About the blog: What Things Are Made Of


The United States relies on imports for dozens of commodities in everyday use. Often enough, that reliance is 100%. In this book I aim to provide awareness of the hidden geology and mineralogy behind common things, and to develop an appreciation for the global resource distribution that underpins our society. While concerns about oil import reliance are in the news every day, our needs for other minerals are comparable and are typically unknown even to technologically aware Americans.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010


This probably doesn’t apply to me, but just in case.

The Federal Trade Commission requires bloggers to disclose any freebies or promotions they get in connection with any products they discuss.


No one gives me anything. Well, sometimes a friend of relative does, but I’m not endorsing them, either. I don’t get any kickbacks from the government of China for describing the Bayan Obo rare-earth deposit. Toyota isn’t breaking down my garage door to give me a Prius because I talk about the neodymium in its motor or the lithium in its battery. In case that should happen, I’ll be very happy to disclose the fact.

My goal is to be objective anyway, so if a company gave me a freebie, that wouldn’t guarantee much, anyhow.

Good enough?

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