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Articles tagged with: WATER

EARTH, WATER »

[29 Nov 2011 | No Comment | 9,469 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 …

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, …

METAL, WATER »

[17 Jun 2011 | One Comment | 4,515 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 …

METAL, WATER »

[14 Jun 2011 | No Comment | 2,356 views]
Metals that go from Hard to Soft on Command! (No Jokes, Please)

“The firmness of a boiled egg can be adjusted at will through the cooking time. Some decisions are, however, irrevocable – a hard-boiled egg can never be reconverted into a soft-boiled one. There would be less annoyance at the breakfast table if we could simply switch back and forth between the different degrees of firmness of the egg.
Similar issues arise in the making of structural materials such as metals and alloys. The materials properties are set once and for all during production. This forces …

Uncategorized »

[14 Feb 2011 | One Comment | 1,897 views]
Fabricating a Toaster, Oyster Ecology, & Fungus Packing Materials – 3 TED Talks

Have you met TED?
No, I’m not playing wingman for Ted Mosby.  TED is a conference during which exceedingly smart, skillful people present their work in 20 minutes or less.  The presentations are published on the Internets and made available to the world at large for the low price of $free.99.  TED talks are an amazing source of inspiration and information – and some of them feature innovative materials! Therefore, in this post I present three TED talks that relate in some way to the content on ARCHITERIALS:
 1. Thomas Thwaites: How I built …

FEATURED, Uncategorized »

[10 Jan 2011 | 5 Comments | 29,157 views]
10 Awesome Materials from 2010 and Reasons They are Awesome

ARCHITERIALS is a year old now, and like most healthy, well-adjusted one-year-olds it needs to be changed constantly, crawls all over my apartment, and makes strange burbling noises.  No, really – it does.  It’s terrifying.
Over the past year I’ve profiled approximately 65 materials and learned about blogging, bacteria, and biscuits, although I must confess that the biscuts were a side project.  A delicious, buttery side project.  Anyhow, to celebrate the birthday of ARCHITERIALS and the fact that the tagline “Investigating architectural materials since 2010” has finally attained temporal legitimacy, I’ve compiled for this, …

FIRE, WATER, WOOD »

[5 Jan 2011 | No Comment | 2,896 views]
Lightweight, 1/4″ Thick, Blast-Resistant Glass for the Masses!

Let’s assume for a moment that you are the Pope (because hey, this is the Internet and we can pretty much assume anything that suits our purposes, right?)  Okay, so let’s say your Holiness wants to head out of the Vatican and take a brief vacation at a villa that the Church happens to own on the Italian Sea Coast.  The ride out there shouldn’t be much of  problem danger-wise, because everybody knows that the “Popemobile” is bulletproof and “thicker than a 300 page novel” (Verrico).  But what if someone wants to cause trouble …

WATER »

[11 Nov 2010 | No Comment | 3,204 views]
Is there a Cloud in Here or Should I Get Checked for Glaucoma?

Water.  The universal solvent. H2O.
It’s refreshing and highly necessary, but water in the wrong place at the wrong time can cause catastrophic problems in buildings.  It’s easy to envision the kind of damage inflicted by a flood, or by ten feet of snow on a roof designed to support six, or even by corrosion caused by salty ocean water at the seashore.  But the reason we wrap our buildings in fancy hi-tech paper and smear them with liquid waterproofing has more to do with the insidious effects of water vapor and intra-wall condensation.  …

EARTH, WATER »

[5 Oct 2010 | 2 Comments | 5,964 views]
New Synthetic Adhesives Derived from… Oysters?

Never have I felt even the slightest desire to slurp down an oyster.  Not once have I looked said bivalve in the eye*, so to speak, and been able to overcome my not inconsiderable revulsion long enough to taste one.  It seems however, that I’m in the minority; many of my dearest friends are completely mad for oysters and eat them in copious quantities whenever they can get their hands on them. 
I bring this up because tasting good (to other people, at least) is a positive characteristic of oysters.  Another positive …

FIRE, WATER »

[9 Sep 2010 | 4 Comments | 3,762 views]
Swedish Researchers Use Dripping Jellyfish Goo to Create New Solar Cells

 
Life is funny sometimes.  Just yesterday I was talking to a coworker about this crazy book I’m reading that I may have mentioned in a previous post called The Singularity is Near by Ray Kurzweil, in which the author posits that we are moving towards a world where our technology and biology fuse to become indistinguishable, and now today I’m writing about solar cells powered by bioluminescent jellyfish.  Let me also say that I’d much rather write about jellyfish than swim with them; they navigate the sea in creepy pulsing motions and some of them …

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