last half of August, 2005

live from New Orleans
2005-08-31— Posted by: allegra

http://www.wwltv.com/perl/common/video/wmPlayer.pl?title=beloint_khou&props=livenoad

This is a live feed from a tv station in Louisiana…. I have no idea how they kept going (while I was watching the feed their lights cut out). www.wwltv.com is the home page, and there’s up to date information on rescues, which roads are impassible, etc. I note in their events blog that the state officials are already dissing the Army for their inability to start putting down sandbags. Also, the newspeople were saying, if you’ve reported that a rescue is required, please don’t call back to monitor progress; the rescuers are only flesh and blood and they’re rescuing people one family at a time.

Officials are now calling for the complete evacuation of the city, and frankly there is no other sensible course of action if they want to stop the looting and prevent a full scale epidemic; water is available but on a boil water advisory, which doesn’t help when there’s no fuel but what’s left of the buildings in the city.

Medical staff who evacuated into Baton Rouge are being asked to return to the city.

After the end of the emergency
2005-08-31— Posted by: allegra

I want this guy’s life story. He looks like the town character. And, to a Canadian goil like me, it seems obvious; I have to love The Man Who Saved the Beer. I am such a sap for icons.

I spread blessings of joy and light on my beloved coworkers.

Mario gave me chocolate today. I should have swooned, but I didn’t.

Katie hung out at Jess’s and came home with me; Paul worked and slept far too little… and remember, this man gave blood in the last 48 hours, did I fail to mention that? Remiss of me. So he’s tired and subdued. I am going to stop typing and go kiss him.

Storm in Ontario
2005-08-31— Posted by: allegra

Parrotlets on Parade
2005-08-30— Posted by: allegra

Scientific American Quote Sept 2005
2005-08-30— Posted by: allegra

Herman E Daly, a ecological economist, sayeth thusly: “As important as empirical measurement is, it is worth remembering that when one jumps out of an airplane, a parachute is more beneficial than an altimeter.” Or, The sky’s no limit, the ground is.

Feeling nostalgic?
2005-08-30— Posted by: allegra

http://www.melaman2.com/cartoons/singles/mp3/bull-rocky.mp3

It’s just a sign
2005-08-30— Posted by: allegra

stolen from http://www.survex.com/~olly/wank/wankhaus.jpg

Bunnatine Greenhouse update
2005-08-30— Posted by: allegra

http://www.iht.com/articles/2005/08/29/news/army.php

Bunnatine Greenhouse, who fought obvious pork barrel procurement contracts in Iraq on behalf of the US Army, has been demoted. I find it interesting, given what else is going on in the US right now, that her story is getting any play at all.

Interesting
2005-08-29— Posted by: allegra

http://www.fallwell.com/index2.html

Looking for armor against fundamentalist swill about gay people? Look what some Christians put together. Nicely done, nicely argued, and the section What Would Jesus Do says it all.

enough sleep
2005-08-29— Posted by: allegra

enough sleep
2005-08-29— Posted by: allegra

run away, run away
2005-08-29— Posted by: allegra

And my next homily is going to be on … not radical hospitality but Epistemology, if you can believe it. I am already trying to drag Goddess worship, Monty Python and monster trucks into the same homily; we shall see.

Gotta write this and run; the bus comes in about 8 minutes and my mother panics if I don’t post something. I am post migraine which means I’m walking into doors and going Tweet Tweet a lot.

Twas fabulous to see Alan and Janice; they haven’t changed a bit except to get better, as far as I can see. Thanks to Katie for suggesting that we do the Quay boardwalk yesterday, which meant we could all have coffee and walk someplace flat, because I wasn’t looking forward to Robert Burnaby park after all the stairs I did at Lexi’s the other night.

Fabulous party, by the way, food, musique and company most excellent. And I got to see 2/3rds of Pulp Fiction; I can understand why a LOT of men I know quote the damned thing extensively. As Janice said, rather indelicately, there are chick flicks, and there are Dick flicks. Dick Nixon, Dick and Nora… you know what I mean.

Pic is of Hunter’s departure, as forwarded by Sandy. Her dog Sparkle continues to refuse to die, which is just peachy with all of us, even if Sparkle did always bark at me. Sandy’s got her on Ayurvedic medicine for parasites and off the rest of her meds, and while she has good days and bad days, mostly she’s better. Well, how was the vet supposed to know that a parasite had jumped species? It’s not like it ever happens.

Okay, which comes first, the housing bubble bursting or the global pandemic, place your bets.

