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Alabama () is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th largest by area and the 24th-most populous of the U.S. states. With a total of 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of inland waterways, Alabama has among the most of any state.
Alabama is nicknamed the Yellowhammer State, after the state bird. Alabama is also known as the "Heart of Dixie" and the Cotton State. The state tree is the longleaf pine, and the state flower is the camellia. Alabama's capital is Montgomery. The largest city by population is Birmingham, which has long been the most industrialized city; the largest city by land area is Huntsville. The oldest city is Mobile, founded by French colonists in 1702 as the capital of French Louisiana.
From the American Civil War until World War II, Alabama, like many states in the southern U.S., suffered economic hardship, in part because of its continued dependence on agriculture. Like other southern states, Alabama legislators disfranchised African Americans and many poor whites at the turn of the century. Despite the growth of major industries and urban centers, white rural interests dominated the state legislature from 1901 to the 1960s; urban interests and African Americans were markedly under-represented. Following World War II, Alabama grew as the state's economy changed from one primarily based on agriculture to one with diversified interests. The state economy in the 21st century is based on management, automotive, finance, manufacturing, aerospace, mineral extraction, healthcare, education, retail, and technology.Alabaster is a mineral or rock that is soft and often used for carving, as well as being processed for plaster powder. The term is used in different ways by archaeologists and the stone processing industry on the one hand, and geologists on the other. The first use is in a wider meaning, covering varieties of two different minerals: the fine-grained massive type of gypsum, as well as the fine-grained banded type of calcite. Geologists only define the gypsum variety as alabaster. Chemically, gypsum is a hydrous sulfate of calcium, while calcite is a carbonate of calcium.
Both types of alabaster have broadly similar properties. They are usually light-coloured, translucent and soft stones that have been used throughout human history mainly for carving decorative artifacts.
The calcite variety is also known as onyx-marble, Egyptian alabaster, or Oriental alabaster and is geologically described as either a compact banded travertine or "a stalagmitic limestone marked with patterns of swirling bands of cream and brown". "Onyx-marble" must be understood as a traditional, but geologically inaccurate term, since both onyx and marble have geological definitions distinct from even the widest one applicable for alabaster.
In general (but not always), ancient alabaster is calcite in the wider Middle East, including Egypt and Mesopotamia, while it is gypsum in medieval Europe. Modern alabaster is probably calcite, but may be either. Both are easy to work and slightly water-soluble. They have been used for making a variety of indoor artworks and carvings, as they will not survive long outdoors.
The two kinds are readily distinguished by differences in their hardness: gypsum alabaster is so soft it can be scratched with a fingernail (Mohs hardness 1.5 to 2), while calcite cannot be scratched in this way (Mohs hardness 3), although it does yield to a knife. Moreover, calcite alabaster, being a carbonate, effervesces when treated with hydrochloric acid, while gypsum alabaster remains nearly unaffected when thus treated.		

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/

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