology, geography, mineralogy, zoology and botany organized along Aristotelian divisions of nature but also includes essays on human inventions and institutions. It is dedicated to the Emperor Titus in its epistle to the Emperor Vespasian, a close friend of Pliny who relied on his extensive knowledge, and its unusually careful citations of sources as well as its index makes it a precursor to modern scholarly works. It was Pliny's last work, as well as sadly his sole surviving one, and was published not long before his death attempting to save a friend from the eruption of Mt. Vesuvius that destroyed Pompeii and Herculaneum, famously recounted by Pliny's eponymous nephew Pliny the Younger.
Here is a reasonable translation that is freely available to download from archive.org for your edification.
[more inside]
posted by Blasdelb on Dec 16, 2013 - 24 comments

Science Journalism Award winners

2013 Science Journalism Award winners from the American Association for the Advancement of Science: [via Romenesko] [more inside]
posted by mediareport on Nov 6, 2013 - 4 comments

Blood in your hands - ethical electronics

The Bangka Belitung islands are a picture postcard tropical paradise, except where the tin is mined. Tin that is used in smartphone solders, and that is responsible for widespread ecological devastation. Following a Friends of the Earth campaign, all of the major manufacturers bar one have acknowledged their role in this destruction, and are seeking improved standards for tin mining. But if you truly want ethical consumer electronics, you'll have to wait for the Fairphone(Fairphone previously).
posted by wilful on Sep 23, 2013 - 20 comments

Stalin's Rope Roads

The decaying cable car network of Chiatura, Georgia.
posted by Artw on Aug 26, 2013 - 56 comments

Banana Wisconsin

Bulletproof Security is a paramilitary security company. They have provided security to Habitat for Humanity and Empire CAT among others. [more inside]
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt on Jul 8, 2013 - 42 comments

Fog Count

In the false American imagination, West Virginia is a joke or else it’s a charity case; but more than anything it is unseen, an invisible architecture of labor and struggle; and incarceration shares this invisibility, hidden at the center of everything; our slipshod remedy for an abiding fear, danger pinned to human bodies and then slotted into bunk beds you can’t see from any highway. [more inside]
posted by latkes on Apr 7, 2013 - 31 comments

Yet another reason books are awesome.....as if we needed one.

Mining books to map emotions through a century. Emotion words aren't consistently used through time, it seems. Things got scary in the 80's.
posted by littleap71 on Apr 2, 2013 - 20 comments

A Scientist at War With His Tribe

How Napoleon Chagnon Became Our Most Controversial Anthropologist. "Jaguars and anacondas are impressive adversaries — 'Indiana Jones had nothing on me,' Napoleon Chagnon says — but his staunchest foes are other anthropologists."
posted by homunculus on Feb 13, 2013 - 30 comments

What they really coveted was Arutam’s golden throne

The most-storied warrior tribe in Ecuador prepares to fight as the government sells gold-laden land to China.
posted by tykky on Feb 13, 2013 - 11 comments

Property Rights! In! Spaaa​aaaaa​aaaaa​aaaaace!

Practical, economic development of space — treating it not as a mere borderland of Earth, but a new frontier in its own right — has not materialized. Still, the promise is as great as it ever was, and, contrary to popular opinion, is eminently achievable — but only if the current legal framework and attitude toward space can be shifted toward seeing it as a realm not just of human exploration, but also of human enterprise.

posted by the man of twists and turns on Jan 12, 2013 - 17 comments

Blue Sky Mine

An environmental group's hoax e-mail dropped the more than $300 million from share price of Australian mining company Whitehaven Coal. The Australian Greens party has supported the economically destructive attack, drawing ire from the conservative Coalition party.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Jan 8, 2013 - 161 comments

Adolph Sutro

Anyone who has spent any time at all on the Western side of San Francisco is familiar with the name Sutro. Being the 24th mayor of the City was actually one of his smaller and lesser-known accomplishments. Born in Prussia in 1830, he first made a name for himself with The Sutro Tunnel, which was used to drain water from underneath the Comstock Lode, improving working conditions and lowering the mine's operating costs. He sold his interest in the company he founded and left for San Francisco, where he built himself a mansion, among other things... [more inside]
posted by MattMangels on Dec 9, 2012 - 24 comments