Megrim
2005-08-28— Posted by: allegra

I am having one of the weirdest migraines ever. My right eye is drooping, I have transitory head pain, nausea and little bouts of aphasia, interspersed with feeling almost chipper. However, I can’t look at the screen anymore so I’m bailing shortly. I light a candle for the people of Louisiana, but I can’t help playing New Orleans is Sinking in my mental background loop. Pic is an MRI of a migraine. I don’t think mine is that bad.

enough sleep
2005-08-27— Posted by: allegra

Brooke informed me last night that there will be not one but two zombie walks in Vancouver today, one at 4 in front of the Art Gallery, and one at 5 at 8th and Sophia. Can such things be?

I said, whining, that I had no fake blood, to which her response was a “Corn syrup and food colouring; cheap and effective” but this was followed by a short meditation on which items of clothing she was willing to sacrifice in her on-going one-woman attempts to cleanse Vancouver of the stain of being “no-fun” city.

Of course, if Alan and Janice weren’t here, I’d go.

Keith wants to go to some kind of comics thing, Katie is still unconscious, and I made the coffee so strong this morning that there is a centimeter of sludge at the bottom of my cup.

Lexi is some ridiculous age; she’s celebrating her birthday; and it doesn’t matter how many she celebrates, she’ll always be 12 years younger than me. I am very much looking forward to her party, as there is likely to be singing.

Despite the fact that John quit his job, he went back for an additional two days of lighthearted abuse. I could not believe it when he said that there was going to be no farewell dinner or libation for him. Holy Virgin! If I worked for the same guy for 8 years and he didn’t so much as buy me a cider at the close of our contract, I would consider myself well shut of the place indeed, so I am no longer having sentimental sighing notions about John’s long and (for me anyway) entertaining tenure at his soon to be ex-job. Superman’s appearance in my front drive was indeed a sign of great change.

I will miss the truck, though. The Thing That Wouldn’t Die was like a cuter version of every possessed vehicle ever written about. And the graphics on the side were adorable; Betty Grable putting five cents in a jukebox….

It has been very emotionally peaceful at home. This is good, because work has meant heroic amounts of self-control around NOT poking people in the eye and yelling at them. Thank god for the lunch bunch. I frequently feel as if they are the only people who keep me sane.

Paul had a 3 and half hour soaring flight yesterday. He was getting 1000 feet a minute lift cheek by jowl with 1000 feet a minute sink; not enough to tip the glider over but enough to push him within 200 feet of the unforgiving granite of the Rockies. Rob of Nine, Paul would very much like to take you up for some serious fun. Since you formation fly and do aerobatics, I’m sure there’s nothing about soaring that you would find discomfiting….

Pic is Jerome standing on Mike’s hot tub.

Polar bear
2005-08-26— Posted by: allegra

I haven’t posted a polar bear pic in ages. Here’s a new addition to the Detroit zoo, Talini; her mom Barle was rescued from a circus in 2002. Thanks folks! I think if I was a polar bear I’d rather live someplace I could swim than it a Puerto Rican circus, and they actually have winter in Detroit. Polar bears are not designed for the tropics, they get all kinds of fungus and skin problems because the hair shafts in their fur are hollow. Credit Bill Pugliano Getty Images.

enough sleep
2005-08-25— Posted by: allegra

Pic is credit Paul, a continuation of his last sunset photo taken on the I5.

I know this will annoy the crap out of my webmeister, but I still think that we’re headed for lawless starving anarchy. And no birth control. The housing bubble in the States is about to deflate, or maybe even pop; savings are at the lowest rate in US history and Canada isn’t far behind; the world’s superpowers are grappling with each other for access to fuel; Kinder Morgan god help us is going to be taking over the pipelines in BC, which is terrible news for individual Canadians (get a wood stove and a wood lot); and all I can hear as background noise is Peter Lorre as Ahmed in Five Weeks in a Balloon yelling, “It’s KEEEEZMet, we are DOOOMed!”

On the other hand, things are nice and quiet and peaceful here right now.

