Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Shrub Bashing, Tungsten Scaring & Nanobamas... Oh my!

Yes, I got a bit behind on my reading. These are taken from the 19 January 2009 Chemical Engineering and News.

Direct quote from Chemical Engineering & News, 19 January 2009, p.54, Government & Policy Insights - Presidential Science Advice by David J. Hanson, C&EN Washington.

"Much has been made of the idea that President George W. Bush appeared to spend very little time worrying about science and technology. His lack of any real action on global climate change, the lip service to providing additional funds for basic science, and his refusal to change his decision to restrict federal funding for research on human embryonic stem cells are among the widely recognized slights to science over the past eight years." Noted at the bottom of the article, "Views expressed on this page are those of the author and not necessarily those of ACS." ACS is the acronym for the American Chemical Society.

As of 19 January, the ascension had not even occurred yet; and, folks already had Shrub out the door. Yup, if Obama can be Big Daddy O, W can be Shrub... after all, his daddy was Big Daddy Bush. And, if you must know, they were separated by Slick Willy. My way of constantly reminding myself that the President is generally only the mouth piece, Congress wields the real power. Also note that these twerps are not calling it Global Warming much at all anymore... now it is Global Climate Change.

Direct quote from Chemical Engineering & News, 19 January 2009, p.63, Science & Technology - Unease Over Tungsten by Rachel Petkewich, C&EN West Coast News Bureau.

"AS THE FILAMENT in an incandescent light bulb, tungsten can illuminate a room, but it hasn't been spotlighted as an environmental contaminant in the same way that lead or mercury has. In fact, in the mid-1990s, believing that tungsten is relatively insoluble in water and nontoxic, the Army replaced the lead core in military bullets with tungsten alloys through its Green Ammunition Program. Similar bullets became available to hunters soon after as states began to ban lead ammunition to protect birds from lead poisoning. Recent studies, however, indicate that under certain environmental conditions, some forms of tungsten can move readily through soil, leach into groundwater, and induce greater biological effects than previously known. These findings do not definitively raise a red flag about tungsten, but they have spurred more study on the metal's effects because of the increased use of tungsten in military ammunition and in civilian applications ranging from tools to tire studs."

Great, something new to worry about and throw money at.

Direct quote from Chemical Engineering & News, 19 January 2009, p.88, Newscripts - Presidential Portraits and Pets by Bethany Halford, C&EN Northeast News Bureau.

"Looking for some memorabilia to commemorate this week's historic inauguration of President Barack Obama? University of Michigan mechanical engineering professor John Hart has come up with a memento that's perfect in these days of downsizing: NANOBAMAS."

Great, something new to have thrown money at. University of Michigan mechanical engineering professor John Hart has created a 500 micron sized (about 0.020") presidential portrait of Big Daddy O. Each Nanobama is made up of about 150 million Carbon nanotubes, isn't that special.

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