Tuesday, June 30, 2009

squid sucker rings and a euthanized "rule"

From the Materials Research Society:

Sucker Rings of Squid Tentacles--The individual toothed sucker rings of squid tentacles (highlighted in red) provide additional gripping power during prey capture and handling. These rings comprise a nanoscale network of parallel tubular elements, as shown in the background image which significantly alter the macromechanical properties of the resulting structure.


In other news, I presume you all saw this notice about the beloved but silly rule, i before e except after c. Don't be misled: The puny media report belies just how fired up people can get about little jingles that guide good spelling, to say nothing of good spelling itself.

Monday, June 15, 2009

tech brings the info

I don't Twitter (yet). But when Twitter and similar technologies help deliver vital info to the world, it makes the those who think Twitter-esque trends are trivial sound stunningly out of touch. Months ago, the example I spent a lot of time researching was Facebook in Egypt. Another prime example: updates from Mumbai during the terrorist attacks. Today it's Iran. Here's a sample, courtesy of Salon.com.

Friday, June 5, 2009

sareana and the relay for life

For those of you who know or know of my sister-in-law, Sareana, I wanted to let you know that she's doing well. She lives in Colorado now, and is getting stronger by the day. She's also involved in the Relay for Life. If you have a moment, please visit her site--and consider contributing. Thanks.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

a rare press release

Who says press releases have to be a snooze? Here's the top of a recent gem:

April 23, 2009 -- Deteriorating screws in bridges, fish that listen in the dark, medical devices that use sound to treat disease, the detected comeback of a long-gone whale, the sound of hyenas, cheese, and bagpipes, and what evolution can teach us about cowardice. These are just a few of the topics that will be covered at the 157th meeting of the Acoustical Society of America (ASA), which convenes from May 18-22...