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Friday, April 22, 2011

New elastic polymer self-heals in just one minute

Self-healing polymers are extremely sought after by scientists, as they have many useful—not to mention lucrative—applications. Back in 2009, we reported a polyurethane-based polymeric material that heals itself in roughly an hour when exposed to UV light. That particular polymer, made by Biswajit Ghosh and Marek W. Urban, would be useful as a protective coating for phones, cars, etc. It worked based on the principle of having a reactive chemical component that would split open when physically damaged to create two reactive ends that can then covalently link together under UV light to repair itself.

In a recent issue of Nature, Mark Burnworth and his colleagues report a different type of self-healing material, one that can repair itself in about a minute under UV light. Burnworth’s polymeric material also doesn’t function on the basis of forming chemical bonds between organic compounds for repair. Instead, it relies on localized heating and metal-ligand interactions.

Burnworth and his team used rubbery oligomers, poly(ethylene-co-butylene), as the core of their material. They attached ligands, 2,6-bis(1’-methylbenzimidazolyl)pyridine (Mebip), that can bind to metals at the ends of the oligomers. To form long polymers, the researchers added either zinc (Zn2+) or lanthanum (La3+) ions to the solution of oligomers. The metal ions form metal-ligand complexes with the Mebip, linking the oligomers with one another.

For their self-healing tests, Burnworth and his team shaped the polymers into films that were 350 to 400 µM thick. They purposefully cut the polymer to about 50 to 70 percent of the overall thickness of the film. When the cuts were exposed to two consecutive 30-second rounds of UV light (320 to 390 nm wavelength at an intensity of 950 mW cm-2), the cuts sealed up. The healed material was comparable in toughness to the original polymeric film, and images from atomic force spectroscopy show that the cuts essentially disappeared.

This process works because complexes of Mebip with metals are chromophoric, so they can absorb light of a specific wavelength, such as light in the UV range. Once they absorb light, they get into a higher energetic state and then lose that energy by giving off heat. Thus, when the researchers exposed the cuts to UV light, there was heating at the surface of the polymeric film—enough heating to reach over 220°C in 30 seconds. The heat quickly depolymerizes the area around the cut. Once the UV light is turned off, the liquidized area cools, reforms the ligand-metal complexes, and seals up the cut.

The healing process can be localized, as you only need to hit damaged areas with UV light. The researchers also show that the healing process would still work if the polymer was under a load of about 8 kPa. They suggest that different ligands could be used to cover a range of absorbable wavelengths. Thus, you could selectively tailor the wavelength of light to heal different types of damaged materials.

Burnworth and his colleagues have made a significant step in getting us closer to having self-healing polymers on the market. Their approach is quite different than that of Ghosh and Urban, which we described previously. While Burnworth’s method certainly heals quicker, it also produces a dramatic increase in surface temperature during healing. Such a huge temperature surge could be disadvantageous for certain applications.

Nature, 2011. DOI: 10.1038/nature09963 (About DOIs)

Police arrest man INSIDE his house for taking cell phone video of traffic stop

"There are police who use the badge to bully, and I believe that's who I met."
Chris | InformationLiberation

Wow, this video is scary. The man is recording some police officers from his own garage and some thug cop out of nowhere walks up to him and tries to steal his phone under the obvious lie it's "evidence."

"I'ma take the phone... 'cuz that's gonna be evidence... (Man refuses)... You want to go to jail?... Withholding evidence."

It's clear from the way he's acting it's pure brazen intimidation and thuggery.

CBS reports:

VALLEJO (CBS 5) — The Vallejo Police Department is under scrutiny after a man was handcuffed and cited for recording four people being arrested near his home. [...]

While Duchine was recording, Officer Scott Yates approached and asked for his cell phone, saying it was evidence. After Duchine refused, he was handcuffed and issued a ticket for obstructing justice. Video of the incident was then posted on YouTube.

The article claims police "may be backing down."

But police may be backing down. Duchine said he was recently contacted by Internal Affairs, asking that he may be interviewed for their investigation.
They don't cite any evidence to support the claim they "may backing down." Instead, it sounds like they're trying to lure him into some sort of scam to have him talk without a lawyer, that's hugely problematic, no way in hell should he talk with these criminals.

