Archive for the ‘week8_space’ Category

week 8 extra credit

Monday, March 16th, 2009

Gastronomic science is an important scientific field to consider. When I heard about David’s lecture title ” the gastronomic sciences”  I quickly pictured the concerned field, the Univerisity of Gastronomic sciences. This is an institution whose main objective is to bridge the gap between agricultural science and gastronomy. It was founded in January 2003 and today has two campuses in Italy according to its history.

The picture to the right from exemplifies a lanscape of agriculture of  basically the field of our concern.


The term Gastronomic Sciences is broad or vage. Deep down it is constituted of many things. Agriculture for instance has a myriad of fields, namely elementary agriculture, secondary agriculture, college agriculture and general agriculture.  I believe when one tries to establish a connection between agriculture and science one should consider studying or conducting serious studies about all branches of agriculture.

Agriculture is a field that refers to an area of  land enclosed for cultivation purposes. To my prospective, I think if the world’s agriculture was all stabilized most of the hunger problem will be solved. This is one of the most significant and gigantic issue in many counrties of the world. For instance, in Africa many countries are less developed because of  the paucity of development in agriculture, which has a great impact in the country’s economy.  Stock Photo - industrial agriculture-  large broccoli  field, california.  fotosearch - search  stock photos,  pictures, images,  and photo clipart

Week II/Zero and Infinity/Nathan Reynolds

Monday, March 16th, 2009

*NOTE* I was not enrolled in this class for the first three weeks of winter quarter.  I am simply doing these assignments to say that I completed everything.  I do not expect a grade for them as they are horrendously late otherwise.

            When reading over the lecture for this week I began to ponder over things that are seemingly incomprehensible.  For reasons unbeknownst to me, I enjoy thinking about such subjects.  Whenever I want to push the limits of my capacities for critical thought, I meditate upon these.  The thought of eternity in the fourth dimension, time, can blow me away, and I have always wondered what the end of a bottomless pit conceals.  When I read over the notes of week II, I came across some mathematical figures that also intrigued me.  There are two entities which are seemingly incomprehensible: the number zero and the concept of infinity.

            When applied to mathematics, infinity, or ∞ is a limitless number, if one would call it that.  It does not end, and as the mind attempts to comprehend its size, that size grows ever larger.  Indeed, it is a number that is greater than the collective knowledge of all of humanity can comprehend.  One can, with some difficulty, count a googolplex, and a super being may be able to understand Graham’s number (  However, infinity is unconstrained by the human mind.

            Does such a number have a purpose in our society or our universe even?  If anyone possessed an infinite quantity of anything with even a minute value to it, he would be infinitely rich, since anything multiplied by infinity is infinity still.  Anything divided by infinity is zero.  When you add or subtract infinity from a given entity, that entity also becomes positive or negative infinity.  Say that you are selling manure for $.10/lb.  If you have an infinite amount, and a constant demand, you will become infinitely rich.  Anything multiplied by infinity is infinity.  Unfortunately for you misers out there, infinity is intangible.  Theology hints at infinity through things like the mention of eternity, however, in which time spans an infinite length.

            When applied to mathematics, zero is the infinitely limiting number.  Anything multiplied by zero is zero.  Anything divided by zero is infinity.  When you add or subtract zero from an entity, that entity remains unchanged.  Zero is nothing.

            Like infinity, zero is intangible and incomprehensible in its purest and most fundamental form.  It cannot be described, because describing zero gives it characteristics, and nothing does not have characteristics.  It is nothing!  We can apply zero to a specific entity, however.

            How many Week 11 DESMA blogs are there?  How many orange trees exist in Antarctica?  How many Trojans can survive the UCLA curriculum (yes, Trojans; deal with it, Bruins are better than you)?  Zero can be used to describe things, but nothing can describe zero itself.  At least nothing we can readily comprehend.

