Friday, June 29, 2007

A hill of coffee beans in this crazy world

There's a great deal of nanotech in the news these days, leaving me lots of blogortunities to rant and rave. But nanny no-shows, freelance work and the job hunt have forced me to temporarily neglect this blog.

Sorry about that, folks. But I am working on a couple of exciting nanotech related freelance stories that I'll reveal when they appear in print.

Meanwhile, I'm back to working out of libraries and coffee shops, including The Coffee Beanery on Woodward Avenue in Berkley, Mich., where apparently the media elite hang out.

In just a few hours here, in walked world famous "momtini" blogger Melissa Summers, who clacked away on her laptop for a while.

Then, just when I was about to get on the phone to interview a world famous nanotech scientist/entrepreneur (whom I will reveal when the story runs), I noticed some talk about MEMS a couple of tables down. It was my old colleague Patti Glaza, who downsized me from Small Times almost exactly three years ago.

She was engaged in a conversation with a gentleman regarding MEMS, and apparently did not see or recognize me. Probably just as well.

Well, that's all the Z-List celebrity-spotting news I have for today. Thanks for staying with me. We're living in interesting nano times, and I'll have some more interesting nano news.

Luddites at the Beanery

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Critique my resume, please

I've used pretty much the same format and wording on my resume for about 20 years. In fact, it's been transferred and "saved-as" over and over again since I typed it on my first Mac around 1988. So, time to change it a bit. The last three or four years have been confusing, since I've worked so many contract-only and freelance jobs. So, I thought I'd top it with my most-recent freelance work in journalism and corporate communications and go from there.

You can download the word file here or look at the Google Docs document here (spacing and indents got a little weird in the translation, so ignore those). I took out my phone numbers for these versions. Only potential employers get those. If you are one, by all means please contact me.

Questions: Is it OK to mention projects that have not yet appeared in print? Also, for space (somebody told me somewhere, sometime that a resume needs to be one page only), I cut out the first eight years of my post-college career -- the smaller newspapers I worked for. Should I put those back in? Anybody see any typos? Thanks, folks! -- HL

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The ethics of creating 'nano ethics'

Making the kids (a late) dinner while listening to a Science Friday podcast discussing nanotech. The question of "ethics" came up, and the best example of a nanotech ethics problem one of the guests could come up with was whether one nanotech scientist should report another nanotech scientist for cutting corners on lab safety precautions.

Truth is, that is pretty much all there is to talk about when it comes to nanotech ethics (and this lame example could be used in anytech). All else is speculation based on technology that does not yet exist.

I supposed it would be fun to speculate on whether it'd be ethical to program your nanobots to download an exact replica of your own brain into your neighbor's poodle, but we'll leave it to these new nanotech ethics departments at universities all over the world to deal with those and other hypotheticals. More later.

Fwd: From: 12488542730 Msg: Kids look like clowns in whiteface. Need clear nano sunscreen.

Daddy day care; Apologies to those I owe work. Day 2 with no nanny. Posting via mobile phone.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Putin' nanotech in Russia

"So, you see, Mr. President, we shrink this down to nanosize and implant it into your body so you will have long life. Trust me. It will be fantastic."

Related News
Russia stakes billions on nanotech

Fearless leader Putin invented nanotech

Great Nano Chicken *

Nanotech Nervousness (Environment Report)

Researchers are studying whether nano-sized material could purge bacteria from the digestive tracts of poultry. The bacteria doesn't harm chickens and turkeys, but it can make people sick. The hope is that using nanoparticles could reduce the use of antibiotics in poultry. More here

* Apologies to Ed Regis

Monday, June 18, 2007

Nanobots perform 'Crazy Horses'

Ladies and gentlemen, performing a cover of "Crazy Horses," I give you Nanobots.

Nano Tech EnTrancement
Grindcore nanotech
Space Elevator: The Music Video

Nanotube interconnects and hot Indian babes




A new technique that could lead to carbon nanotubes replacing copper as interconnects in integrated circuits will supply some rather sophisticated duct tape, but this is not the beginning of true nanotech-enabled computing. It was IBM that led the transition from aluminum to copper in 1998, but copper was never anything but a temporary solution. Nanotubes will be just as temporary until molecular and quantum computing are ready for prime time.

