On Saint Patrick's Day, Americans observe their stereotypical inner Irishman, and the traditional Irish gift of persuasive speech has its avatar in the Blarney Stone, mounted in the battlement of Blarney Castle near Cork. This is not the true Blarney Stone, but another piece of Blarney Castle. The casino owners of Reno, Nevada, have mounted this rock by the sidewalk of Virginia Street in hopes of igniting gambling lust in passers-by. That's a little unclear on the concept, but it leverages Americans' stereotypical love of novelty. Read more
about the real Blarney Stone and other famous stones, or visit this one in the Geology and Society
I will be in Nevada the rest of this week, but down in Las Vegas instead. There they rely on more modern means of attracting gamblers, such as the hypnotic sounds in the slot-machine chambers. I plan to spend my days in the halls of UNLV at the GSA section meeting, flipping a coin to help choose a session to attend. Heads or tails, I'm sure to win. Science meetings, not shell games, are my strange attractor.
Blarney stone in Reno Geology Guide photo