Monday, 24 September 2012


Former Tukana district occupied the larger part of the north west of Kenya all within the Great East African Rift Valley bordering South Sudan and Ethiopia to the north and Uganda to the West
The area is semi-arid with extreme day temperatures and equally low temperatures at night.
 Dr Richard Leakey, a renowned Kenyan paleoanthropologist and conservationist, together with a group of paleotologists discovered  the famous "Turkana boy" the oldest and most complete skeleton of Homo erectus. 

Nariokotome Boy, or “Turkana Boy,” a Homo erectus found by Alan Walker and Richard Leakey, Lake Turkana, Kenya is the most complete Homo erectus ever found.
 The 9-12 year old boy believed to be around 1.6 million years old was an important milestone filling the gaps palaeotologists had found hard to fill back then. 
Watch a video of Dr Leakey and the Turkana boy here  

He and and his team made further discoveries. A new species of Australopithecus a bipedal species with an upright posture that dated over 4 million years ago, the earliest stages of human evolution. Human and animal remains were trapped and fossilized in the stratified sediments of the Great Rift Valley. Tectonic activity has uplifted many ancient sediments and the constant erosion of them by wind and water exposes new finds every year. The lake basin is rich in specimens of Australopithecus, the primitive “transitional” hominid with many ape-like features. Koobi Fora to the east of the lake has yielded some of the most fascinating animal fossils in the world. Different types of primitive elephants, prehistoric hippos, giraffes and ancient species of crocodiles are but a few of the fossils discovered around the lake shore.

 So Kenya and Turkana in specific has been scientifically proven to be the cradle of mankind!

further reading can be found here

Saturday, 22 September 2012


Many of you .ke citizens have been to the north of the country. The dry north with its numerous whirl winds, sand storms, strong winds and the hell’s kitchen temperatures. Since independence the only available power source we had was hydrothermal power plants which provided electricity for the urban elites. The rural folk got used to firewood until Wangari Mathai came along. She was a rural folk make no mistake about that but she foresaw doom with this trend. Here is how that scenario played out. The urban had all the electricity and the rural folk made away with all the trees. In the beginning it was a harmless unrelated relationship. But then the trees started reducing in number in effect the rains measured mm less in the rain gauges. In effect they started rationing the water supplied to the turbines because it could run out and the factories would had to be closed up and the rich could not afford to stay without electricity. The rural folk didn’t know this at that time but they were helping to bring electricity to their homes. So when the government was alerted to this disparity in energy supply they sought to stop the rural folk from cutting down the trees by starting the rural electrification project to reduce usage of trees in farm use.  But the damage was already done and so now the government is trying to look for other energy sources to help supply the ever rising demand for energy.

Ngong hills just outside Nairobi was to host the 1st  pilot project wind turbines in the country. Why they didn’t choose the very effective winds in the north is still up for debate. It however seemed to have worked out well with the 300mw wind project in Turkana, the biggest wind project in Africa apparently, yet to start it could provide much needed relief to the energy crises the country almost fell to.

In my opinion Kenya should be divided into energy zones to ease on the strain of putting all the energy into one national grid. The wind energy in the north could be divided with some of it taken to the national grid and the chunk of it used exclusively by the inhabitants of the northern half of the country. Almost every part of the country has the potential of producing its own energy and if the supply proves to be insufficient then the national grid comes into play. With resort cities, railway lines and meat factories in the works for the north in vision 2030 this could help in provision of energy for the north who have been in the receiving end of economic injustices from this government and the past two in resource allocation.

Friday, 21 September 2012

#FACTSvsFALLACIES The Crying Stone of Ilesi - Kakamega

Ikhonga Murwe- the crying stone of llesi. Folklore and myth surround this rock found in the western region of the country in the county of Kakamega. Legend has it the rock can't stop 'crying'.

To the government it is a tourist attraction, to the Luhya community living around it, it holds both cultural and spiritual significance. the community carried out rituals to avoid droughts and for cleansing ceremonies. In modern society too the rock holds religious significance as churches like Legio Maria and Rosary Church make pilgrimages to it.

Geologically the rock is a large boulder of acidic plutonic rock, 8 meters tall, made up of quartz, alkali feldspars and mica. there is a small groove in the middle from which water flows out from. the water is believed to be from a moss growing inside the rock that soaks up water during the wet season which allows it to flow long periods of time. 