            Any entity divided by infinity is zero, and anything divided by zero is infinity.  Thus, it is possible to accurately describe zero and infinity by comparing them to each other.  They are inverses of each other.

            Seemingly we have made a large leap in attempting to comprehend these two numbers, but in the end, we simply used and indescribable term to describe another term.

            Why do such entities exist?  We cannot describe them with anything comprehensible, nor can we make them tangible.  Their only purpose is to describe, but they cannot be described.  What does infinity describe?  Some consider infinity to contain all the possible ends that our universe can reach from a given start.  In short, that means everything that we are and are not aware of.

            Honestly, I have no answer as to how to describe zero or infinity other than nothing and everything respectively.  However, it is the attempt at rationalizing such concepts that intrigues my mind.  In the end, chances are we will never know how to describe these two numbers with understandable, comprehensible terms.

week 8 extra credit

Saturday, March 14th, 2009

Beatriz DA Costa in the ” earthlings” discusses elaborates on what is today one of the biggest issue on earth, the treatement of animals by humans. From the genesis of the world, it is known or it has been set that humans will practically dominate on animals. To be precise, humans will feed themselves of animals. The human has hence thought of creating a place that is known as a farm, to keep animals together and to promote animals reprroduction.

According to, since we all inhabit the earth we are consider earthlings. This website adds that therefore there should not be any specism, sexism, racism, etc. Curiosly, that is not the case. Everything that is mentioned on both Costa’s lecture and this video are happening today. People do treat some species with no courtesy at all. This is true especially for animals and in cases of wars between countries.

The above picture, as I can interpret it from, is meant to portray the beauty comprised in the term earthlings. Looking deep down at the picture, we can see each categories of earthlings. For instance, the human, the trees and animasls. Scientifically speaking, the earth contains three big areas, namely the humans, animals and the nature. To my prospective, the earth’s balance will never be maintained constant as long as all three of the ares do not corporate ideally. What I mean by this statement is that  the nature that provides for the humans and the animalsto keep living should be considered as a living species aswell. If this becomes true in the course of  the living species lives an equilibrium state will be established. The human will be compelled to evaluate and re-evaluate all his actions involving both the nature and animals before attemping to adopt any of  them. For instance, the case of  trees and Gorrillas, cows etc.

The purpose of  both this blog and Costa’s lecture as we can see is to raise public awareness regarding the mistreatment of animals.  Animals are part of  the three big areas that constitute the earth. From natural processes, logic and several scientific experimentations, it is deduced that life is made a lot easy when things changes equally. I mean when there is a equal balance of  things. When this is made or has occured, people do adapt to these changes accordingly. Because we all desire to live in a world that is almost free from any sort of imbalance, we should consider working toward finding balance as far as the animals mistreatment and cutting trees is concerned. We all know how bad they are being treated. One can venture that animals and trees were made to be controlled by humans. However, it turns out that doing so does implement the perturbation of  the earth as a whole. Hence, as cautious and prudent people, we should all step up to the plate and react accordingly in order to prevent the actual and the future world  from probable mishaps.

Week 9/Nanotechnology/Joseph Racca

Friday, March 13th, 2009

The universe, is infinitely large, and so does that mean that the smallest thing is infinitely small.  We can take an eraser, break it in half, break that in half, and that in half again.  We can take that and break it in half yet again, and again, and again.  I can go on and say that we can take half away every time.  Then, we get to the molecular level, and then the atomic level.

It seems as though scientists have taken advantage of this knowledge that things just keep getting smaller and smaller.  The use of nanotechnology keeps expanding, it is being used in medicine, chemistry and the environment, energy, information and communication, industry, and consumer goods.

Take this picture for example, the mechanism shown above resembles the claw of this common arcade game shown below.  But just imagine, the claw above is about 100000 times smaller than the one below.  The size of nanotechnology makes it possible to work on the microscopic level and beyond.

