Endings and Beginnings

November 30, 2007 § 3 Comments

Thirty days, thirty-odd posts, and all I have to show for it is another HTML badge.

So, what have I learned from NaBloPoMo? Not much, I’m afraid. The same lessons again and again.

1) Don’t leave posting until 11:00 or you certainly won’t come up with anything profound. There’s no guarantee of profundity at any time around here— you may have noticed— but if it’s coming, it needs more than an hour.

2) Don’t count on your software to behave the same way from day-to-day. MarsEdit stopped letting me post photos of a certain size, and it decided that I didn’t want comments almost every day.

3) Tena always has something kind to say.

I didn’t get a single hit from NaBloPoMo this year, which is kind of a drag. My blog wasn’t listed on the blogroll for almost two weeks, and now even though it’s there clicking doesn’t link to me, due to an extra ” in the a tags. I could have bugged Eden about it again, but nagging someone about a 40-hour-per-week job they do for free doesn’t seem like good karma.

I think the structure is good for me, though, so I’ll attempt a Monday-Wednesday-Friday schedule for December. I hope for more insight and less drivel, but I can’t promise anything there.

I’ll leave you with this article (from where, you ask? your guess is as good as mine) about sponges that I found in my archives yesterday.

Sponges may conjure visions of the soft and squishy, but some of those living deep beneath the sea build complex glass structures that are marvels of engineering.

The sponge, from the genus Euplectella, uses a host of tricks for turning its brittle, primarily glass skeleton into strong structures, researchers report in the current issue of the journal Science. In fact, scientists are looking to the sponge for new ideas in materials science and engineering.

The sponge first builds strong microscopic fibers by gluing together thin layers of glass. Then it gathers these laminated fibers together for even more strength. It’s like a bundle of sticks tied together — much harder to break than a single twig. The bundles are arranged in a grid that gets embedded into glass cement, so it becomes like reinforced concrete.

People use these kinds of techniques to build structures such as skyscrapers. But Joanna Aizenberg of Bell Laboratories says what’s amazing is that the sponge grows its lattice — and its glasswork doesn’t require the kind of red-hot furnace that human glass makers need.

“I cannot imagine how a structure of this sophistication can be produced,” says Aizenberg, the study’s lead author.

Since I had no memory of saving it, I’m as fascinated with those silent, alien creatures now as when I saved it (I think!).

§ 3 Responses to Endings and Beginnings

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