Megiliggar Rocks Panorama
Megiliggar Rocks lie between Porthleven and Rinsey Cove in Cornwall. The light stripes in the cliff are granite sills, intruded at the roof of the Tregonning Granite into the Mylor Slates. At this location, it is possible to see xenoliths of dark country rock in the light-coloured granite, to see stoping in the roof of the magma chamber and to observe pegmatite veins with feldspar crystals up to 20cm long next to aplite veins with a crystal size of 2mm. This photograph was taken on a beautiful October day in 2012 at midday on an exceptionally low tide. This site is only safe to visit for an hour or so on either side of low tide, as there is a risk of getting cut off by the incoming tide, but it is well worth a visit if you want to understand how granite is intruded into country rock.
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Europe is generally agreed to be the birthplace of western culture, including such legendary innovations as the democratic nation-state, football and tomato sauce.
The word Europe comes from the Greek goddess Europa, who was kidnapped by Zeus and plunked down on the island of Crete. Europa gradually changed from referring to mainland Greece until it extended finally to include Norway and Russia.
Don't be confused that Europe is called a continent without looking like an island, the way the other continents do. It's okay. The Ural mountains have steadily been there to divide Europe from Asia for the last 250 million years. Russia technically inhabits "Eurasia".
Europe is presently uniting into one political and economic zone with a common currency called the Euro. The European Union originated in 1993 and is now composed of 27 member states. Its headquarters is in Brussels, Belgium.
Do not confuse the EU with the Council of Europe, which has 47 member states and dates to 1949. These two bodies share the same flag, national anthem, and mission of integrating Europe. The headquarters of the Council are located in Strasbourg, France, and it is most famous for its European Court of Human Rights.
In spite of these two bodies, there is still no single Constitution or set of laws applying to all the countries of Europe. Debate rages over the role of the EU in regards to national sovereignty. As of January 2009, the Lisbon Treaty is the closest thing to a European Constitution, yet it has not been approved by all the EU states.
Text by Steve Smith.