Then in 1908, it burned down a third time

Tragedies and disasters of the Crowsnest Pass (part 1, part 2).
posted by Chrysostom on Nov 15, 2012 - 11 comments

Mes Aynak

Golden Buddha, Hidden Copper. "Twelve years after the Taliban blew up the world-famous Bamiyan Buddhas, a Chinese mining firm -- developing one of the world's largest copper deposits -- threatens to destroy another of Afghanistan's archeological treasures." Campaign to Save Mes Aynak.
posted by homunculus on Sep 22, 2012 - 14 comments

The Ju-Ju Magic of the Miners of Afosu

The Ju-Ju Magic of the Miners of Afosu. Photos and paintings from Ghana by Ben Zawalich.
posted by homunculus on Jul 26, 2012 - 2 comments

Nightmare in the Andes

The highest inhabited settlement on Earth is La Rinconada, Peru, at 5100 meters above sea level. It is a hellscape.
posted by Chrysostom on Jul 24, 2012 - 28 comments

Sir, the possibility of successfully navigating an asteroid field is approximately 3720 to 1.

A new Seattle-base company called Planetary Resources (twitter), created by several billionaires, apparently has a lofty goal in mind ... to bring a 500-ton asteroid to Earth by 2025, for the purposes of mining its resources. And according to a recently released report (pdf) by CalTech, it's not all that outlandish an idea.
posted by crunchland on Apr 20, 2012 - 89 comments

Mining Mayhem

Mining is a dangerous industry, and Mining Mayhem is a blog that aims to be the definitive resource for photos of mine site incidents and accidents (mostly from Australian mine sites). [more inside]
posted by barnacles on Apr 14, 2012 - 12 comments

I Think I'm Getting The Black Lung, Pop

The harrowing lives of child miners in the early 1900's. [more inside]
posted by gman on Mar 2, 2012 - 28 comments

Like Noriega but Fresher Smelling!

Indigenous groups in Panama have shut down parts of the Pan American Highway in an increasingly violent protest. The root of the conflict is the Martinelli government’s refusal to enact environmental protection that was promised for the Ngöbe-Buglé Comarca from both Hydro-Electric and mining exploitation. Outside press is being denied entry to cover the conflict. This is not the first time this has happened. Ongoing updates in English can be found here.
posted by white_devil on Feb 7, 2012 - 6 comments

The Black Damp

On the morning of November 13, 1909 there were around 500 men and boys working in the St. Paul mine in Cherry, IL. It would be more than six months before the last body was recovered. [more inside]
posted by timsteil on Nov 12, 2011 - 21 comments

Chinese heavy metals

About one tenth of China's farmland is polluted with heavy metals, with whole villages being poisoned. All too frequently, local governments have reacted by ignoring the problems and even denying treatment (HRW report).
posted by jeffburdges on Nov 9, 2011 - 37 comments

“People just weren’t meant to be that far underground.”

Venturing 9800 ft below the earth's surface at Kidd Creek mine
posted by exogenous on Aug 2, 2011 - 36 comments

Los 33: Chilean miners face up to a strange new world

Los 33: Chilean miners face up to a strange new world "The rescue of 33 miners from Chile's San José mine after 69 days trapped underground was a triumph shared with the whole world. But the transition back to normality is proving difficult for both the men and their families."
posted by nooneyouknow on Jul 17, 2011 - 21 comments

Meet Australia's and possibly soon the world's richest woman.

You probably haven't heard of Gina Rinehart. However, she's Australia's richest person and will quite possibly be the world's richest person in a few short years. Her currently limited political activity appears primarily directed at maintaining profitability, avoiding taxes and stopping a price on carbon pollution.
posted by wilful on Jun 22, 2011 - 40 comments

Question? RTFAQ (Read the F*cking Al Qaeda)!

