artificial muscle could propel nano-powered medicine, red cancel button wallpaper, co-developer of unix dies

UBC researchers invent tiny artificial muscles with the strength, flexibility of elephant trunk

An international team of researchers has invented new artificial muscles strong enough to rotate objects a thousand times their own weight, but with the same flexibility of an elephant’s trunk or octopus limbs.

[  ]…Using yarns of carbon nanotubes that are enormously strong, tough and highly flexible, the researchers developed artificial muscles that can rotate 250 degrees per millimetre of muscle length. This is more than a thousand times that of available artificial muscles composed of shape memory alloys, conducting organic polymers or ferroelectrics, a class of materials that can hold both positive and negative electric charges, even in the absence of voltage.

“What’s amazing is that these barely visible yarns composed of fibres 10,000 times thinner than a human haircan move and rapidly rotate objects two thousand times their own weight,” says  Assoc. Prof. John Madden, UBC Dept. of Electrical and Computer Engineering.


I read the whole story thinking wow, amazing, but what exactly would they use these nanaotube artificial muscles for. I’ll admit to visions of sufferers of muscle diseases transformed into human Transformers. Unfortunately the press release was lacking in that regard, but here was a link to some other related research. While lacking the dramatic impact of replacing damaged muscles – and maybe that possibility still remains – they are on to a medical breakthrough that would be just as ground breaking, but would need a medical imaging machine or microscope to see –  New twisting artificial muscles propel nano-robots one step closer to medical applications

The possibility of a doctor using tiny robots in your body to diagnose and treat medical conditions is one step closer to becoming reality today, with the development of artificial muscles small and strong enough to push the tiny Nanobots along.


[  ]…In the animated video below, you first see a few bacteria like creatures swimming about. Their rotating flagella are highlighted with some detail of the flagella motor turning the “hook” and “filament” parts of the tail. We next see a similar type of rotating tail produced by a length of carbon nanotube thread that is inside a futuristic microbot. The yarn is immersed in a liquid electrolyte along with another electrode wire. Batteries and an electrical circuit are also inside the bot. When a voltage is applied the yarn partially untwists and turns the filament. Slow discharging of the yarn causes it to re-twist. In this way, we can imagine the micro-bot is propelled along in a series of short spurts.

(That has to be one tiny robot and propulsion system to push medicine along the vascular system to deliver treatment to a very specific target)


On reading this entire post it is tempting to think it might be a piece of satire they picked up from The Onion. Except that I watched a recorded NBC profile of the Perry’s this morning, rising the question of how to satirize what by all appearances seems to be satire. Rick Perry’s Wife Concludes Everyone Hates Him Because He Is Christian

SO LOOK, EVERYBODY. Jesus picked Rick Perry to be President, you know, the actual Jesus guy in charge of Earth, but apparently nobody reads Jesus’s spam letter voter memos anymore. Therefore, GO TO HELL, sayeth Anita Perry:  ”We are being brutalized by our opponents, and our own party. So much of that is, I think they look at him, because of his faith. He is the only true conservative – well, there are some true conservatives. And they’re there for good reasons. And they may feel like God called them too. But I truly feel like we are here for that purpose.”

Suck it, rest of the GOP field. You’re a squirmy pile of false idols, admit it.

Aaaand — for fun — a little more weirdness from Anita Perry, via MSNBC:

She likened Perry’s decision to run to encountering a “burning bush,” a reference to the Biblical story of Moses receiving a sign from God. And Anita Perry suggested that her husband’s current difficulties were a “test.”

“Last week, someone came up to Rick and gave him the scripture. He said Rick, I want to tell you God is testing you,” she said.


All the GOP candidates are self-described Christians ( yes even conservatarian Ron Paul). Perry has a burning bush, but the others do not? Apparently, unless Mrs Perry has some very special connections, the invisible friend in the sky just does not have a favorite GOP candidate.

Cover for the sheet music to My Pony Boy song, circa 1909. First Line: Way out west, in a nest from the rest. Refrain: Pony boy, pony boy, won’t you be my Tony Boy?

Dennis Ritchie, Father of C and Co-Developer of Unix, Dies

Linus Torvalds once said, in reference to the development of Linux, that he “had hoisted [himself] up on the shoulders of giants.” Among those giants, Dennis Ritchie (aka dmr) was likely the tallest. Ritchie, the creator of the C programming language and co-developer of the Unix operating system passed away on October 8 at the age of 70, leaving a legacy that casts a very long shadow.


I recently used that giants and shoulders anecdote about Steve Jobs. Just in case anyone doesn’t know, all the MAC operating systems were based on Unix. There is some parallel with Windows which was based on [QDOS], renamed DOS, tweaked and renamed MSDOS – The Man Who Could Have Been Bill Gates

If Kildall struck a handshake deal that day, it didn’t stick. Sams says he did get together with Kildall in Pacific Grove a short time later, but they couldn’t reach an agreement. At around the same time, he saw Gates again. He and Gates both knew of the operating system Paterson had built at Seattle Computer Co. As Sams recounts, “Gates said: ‘Do you want to get [QDOS], or do you want me to?’ I said: ‘By all means, you get it.”‘ Gates bought Paterson’s program, called QDOS, for $50,000, renamed it DOS, improved it, and licensed it to IBM for a low per-copy royalty fee.


Gates did write some code himself in the early days of Microsoft. I liked this essay, Was Steve Jobs Really Insanely Great? They have comments over there for those who want to put in their two cents worth. I tend to see Jobs as an astounding master of marketing rather than a technology innovator. The issue of Jobs personality and how he treated his employees and his paternity issues comes up. I wonder about the few commenters over there and elsewhere who defend not just Jobs berating employees but the necessity of the successful business leaders to engage in modern day plantation masterish behavior. If your employees do not respond to any other kind of motivation you hired the wrong employees. I don’t think Apple generally hired the wrong people, so that leaves how business leaders like that view themselves and the world. They have a tremendous amount of financial and thus psychological leverage over people. If your management or leadership tool box says the only way I’ll get what I want through abominable behavior than maybe there is something wrong with that persons’ leadership skills. Than the problem becomes getting someone with huge ego and control issues to admit they’re wrong and need to get help.This not to say that the workers in the trenches are saints, they could easily make a sequel to Horrible Bosses called Horrible Co-Workers, which everyone could  relate to just as much.

urban, grunge, graphic art wallpaper

red cancel button wallpaper

Interesting find by Matt Zoller Seitz , Walter White’s diabolical plot, explained

If you’re in any way confused about exactly how “Breaking Bad” maneuvered its characters into their final positions by the end of season four — and protagonist Walter White role in a diabolically complex scheme that ended with several deaths — you’ll appreciate this video essay, which was brought to my attention by the excellent online film magazine Sound on Sight.  It was edited by YouTube user jcham979; as the site’s editor Ricky D notes in his preface, the video “accurately predicted the season’s outcome days in advance of the finale’s air date.”

Breaking Bad Finale Theory – A Case For Walt Poisoning Brock


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