What's happening now is that chips are getting so small and so fast that soon not even the copper interconnects will be able to bear the load and the heat over such small spaces. The Semiconductor Industry Association is worried about the problem and is funding research. Most or all other companies and research groups looking at carbon nanotubes to solve the interconnect problem are a using "direct-growth" method - meaning the nanotubes are literally created already in position on the chip.

I do remember Arrowhead Research Corp. had funded a Duke researcher, Jie Liu, who said he had an alternate approach.

I don't know how he's doing with that, so instead I'll gaze at these Indian beauties. There's really no reason they are adorning this post, other than the fact that they came with the story I'm linking to at Versions of this story ran in newspapers around the world last week, but I'm betting they really know what they're doing at newKerala when it comes to making a dry semiconductor story seem a bit more interesting.

Friday, June 15, 2007

QuoteBot: Nano 'snake-oil'

"This product totally sounds like snake-oil."

markp93, Digg user
Reacting to a story posted on Digg featuring more claims by the Wilson Center's Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies that nanotech is used in nearly 500 everyday products and indicating that perhaps the Wilson Center has been hoodwinked into believing everything it reads on a product label.

QuoteBot: Nanotech's 'gullible simpletons'
Guaranteeeeed, Jen - U - Wiiiiine Nano!
'Magic Nano' nano? Naahhh
Indigestible nanotech claim

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

NanoBot logo?

Any artists out there with some summer vacation time on their hands and have always dreamed of designing a logo for lots of fame but no fortune? I've always wanted a logo for my little NanoBot Media family of blogs, videos and eventual podcasts and dirigibles. I can't pay you, since I'm broke, myself, but I can link the logo to the home page of your choice. If you're interested, send me a smoke signal.

Pretty little things

Nano Lite-Brite (LiveScience)

Most inventors see nanotubes as microscopic building blocks, but others are exploring their ability to glow under light. Researchers at Vanderbilt University have studied new crops of nanotubes that brilliantly fluoresce—a technology that could be useful in treating cancer and other medical conditions. More here

She Calls It ‘Phenomena.’ Everyone Else Calls It Art. (By Cornelia Dean, New York Times)

When people call Felice Frankel an artist, she winces.

In the first place, the photographs she makes don’t sell. She knows this, she says, because after she received a Guggenheim grant in 1995, she started taking her work to galleries. “Nobody wanted to bother looking,” she said.

In the second place, her images are not full of emotion or ideology or any other kind of message. As she says, “My stuff is about phenomena.”

Phenomena like magnetism or the behavior of water molecules or how colonies of bacteria grow — phenomena of nature. “So I don’t call it art,” Ms. Frankel said. “When it’s art, it’s more about the creator, not necessarily the concept in the image.”

As first an artist in residence and now a research scientist at M.I.T., and now also a senior research fellow at the Institute for Innovative Computing at Harvard, she helps researchers use cameras, microscopes and other tools to display the beauty of science. More here

Salad Dressing-Like Mix Restores Art (Discovery Channel

A salad dressing-like mixture of water, a bit of oil and a sugar-like molecule can safely clean ancient frescoes, according to a new nanotechnology research.

Scientists at the University of Florence, Italy, have discovered that the oil-in-water microemulsion — basically tiny droplets of oil suspended in water — can penetrate a painting’s pores and scrub away grime and acrylic resins.

The potion has proven particularly effective in cleaning frescoes that had been coated in thick layers of paraloid, an acrylic copolymer widely used by conservators in the 1960s. More here

Time for a little art
A little splash of color

Monday, June 11, 2007

Monday, June 04, 2007

Quantum self-loathing

Now, here's one way to annoy yourself in lots of little (quantum) ways: Let's say you're an atom. Are you with me here? You are an atom, just doing your atom thing. And one way that you are just being you is that, under certain situations, you can actually be in two places at once. This often comes in handy when your kid needs his nose wiped upstairs, but the second-to-last episode of "The Sopranos" is on TV downstairs.

Well, scientists have now not only placed atoms in two places at once, but they managed to stick them close enough together that they interfere with one another.

In other words: Here you are, face-to-face with yourself, and you find that you really don't like what you see, so you start really f---king with one another. And who else but you would know how to insult you so it really hurts?

Oh, and there's some application here to quantum computing. Read about the breakthrough here, and quantum computing here.

Jim Carrey and Conan talk quantum physics II
A sneak peak at next week's quantum leap
Einstein's dice and the nano Sopranos
Zeno, nano and quantum cwaziness