ITER Now Scheduled for France

Well, I guess the French can kiss that American money goodbye on the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor. The Japanese got some perks out of letting the Frogs have the reactor ($500 million worth of contracts for constructing ITER could go to Japanese companies, Japan could provide 20% of the 200 researchers in return for meeting 10% of the total cost, blah blah blah), but it just seems like another France vs. U.S. situation to me. My prediction? Look for a possible proposal of a competing reactor in the States.

Nanotech Underwear

This is not one of the products of the future that I was looking forward to, but if it gets rid of that sweaty boxer feeling (if you live/have lived in Texas, and you’re a guy, naturally, you know what I mean) then I might give it a try.

Some company called Green-shield out of Taiwan, “a Taiwanese nanotech company specializing in socks and underwear designed to protect you from the traditional discomforts that plague these items”. Now that’s ingenuity.

The article where I read about this is basically all promo-speak, but here’s some from it-

They have created articles of clothing that they claim can eliminate up to 99.99 percent of bacteria, 90 percent of odor and 75 percent of sticky moisture within the cloth as well as contributing to the overall health of the wearer.This is achieved through nanotechnology. Before the material is woven and sewn together to create garments, Green-shield’s fibers are altered through a patented process so that they begin to release a constant stream of negative ions and far-infrared rays.

The negative ions create a magnetic field that inhibits the reproduction of bacteria, thus eliminating odor and lowering the risk of skin infection or irritation. The negative ions also help to increase circulation and eliminate toxins from the blood by reacting with them and breaking them down.

Meanwhile, the far-infrared rays are absorbed by cells—not just in the skin but throughout the body—causing all the individual atoms to begin vibrating at a higher frequency, which speeds up the metabolism and the elimination of wastes. This is particularly helpful for alleviating soreness due to fatigue or injury, according to Green-shield.

Well, thank god for a constant stream of negative ions and far-infrared rays around your privates. One question though about reducing 90% of the odor – either these people need some FDS or maybe they should just wipe better, huh?

Smallest Man-Made Organic Particles Created

Don’t feel like paraphrasing. Let’s just block quote

Scientists who have created the smallest precisely crafted organic particles are billing their breakthrough as a potential boon to medicine and technology.The tiny structures could one day be used as vehicles for delivering drugs or genes into the human body or perhaps imaging you from the inside-out, the researchers said today. They might also find uses in electronics.

The nanotechnology industry has long been making strong claims, and this latest process is in its infancy. And it is no longer a big feat to make small things. Other scientists have created molecule-sized structures and even microscopic motors in the nanometer range. A nanometer is a billionth of a meter.

But traditional nano-products are made mostly of metals and other inorganic materials that must be baked, etched or processed with solvents that would destroy fragile DNA or drugs.

The new structures are made of organic materials without all the harsh treament and can be constructed as spheres, rods, cones, or trapezoids. They could be made biodegradeable to disintigrate after insertion into the body.

“We believe that the particles will offer breakthroughs in the delivery of therapeutic, detection and imaging agents for the diagnosis and treatement of disease,” one of the study’s leaders, Joseph DeSimone of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, told LiveScience. “In the elctronics industry, we believe we can make new materials for high speed, high-resolution optical displays.”

The new manufacturing process is called Particle Replication in Nonwetting Templates, or PRINT, and was detailed in a recent issue of the Journal of the American Chemical Society. The work was supported by the National Science Foundation.

DeSimone and his colleagues have formed a new company, called Liquidia, to attempt to commercialize the discovery.

Flying the Friendly 011100110110101101

Meet the future of teleportation

Well, Wallace and Gromit are the inspiration for it at least.

Professors Todd Mowry and Seth Goldstein of Carnegie Mellon University came up with an interesting take on teleportation based on stop-action clay animation.

“We thought that a good analogy for what we were going to do was claymation – something like the Wallace and Gromit shows,” Dr Mowry told BBC World Service’s Outlook programme.

What these two guys dreamed up was a novel solution to a sci-fi problem.

(The professors) think that, within a human generation, we might be able to replicate three-dimensional objects out of a mass of material made up of small synthetic “atoms”.Cameras would capture the movement of an object or person and then this data would be fed to the atoms, which would then assemble themselves to make up an exact likeness of the object.

Professor Goldstein has envisioned that, eventually, the objects will be built with “nano-dust” – tiny objects that can be programmed to bind to each other and move – but currently they are trying to build at a much larger scale, working with objects the size of table-tennis balls.

Their original plan was for the application to work in face-to-face interaction.

The technology mirrors that used to create the character of Gollum.
“I’m in Pittsburgh, and you’re in London. How do we make that happen?” Dr Mowry said.

“We can’t teleport somebody – nobody’s going to travel anywhere – but if we’re in our own rooms a system of cameras will capture exactly what’s in each room.”

Interesting. And very cool.

Electronic Paper

I’d read about E-Paper a couple of years ago, but this is nice tech. A micro-thin Citizen clock.

It utilizes E-Ink, which relies on negatively charged black particles and positively charged white particles. When a backing layer of circuitry either charges negatively or positively, it will draw or repel the particles based on their charge. The display also has an inherently stable “memory effect” which requires no power to maintain the image, drastically increasing the battery life. The result is 1/100 the power consumption of traditional display options.