Baby Parrotlet
2005-08-24— Posted by: allegra

I spy, with my little eye…… For purposes of scale, a woman’s index finger is about how big it is.

enough sleep
2005-08-24— Posted by: allegra

I was going to post the first little bit of my autobiography here but I could not get the layout to behave. I actually got up at 5 am to water my lawn. Katie actually stayed home all day yesterday, but that might have been because she can barely move; I mean, I’m no big fan of the stairs at Wreck Beach, but at least I pace myself. I’m stiff but not whiny, if you know what I mean. It might also have been because she’s expecting a shipment which includes “Ferngully” from her grandparents, which, if I’m lucky, will have my ‘loose shoes’ in it. I have to tell you, I have really missed my shoes. They are the comfiest I have ever had, and when you’re 46 and overweight, comfortable shoes hover ever closer to the top of your list of really important things. Keith actually worked most of yesterday – he’s working most every day now – and he completely horrified me by saying that he wanted to work in a warehouse full time. I mean, the whole point of him working temp was to get an abiding distaste for physical labour and intensify his desire to go to school… I feel very thwarted, especially since he’s not making enough money for us to chisel rent out of yet.

John’s big news is that he is no longer working for the Pinball Wizard, and that he has gone on to bigger and more industrial strength things. He will be assisting in the manufacture of devices to haul containers off ships.

Nothing to report
2005-08-23— Posted by: allegra

from a song Paul quotes all the time…. You ask me why I don’t say much. That’s cause I don’t have much to say.

Actually, lack of stuff to say is not, and never has been, my problem. It’s prettying up how to say it, so that I don’t sound crazy… that’s the problem. Hunter S Thompson has been laid to rest in a very unrestful way. RIP baby.

Who would Jesus assassinate
2005-08-23— Posted by: allegra

Pat Robertson calling for the assassination of Hugo Chavez.

Um, Hugo Chavez was democratically elected, and the ‘successful’ coup was no such thing; it was backed by the US government and fell apart when the people opposed it. The US has already tried to assassinate Chavez; but I guess the will of the people and democracy only meant something in 1776 but we have ‘a new reality’ now. My god, the framers of the Constitution would be having a cow if they could listen to a man of God call for the assassination of the head a democratically elected foreign government.

Fig Plucking
2005-08-22— Posted by: allegra

As it turned out we plucked no figs, because the wasps were on every one. However, Jim, by way of Carly, provided this gem: “I’m not a fig plucker, but I’m a fig plucker’s son; I’ll pluck the figs ’til the fig plucking’s done.” Add beer; rinse, repeat; won’t that be fun?

Wreck
2005-08-22— Posted by: allegra

Wreck Beach yesterday was magnificent as always. Katie and I went for a meander up and down the beach (the tide was out RRREAL far but I got us a good spot close by the stairs) and Mike flew his kite and Keith sat by himself and reread his beatup SECOND copy of Neuromancer and Tori was full of funny anecdotes and good advice, as always. And, as always, there were a lot of naked men, and not a single one of them looked better than the men I was with, or with the man I would have BEEN with had he not been working, grr. And Mike gave me about twenty minutes of work on my back, which I was completely desperate for, and I did get lightly toasted, but I only got burned in one spot.

Redid my hair last night (Garnier No 60) and I keep thinking I’m going to stop, but I figure that plus plucking my eyebrows is the only concession I make to the juggernaut of “thou shalt change thy appearance” this culture serves up with every commercial break; I can only thank a merciful goddess that she provided me with a man who doesn’t even dream of asking me to get waxed, except in an old fashioned and not safe for work kinda way.

Now off to work. It’s 6:39 am, do you know where your boss is?

Thumbnail is me in my Jayne Cobb hat. Somedays I’m too stupid to smile when a camera is pointed at me.

enough sleep
2005-08-22— Posted by: allegra

This is Bonnie and me on the dock in Steveston. We had a lovely meal at the Steveston Seafood Restaurant; but from this picture you’d think I want to take Bonnie home, cook her up with star anise and yogurt, and eat her. I just don’t look sincere in how I have placed my arm around her; it’s funny how you can look at a photo afterwards and think, this does not convey how I felt at all. I was so happy to see Bonnie, it felt wonderful to hear her voice in person after some years. I’m mostly posting this for my mum… Bonnie hasn’t changed much, has she?

Bazillions of Basilians
2005-08-21— Posted by: allegra

The title for today comes from Catherine C in Toronto, an old and dear friend, who went to the funeral of a Catholic priest and came back saying that she had seen…. indeed.

The pic, of course, is from a recruiting poster for the priesthood from Fr Jonathan Meyer. I saw the link on Fark and had to repost it. Because I am on the side of love, peace and understanding, I won’t launch into the six paragraph analysis of this pic of which I am ever so capable of; I’ll just say, Kewl! and leave it at that.

Have recently heard from Alan R, Catherine’s ex, now married to Janice; they are coming to town for a wedding next weekend, and I can’t wait to see them; even though I only live a three hour drive away I see them shamefully infrequently, and they are big favourites of mine (& Keith’s, as they are so very print, media and computer intensive). We usually eat something yummy and walk someplace interesting, which is a fine tradition to have.