Imagine, if this technology could be used in art.  Art pieces could be the size of the tip of a pin.  The Mona Lisa, or such a masterpiece similar to it, can be smaller than the width of your strands of hair.  Art galleries might soon incorporate microscopes instead of wall pieces, bringing new meaning to getting “up close and personal.”

I googled nanotechnology in art and some interesting pieces came up.  For example, the piece below looks at dust particles; it is called “Infinity,” which I find appropriate because infinity goes both ways, forever outward and forever inward in space, a concept we covered in class.

In reality, nanotechnology has become a center for research for many, and might well be the answer to solving some of our problems that we face today, energy consumption and disease, just to name a couple.

In society, we take for granted the little things in life.  We look at them as everyday things when in reality, the little things in our lives make up what we see, the bigger picture, the people and objects around us, the universe we live in.  Maybe nanotechnology will help to fix that.  We now are learning to appreciate even the smallest things, so much so that we’ve reached appreciation for objects down to the molecular level.

Nanotechnology Now

week 8 extra credit

Friday, March 13th, 2009

When I read the title of Linda Weintraub’s lecture “ the beauty and aesthetics of activism” a sudden question about the relationship between beauty, aesthetics and activism rose in me. Obviously when we hear the word beauty our attention goes to thinking about something attractive. Likewise, the word aesthetics suggests something pleasant and a little artistic. But when it comes to the word activism we think of riots, civil rights etc. If I am not mistaken what  Linda Weintraub meant to imply when she mentioned or when she conceived this title can be paraphrased as the action of  creating some new beauty in art in order to portray the value of a particular creation, namely the gender repesentation. Again this is from my prospective.

One may expect those new images or innovative in art to be just for artistic purposes. But it turns out that it is not the case in many situations. For instance, in the case of the Italian Renaissance art. As we may all recall, that a women during the 1930s was considered nothing but an instrument of  reproduction of children, hence could not rejoice life as much as men. These restrictions created several strikes. And indeed the whole idea of  ” the beauty and aesthetics of activism” played a important role in solving this problems. Women sought to create artistic images of the authenticity of a women. Whenever men saw those posters and images they were guilty and finally thought of ending all those kinds of gender discrimination.

After the ban of the gender discrimination, another issue came up. This is the issue of the look. If you do not have that attire that the world praises or look for you are not living a joyful life, you are more likely to lose your position at your job, not be welcomed at some places etc just because of  your look. Untill this type of discrimination got banned, people were victims of  it.

 Universal Beauty: The Miss Universe Guide to BeautyHow Not to Look Old: Fast and Effortless Ways to Look 10 Years Younger, 10 Pounds Lighter, 10 Times Better

Generally speaking, the world has its own unfairnesses as I call it. The more powerfull people get to live real and noble lives. For example, the case of the woman during the 1930s. They could not live the life they wanted because of the restrictions that they were put on. They were thought to be less powerful. Had it not been partly for “the beauty and aesthetic of activism” women would still be in that suffrage case. To sum up we all see the role and impact of Linda Weintraub’s lecture and the reason of her interest into that field of study.

Week 9/ Nanotechnology/ Tammy Le

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

How can audiences admire an art piece that they cannot see?  Perhaps that is what leaves observers of nanotechnology art more in awe than in the traditional mediums and styles of the craft.  Nanotechnology combines the beauty of imagination with the technicalities of science to create microscopic art work that is appreciated for both its artistic value and astonishing application of science and technology.  It takes a skillful and creative mind and artist to fuse together art and science and to master the manipulation of matter in a way that conveys colossal impact and messages on such a small, atomic and molecular canvas.  Furthermore, not only does nanotech work with actual microscopic materials, but it also incorporates the concept of such small factors, as Dr. Jay Horris Hall showcases on his nanotech piece about different “utility foglets,” microscopic robots small enough to enter your body and perform different maintenance. Upon researching art work involving nanotechnology, I stumbled upon Dr. Hall’s work and was fascinated by the details he had incorporated in his concept, as well as the imagination it required to compose and mold such an idea.  He explains his idea as imagining a “microscopic robot. It has a body about the size of a human cell and 12 arms sticking out in all directions. A bucketfull of such robots might form a ‘robot crystal’ by linking their arms up into a lattice structure. Now take a room, with people, furniture, and other objects in it — it’s still mostly empty air. Fill the air completely full of robots. The robots are called Foglets and the substance they form is Utility Fog, which may have many useful medical applications. And when a number of utility foglets hold hands with their neighbors, they form a reconfigurable array of ’smart matter’”(  