Spare Room Holds Million-Dollar Comic Book Collection

A retired Minneapolis bus driver who died in a fire last year had a passion for comic books. The fire that took his life started in the kitchen, but a back bedroom filled with more than 20,000 comics was spared. It was just recently that the surviving family members realized the collection was worth about $1 million.

Philipp Lenssen/Flickr

According to the Star Tribune, Gary Dahlberg started collecting comic books in the 1960s and would spend lots of time in comic stores or at comic book conventions. He also collected Star Trek–related items of all sorts, and liked having some of his figurines in the refrigerator to have something to look at when he opened the door.

Living a humble life, he sold two comics before his death — one to buy a computer so he could catalog his collection, and one to help pay off his home. Some family members questioned the value of his hobby, but now that the collection has been appraised, the Star Tribune says the hobby is more valuable than they ever could have imagined:

2,500 to 3,000 of Dahlberg’s 20,000 comic-book collection would end up “easily” worth more than $1 million. “Maybe closer to $2 million,” said Ed Jaster, senior vice president of Heritage Auctions.

Some of the comics of note in the collection are from 1963 : The Amazing Spider-Man No. 1 and No. 2. The No. 2 issue is one of only five known copies. The company hired to appraise and certify the collection will sell the comics in the coming year. While 3,000 of the comics are valuable, the majority will only be worth around twice the cover price.

So, collectors, look for comics from the Gary Dahlberg Collection.

Toast The Royal Wedding With...Viagra Beer?

Royal Virility.jpg
Celebrate Big Willy style....

While all eyes will be on William and Kate next week in a wedding of epic proportions, Brits will toast the newlyweds with all sorts of bubbly, including one named Royal Virility Performance. This isn't the only commemorative beverage made for the special day, but it's the only one containing herbal Viagra. The limited edition brew is only for sale in England, with shipping starting the morning before the April 29th wedding date.

The thousand-bottle, small-batch India Pale Ale reportedly contains 7.5 percent alcohol, and includes cultivated ingredients Horny Goat Weed and chocolate. How classy! To show the guys at BrewDog are not in it for the money, 20% of profits will be donated to the William-approved charity, Centrepoint.

Adorned with a crude caricature of the couple, and encouraging phrases like 'Arise Prince Willy', the brewmasters at BrewDog claim that three of their bottles are the equivalent of one Viagra pill. Naturally, they've already shipped off a bottle to the groom, per James Watt, director of stuff (his real title). "We put a bottle in a jiffy bag marked 'Prince Willy, Buckingham Palace,'" he told Fleet Street. "We sent it by Royal Mail as we presume they are most likely to know where he lives. As the bottle says, this is about consummation, not commemoration, so we hope he gets it."

Nothing like a thoughtful gift to kick start the wedding night. I'm sure the queen would approve. Brings new meaning to the term stiff drink.

Over or Under? The Great Toilet Paper Debate (Infographic) — Unfortunately, the brilliant engineers who came up with toilet paper left one problem unsolved: the problem of orientation.

Toilet Paper Rules
Via: Engineering Degree

Kindle readers can now borrow ebooks from libraries

Amazon has sanctioned the use of its e-reader – complete with note-taking facility – for ebook library loans in the US

  • From:
  • Kindle
    Kindle users in the US, like these Massachusetts book club members, can now borrow ebooks from public libraries. Photograph: Mary Knox Merrill/Getty

    Scribbling in the margins of library books will soon be permitted, after announced yesterday that it would allow Kindle users to borrow ebooks from more than 11,000 American libraries.

    The deal follows similar agreements from the Kindle's rivals, the Sony Reader and Barnes & Noble's Nook, and will enable Kindle users to check out and read ebooks from their local libraries. "We're doing a little something extra here," said Jay Marine, director of Amazon Kindle. "Normally, making margin notes in library books is a big no-no. But we're extending our Whispersync technology so that you can highlight and add margin notes to Kindle books you check out from your local library. Your notes will not show up when the next patron checks out the book. But if you check out the book again, or subsequently buy it, your notes will be there just as you left them."

    The move was welcomed by American librarians. "Anyone who works with the public has encountered the discouragement people feel when you have to tell them that Amazon does not allow library ebooks on the Kindle," blogged librarian Bobbi L Newman, a manager at the Richland County Public Library in Columbia SC. "It's SO exciting to see that Kindle users will now have access to library ebooks (especially when we know that library books usage actually drives sales up). Plus that note-taking ability they mentioned is a big reason I bought my Kindle! Very excited to see it on library books."

