Rock & Gem - Feature Articles

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Get to Know Fool’s Gold

Fool’s gold is a primary concern when you’re panning for gold. Is that glitter in the pan genuine gold or fool’s gold? Although fool’s gold mimics gold, it’s not real gold. However, it can sometimes be a precursor to finding real gold. It’s also pretty, so it’s not necessarily bad to see pyrite even though it’s not very valuable monetarily. If you’ve ever dreamed of striking the mother lode but you’re not 100 percent sure what gold looks like in its natural state, this guide is for you. / Originally appeared in Rock & Gem magazine's October 2022 issue.

Ultimate Gift Guide for Rockhounds

The holiday gift-giving season is officially here. If you’re scrambling to find the perfect gift for that friend or family member who lives to hunt rocks, you’re not alone. Knowing what to get a rockhound can be challenging when you have no interest in the hobby. Luckily, gifts related to rockhounding are plentiful, available at various price points and suitable for rock and gem enthusiasts of all ages. Here are several ideas if you haven’t found something special for the rock lover(s) in your life.

How to Hand Polish Rocks

Many people find rock collecting to be a fun hobby and a more interesting way to learn a little geology. You can do it by yourself or with your friends, significant other or kids. After you’ve spent a day finding some nice specimens, it’s time to decide what to do with them. You could throw them in a tumbler or discover the joy of hand-polishing your rocks. Hand polishing can turn a dull piece of stone into a gleaming beauty, but it takes a bit of time and elbow grease, and some people find they don’t have the patience for it.

Don’t Get Fooled While Gold Panning

When you’re panning for gold, a primary concern for newbies is whether the glitter in their pan is genuine gold or fool’s gold. Although fool’s gold mimics gold, it’s not really gold. However, it can sometimes be a precursor to finding real gold and it’s pretty, so it’s not necessarily bad to see pyrite even if it’s not very valuable monetarily. If you’ve ever dreamed of striking the mother lode but you’re not 100% sure what gold looks like in its natural state, this guide is for you.

Hunting for Naturally Recycled Sea Glass

With pail in hand and the ocean waves softly undulating and dousing the sand, beachcombers far and wide scour the shores for various curiosities. Seashells, fossils, driftwood and other natural artifacts are commonly sought treasures, but some searchers seek broken bits of glass. No, they’re not on a clean-up the beach crusade. They’re hunting for sea glass. Created by both man and nature, sea glass is one of the ultimate examples of one person’s trash being another person’s treasure.

Is It Legal to Collect Rocks? | Rock & Gem Magazine

Rock collecting isn’t just for hardcore rockhounds. All types of people, young and old, who find a pretty rock on a hiking trail or side of the road may put it in their pocket and take it home. But is this breaking the law? Simply put, maybe. It depends on where the rock was found. Private land is relatively straightforward, but on public land, it’s not as clear-cut. This story about the legalities of collecting rocks previously appeared in the January 2022 issue of Rock & Gem magazine.

7 Stones to Help Relieve Stress

Stress has been an ongoing problem for many people long before the challenges and collective loss brought on by COVID-19 made it worse. For some, the ongoing pandemic has caused stress levels to skyrocket even if they weren’t previously prone to feeling overly tense. From the isolation felt during lockdowns to the turmoil of trying to resume daily life once stay-at-home orders were lifted, stress and anxiety may have pushed your mental and emotional wellbeing to the limit. Enter seven stunning little stones that are said to possess healing abilities that may help diffuse some of your anxiety by alleviating your stress. Published in the March 2022 issue of Rock & Gem magazine

From Sea to Me: Learn the Craft of Jewelry Making with Recycled Silver and Sea Glass

Walking along the beach, Allen McGhee isn’t just there for the beautiful ocean view. He’s on the hunt for sea glass and smaller beach stones that might make a nice piece of jewelry. Brown and green sea glass are common, red and blue are much more elusive but all have the potential of being transformed into a recycled work of art. Tackling this beautiful craft may be easier than you think, especially with some helpful hints to get you started. Originally appeared in the February 2022 Issue of Rock & Gem magazine

Is It Legal to Collect Rocks?

Rock collecting isn’t just for hardcore rockhounds. All types of people, young and old, who find a pretty rock on a hiking trail or side of the road may put it in their pocket and take it home. But could you be breaking the law? This is a complicated question, and the simplest answer is maybe. It really depends on where the rock was found. Private land is relatively straightforward, but on public land, some states say okay, other states say no way and the government says it depends on which entity owns the land, what you’re collecting and who’s doing the collecting. Originally appeared in the January 2022 Issue of Rock & Gem magazine

Various Publications (Writing as Moira K. McGhee)

Moira K. McGhee

Miami mayor, Nashville recording artist deliver cakes for charity

What started with an elderly lady simply buying cream cheese at a local dollar store wound up benefitting two local organizations. Miami Mayor Bless Parker turned a negative experience into something positive and the community once again proved how much it cares. The elderly lady happened to be the mayor’s mom, Margaret Anderson, and she was buying a large amount of cream cheese to make cheesecakes for Christmas. The mayor said he had no idea there was a shortage of cream cheese and there was no limit on how many you could purchase. Originally published in the January 4, 2022 edition of the Miami News-Record

