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Andrew Alden

On Lucky and Unlucky Rocks

By October 3, 2013

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hawaii rockOnce upon a time, I visited Hawaii and brought home this stone. I knew the superstition that doing so is bad luck, but I went ahead, and 20 years later I got this gig at the newborn website that became About.com. Now, maybe my signal success would have come about 20 years earlier, but I don't think so. I think I've done OK. Nevertheless, I've decided that when I return to Hawaii, I'm bringing this guy back to where it came from because why shouldn't I? I'm not a museum. I haven't furthered the great cause of research science with it, although surely some of you have learned from my photos and descriptions of this rock. In fact, it has earned me enough over the years to pay for the plane ticket back. You might call that good luck, as I do. Either way, a lucky or unlucky rock obliges you, I think, to do the right thing with it. If you think it might be wrong to take away a rock from somewhere, listen to that voice in your head because you're probably right. More thoughts on the subject in my new article, Is It Bad Luck to Take Rocks?
Hawaiian basalt — Geology Expert photo


October 5, 2013 at 8:02 pm
(1) Karen says:

When I want to gather a rock from an outcrop, I look through the detritus of the same rock type at the base of the outcrop for a good specimen. If there’s no convenient place to split it and see a fresh face, I take it home and split it on the backyard concrete. That way I don’t touch the outcrop itself.

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