Citizen has not yet announced a launch date for the product, but it is expected to be sold in Japan starting this year. Plans for the international launch are under consideration, along with other design interpretations.

Give. Me. One. Now.

Tiles That Reduce Pollution

An Italian tile manufacturer known as Gambarelli has definitely been thinking outside of the box with a new kind of tile they’ve developed. Called the Oxygena line, the new tile, when exposed to sunlight activates a reaction similar to that of chlorophyll photosynthesis in plants. In lab tests one square meter of tile has been able to purify 72 cubic meters of air.

Coated in titanium dioxide, the tile’s photocatalytic properties cause a reaction between air and sunlight where active oxygen is produced which, when it comes in contact with pollutants such as nitrogen monoxide and dioxide (found in vehicle emissions) activates a chemical reaction which destroys the pollutant, transforming it into harmless salts.

So, could you season a tenderloin with some pollution? Pretty cool.

Say… That’s a Nice Bike…

Look at this bad boy. It’s called the EMBRIO (what it stands for is a mystery to me) and it’s being designed by some Canadian company called Bobadier. From Gizmag-

This hydrogen fuel cell powered, gyroscopically balanced, one-wheeled recreational and commuting vehicle provides an extraordinary vision of the kind of personal transport we could be using 20 years from now. The design brief for Bombadier EMBRIO Concept was to “create highly innovative, functional and exciting products to exceed people’s recreational needs” and find the “next thing” in recreational vehicles. The result is a futuristic and minimalistic one-wheeler that is as about far away as you can get from the conventional image of a uni-cycle – a mode of transport normally associated with circuses and street parades. The riding position will be similar to a motorcycle with a complex series of sensors and gyroscopes balancing passengers on the single wheel. The rider activates a trigger on the left handlebar to accelerate and turns are made by shifting body-weight rather than actually steering.

Sweet. I’d ride one. Very “Minority Report”.

Space-Based Weaponry

What kind of weapons? Lasers? Rail guns? Missile pods? Tell me tell me tell me!

Anyway, before I have a geekasm, the Air Force is asking the President for permission to put weaponry in space. It’s like that movie Meteor, only in the 21st century!

Of course, some people are mad and don’t want us to do this. From the NYT story-

Senior military and space officials of the European Union, Canada, China and Russia have objected publicly to the notion of American space superiority.They think that “the United States doesn’t own space – nobody owns space,” said Teresa Hitchens, vice president of the Center for Defense Information, a policy analysis group in Washington that tends to be critical of the Pentagon. “Space is a global commons under international treaty and international law.”

No nation will “accept the U.S. developing something they see as the death star,” Ms. Hitchens told a Council on Foreign Relations meeting last month. “I don’t think the United States would find it very comforting if China were to develop a death star, a 24/7 on-orbit weapon that could strike at targets on the ground anywhere in 90 minutes.”

The big thing here is to not follow the lesson of the US/USSR space race back in the 1960’s. We need to be first, or else we’re all going to be looking up at the sky looking for that Chinese Space Peace Death Platform hovering over Kansas.

Hollywood Likes the Big Hits – Lewis, Tyson and the A List

This past Saturday (6/8/02), Lennox Lewis and Mike Tyson attempted to beat the holy hell out of each other in Memphis, Tn., to see who would be the new heavyweight champion of the world. Naturally, Hollywoodites couldn’t resist the temptation to follow the herd to the city that Elvis once called home. According to a story by Reuters, the celebrities that were in town for the fight included the illustrious likes of Tom Cruise, Richard Gere, Denzel Washington, Halle Berry, Britney Spears, Clint Eastwood, Ben Affleck, The Rock, Hugh Hefner and Leonardo Di Caprio. Many were hosting or attending parties the night before to commemorate the event, living it up and getting ready for two men to climb into a boxing ring and lock horns the next day.

It may be called the “sweet science” by the likes of Jimmy Breslin, but before it was over Lewis had bloodied both of Tyson’s eyes and his nose before delivering the final blow and knocking the man to the mat in the eighth round of the match. But before you feel bad for Tyson you should know that this is the man who said he’d give Lewis a lobotomy and eat his children. A man who seems to be unable to keep himself from having his way with women and/or beating them. What a charming fellow.

I’m sure you can tell I love boxing. Even though my love for it abounds and pours forth from all orifices, my real problem with this whole thing is the Hollywoodites. For a crowd of people who champion the causes of minority groups this seems pretty hypocritical to me. Two black men beating each other? One of them a convicted rapist who seems to suffer anger and/or mental problems. Why does the Hollywood jet set keep supporting this sport? To me boxing is a trash sport just a rung above “professional” wrestling, not something that people should be paying thousands of dollars for ringside seats too.

Halle Berry, as you read above, was at the fight. About a week before the Academy Awards she gave an interview to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution saying that if she didn’t win the award for Best Actress then it was more than likely because of racism. Could Halle tell me if watching two men beat the garbage out of each other lifts up African-Americans? Rather than pay thousands to attend this trashy sport, these A-list actors should speak out against boxing and the thug mentality it seems to bring out in its participants.

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