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Articles Archive for December 2010

METAL, WOOD »

[27 Dec 2010 | One Comment | 3,660 views]
Metaflex: Flexible Sheets that Bend Light, Making Objects Invisible

It’s the holiday season and people everywhere are wishing they had the power of invisibility.  Just imagine what you’d overhear at the office holiday party if you could mingle with your coworkers sight unseen!  You might also wish to disappear from time to time during Christmas dinner, in order to prevent being cornered by Aunt Sally or a similar relative given to detailed descriptions of bunion surgery and reports on the latest arrests and obituaries.  And maybe the power of invisibility could extend from people to objects; what would life be like if you …

FIRE, WOOD »

[14 Dec 2010 | One Comment | 7,161 views]
FIX IT! A Self-healing Polymer Material Embedded with a Fiber Optic Network

Stairs are challenging enough for adults at times, but I distinctly remember how hard it was to climb them when I was little.  When you are small in stature, 7″ high risers hit at mid-thigh and most of the time you have to take each stair on all fours.  Many of the epic, all-out “Alli versus the Stairs” battles ended with a small, defiant child celebrating wildly on the second floor, but sometimes things didn’t go my way.  On the days that the straight run, open tread, carpeted monster was …

EARTH »

[1 Dec 2010 | 4 Comments | 5,811 views]
BacillaFilla: Bacteria that Repair Cracked and Damaged Concrete

 
Joints are like an after-school program for cracks in concrete. If we fail to provide a place for cracks to occur safely, under supervision, and in aesthetically pleasing configurations, we as a society will be faced with complete anarchy in our walls and slabs.  This horrifying chaos could lead to unwed, underage cracks begetting more cracks and, possibly even more alarming, cracks on crack.
Sometimes, despite the provision of joints and reinforcing in concrete to resist tension, construction goes horribly wrong. Say the mix is off, or the wrong strength is used by mistake, or perhaps …

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