He is able to reason and use scientific data and background to help support his project, while using his artistic skills to both imagine the concept as well as illustrate in order for the world to be able to visually see and gain a better understanding of his idea.  He ellaborates on the Foglets by specifying the different types, some of which include the Gobblebot, Nanobot, Brainbot, Zaperbot, Makeupbots, and Barberbots.  All the “bots” have different functions that help upkeep our bodies.  The bot I found most interesting was the Barberbot.  He describes them as as microrobots that “scuttle” over your skin in search of hair to trim.  He proposed that the Barberbots be pre-programmed for a pre-set hairstyle and be able to intelligently remember and perform the operations needed to achieve the hairstyle.  

Dr. Hall not only utilizes the fascinating dimensions of nanotechnology which incorporates science and imagination, but demonstrates how nanotechnology can actually contribute to the improvement of life.  It can be used it an array of way to not only create, but give rise to new technology and methods that will ultimately contribute to benefiting the world.  Much like another nanotech art piece I read about by artist J Sha and ARmark Authentication Technologies who developed a way to use “art as anti-counterfeiting technology” through the creation of Fish.  Fish is an image of a fish on a canvas “smaller than a spec of dust and 1/8th the width of a strand of hair” being 40 microns tall with features as small as 250 nanometers. Created using nanoentonography, it is a new way to safeguard products and brands from counterfeiting by incorporating these microscopic pieces in their products.  Since the creation of Fish is so complex using different microscopic layers of covert markers “mere microns wide”, it is impossible to replicate and therefore serves as a effective authentication system (

Extra Credit/ Sound Symposium/ Tammy Le

Thursday, March 12th, 2009

This past week I attended a presentation at the Sound Symposium, and although there was no lecture at the hour I went, there was a presentation about Visual Music.  Cindy Keeper, the curator of the Center For Visual Music, presented a visual and audio masterpieces from Visual Music artists Oscar Fishinger and Mary Ellen Bute.  She defined” visual music as music for the eyes comparable  to music for the ears,” and described it as the “visualization of music.”  One of the artists highlighted in her presentation was Oscar Fishinger, known as the Father of Visual Music, who pioneered the art of connecting the movement of images and colors with the melodies of audio music, as Keeper showed us in his famous piece, Algretto.  Fishinger believed “every object has its own intrinsic sound.”  Before attending this presentation, I did not pay much attention to the mundane sounds of different objects nor how they’re movements or very being cold personify different types of music.   Mary Ellen Bute’s Mood Contrast is another work that allows audiences to “see sound.”  Her vivid use of geometric shapes and their movement parallel the tempo and dynamics of the musical compositions to which it is paired.  I found it intriguing how these artists were able to tell a story through music and visuals simply using abstract shapes and colors rather than merely explicitly telling the story to its audience.  Visual music brings new life to sound, and a new dimension to art.

week 4 extra credit

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

The Louise M. Biomedical Library was founded by Loiuse Darling in 1947. Darling served as a U.S Army female librarian who trained several people accross the United States.

The Louise M. Darling Biomedical library is one of  the most resourceful library at UCLA.  This library is composed of  staff , whose  mission according to its history, is to provide acces to and delivery to information resources. It is also reported that its primary focus of  services and collectionsis to support the health and the life sciences research, educational, and patient care responsibilities of  UCLA faculty, students and staff. Clearly it can be seen that the biomedical library contributes greatly regarding human services.