Also we kill ourselves laughing; Alan is one of the funniest people I’ve ever met; when he gets going it’s paralyzing. Anyway, he and Janice are off in San Fran right now celebrating three birthdays at once, including his own, so I light a candle for old friends and throw in a hug for the magnificent cat-rescuer Janice, who gave me a Molly Ivins book the last time I saw her which I promptly devoured.

Today I have a number of tasks before me which I will ignore in the order they come in. I have to phone the worship services committee chair and straighten out the homily. I have to go visit somebody who may or may not still be in hospital. I have to go to Wreck Beach. And I have to finish the Process Narrative for the Returned Materials Submodule of the Revenue and Receivables Process. Honest to Murgatroyd, I wish I was making that up, but if I don’t have it done by tomorrow, I’m going to be run through by the corporate equivalent of a roasting spit. I find it hilarious that I get to do important stuff like this and also cover for reception. If I ever did a factual job description it would sound like the editor for the Harvard Business Review trying to do a comedy routine. Now, if you were confronted with a to do list like that for the day, wouldn’t you want to just go to Wreck Beach and hope you were hit by a semi on the way home? (Note to mother, no, I am not suicidal, and besides, I’m planning on making Keith drive.) More later…. I can’t sit here blogging all day, I forgot to mention that I’m also supposed to pick the last of the figs. I ain’t going on the roof and there may be too many wasps. We shall see.

Nanotech
2005-08-20— Posted by: allegra

Sorry if there’s any meshuggas with HTML but I wanted to reprint this entirely. This is some way exciting science news.

U. T. Dallas-led research team produces strong, transparent carbon nanotube sheets Numerous electronic, optical and structural uses demonstrated; Advance reported in Aug. 19 issue of prestigious journal Science

RICHARDSON, Texas (Aug. 18, 2005) – University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) nanotechnologists and an Australian colleague have produced transparent carbon nanotube sheets that are stronger than the same-weight steel sheets and have demonstrated applicability for organic light-emitting displays, low-noise electronic sensors, artificial muscles, conducting appliqu�s and broad-band polarized light sources that can be switched in one ten-thousandths of a second.

Carbon nanotubes are like minute bits of string, and untold trillions of these invisible strings must be assembled to make useful macroscopic articles that can exploit the phenomenal mechanical and electronic properties of the individual nanotubes. In the Aug. 19 issue of the prestigious journal Science, scientists from the NanoTech Institute at UTD and a collaborator, Dr. Ken Atkinson from Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), a national laboratory in Australia, report such assembly of nanotubes into sheets at commercially useable rates.

Starting from chemically grown, self-assembled structures in which nanotubes are aligned like trees in a forest, the sheets are produced at up to seven meters per minute by the coordinated rotation of a trillion nanotubes per minute for every centimeter of sheet width. By comparison, the production rate for commercial wool spinning is 20 meters per minute. Unlike previous sheet fabrication methods using dispersions of nanotubes in liquids, which are quite slow, the dry-state process developed by the UTD-CSIRO team can use the ultra-long nanotubes needed for optimization of properties.

Strength normalized to weight is important for many applications, especially in space and aerospace, and this property of the nanotube sheets already exceeds that of the strongest steel sheets and the Mylar and Kapton sheets used for ultralight air vehicles and proposed for solar sails for space applications, according to the researchers. The nanotube sheets can be made so thin that a square kilometer of solar sail would weigh only 30 kilograms. While sheets normally have much lower strength than fibers or yarns, the strength of the nanotube sheets in the nanotube alignment direction already approaches the highest reported values for polymer-free nanotube yarns.

The nanotube sheets combine high transparency with high electronic conductivity, are highly flexible and provide giant gravimetric surface areas, which has enabled the team to demonstrate their use as electrodes for bright organic light emitting diodes for displays and as solar cells for light harvesting. Electrodes that can be reversibly deformed over 100 percent without losing electrical conductivity are needed for high stroke artificial muscles, and the Science article describes a simple method that makes this possible for the nanotube sheets.

The use of the nanotube sheets as planar incandescent sources of highly polarized infrared and visible radiation is also reported in the Science article. Since the nanotube sheets strongly absorb microwave radiation, which causes localized heating, the scientists were able to utilize a kitchen microwave oven to weld together plexiglas plates to make a window. Neither the electrical conductivity of the nanotube sheets nor their transparency was affected by the welding process — which suggests a novel way to imbed these sheets as transparent heating elements and antennas for car windows. The nanotube sheets generate surprisingly low electronic noise and have an exceptionally low dependence of electronic conductivity on temperature. That suggests their possible application as high-quality sensors – which is a very active area of nanotube research.