Mining the Mother of all Data Dumps We now have a relatively massive haul of digital data from the OBL strike.  There are several forensic toolkits in use by the private (commercially available) and public sector as well as open-sourceBest practices include inventorying all the sources, cloning the sources so as to not damage pristine data, recovering any partial or damaged content, making the cloned sources read-only, adhering to legally-admissible tools standards, and documenting everything.   There is an excellent source titled Digital Forensics and Born-Digital Content from the Council on Library and Information Resources [pdf, Resource Shelf].   But what to do next*? [more inside]
posted by rzklkng on May 4, 2011 - 40 comments

Papers and More on Data Mining

It has applications in health care, pharmaceuticals, facial recognition, economics/related areas, and of course, much much more. Previously, MeFi discussed controversial homeland security applications, and the nexus between social networking and mobile devices that further contributes to the pool. With plenty to dig into, let's talk Data Mining in more detail. [more inside]
posted by JoeXIII007 on Apr 22, 2011 - 14 comments

The Price of the Paperless Revolution

Essays on mining and its environmental and human health costs in the Fall 2010 Virginia Quarterly Review: Digging Out; Tin Fever; The Pit; Here Everything is Poison, The Solution: Bolivia's Lithium Dream; The Underground Giant: Life in the Hard Rock Mines of Quebec and Ontario; Jharia Burning; Mother of God, Child of Zeus. Editorial: The Price of the Paperless Revolution.
posted by cog_nate on Mar 3, 2011 - 10 comments

Bloody Harlan

In 1972, miners at Duke Energy's Brookside coal mine in Harlan County, KY voted to organize with the United Mineworkers of America. When the company refused to accept a contract, the workers went on strike. [more inside]
posted by TrialByMedia on Dec 3, 2010 - 24 comments

Pike River Mine Disaster

New Zealand Police announced this afternoon that they believe that all 29 miners missing at Pike River are now presumed dead. After several days of raised and dashed hopes, a second explosion at the coal mine has devasted hopes that the miners could possibly be alive.
posted by chairish on Nov 23, 2010 - 88 comments

Coal Without Carbon

Dirty Coal, Clean Future
To environmentalists, "clean coal" is an insulting oxymoron. But for now, the only way to meet the world's energy needs, and to arrest climate change before it produces irreversible cataclysm, is to use coal—dirty, sooty, toxic coal—in more-sustainable ways. The good news is that new technologies are making this possible. China is now the leader in this area, the Google and Intel of the energy world. If we are serious about global warming, America needs to work with China to build a greener future on a foundation of coal. Otherwise, the clean-energy revolution will leave us behind, with grave costs for the world's climate and our economy. (more here and responses here, here and here)
posted by kliuless on Nov 12, 2010 - 49 comments

The fine art of surfacing

Live coverage of the rescue operation of the 33 Chilean miners who have been stranded underground for the last 68 days. NASA are helping in more ways than one but it isn't over yet.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth on Oct 12, 2010 - 191 comments

But do they have any bottlecaps?

"Places like Picher are why Congress passed the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act of 1980—better known as the Superfund bill." - Wired Magazine on the most toxic town in America, Picher, OK , and the people who still live there
posted by The Whelk on Sep 5, 2010 - 21 comments

A Whole World of Mine Crafts

Minecraft (previously discussed here) is a building game being developed by Notch. The developer (singular - it's mostly a one man show) has been busy since the last time the game was posted. Before, the focus was mainly creative, cooperative building. The recent direction the game has taken is a sprawling, single player survival game, where the player must harvest resources to build defenses against a hostile world. [more inside]
posted by codacorolla on Jul 10, 2010 - 12 comments

World's richest nation: would you believe Afghanistan?

U.S. Identifies Vast Riches of Minerals in Afghanistan.

The United States has discovered nearly $1 trillion in untapped mineral deposits in Afghanistan, far beyond any previously known reserves and enough to fundamentally alter the Afghan economy and perhaps the Afghan war itself, according to senior American government officials.