The biomedical library is also comprised of  a graduate study room which is restricted to graduate and professional students in the school of dentistry, medicine, nursing, public health and the life sciences division of the college of letters and science.  We all know that in regard to a successful studies, a guaranteed place to study is really crucial. When there are reserved places where students,especially graduate science students, can sit down and work together there is always an effective result that comes out of  it. Its either they will partly answer big scicenctific questions or design a filed to initiate in the science field. This is why the Louise M. Darling Biomedical Library has jealously thought to build such a room for students.

The biomedical library also accepts donations of  the materials that strictly supports the education and most importantly the research of its mission. This is also an important  area to consider because we all know that archives are always inspiring even though changes are being made daily.

One of  the most valuable holding that the biomedical library has is the area of the special collections or the history division. This is area where the history of the medical thought is and practices of earliest to the recent time is carried. These are collections from the earliest fifteenth century to the earliest twentyt first century. For instance, the life sciences focus on the natural history, zoology and botany. In addition, the library has some of the history books in French and some other languages. This library branch consists of the primary, secondary, and tertiary literature and it is open to all users with valid bruin card. Because of  the importance of  the books collection in the history division, one is only allowed to consult books during all the biomedical hours. Every thing belonging in this collection is to be returned when the library closes.

Week 9/ Nanotechnology/ Andrew Curnow

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

Making things smaller, that seems to be the goal of most electronics companies in the present day. From iPods to cameras, the idea of simultaneously decreasing size while increasing performance seems to be a near prerequisite of current day technology. In the general public’s point of, the “iPod Nano” is an innovative form of ‘nanotechnology’, and although indeed it follows the notion of shrinkage, the true science of nanotechnology dwells much deeper. Encyclopedia Britannica defines nanotechnology as: “Manipulation of atoms, molecules, and materials to form structures on the scale of nanometers (billionths of a meter).” This definition holds true, however the breadth as to what nanotechnology can truly achieve is extremely underestimated by the public. During the week of Professor Vesna’s lectures on nanotechnology the class covered various aspects of the term, as well as nanotech uses. From nanotube technology that can hypothetically, if not feasibly, achieve a ‘space elevator’ to the uses of nanotechnology in pinpointing specific atoms and making an atomic abacus, the obscurity of its uses is large. However in a more pertinent sense, the use of nanotechnology is the new expansionary frontier in the advancement of biotechnology. With the ability to go into a microscopic, even atomic realm with nanotech devices, researches are able to truly enter into the human body and even cells for medical purposes.

For my final project in DESMA 9 I chose to educate the public of Viruses and their effect on the human body. The basis of my topic fell under the current pandemic of AIDS caused by the Human Immunodeficiency Virus. The pandemic is currently one of the most feared issues of present day society. As I researched through nanotechnology I realized that in fact, nanotech is quickly closing into more effective, safe treatment to HIV. I encountered research at the University of Missouri that introduced an innovative form of drug distribution in the body. Using tiny machines, researchers were testing a device that would not only seek out cells infected with HIV, enter the cell through supersonic shockwaves that made the cells permeable for drug interaction, and set a small tracker that allowed a tracing of the diseased cell. The drug dispersing nanoparticles known as a ‘nanosponge’ would target areas of the body with high concentration of the disease. Though the drug would not be available for some time, it demonstrates the level on nanotechnology and its applicability in the medical world.

Though much testing utilizing biotechnology must be done before immediate use in certain fields, nevertheless its use is more than apparent. Even in an artistic sense, nanotechnology presents a new frontier. Designs on an atomic level give a human control of something they had never before been able to visualize. Overall, the uses of nanotechnology seem somewhat endless, and the new age that its use will bring is yet to be seen.

week 9

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

I somewhat agree with Jim Gimzewski and Victoria Versa with the idea that the famous saying  ” seeing is believing” does not apply to nanotechnology. Just the name nanotech suggests a small thing already. When we talk about basing our belief in what we see, we most likely expect those things to be in the visible light spectrum. However, it turns out that the things we do not see have great impact on our health and in our entire life. This is when nanotechnology comes i to play.