“Rarely is a processing advance so elegantly simple that rapid commercialization seems possible, and rarely does such an advance so quickly enable diverse application demonstrations,” said the article’s corresponding author, Dr. Ray H. Baughman, Robert A. Welch Professor of Chemistry and director of the UTD NanoTech Institute. “Synergistic aspects of our nanotube sheet and twisted yarn fabrication technologies likely will help accelerate the commercialization of both technologies, and UTD and CSIRO are working together with companies and government laboratories to bring both technologies to the marketplace.”

The breakthroughs resulted from the diverse expertise of the article’s co-authors. Dr. Mei Zhang and Dr. Shaoli Fang, NanoTech Institute research scientists, first demonstrated the nanotube sheet fabrication process, and this result was translated into diverse applications by the entire team. The other team members include Dr. Anvar Zakhidov, associate director of the NanoTech Institute; Christopher Williams, Zakhidov’s graduate student from the UTD Physics Department; Dr. Sergey Lee and Dr. Ali Aliev, research scientists at NanoTech Institute, in addition to Atkinson and Baughman.

The applications possibilities seem even much broader than the present demonstrations, Baughman said. For example, researchers from the Regenerative Neurobiology Division at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Dr. Mario Romero, Director, and Dr. Pedro Galvan-Garcia, Senior Researcher Associate, and Dr. Larry Cauller, associate professor in UTD’s neuroscience program, have initial evidence suggesting that healthy cells grow on these sheets – so they might eventually be applied as scaffolds for tissue growth.

Baughman said that numerous other applications possibilities exist and are being explored at UTD, including structural composites that are strong and tough; supercapacitors, batteries, fuel cells and thermal-energy-harvesting cells exploiting giant-surface-area nanotube sheet electrodes; light sources, displays, and X-ray sources that use the nanotube sheets as high-intensity sources of field-emitted electrons; and heat pipes for electronic equipment that exploit the high thermal conductivity of nanotubes. Multifunctional applications like nanotube sheets that simultaneously store energy and provide structural reinforcement for a side panel of an electrically powered vehicle also are promising, he said.

UTD researchers began collaborating with their counterparts at CSIRO last year. In November 2004, the organizations achieved a breakthrough by downsizing to the nanoscale methods used to spin wool and other fibers to produce futuristic yarns made from carbon nanotubes.

The latest research was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, an agency of the United States Department of Defense, the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Texas Advanced Technology Program, the Robert A. Welch Foundation and the Strategic Partnership for Research in Nanotechnology.

Nanotech
2005-08-20— Posted by: allegra

Sorry if there’s any meshuggas with HTML but I wanted to reprint this entirely. This is some way exciting science news.

U. T. Dallas-led research team produces strong, transparent carbon nanotube sheets Numerous electronic, optical and structural uses demonstrated; Advance reported in Aug. 19 issue of prestigious journal Science

RICHARDSON, Texas (Aug. 18, 2005) – University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) nanotechnologists and an Australian colleague have produced transparent carbon nanotube sheets that are stronger than the same-weight steel sheets and have demonstrated applicability for organic light-emitting displays, low-noise electronic sensors, artificial muscles, conducting appliqu�s and broad-band polarized light sources that can be switched in one ten-thousandths of a second.

Carbon nanotubes are like minute bits of string, and untold trillions of these invisible strings must be assembled to make useful macroscopic articles that can exploit the phenomenal mechanical and electronic properties of the individual nanotubes. In the Aug. 19 issue of the prestigious journal Science, scientists from the NanoTech Institute at UTD and a collaborator, Dr. Ken Atkinson from Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization (CSIRO), a national laboratory in Australia, report such assembly of nanotubes into sheets at commercially useable rates.

Starting from chemically grown, self-assembled structures in which nanotubes are aligned like trees in a forest, the sheets are produced at up to seven meters per minute by the coordinated rotation of a trillion nanotubes per minute for every centimeter of sheet width. By comparison, the production rate for commercial wool spinning is 20 meters per minute. Unlike previous sheet fabrication methods using dispersions of nanotubes in liquids, which are quite slow, the dry-state process developed by the UTD-CSIRO team can use the ultra-long nanotubes needed for optimization of properties.

