fabricating butterfly wing colors, following the sun wallpaper, israel’s assault on the gaza freedom flotilla

How butterflies’ wings could cut bank fraud

Using a combination of nanofabrication procedures – including self-assembly and atomic layer deposition – Kolle and his colleagues made structurally identical copies of the butterfly scales, and these copies produced the same vivid colours as the butterflies’ wings.

According to Kolle: “We have unlocked one of nature’s secrets and combined this knowledge with state-of-the-art nanofabrication to mimic the intricate optical designs found in nature.”

“Although nature is better at self-assembly than we are, we have the advantage that we can use a wider variety of artificial, custom-made materials to optimise our optical structures.”

[  ]…”These artificial structures could be used to encrypt information in optical signatures on banknotes or other valuable items to protect them against forgery. We still need to refine our system but in future we could see structures based on butterflies wings shining from a £10 note or even our passports,” he says.

According to Wikipedia there is approximately 70 counterfeit dollars in circulation so a technology that might help business and tax payers cut down on that is a good thing. On the other hand technology, applied science, has taken a little of the poetry out of what was a beautiful and mysterious phenomenon.

Henry Drummond ( a fictionalized Clarence Darrow) on progress from Inherit the Wind (1960)

Henry Drummond: Progress has never been a bargain. You have to pay for it.
Henry Drummond: Sometimes I think there’s a man who sits behind a counter and says, “All right, you can have a telephone but you lose privacy and the charm of distance.
Henry Drummond: Madam, you may vote but at a price. You lose the right to retreat behind the powder puff or your petticoat.
Henry Drummond: Mister, you may conquer the air but the birds will lose their wonder and the clouds will smell of gasoline.”

following the sun wallpaper

Israel massacres unarmed peace activists

By now you will have heard about Israel’s assault on the Gaza Freedom Flotilla, in the course of which, according to current estimates, at least 10 and as many as 20 peace activists were killed, and dozens injured. The flotilla was carrying hundreds of activists, including a Nobel Peace Laureate, along with thousands of tons of humanitarian aid to distribute to the besieged population of Gaza.

The full post goes into much further detail with a lot of interlinks to documentation. I got this snip from TPM, “09:41 ET: NBC: Eleven Americans were among the civilians aboard the ships, including a former ambassador and a former State Department official.” One of the remarkable customs in humanities favor should we ever have a real Legion and have to make a case on our behalf is the international recognition of the sanctity of humanitarian relief in the way of food, water and medical supplies. Even during the height of the Cold War we sold wheat to a starving Soviet Union.