    Roberta A Stevens, the president of the American Library Association, told the New York Times that Amazon's move into library lending was "all but inevitable". "I can't say that I'm surprised," she said. "They were just shutting off a whole part of the marketplace. It's just logical that this would happen."

    A recent report from the American Library Association revealed research showing that 72% of public libraries offer ebooks and 5% of American adults own an ebook reader. The ALA said that ebooks account for only a small percentage of borrowed items from most libraries, but they are the fastest-growing segment: the Chicago Public Library, it said, doubled its circulation of ebooks from 17,000 in 2009 to more than 36,000 in 2010.

    Librarians are currently grappling with an announcement last month from HarperCollins stating that the publisher will not allow any single copy of one of its ebooks to be checked out from a library more than 26 times. The ALA said that librarians fear other publishers could adopt a similar model. "When we purchase a print copy, we get to keep it for as long as we want," said Audra Caplan, president of the Public Library Association. "It may eventually wear out or not circulate, but that's our choice."

    The Kindle Library Lending programme launches later this year, but did not give a precise date.

Richard Branson Gives Island To Lemurs


Not many animals can say their new best friend is a British billionaire but lemurs are proud to announce such extraordinary news. Sir Richard Branson has taken an interest in the cute, furry little primates and has decided to turn one of his private Caribbean Islands into a lemur paradise. Lemurs are native to the island of Madagascar, located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa, and is the only place in the world where lemurs live in the wild. A coup in 2009, and the rise of illegal logging in Madagascar’s rainforests, threaten to destroy the endangered animals habitat and push them further towards extinction. Sir Richard looks to create a preserve to help the lemur step back from the brink; but his aim at cultivating lemurs in an environment — which isn’t their own natural habitat — has garnered criticisms as to how the lemurs will affect the islands natural habitat and ecosystem.

The idea of transporting species from place to place for the sake of conservation has scientists questioning his methods — moving species from one continent to another for conservation purposes is relatively unheard of — and pointing out that other previous species’ introductions have proven disastrous to native wildlife. Sir Richard’s team maintains that both the lemurs — coming from zoos — and native animals will be fine. “We’ve been helping to try and preserve lemurs, and sadly in Madagascar because of the government being overthrown the space for lemurs is getting less and less,” Sir Richard told BBC News. “Here on Moskito Island we’ve got a beautiful rainforest – we brought in experts from South Africa, and they say it would be an absolutely perfect place where lemurs can be protected and breed.” Sir Richard is known for being responsible when it comes to his many philanthropic endeavors, and has told The Guardian that local species would be protected if it ever became clear that the lemurs were posing a threat.

via: CNN

10 Things You Probably Didn’t Know About Easter Candy

by chrisilluminati

Candy is probably the only bright spot of Easter. Getting dressed up sucks. Church is a bore. The food is passable. It’s all about the candy; jelly beans, Peeps, fudge and anything that will send a person into a sugar coma.

Here are ten facts you probably didn’t know about Easter candy. Dazzle the family this holiday will all your Easter knowledge because there will be nothing else to do.

  • The first chocolate eggs were made in Europe in the early 19th century and remain among the most popular treats associated with Easter.

  • 90 million chocolate Easter bunnies are made for Easter each year.

  • 16 billion jelly beans are made for Easter.

Ronald Reagan eating jelly beans

  • In the old days pretzels were associated with Easter because the twists of the pretzel were thought to resemble arms crossing in prayer.

  • Easter is the second top-selling confectionery holiday behind only Halloween.

  • On October 15, 1999, the world’s largest jar of jelly beans was unveiled. It weighed 6,050 pounds

  • 76 percent of people eat the ears on chocolate bunnies first.

  • According to the Guinness Book of World Records the largest Easter egg ever made was just over 25-ft high and made of chocolate and marshmallow. The egg weighed 8,968 lbs. and was supported by an internal steel frame.

  • The exact origins of the jelly bean are lost in time, and only a part of its history is known. Most experts believe the jelly center is a descendent of a Mid-Eastern confection known as Turkish Delight that dates back to Biblical times.

  • Kids prefer red jelly beans and 75% are willing to do extra chores for more Easter candy.


Van Damme Friday - 2011 His Comeback