August 11th, 2005

cloud wisp

The ubiquitous talking head

In an otherwise unremarkable Radio 4 look at the Gothic (ooh! dark! ooh! cloaks! squee! The Other!) we were introduced to someone who I think combines the expert with the populist in a rather wonderful name: Professor Punter. Isn't he just the ideal person to have random opinions?
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caricature

Is this not nifty: waterproof paper you can still write on

It's a classic story of developing a product for one thing and finding out it works for something else: Ecology Coatings started out making quick-drying UV-activated paint and discovered that when you spay it on paper you end up with something that feels like normal paper but doesn't get wet. It's nanotechnology not because it's any kind of bot but because it's nanoscale particles that penetrate the paper rather than just sitting is a layer on the surface. Nifty materials science: let's hope the first application isn't waterproof tickets for traffic wardens...