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Archive for the 'Humor' Category

Forced Artificial Scarcity: the economy of the future

Posted by Christine Peterson on October 20th, 2010

This humorous essay at Cracked.com by David Wong has a lot of truth in it about the change we are now seeing in how the economy functions, as so many goods and services are produced using automation: And if someday we do perfect cold-fusion reactors or nanotech manufacturing and everyone has 100 GB/second Wi-Fi connections downloading [...]

A Visit from Saint Assembler

Posted by J. Storrs Hall on December 24th, 2009

Historical note: back when I ran sci.nanotech, it was my tradition to post this poem every Christmas, in a spirit of light-hearted fun. We here at Foresight wish all our readers the merriest of seasons greetings, and hope that you all are safe, warm, and enjoying your holidays with family and friends!   A Visit [...]

And the winner for oddest nanotechnology ad goes to…

Posted by Christine Peterson on November 21st, 2007

As we move into a long holiday weekend here in the U.S., it’s time to indulge in a lighter moment in nanotech. Being suspicious of a sponsored link by Target on a “nanotechnology” search results page, I clicked on it to find this page of four highlighted products: Benny the Bear Memory Foam Plush Bear [...]

Nanotechnology: Enhancement goals for human body

Posted by Christine Peterson on September 18th, 2007

Forbes.com did a poll to find out what human body enhancements their readers would most like. The poll seems to be gone, but nanotechnology commentator Gregor Wolbring quotes it in his own column: Smarter brain (403 votes – 29 %) Wings (230 votes – 17 %) Breathe underwater (147 votes – 11 %) Stylish, furry [...]

Test your nanotechnology IQ

Posted by Christine Peterson on September 12th, 2007

Our friends over at Nanowerk have put together a light-hearted little nanotechnology IQ test which nanotech trackers might enjoy. Some questions are fun: Question 12: Which of these well-known phrases from Star Trek depends on the (fictional) use of nanotechnology? Some not so much: Question 19: A silver coin with a diameter of 4 cm [...]

Nanotechnology, Elvis, and the Beatles

Posted by Christine Peterson on March 16th, 2007

Richard Jones brings to our attention an amusing note on which to end the nanotechnology workweek: A pointer to a Technology Review blog in German by Niels Boeing which compares Drexler to Elvis and the UK’s Software Control of Matter project to the Beatles. Roughly translated: It’s intringuingly reminiscent of the history of pop music, [...]

French citizen panel: Nanotechnology is too technical

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 31st, 2007

EurActiv.com reports on a citizens’ panel on nanotechnology held by the Ile de France region: Citizens find nanotechs ‘elitist’ A citizens’ conference on nanotechnologies in France found public information on nanosciences difficult to access for non-specialists. The report itself (PDF) is in French, but an Altavista automatic translation gives English speakers some limited access: Efforts [...]

Nanobots on The Daily Show

Posted by Christine Peterson on September 15th, 2006

To close out our nanotechnology week on a lighter note: David Berube brings to our attention an irreverent video excerpt — The Daily Show: Future Shock – Robots! — in which Ray Kurzweil is interviewed on the topic of nanobots (nanotech-based robots). Also included is a profile of Mikey Sklar who has injected an RFID [...]

Fun little movie on green nanotechnology

Posted by Christine Peterson on September 13th, 2006

The Woodrow Wilson Center Project on Emerging Nanotechnologies has a cute short (8:25) movie posted in which Bethany Maynard interviews her dad Dr. Andrew Maynard and Dr. Barbara Karn on nanotech. Worth showing to kids, and even adults may enjoy it. The best part is when Bethany and her brother Alex apply mustard to her [...]

For the very latest in nanotech medical care

Posted by Christine Peterson on September 1st, 2006

As we head into a holiday weekend here in the U.S., here’s a lighter item. Those wishing the very latest in nanomedical care will want to check out RYT Hospital’s Nanodocs program: RYT Hospital patients can monitor their health in real-time via nanotech robots, or NanoDocs, which live and travel within their blood and tissue. [...]

Tour Harvard’s nanotechnology center — and fix website

Posted by Christine Peterson on August 8th, 2006

Attendees at this year’s Lux Executive Summit (pdf) will get to tour Harvard’s Center for Nanoscale Systems. As an alumna of the rival school down the street (MIT), I suggest that while you’re there, you help tweak their website, which has one of the least impressive nano definitions I’ve seen: The term nanoscale refers to [...]