Strength normalized to weight is important for many applications, especially in space and aerospace, and this property of the nanotube sheets already exceeds that of the strongest steel sheets and the Mylar and Kapton sheets used for ultralight air vehicles and proposed for solar sails for space applications, according to the researchers. The nanotube sheets can be made so thin that a square kilometer of solar sail would weigh only 30 kilograms. While sheets normally have much lower strength than fibers or yarns, the strength of the nanotube sheets in the nanotube alignment direction already approaches the highest reported values for polymer-free nanotube yarns.

The nanotube sheets combine high transparency with high electronic conductivity, are highly flexible and provide giant gravimetric surface areas, which has enabled the team to demonstrate their use as electrodes for bright organic light emitting diodes for displays and as solar cells for light harvesting. Electrodes that can be reversibly deformed over 100 percent without losing electrical conductivity are needed for high stroke artificial muscles, and the Science article describes a simple method that makes this possible for the nanotube sheets.

The use of the nanotube sheets as planar incandescent sources of highly polarized infrared and visible radiation is also reported in the Science article. Since the nanotube sheets strongly absorb microwave radiation, which causes localized heating, the scientists were able to utilize a kitchen microwave oven to weld together plexiglas plates to make a window. Neither the electrical conductivity of the nanotube sheets nor their transparency was affected by the welding process — which suggests a novel way to imbed these sheets as transparent heating elements and antennas for car windows. The nanotube sheets generate surprisingly low electronic noise and have an exceptionally low dependence of electronic conductivity on temperature. That suggests their possible application as high-quality sensors – which is a very active area of nanotube research.

“Rarely is a processing advance so elegantly simple that rapid commercialization seems possible, and rarely does such an advance so quickly enable diverse application demonstrations,” said the article’s corresponding author, Dr. Ray H. Baughman, Robert A. Welch Professor of Chemistry and director of the UTD NanoTech Institute. “Synergistic aspects of our nanotube sheet and twisted yarn fabrication technologies likely will help accelerate the commercialization of both technologies, and UTD and CSIRO are working together with companies and government laboratories to bring both technologies to the marketplace.”

The breakthroughs resulted from the diverse expertise of the article’s co-authors. Dr. Mei Zhang and Dr. Shaoli Fang, NanoTech Institute research scientists, first demonstrated the nanotube sheet fabrication process, and this result was translated into diverse applications by the entire team. The other team members include Dr. Anvar Zakhidov, associate director of the NanoTech Institute; Christopher Williams, Zakhidov’s graduate student from the UTD Physics Department; Dr. Sergey Lee and Dr. Ali Aliev, research scientists at NanoTech Institute, in addition to Atkinson and Baughman.

The applications possibilities seem even much broader than the present demonstrations, Baughman said. For example, researchers from the Regenerative Neurobiology Division at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital for Children, Dr. Mario Romero, Director, and Dr. Pedro Galvan-Garcia, Senior Researcher Associate, and Dr. Larry Cauller, associate professor in UTD’s neuroscience program, have initial evidence suggesting that healthy cells grow on these sheets – so they might eventually be applied as scaffolds for tissue growth.

Baughman said that numerous other applications possibilities exist and are being explored at UTD, including structural composites that are strong and tough; supercapacitors, batteries, fuel cells and thermal-energy-harvesting cells exploiting giant-surface-area nanotube sheet electrodes; light sources, displays, and X-ray sources that use the nanotube sheets as high-intensity sources of field-emitted electrons; and heat pipes for electronic equipment that exploit the high thermal conductivity of nanotubes. Multifunctional applications like nanotube sheets that simultaneously store energy and provide structural reinforcement for a side panel of an electrically powered vehicle also are promising, he said.

UTD researchers began collaborating with their counterparts at CSIRO last year. In November 2004, the organizations achieved a breakthrough by downsizing to the nanoscale methods used to spin wool and other fibers to produce futuristic yarns made from carbon nanotubes.

The latest research was funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, an agency of the United States Department of Defense, the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research, the Texas Advanced Technology Program, the Robert A. Welch Foundation and the Strategic Partnership for Research in Nanotechnology.

Gonna Be a Bear
2005-08-19— Posted by: allegra

Paul sent me this. I have no idea which genius came up with this, or who THEY stole it from, but I know about half a dozen women who are going to fall about laughing when they see this, so here you go.

various
2005-08-19— Posted by: allegra

Pic is of Moore’s Falls up near Sandy’s place. Sparkle is doing much better; goddamned vet never checked her for parasites and a single dose of OVER the COUNTER, excuse me, Combantrin got her to ‘give it up’ so to speak. Poor little tyke was so full of worms it was amazing she could move at all.