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Thursday, 20 September 2012


so what geological misconceptions have people had in the past and still have? well here is one

Reblogged from Lounge of the Lab Lemming

Diamonds are not former coal. Coal is the organic-rich remains of terrestrial plant matter, and this is younger than the oldest land plants, which are roughly 400 million years old. Pb isotope studies of diamonds show that they are generally between 2 and 2.8 billion years old, 5-7 times older than the oldest land plants. Thus diamonds were already collecting their pensions by the time the first coal beds were formed.

Secondly, they have different isotopic compositions. Plants, which fix CO2 via photosynthesis, contain 2% less 13C than the Earth’s mantle, while most diamonds have mantle carbon isotopic composition. The light isotopic composition of coal is due to the preferential uptake of 12C over 13C during photosynthesis. Diamonds, not being related to coal, never photosynthesized, and do not show this effect.

Thirdly, metamorphic minerals have very different textures than hydrothermal ones. Diamonds are thought to precipitate from a CO2 fluid when said fluid is reduced in the mantle. This allows big, low strain crystals to form. Solid state phase transitions generally involve lots of deformation and recrystallization. Were coal to be metamorphosed into diamond, it would probably form a diamond rock with micron-scale crystals. Impact diamonds have grainsizes that are micron to sub-micron, and the source of the carbon is difficult to determine. But they are tiny, and it is theoretically impossible for them to be more than a few carats (they need to be small enough to cool off before the shockwave dissipates, or they will revert to graphite).

Of course, it is theoretically possible to synthesize diamonds from coal in a lab. But this is unlikely to occur for several reasons. If the diamonds are being grown in a traditional metal catalyst belt apparatus, then a low sulphur carbon source should be used to prevent the nickel catalyst from being attacked. If coal was sulphur free, then trout in the Adirondacks would have nothing to complain about. In the case of Chemical Vapor Deposition diamond, a gaseous source- usually methane- is used. With either method, nitrogen from organic compounds in the coal would impart a yellow-green color in the diamond due to the absorption of the single N defect. So coal would be a poor source material for synthetic diamond production.

To summarize: Diamonds are too old to be squished coal, and even if they weren’t they contain the wrong sort of carbon and form through different processes. Furthermore, coal is a poor choice of precursor for synthetic diamond production, as spectroscopic graphite is best for metal catalyst diamonds, and methane is preferred for CVD.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012


YES! I have had a lot of my friends who have asked me this question countless times. And the answer is always the same!
Question I always ask them is if a cook goes to the grocery to buy his/her ingredients aren’t we doing the same when we go collecting rock samples? Is it any different?

 Many think its child play. It is, just more professionally done with the expertise of an educated adult. “The field is our office” a former lecturer used to say.
But the field is more than just rocks and stones. Its snakes, scorpions, hostile people, friendly people, its no people at all, the witchcraft THE ALL!! 

Never is one day in the office the same as the other. The excitement never ends. Not a day ever ends without something to remember.its never a dull day at the office!!

The beauty of it all has nothing to do with what we bring along with us after we come back from our excursions, it’s the loads we leave behind (Thank God for the digital camera). 

From  witchcraft
to the innocent smiles

and the innovative

the future and the present
feel free to email me your favorite office, work or field pics to and i will publish some of them in a later post

Monday, 10 September 2012

Another Strike in Kenya, But A Useful One This Time

Kenya has struck its first substantive natural gas deposits near Malindi, further raising its profile as a potential oil and gas exporter.

An Australian oil prospecting company Pancontinental involved in drilling off the Kenyan coast said Monday morning it has encountered approximately 52 net metres (about 170 feet) of natural gas pay so far.

The firm says it struck the gas at the Mbawa deep-water well.


“The Mbawa 1 well has encountered approximately 52 net metres (approx. 170 feet) of natural gas pay in porous Cretaceous sandstones. The Mbawa 1 exploration well was drilled to a depth of 2,553m RT (below the drill floor), at which point wireline logs, fluid samples and sidewall cores were acquired from the well,” said Mr Barry Rushworth, Pancontinental Chief Executive and Director said in a statement.

The firm said the reservoir and fluid parameters will become available as logs and sample analyses are completed.

It says it has resumed drilling targeting 3,275 metres.

“While we have not finished operations in Mbawa 1, this gas discovery is very promising and it is the first ever substantive hydrocarbon discovery offshore Kenya. We are delighted to prove that there is a working hydrocarbon system offshore Kenya,” Mr Rushworth said.

The firm said further work continues to evaluate the size of the discovery.

“With drilling continuing to a deeper exploration target, these interim results may be the first part of the story in this well, and they are certainly just the beginning of the main story of oil and gas exploration offshore Kenya,” Mr Rushworth said.

The discovery comes at a time when Kenya has already struck oil and is waiting for further analysis to confirm if it the quantities are commercially viable.