“Scientists at MIT have discovered molecules that spontaneously assemble themselves into a pattern that can turn light into electricity — essentially a self-creating solar panel. In a petri dish.” [Link]
I was wondering if this discovery has a practical application. A commenter has the same question, someone else answers:
The implication of the addition of an ‘additive’ to disassemble into a liquid ‘soup’ is that the stuff can be sprayed/painted onto a surface. It also means that it can be mixed with polymers and woven into materials etc.
Paint or spray your house/car/boat/aircraft with it, and decide you want a different colour? No problem, spray the additive/solvent and it comes off.
(Thanks to Audrey Thompson for the pointer.)
After experiencing politics in action via the crowd at Lloyd Doggett’s town hall meeting on health reform yesterday, and considering the opposition to health care reform, I tweeted “It always surprises me that some sheep would rather be guarded by a wolf than a bureaucrat.” That tweet was ported to Facebook, where there were several responses, some critical of bureaucrats. I posted this comment in response:
Having been part of a bureaucracy in my first career, I know something about this. Bureaucracies exist to manage complex policies and civic processes. What we generally regard as “bureaucratic inefficiency” is a manifestation of legal and regulatory complexity, often more complex than the bureaucrats themselves can grasp, certainly difficult for most citizens to understand. The policies and systems are complex because they emerge from a political process that is responsive to many often conflicting interests. I’m not sure what an alternative to this complexity would be, but I don’t think it would be a Good Thing. What we might hope for is smarter bureaucrats, just as we hope for more and better engineers and scientists.
Here’s video I shot at the town hall meeting. Lloyd Doggett is talking. I just shot his talk. When he was done, he invited people to speak, alternating healthcare reform proponents and opponents.