In other news, Keith is still working at the HBC warehouse – and then he went to karate last night. Must be nice to have the energy.

Eminem’s being treated for addiction to downers. I light a candle in my heart for him. It’ll only get worse as his daughter hits her teens. And of course he will rise triumphant and write something really funny about his hospital admission. The tears of a clown….

TRIFECTA! TRIFECTA!
2005-08-18— Posted by: allegra

enough sleep
2005-08-18— Posted by: allegra

Went to the Arms on Coast Meridian yestreen for dinner. I ordered liver and onions, and enjoyed it thoroughly. I hardly ever go to restaurants with that on the menu. Poor Glenn! The waitress (personal comment about her residential status and appearance deleted) presented my liver and onions to him, and he absentmindedly started eating it. He even thought to himself, “Gosh, this veal cutlet is thin, and a funny colour,” but soon enough his error (he loathes liver) was revealed to him and he fired it, with an “I guess I can’t really scrape my tongue off in public” look, over to my side of the table. Everything on my plate was yummy. Then I ran into my ex-boss smoking a stogie on the patio. “I wondered where the hell that stench was coming from” I said, and then told him I’d see him back at the salt mines in the morning.

And we’re going drinking again on Friday night – I emailed like about 70 people at the company to come drinking to see if we could start getting another batch of folks to come out, as the Golf Course scene is not happening so much (mostly because the beerganizer (just made that up, me happy) adopted a child and is rilly busy). So a whole bunch of the fun people are not coming but swearing they will come in future. We shall see. I mean, I even invited a VP and people from HR. I’m very broad minded. Eckshully, I’m broad everywhere.

Bunny version of Rocky Horror Picture Show
2005-08-17— Posted by: allegra

http://www.angryalien.com/0705/rhpsbuns.asp

Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

What life will be like after the collapse
2005-08-17— Posted by: allegra

Except it will be food we’re talking about. This story is about a riot over …. laptops.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/8973616/

enough sleep
2005-08-17— Posted by: allegra

Katie never came home from Dax’ but at least she called, and Keith was gone when I got up this morning… he was only going to wake me up before I left if it didn’t rain last night so I could place the sprinklers, but it rained good and steady last night, so he let me sleep; he’s gone off to his 7 til 3:30 shift at the HBC warehouse in the farthest ass end of Richmond. He says the work there isn’t bad, and the pay is way marginally better than other jobs, but the buses suck. Then he’s going to a Starbucks job fair; for reasons best known to god he wants to work retail in this town, which strikes me as insane. He’ll probably be a zombie by the time he gets home… at which point I’ll be gone, because we’re heading to Glenn and Marilyn’s at some point after work. This will make Keith very happy, I imagine, as nobody will be competing with him for the computer, and he’s going to really want to collapse in front of his current game. So I’m not likely to see anybody in my family ‘cept Paul for another 24 hours, and I STILL haven’t talked to John about his lifechange – he got in dreffle late last night and I wasn’t going to go staggering down the stairs and demand the full gory, especially when it was the first time Paul had been able to sleep in his own bed for four days and I was extremely snuggle deprived. Paul says I didn’t snore at all last night and that any time he woke up, which was lots because of adjusting back off midnights, I was breathing deeply and regularly. I woke up a lot too, but every time I did I heard the rain and promptly clunked out again. Last night I dreamed I had an apartment by the ocean and there was a winter storm and the frozen spray came right up to the windows. It had a lovely window. We had a house filk, and we were expecting four people, and twenty came, and even though they all brought instruments a lot of them hadn’t seen each other for ages and they were talking over the singing which is TOTALLY bad form for a house filk and I kept yelling at them but they were all big bearded geeks and they ignored me. So sue me, I didn’t feel like putting in paragraphs this morning. If they posted terror alerts at work I’d be floating around orange. I’m gonna kiss my boss’ feet when he comes back from vacation. I had no effing clue what he protects me from when he’s around. It’s the classic “Wanna know what I do? You won’t know until I leave!” situation. Rev Katie phoned last night in response to my email about my homily which was supposed to be in September but isn’t going to happen; finding this out last week triggered on my part a GREAT DEAL of furniture kicking and swearing, which is extremely funny when you think about it. Rev Katie of course has nothing to do with the scheduling and she advised and rightly so to wait for people to get back from Ontario and Antarctica (never had to juxtapose those two words before, life is good!) to find out what’s going on. It simply wouldn’t occur to me to travel to Antarctica even if I had the dough because I consider it to be too ecologically fragile. Actually everywhere is, which is a considerable inducement to stay the hell put. See y’all later.

