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Articles in the WATER Category

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[10 Jan 2012 | No Comment | 10,534 views]
Radiant Light Film: Learning to Make Rainbows from Butterflies

 
Sometimes the beginning of the year is a little bit … well … boring. Everyone is working out at the gym and eating healthy green foods, and even though the sun still sets at an ungodly hour, all the festive holiday parties are over.  This admirably disciplined January attitude is great for working off all the pfeffernüsse you shoved in your face and chased with rum-laced egg nog at your Aunt Betty’s house in December, but if you’re not careful all of this new-found rigidity and focus could negatively affect …

EARTH, WATER »

[27 Dec 2011 | No Comment | 17,593 views]
Not Quite Coral: A New Type of Cement Made from CO2 and Water

 
When I was a small and intensely young person, my parents would drive me down the California coastline to a town called Carmel near Monterrey Bay, where we would hang out on the beach and frolic amongst the slowly rotting kelp and aggressive sea gulls, eat burgers at Flaherty’s Seafood Restaurant (which specializes in seafood, not land food – I was five), and weave in and out of various art galleries until we were tired enough to return to our hotel and fall asleep.

Image courtesy citi-data.com
One time down in Carmel …

EARTH, WATER »

[29 Nov 2011 | No Comment | 9,499 views]
Solid Poetry: Patterns Revealed in Concrete When Wet

 
The grass is always greener – except when it doesn’t rain appreciably for three straight months, as was the case this summer where I live in Texas. Here, the grass was golden brown, parched, dessicated and crunchy like a stale sugar cookie or gauze belonging to a dried out ancient Egyptian mummy. As summer wore on, I found myself desperately squinting up at the blazing blue sky, searching in vain for the faintest hint of cloud formation. We were facing the kind of heat that makes standing on black pavement …

FIRE, WATER, WOOD »

[10 Nov 2011 | No Comment | 11,930 views]
New Fully Stretchable OLED Will Make You Crave Taffy

 
Yesterday I bent over in the attempt to tie the absurdly bright purple shoe laces on my almost offensively bright purple sneakers and made a startling discovery: I’m not as flexible as I used to be.  In fact, the overwhelming tightness of my hamstrings makes your standard British upper lip look positively floppy; and as I fired up my smartphone to schedule some emergency yoga I was reminded that I had yet to share an amazing new fully stretchable OLED display recently developed at the University of California, Los Angeles, …

EARTH, WATER »

[6 Oct 2011 | One Comment | 4,165 views]
Modern Super-Spies Like Bacterial Invisible Ink

 
There wouldn’t be so many spy novels if there weren’t something so delightfully compelling about the idea of being a spy: you’re invited to imagine that your job is to sneak around in a trench coat and fedora, talking out of the side of your mouth and pretending to be something or someone you’re not in order to gather information on behalf of the resistance.
Knowing something you’re forbidden to know, or that other people want to know but don’t – or that other people don’t think you know, imparts a …

FEATURED, WATER »

[4 Oct 2011 | No Comment | 15,114 views]
New Smart Glass: Waaaaay Smarter than Old, Not Smart Glass

 
Glass is the best. Glass is the friend who drives you to the airport without complaining, who helps you move your fourteen-ton couch in exchange for beer, who tells you that you’ll regret the neon green mohawk when you look back at your wedding photos. Glass goes the extra mile. Without glass we’d either live and work in rooms devoid of daylight or we’d punch holes in the walls and our homes and offices would be full of weather, confused seagulls, and the occasional ambitious praying mantis.  It would be chaos.
Now imagine if glass could go …

WATER, WOOD »

[14 Sep 2011 | One Comment | 23,296 views]
Spider Glue Investigation Yields Smart Materials Insight

 
There are three types of people in the world: those who carefully transport insects and arachnids out of the building on sheets of paper, releasing them into the wild to roam free, bite innocent people, and reproduce; those who whip off their hard-soled shoes and gleefully smash anything with an exoskeleton that happens to wander within range; and those for whom the thought of a particularly nasty bug is enough to inspire a scream-enhanced instinctive high-speed run headlong into another room.
I belong to the last category, and thus it is …

WATER, WOOD »

[13 Jul 2011 | One Comment | 4,257 views]
I Heart MIT’s New Flexible, Printable Solar Cells

My desk at work sits across from an ancient beige laser printer the size of a Volkswagen, which pretty much unceasingly spews toner particles, artfully arranged on tabloid- and letter-sized sheets of paper, out of its graceless plastic maw. I bring this up because the adjacency has driven me to resent general workday printing even more than the occasional trip to the plotter (which, if you have never tangled with a large-format printer, makes a fourteen hour trip on Aeroflot sound appealing by comparison).
I resent the noise of the printer, …

WATER »

[8 Jul 2011 | No Comment | 5,966 views]
New Nanomaterial Makes Adsorption Chilling Even Cooler!

It’s that time of year again when the mercury climbs just above 100 degrees every single day and it’s so hot that the sun obliterates any clouds brash enough to assemble themselves with the intent to produce rain.  Everything is wilted, melted, bleached out, overswept by a hot wind that makes the tail end of a jet engine seem like a lovely place with a calm and refreshing breeze.
So given these conditions, it will come as no surprise that researchers led by Peter McGrail out of the Pacific Northwest National …

METAL, WATER »

[17 Jun 2011 | One Comment | 4,516 views]
Reynobond with Ecoclean: Smog-eating Metal Cladding

When I sat down to write this post I realized that it’s the 100th installment of materials information that I have submitted to the Interwebs, which, if this were a sitcom, would mean that I’d have a sheet cake with “Congratulations – 100 Posts!!!!” written in frosting set set out on a table, and the key grip would be elbowing the best boy out of the way for the corner piece with the biggest frosted rose on it.

Image courtesy ursulinesmsj.org
But since there’s no cake, I’m going to write about a …

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