$400K federally-funded nano-comedy film available

Posted by Christine Peterson on May 4th, 2006

From Popular Science, an article by Sarah Webb on a humorous educational nanotech video called When Things Get Small, “an irreverant, madcap, comically corny romp into the world of things ‘nano’ “: “The 30-minute flick—a collaboration between physicist Ivan Schuller of the University of California at San Diego and producer Rich Wargo—is a corny romp [...]

Nanotech to be used extensively at North Pole

Posted by Christine Peterson on December 24th, 2005

Multiple press releases received from the North Pole describe current and planned uses of nanotech: (1) A new sleigh made using carbon nanotubes is expected to complete tonight’s rounds in half the time normally required, due to the higher speeds made possible by this strong material, (2) Santa Claus will be wearing a suit made [...]

Amusing nano video from Howard Lovy

Posted by Christine Peterson on May 3rd, 2005

Howard Lovy has been experimenting with video editing software and threw together this short nanotech video. (Note the warning that it might not be good to play it at the office, due to the audio and the scantily-clad protestors. I did, but I work at Foresight, where it's our job to monitor these things.) It's not really for newbies — you need a lot of background to catch all the references. See it before someone makes him take it down. Howard is clearly having way too much fun. –CP

Brookhaven College says laws of physics “no longer applicable” to nanoscale structures

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 11th, 2005

In their nanotech definition, Brookhaven College explains: "The laws of physics, chemistry, and biology are no longer applicable to nanoscale structures… Brookhaven College, in partnership with Rice University is helping to educate teachers and the public about this emerging field." Having those laws no longer work is going to make design work much trickier. (grin)

‘How The Schmirk Stole Nanotechnology’

Posted by Christine Peterson on December 23rd, 2003

Here's a must-read piece about the new nanotech bill, with a fun illustration, by popular demand on Howard Lovy's NanoBot:
"'How the Schmirk Stole Nanotechnology'
(A Fantasy of Science)
With abject apologies to Dr. Suess
by J. Storrs Hall"

Enjoy! and Happy Holidays from all of us at Foresight Institute. –CP

University of Cambridge coffee cam to retire from web

Posted by RichardTerra on May 23rd, 2001

from the end-of-an-era dept.
An article in the June 2001 issue of Technology Review Magazine reports ("Trailing Edge: Coffee Cam") that a venerable icon from the early days of the Web — the coffee cam in the Trojan Room at the University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory — will be retired later this year. According to the article, "The University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory will move to new quarters later this year, and the coffeepot and its camera–after 10 years of cult fame–will retire."

The coffee cam, which was the first video feed connected to the Internet, was originally connected to the local network at the lab in 1991, and made its debut on the World Wide Web a few years later.

Now: MEMS is nanotechnology?

Posted by Christine Peterson on January 5th, 2001

from the that's-different dept.
Oldtimers among you will recall when nanotechnology was anathema to the MEMS community, who viewed it as science fiction. Now nanotech is such a (fundable) buzzword that MEMS is being repositioned as nanotechnology by "Trends in Nanotechnology", based in Europe. Elsewhere in the issue appears this: "We're going to make just one prediction, which is that the use of the word nanotechnology will see explosive growth in the coming year. Unfortunately, most of this growth is likely to represent bandwagon-jumping." Ironic, yes? Read More for the repositioning quote.

Nanotech action figure wins big: $100 million

Posted by Christine Peterson on December 28th, 2000

from the at-least-it's-Max-not-Joe dept.
PR News on Yahoo reports that a nanotech "action figure" [read: doll for boys] is a big hit: " 'All factors indicate that by year-end Max Steel will exceed a $100 million brand worldwide in its first year,' said Matt Bousquette, president of Mattel's Boys/Entertainment division. 'And, that the product line will be a complete sell-out by Christmas in various countries'…Max Steel is a unique aspirational character that kids can identify with and the innovative 12-inch scale appeals to boys four years old and up. Josh McGrath is a cool college student and action sports athlete who is accidentally infused with nanotechnology (N-Tek(TM)) giving him super human abilities and turning him into Max Steel." CP: "Aspirational" is right, and those aspirations just might work out.

Christian Right Lobbies To Overturn Second Law Of Thermodynamics

Posted by DaveKrieger on September 5th, 2000

from the up-next:-gravity-declared-unfair-to-elderly dept.
"America's Finest News Source" has the story: "TOPEKA, KS–The second law of thermodynamics, a fundamental scientific principle stating that entropy increases over time as organized forms decay into greater states of randomness, has come under fire from conservative Christian groups, who are demanding that the law be repealed." Note: This is not a real news story…yet.