The ultimate natural resource. Soil supports vegetation including most of the food that we eat. It houses many creatures from moles to microorganisms. It breaksdown and recycles the remains of plants and animals into mineral and organic matter. It filters water and is also used a building material for human-made structures.
The formation of soil is dependant upon parent material, climate, vegetation, topography, and time. Parent material is either rock, sediments, or organic material that morphs into soil over long periods of time. Climate along with parent material determines what types and where soils develop, which then determines what type of vegetation will grow. Topography also affects the vegetation type and climate. And time. It takes 500 years to make one inch of topsoil.*

*Source: a poster from the USGS hanging in the hallway at my college...
The following diagram, called the "Soil Texture Triangle", shows the names that soil scientists give to different mixtures of particle sizes in different soils.  The terms silt, clay, and sand refer to particles in particular ranges of sizes:
 

                            100 0
                              /\
                             /  \
                          90/_ _ \10
                           /(Heavy\
                          /   Clay)\
                       80/_ _ \/_ _ \20
                        /\    /\    /\
                       /              \
                    70/_ _ \/_ _ \/_ _ \30
             _       /\    /\    /\    /\
             /|     /        Clay        \
            /    60/_ _ \/_ _ \/_ _ \/_ _ \40
        % Clay    /\    /\    /\    /\    /\     % Silt
                 /  \                    /  \         \
              50/_ _ \/_ _ \/_ _ \/_ _ \/____\50      _\|
               /Sandy-\    /\    /\    /Silty-\
              /  -Clay \              /  -Clay \
           40/____\/____\/____\/____\/____\/____\60
            /\    /\    /\    /\    /\    /\    /\
           / Sandy-Clay-  \ Clay-Loam \ Silty-Clay\-Loam
        30/_ _ \/_ _ \/_ _ \/____\/____\/____\/____\70
         /\    /\ -Loam    /\    /\    /\    /\    /\
        /  \              /  Loam  \  /              \
     20/____\/____\/____\/_ _ \/_ _ \/_ _ \/_ _ \/_ _ \80
      /\    /\    /\    /\    /\    /\    /\    /\    /\
     /  Loamy-\  / Sandy- \  /  \  /     Silt-Loam      \
  10/____\/_ _ \/_ _ \/_ _ \/____\/_ _ \/_ _ \/_ _ \/____\90
   /\    /\    /\    /\    /\    /\    /\    /\    /\    /\
  / Sand/ -Sand  \   -Loam      /                 /  Silt  \
0/____\/____\/____\/____\/____\/____\/____\/____\/____\/____\100
100   90    80    70    60    50    40    30    20    10    0

                         <--% Sand

I have added hyphens to the various texture names, so that you know which pieces of name go with which others.

KANJI: DO TO tsuchi (soil, earth, ground, Saturday, Turkey)

ASCII Art Representation:

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Character Etymology:

From a pictograph of a clod of earth on the ground. This character is often confused with a the radical for plant/sprout: this is incorrect but can be used as a useful mnemonic.

A Listing of All On-Yomi and Kun-Yomi Readings:

on-yomi: DO TO
kun-yomi: tsuchi

Nanori Readings:

Nanori: tsu tsuku ha hiji

English Definitions:

  1. TO, DO: earth, ground; Saturday; Turkey.
  2. tsuchi: earth, soil, ground.

Character Index Numbers:

New Nelson: 966
Henshall: 60

Unicode Encoded Version:

Unicode Encoded Compound Examples:

土曜 (doyoubi): Saturday.
(tsuchi iro): earth color, the color of earth.
(doboku kougaku): civil engineering.

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I should totally rewrite this node.

A five-piece metal band from Chicago, SOiL is beginning to make its impact and musical ability known in the industry. Scars, their major label debut album, was produced by J Records and released in 2001. In support of Scars, SOiL toured with the likes of Ozzy Osbourne and Rob Zombie, and also on Ozzfest 2002. Their sophomore album, REDEFiNE, came out on March 23, 2004. Later that year, lead vocalist Ryan McCombs left the band, and was replaced by A.J. Cavalier, formerly of Diesel Machine.

Current lineup:

A.J. Cavalier: Vocals
Adam Zadel: Guitar/Backup Vocals
Shaun Glass: Guitar
Tim King: Bass
Tom Schofield: Drums

Tracklisting for Scars (2001):

1. Breaking Me Down
2. Halo
3. Need to Feel
4. Wide Open
5. Understanding Me
6. My Own
7. Unreal
8. Inside
9. Two Skins
10. The One
11. New Faith
12. Why
13. Black 7

Tracklisting for REDEFiNE (2004):

1. Pride
2. Redefine
3. Can You Heal Me?
4. Cross My Heart
5. Suffering
6. Remember
7. Deny Me
8. Something Real
9. Say You Will
10. Love Hate Game
11. Obsession

Soil (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Soiled (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Soiling.] [OF. saoler, saouler, to satiate, F. souler, L. satullare, fr. satullus, dim. of satur sated. See Satire.]

To feed, as cattle or horses, in the barn or an inclosure, with fresh grass or green food cut for them, instead of sending them out to pasture; hence (such food having the effect of purging them), to purge by feeding on green food; as, to soil a horse.

 

© Webster 1913.


Soil, n. [OE. soile, F. sol, fr. L. solum bottom, soil; but the word has probably been influenced in form by soil a miry place. Cf. Saloon, Soil a miry place, Sole of the foot.]

1.

The upper stratum of the earth; the mold, or that compound substance which furnishes nutriment to plants, or which is particularly adapted to support and nourish them.

2.

Land; country.

Must I thus leave thee, Paradise? thus leave Thee, native soil? Milton.

3.

Dung; faeces; compost; manure; as, night soil.

Improve land by dung and other sort of soils. Mortimer.

Soil pipe, a pipe or drain for carrying off night soil.

 

© Webster 1913.


Soil, v. t.

To enrich with soil or muck; to manure.

Men . . . soil their ground, not that they love the dirt, but that they expect a crop. South.

 

© Webster 1913.


Soil, n. [OF. soil, souil, F. souille, from OF. soillier, F. souiller. See Soil to make dirty.]

A marshy or miry place to which a hunted boar resorts for refuge; hence, a wet place, stream, or tract of water, sought for by other game, as deer.

As deer, being stuck, fly through many soils, Yet still the shaft sticks fast. Marston.

To take soil, to run into the mire or water; hence, to take refuge or shelter.

O, sir, have you taken soil here? It is well a man may reach you after three hours' running. B. Jonson.

 

© Webster 1913.


Soil, v. t.[OE. soilen, OF. soillier, F. souiller, (assumed) LL. suculare, fr. L. sucula a little pig, dim. of sus a swine. See Sow, n.]

1.

To make dirty or unclean on the surface; to foul; to dirty; to defile; as, to soil a garment with dust.

Our wonted ornaments now soiled and stained. Milton.

2.

To stain or mar, as with infamy or disgrace; to tarnish; to sully.

Shak.

Syn. -- To foul; dirt; dirty; begrime; bemire; bespatter; besmear; daub; bedaub; stain; tarnish; sully; defile; pollute.

 

© Webster 1913.


Soil, v. i.

To become soiled; as, light colors soil sooner than dark ones.

 

© Webster 1913.


Soil, n. [See Soil to make dirty, Soil a miry place.]

That which soils or pollutes; a soiled place; spot; stain.

A lady's honor . . . will not bear a soil. Dryden.

 

© Webster 1913.

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