Mummy look!
2005-08-17— Posted by: allegra

It’s a cute bearded Frenchman named Jacques Barrot, competing in the annual Pig Squealing Competition in Trie sur Baise, France. I have now got two corners on my mom’s trifecta of bearded men, pigs and quilting. If I can ever get all three into a pic, my mum will be rendered speechless.

Allegra’s pithy sayings, advice etc – Part I
2005-08-17— Posted by: allegra

Heroes drive convertibles.

Never say, “Bite me!” to a vampire or “Flip you for it” to an acrobat.

Don’t moon werewolves or play leapfrog with unicorns.

Never pay list.

Pull over or don’t answer.

Never attribute to malice what is explained by stupidity.

Send snail mail to people you love.

The moon belongs to everyone, but some of us get more pleasure from it than others.

People who don’t like recycling should be told that dinosaurs have peed in their drink.

Teach your children to swear when they are young and when they’re teenagers it will hardly bother you.

Don’t be too hung up on being respected. If you can find people to help you move, you’re probably doing okay.

Buy metal utensils.

Whenever I hear the word self-respect, I reach for my pig bladder, and I feel better almost immediately.

Never buy furniture you can’t burn in a woodstove or won’t stand up well in a barricade.

If you’re female, guard your fertility. It may be your biggest bargaining chip.

If you don’t want to have kids, don’t, and take no guff about it. Make friends with people in your family younger than you and tell the breeder world to kiss your ass.

It’s embarrassing to state the obvious, and usually necessary.

Go to family reunions. At least one person will turn up who makes the trip worthwhile.

It is better to visit the sick than bury the dead.

The best opinion I ever have is that now is a good time to keep my trap shut.

Wish I could take my own advice, but it never seems to be where I left it.

People with OCD and insomnia invented civilization.

If you’re depressed, find someone worse off than you and drive them crazy with your self important inanities. Hey, works like a hot damn for me.

enough sleep
2005-08-16— Posted by: allegra

I was going to start off the blog with a list of my symptoms, but there was no way I could pretty them up enough to be an accompaniment to any sane person’s breakfast, so I’ll be nice and vague and say “Olfactory hallucinations – unpleasant” and “general malaise” and “sleep disturbances” and “noticeably higher levels of general background irritation” (and if you can hear Keanu Reeves saying “Whoa!” in the background when I say that, we’re in psychic communion).

I could proceed from here to work but that’s no fun, so let’s skip over that (except to say that after 8 years with the company I did what I have never previously done and went to HR to complain about the actions of a coworker – can you tell my boss is on holiday) and go wah wah wah about the CBC strike. Non Canadians, or persons who don’t listen to the CBC, are not going to find this of any interest. However it does affect my daily and personal life, negatively, so my crabbiness is growing spikes.

Watch this space for intensely different news about my brother in common law (typed low, which is extremely funny n’est-ce pas, John?.

Sandy reports that Sparkle is better; who the hell knows what’s wrong with her (the vet doesn’t) but she appears to be responding well to the various medications and has returned to having a dog’s life rather than that of a moribund invalid, so that’s good. I asked Sandy how she was going to deal with no dogs after Sparkle goes to her reward and she said she would reacquire same after she retires; somehow, Sandy without dogs is like Santa after three months at a spa; of course it’s all right, really, but you can’t help but feel that it’s all wrong. And she has settled on a Bouvier as the next installment in the story of her and dogs, and I love those dogs, so that’s happy making for me. A previous Bouvier in her life was Bear, and Bear was awesome.

What else. I am thinking a lot about forgiveness these days.

FDR’s speeches are on line. I read about six of them last night; he wasn’t always right, but he sure as hell could write a speech. Hm… sounds like somebody else I know. What strikes me is how he emphasizes the cooperation between Republicans and Democrats. I had to keep rubbing my eyes and going back and rereading it, I thought I had missed something. Imagine coming to office in 1933. His inaugural speech was something. Anyway, check them out; some of them have MP3s, but isn’t it funny to know that recorded copies of many of his speeches simply don’t exist. Just about everything both Bushes did in public is on tape; that’ll make a great Presidential library some day. Not one paper, just lots and lots of videotape. I think I’ll stick with FDR.

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Allegra

Born 1958. I write, I sing, I watch TV, I try to fulfil my responsibilities.

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