reflection, bunker irony, what if nanomachines evolve


Sometimes a news event receives such intense coverage that I’m reluctant to add anything because it has probably already been said and better then I could say it. That has become the case for events unfolding in Iran with maybe one angle that might be so obvious that it is not mentioned or because the current news is so harrowing as the reported deaths of ten Iranian protesters unfolds, maybe some details about who stands for what isn’t that compelling now, but it might in  the near future. While Peter Beaumont goes off on some odd tangents and uses enough straw men to be a fire hazard in this piece from the UK’s Guradian – The urge to split the world into two warring camps is childish – he manages to make a point worth thinking about. Portraying Iran’s problems as the evil current President of Iran Mahmoud Ahmadinejad as Iran’s Stalin or Hitler, versus reformist Mir-Hossein Mousavi Khameneh – who would be the pro liberal democracy James Madison, is not an accurate depiction of the political dynamic. Mousavi is a reformer, but he is also a self declared “fundamentalist reformist”. Its not a pro democracy movement versus an anti-democracy movement, but a slightly more worldly and moderate reformer versus a nationalistic thug.

Several bizarre memes have developed on the extreme Right side of the political circus. A far Right blogger, in one typically sick response and desperate to find a way to denigrate the measured and moral response of President Obama may deserve some sympathy for what appears to be a severe malfunction in the part of the brain that appreciates irony. Patterico’s Pontifications writes ” Contrast: Iranian Protestors Shot As Obama Goes for Ice Cream” ( typo is his) from the safety of his undisclosed bunker. He’s hardly in the streets of Tehran fighting the good fight, but more likely got up after writing that drivel to get a cold one from the fridge. His hero, Bush 43 used torture to get fake confessions about Iraq non-existent WMD and was so sad at the loss of over 4000 American lives that he gave up golf.

“Martin Luther King once said – “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” I believe that. The international community believes that. And right now, we are bearing witness to the Iranian peoples’ belief in that truth, and we will continue to bear witness.’ – President Obama.

poppies wall

Conducting molecular wire may be breakthrough in tiny biological fuel cells

University of Georgia researchers have developed a successful way to grow molecular wire brushes that conduct electrical charges, a first step in developing biological fuel cells that could power pacemakers, cochlear implants and prosthetic limbs. The journal Chemical Science calls the technique “a significant breakthrough for nanotechnology.”

Nanotech is so cool that Hollywood hasn’t even attempted to use it as a plot device unless you count the 1966 film Fantastic Voyage. The other day someone mentioned something about nanotech that might tarnish some of the hopes riding on it. Let’s say that scientists invent a cell sized machine that can be inserted into the liver to repair damage from some form of hepatitis. That nanomachine is smarter then the virus that caused the damage. Its possesses the flexibility to adapt and to change its behavior as required. If it escapes into the atmosphere does it die, does it seek a new host to keep performing its creator’s instructions or does it evolve into something who’s new functionality is difficult to predict.