The previously unknown deposits — including huge veins of iron, copper, cobalt, gold and critical industrial metals like lithium — are so big and include so many minerals that are essential to modern industry that Afghanistan could eventually be transformed into one of the most important mining centers in the world, the United States officials believe.
posted by scalefree on Jun 13, 2010 - 156 comments

WV Mine Explosion

7 Dead, 19 Missing "The Mine Safety and Health Administration, or MSHA, has cited the Upper Big Branch Mine for hundreds of violations in recent years, including 10 so far this year related to legal requirements for ventilation systems to control methane and dust. The company has contested numerous fines, including two in January totaling more than $130,000 related to mine ventilation."
posted by wv kay in ga on Apr 5, 2010 - 57 comments

It takes two to speak truth: One to speak and another to hear

Roger Ebert gets his voice back [more inside]
posted by Blazecock Pileon on Mar 2, 2010 - 56 comments

Black Lung Rising.

Black Lung Rising. "When coal miners suffering from black lung reach the point where they can no longer dig coal and they meet guidelines such as working the required number of years exposed to coal dust, they become eligible to file a black lung claim to obtain monthly benefits to live on ... When the decision is made to award a miner monthly benefits, the coal company has the right to appeal that decision, and often does." [more inside]
posted by grabbingsand on Jul 16, 2009 - 16 comments

"Grab a chance and you won't be sorry for a might have been."

The Dzrtgrls explore mines, ghost towns, rockhounding spots, petroglyphs, geocaching and metal detecting sites, and take lots of great pictures in the process.
posted by rollbiz on Apr 26, 2009 - 12 comments

When Mining Attacks

Picher, Oklahoma was part of a major lead mining area in the central US until the middle of the last century, when the mines closed down. It is now the epicenter of the Tar Creek Superfund site. Residents live among mountains of mine tailings known as chat. Heavy metal poisoning is endemic in the area. With fits and starts, things do begin to get done about it, but only very slowly. To add insult to injury, Picher was struck by an EF-4 tornado on May 10th, 2008. The residents are finally suing over the long in coming buyout plan. Shockingly, the buyout plan was put into place with urgency not because of the lead, zinc, and cadmium poisoning, but because the mines are in danger of caving in. There is still word on when the mountains of debris will be removed, or the acid mine drainage stopped. Despite attempts to prevent further contamination in the 1980s and 90s, the waste is still poisoning local creeks and wildlife.
posted by wierdo on Apr 9, 2009 - 15 comments

The Real Price of Gold

We've talked about gold on Metafilter before (1 2 3), and while the price of gold as a commodity rising to record levels again, nobody is talking about the real price of gold. Unfortunately, small-scale mining is sometimes crucial to the livelihood of communities, for example in Suriname (1 2). Although there are attemps to make mining cleaner, the way growth in demand is outpacing supply, combined with the belief that it is a perceived safe-haven store of wealth, it is likely the negative effects will be with us for many decades.
posted by DreamerFi on Dec 29, 2008 - 65 comments

Cosmin Bumbuţ

Cosmin Bumbuţ, Romanian photographer. [nsfw] [more inside]
posted by fire&wings on Jul 8, 2008 - 5 comments

Harvesting Guano

Long revered for its value as a fertilizer, and as a raw material for explosives, guano is the dried droppings of various birds and bats. The New York Times has published an excellent account of the Peruvian harvest of this valuable resource including a multimedia slideshow. Guano was superseded by synthetics in the early part of the 20th century, due to the development of the Haber Bosch process, which fixed atmospheric nitrogen. An attempt to harvest bat guano from a Grand Canyon cave in the late 1950’s was beset by technical problems and was ultimately unsuccessful. The remaining structures at the canyon rim are now a tourist attraction.
posted by Tube on Jun 7, 2008 - 13 comments

The Door to Hell

The Burning Crater of Darvaza. [Via.]
posted by homunculus on Mar 26, 2008 - 31 comments

Buy Platinum (if you can afford $1800 per ounce)

Jewelers, engine parts manufacturers, and most of all, investors are watching as platinum hits an all time high, topping $1800 per ounce. An electic supply crisis in South Africa is to blame/thank for this unprecedented rise as mines are facing limits to the amount of electricity they can use. A mining analyst said it could eventually top $2000/oz.
posted by JD Rucker on Feb 4, 2008 - 20 comments

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