Double Cast Brings The Nutcracker to Life

Christi Leonard has been teaching children to dance for the past 42 years. She faces one of the biggest challenges of her career this year with a double cast for her Nutcracker ballet. “I only do Nutcracker every other year,” explained Leonard. “Last year should have been the year, but we couldn’t get into the NEO theatre because of COVID. The kids were just devastated. The Nutcracker is the story of Clara, a young girl who receives a magical Nutcracker as a gift from her uncle at her family’s annual Christmas party. Later that night, her Nutcracker grows to life-size and defeats the villainous Rat King. The Nutcracker turns into a Prince who takes Clara on a grand adventure in the Kingdom of Snow and the Land of Sweets. Originally published in the Dec. 3, 2021 edition of the Miami-News Record / Page 1

Various Publications (Writing as Moira K. Wiley)

Get Thrashed - The Story of Thrash Metal - DVD Review

“Get Thrashed: The Story of Thrash Metal” Saigon1515 Productions / Kundrat Productions (2007) Directed by Rick Ernst Review By: Moira K. Wiley Crave Magazine “Get Thrashed: The Story of Thrash Metal” traces the rise and fall of a new form of metal that broke out in the early 1980s dubbed thrash. It outlines the impact this new extreme style of heavy metal that was popularized by bands like Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies and others had on the music industry as a whole. Watchers will learn the story behind the heaviest and hardest music that spanned not only through the 80s but also the early 90s as told by the bands that lived it, the fans and other bands that grew up on this genre of music and the artists that try to carry on the thrash metal tradition today.

Book Review of The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx

“The Heroin Diaries – A Year in the Life of a Shattered Rock Star” Nikki Sixx with Ian Griffins, MTV Books/Pocket Books (2007) Reviewed By: Moira K. Wiley Crave Magazine (August 2007) Motley Crue’s Nikki Sixx takes readers to a terrifyingly dark place that many probably never knew existed and most do not want to go in his brutally honest memoirs released by MTV Books/Pocket Books in September. Throughout the book you feel his anguish, confusion and frustration of wanting to quit the habits he’d created, but loathing the idea of leaving the place he feels most comfortable and safe…his bedroom closet which is filled with drugs, paraphernalia and guns. Nikki’s story shows readers the darkest side of rock-n-roll where decadence and destruction are but inches apart. At the height of the band’s fame, Nikki shares his roller coaster ride of the highest highs and even lower lows that spans the year in his life when he finally hit rock bottom. The constant downward spiral, which undoubtedly would have led to his death like it has so many other hardcore rocker addicts in the past, finally ends when he finds the courage to realize it was time to climb out of the pit that had become his life. A life where nothing was more important than his next spike, which always just led to another tortuous night filled with paranoia and temporary insanity. Interspersed between actual diary pages that Nikki wrote during this year-long heroin and cocaine haze is commentary from those who knew him at the time and some of his own comments as well. Dubbed one of the most unique memoirs of addiction ever published, “The Heroin Diaries” is available anywhere books are sold.

Book Review - Love is a Mix Tape - Crave Magazine

“love is a mix tape -- Life and Loss, One Song at a Time” Rob Sheffield, Crown Publishing (2007) Reviewed By: Moira K. Wiley Crave Magazine (August 2007) He’s a shy, skinny Irish Catholic geek and she’s a real cool hell-raising, Appalachian punk-rock girl -- talk about your star-crossed lovers! “Love is a mix tape” is the story of boy meets girl, fall in love and live life (and love) through their cassette tapes of mixed music or “mix tapes.” Then, tragedy takes said girl away and all he’s left with is their old mix tapes. Sounds like a cliché with the added gimmick of using mix tapes to tell the story, BUT Sheffield manages to hook your attention right from the beginning in his unique descriptions alone. For instance as early as page five when he explains how the doomed couple met and he’s describing his first experience living in “The South,” you get your first good chuckle when he refers to the possibility of getting possum rabies...

Last Rites Vol. 1 & The ArtFusion Experiment - Paul Booth DVD Clip

DVD Review of "Last Rites Vol. 1" & "The ArtFusion Experiment" by Paul Booth | Review appeared in Crave Magazine, writing as Moira K. Wiley (August 2007) You don’t have to be a tattoo fanatic to appreciate the macabre style of world renowned (tattoo artist) Paul Booth. You do, however, need an open mind and a strong disposition to the darker sides of life. No fodder for the faint of heart or weak of stomach, his tattoo studio ala dungeon makes every client’s experience memorable to say the least. His art speaks for itself and it says ... “dark, demented and brilliant.”

Wide Eye Panic | The Process | Press Coverage from Crave Magazine

Wide Eye Panic - The Process | Reviewed by: Moira K. Wiley | Printed 10/08 in Crave Magazine | Wide Eye Panic’s new independently released album, The Process, starts out with a catchy riff that leads into a tune that sounds vaguely familiar. Track one’s “Undermine” is followed by “My Awakening,” another tune you feel you’ve heard before, yet you haven’t. This is because the band has put their own stamp on music influenced by notables such as Tool, Pantera, Deftones and Mudvayne. Melding the music into a sound that’s uniquely their own, this alternative metal band from Olympia, Washington strives to create their own niche in the industry...

One Eleven Records | ARTISTS | CANON

MEMBERS Jason Turbin - Lead Vocals, Keys Benji Pope - Bass Cassidy Turbin - Drums Tieg Johnson - Guitar Los Angeles based CANON was influenced by 70s rock titans like King Crimson, Yes and Jethro Tull, yet their sound is also reminiscent of contemporary trailblazers such as Radiohead, Muse and Explosions in the Sky. Throughout their debut album, "Wide Awake," released in February 2007 by Corporate Records, the listener hears this wide range of influences, but should enjoy the fact the band doesn't come off sounding like another copycat. (Previously written for Crave magazine, writing as Moira Wiley)

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