As it sounds, nanotechnology is the study of the control of matter on atomic and molecular scale. To reiterate, this is really important when trying to study little things that cause us to be the way we are.


ImageThe above are pictures taken from  I chose to paste these pictures as references because they portray life in the nano level.

Most of us know how enormously nanotechnology has contributed in the modern life. This is true in all aspects, especially in the scientific field. Because of some help of the  nanotechnology, the police department for instance is able to identify suspects from old crimes.

In the science field the impact of nanotechnology is even greater especially in the engeneering department. In the mdical field nanotechnology is acting as a responding agent to many questions. For instance, reports that with the hope of nanotechnology, sooner or later drugs with no side effect at all will be made by enhancing the precision of a drug. This  problem that has been a nightmare for decades but finally about to be solved, just like problems of syphilisis and tuberculosis were resolved.

Computer science is another area where nanotechnology has an impact,still according to It is reported that nanotechnology has allowed the International Business Machines corporations to manufacture some powerful computers,wich they said will not overheat as the actual do. Clearly we can see that nanotechnology is a toolthat multi-task effectively in the benefits of every body. It helps so much that if it was a person it would have gotten all the awards possible on earth.

In the engeneering field, nanotechnology is active as well. It consists of  manipulating different nano sample in order to produce new ones. For instance,  the human genetic engeneering . This is the modification of  the genotype of an individual person, with the aim of  to determine the phenotype of the newborn or to change the existing phenotype of a child or an adult. Here we can see nanotechnology acting as an creating agent. 

To sum up, nanotechnology is a great tool in today’s life. Its application helps direct the world to a completely developed and less impure wolrd by answering most of the impossible questions, such as changing phenotypes, making drugs with no side effect, eventlally nanotechnology will come up with a way to cure cancer and AIDS in the future.

By Fabrice

Week 9/ Nano/ Patrick Morales

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

Dave’s iPhone Sneak Peek

Oxymoronically the nano industry will become a huge deal in the future.  As of today there are many properties of nano particles that scientists are still researching.  I personally had little to no idea what nano technologies actually consisted of so I went to the most popular trusted source: YouTube. I found countless videos warning about the dangers of nanotechnology and the importance of controlling the release of nano particles in the environment. In one of the videos it astonished me that a leading scientist said that the effects of introducing nano particles are largely unknown. This information suddenly became more troubling when I learned that we are already using nano particles in everyday articles such as toothpaste, tennis balls and soap. There is a certain level of danger with all products but with products that utilize nano technologies the effects might be small to the point of non-detection.

Even with the justified caution with nano particles I am fascinated by the doors that nano-tech could open up for our understanding of our planet. The director of the Material Science Division at the Lawrence Berkeley National Lab enthusiastically stated “Suddenly it’s like the periodic table projects out into a new dimension. It’s not just that we have the list of elements but it’s when we can change their sizes and each size is a little bit different than every other when it’s very small.” Could this possibly one of the keys into the dimensions of reality that are largely a mystery to us? Is the world made up of layers of different sized molecules? I don’t know and I don’t believe that any scientist could possibly answer those questions today, especially because much of the research involving nano technology is to solve problems of the world that we do know.

“Till now scientists have dissected animals and other creatures to attain more knowledge about the matter from which they are made of, and often succeeded…” but what new discoveries could nano technology uncover? One possibility is the eventual phasing out of a reductionist view point on medicine, molecules and life. By being able to ‘infiltrate’ the blood stream with nano bots or more accurately target illnesses in our bodies we could sophisticate complex system science techniques.

