Saturday, July 29, 2017

ASM Summer Camps - 2017

The summer ASM teacher camp schedule is up and posted on the ASM Foundation website - link here.

The teachers camps - in case you weren't aware, and the majority of you folks visiting here are probably familiar if not intimately so - are phenomenal. Check out the testimonials and news reports from the camps here.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Markus Kayser - Solar Sinter Project

This doesn't look quite ready for prime time just yet, more of an art project/proof of concept stage for now, but...

The concept of 3d printing using sand (assumedly very pure sand, maybe not the stuff that's surrounding the 3d printer in the open desert) is pretty outstanding there, and the bowl looks awesome.

Mostly similar video but with slightly different edit after the jump...

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Robotic ray is part animal, part machine

Frankenstein, here we come.

Or Frankenstein's monster if you'd rather.

Or just Frankenstein if you really want to be pedantic.

I caught this video from the Science journal article that goes into more detail than does the above, silent film video (sadly lacking a mustache twirling badguy). In all honesty, the idea of tuning heart cells to contract in response to light stimulus - which is then designed to create waves of motion within the 'string ray' - is pretty phenomenal.

Making Materials That Heal Themselves

I'm thinking we don't need more sciency-people wearing button-down, plaid, short-sleeve shirts. That's sort of like a dorky stereotype there.

Am I wrong?

One of the common drawbacks of polymers that I always mention in class is that they can't be easily repaired. Maybe someday I'll be able to stop saying that.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Forged in Fire: Bladesmithing 101: The Quench | History

"Fighting the Dragon"?

In our summer materials camp, we heat treat steel (bobby pins and paper clips) including quenching them in water. For the work we're doing, quenching in water works just fine. The mass of the materials is tiny. We're not looking for precise, perfectly repeatable work and products. Water's all good...

But there are a lot of other options for quenching materials. There's air quenching, noble gas quenching, salt quenching, oil quenching, quenching your thirst, quenching your curiosity, quenching in quince.

Wait, those last few aren't really anything with material science.

NOVA's Secret Life of Scientists and Enginners

I'm not entirely sure why BB-8 is in the center of NOVA's banner photo. I'm assuming that somehow Lucasfilms is endorsing the need to make our scientists and engineers look cool.

That's kind of where NOVA's The Secret Life of Scientists and Engineers Facebook page is doing. They post daily news and reports about what scientists do. It's sort of like an ongoing This is What a Scientists Looks Like campaign but a little more professionally done.

Here are a few examples - most of which are available on their YouTube channel...

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Toxic Vanity & Fatal Beauty

Eleanor Ryder has two gorgeous photos posted on the National Geographic's website.

The first one, shown above but in much higher resolution on the NatGeo site, is titled Fatal Beauty. Here's what she has to say about it...
A magnification of plastic particles in lip-gloss. The irony of the image is in its intrinsic contradiction; that a product coveted for its ability to beautify is also capable of illimitable harm. The transient nature of a beauty product, once released unbounded in to the marine environment, has the ability to cause infinite damage and contamination. As we lick the gloss from our lips and ingest it, particles enter the sewerage systems to infest our oceans at every level.
The other photo is titled Toxic Vanity and shows similar particles in eyeliner.

Ryder's website has further photos from her Forever Project,
The Forever Project is a portfolio of images focusing on marine debris and micro-plastics. 
Being in my final year of university I wanted to study something I was passionate about and marine welfare is set deep within my heart. 
The images of nano plastics in the Forever Project are a study of the uneasy dichotomy which I feel exists between beauty and marine pollution. These images of micro and nano plastics in cosmetics explores the transient nature of beauty products and their ability to impact upon and do illimitable harm to the marine environment.
I'm thinking we might want to use a little less plastic or make sure it'll actually degrade in something approaching a human lifetime.