by the Minfidel
World-class curlers (and no, I’m not talking about the Mall Diva and her profession) can come from all over the globe but the sliding stones used in the sport can only be found in one place:
Apparently, there is a very special kind of granite needed to make the hefty stones that glide down the curling sheet. Specifically, it’s blue hone granite, and it’s known to be available in just one place in the entire world: Ailsa Craig, an island off the coast of Scotland.
And supply — or at least access to the supply — apparently could be dwindling. As noted in a recent Yahoo! Sports piece, curling could face a stone crisis down the road, though just how long is unknown. Even that is complicated. From the article: It “depends on demand for curling stones, British mining regulations, puffin breeding levels and if technology somehow allows for a non-blue hone granite solution.”
I don’t think I’d want to get too emotionally invested in anything that’s regulated by the Brits — healthcare, for example — or the mating habits of puffins. Fortunately some forward-thinking folks, such as my best friend from high school, are already at work on alternatives. My friend Nick suggested on his Facebook page that they combine hockey and curling into a new sport — called “hurling”. I thought that was a great idea, but for one catch: there already is a sport called hurling, and while it involves the Irish it’s not what you think. In addition, rugby has always had plenty of hurling, though typically after the games, as King David might attest.
I hope something gets worked out so that curling can continue to inspire it’s fans. Fans such as the DFL-controlled Minnesota legislature, for example, that’s trying to slide a deadweight bonding bill past the governor.