But where does art fit in with nano? It fits right nicely in fact. Visual art is being use d to make some complex anno properties more relatable and easier to understand. The pictures that were used in Thursday’s guest lecture were all computer generated images. So while the market for scientific research expands so will the market for science based art. The entertainment industries infatuation with nano is definitely bound affect the image of the emerging technology.

Week 9 / Nanocomposite Coating by Marie De Austria

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

When thinking about nanotechnology, I always imagine tiny machines and robots that can enter the human body and repair broken tissues or futuristic spies that can surreptitiously mount foreign government’s walls. I never thought that nanotechnology can be used to make sunscreens that are more efficient at absorbing ultraviolet rays from the sun or better yet, make tennis balls bounce better and longer.

Tennis ball manufacturers have always been looking for a way to make their tennis balls last longer by retaining the original air pressure inside the ball. Finally, Wilson Sporting Goods released their Wilson Double Core tennis balls with the promise that they will last twice as long as the normal tennis balls. The technology behind their claim is that the second coat inside the tennis balls is made of nanocomposite coating that prevents air from seeping out from inside the ball. The coating that the Wilson company invented is known as Air D-Fense. The coating begins with a latex polymer with butyl microspheres where the vermiculite platelets are added. The key to the coating process is to let the coatings dry with as much of the platelets still aligned. This creates an effective barrier so that air will not escape.

This technology is used to create a lighter but sturdier tennis racket which is popular but quite expensive today.

The same technology, nanocomposite coating, is also being used to create more efficient and long lasting critical engine parts. These parts, when tested against control specimens which were not given the superhard nanocomposite coating treatment, performed with lower friction against other parts of the engine and lasted longer – meaning it did not wear out as fast as the control specimens. If they develop this technology more, we may be able to create more efficient cars and engines which will reduce manufacturing waste – something to really look forward to when thinking about the possibilities that nanotechnology can fulfill.

It goes on to show that the success of a certain technology is not measured by how grand and big the machine is but how it can be used in many different aspects of life. From hopes of creating tiny surgical robots that can enter the bloodstream to making tennis balls last longer and bounce better, nanotechnology really does hold a huge potential and a great deal of promise in the future.

Furthermore, it is interesting to see how creative people can really be. It is one thing to discover something novel but to also use it to solve a problem is simply genius. It is like using a book to prop a shaky desk or a stool to reach something beyond our height allows us to reach. Creativity and inspiration, then, are the links between science and art. In art, you need creativity to express your inspirations in a way that could be experienced by the audience. In science, you have to express your inspirations in a creative way to benefit the masses. And this convergence is displayed in the Wilson Double Core tennis balls. The Wilson Company was inspired by the idea of creating better tennis balls and they used nanotechnology in a creative way to tackle the problem and produce a solution that everyone can now benefit from.

Week 9\Microchip Images\Marian Portugal

Tuesday, March 10th, 2009

When Professor Vesna was discussing nanotechnology during Week 9’s lectures, she mentioned how she was able to play around with micro particles, and showed us a picture of one of her creations on the powerpoint presentation.  She was able to move the particles around, and spelled out the word “desma.”  I thought it was really cool how the word “desma” was written out so clearly and with a lot of precision, despite how small the particles were.  I expected it to be kind of messy because the particles were so small.  This creation that she showed us reminded me of integrated circuits and their hidden images.

Integrated circuits, or silicon microchips, have been in use since the 1950’s.  Through the years, advancements in technology have allowed us to create chips so small, that you could fit several of them on the tip of a finger.  This decrease in size compacts more movement into each chip, and increases the amount of energy per unit of surface area.  When I tried to imagine how small these chips can be, I thought it was impossible to be able to create hidden images embedded within them too.  Dr. Vesna’s picture of the particles spelling out “desma” inspired me to talk about these images for this week’s blog. 

        I understand how technology has allowed companies to create these tiny icons in their microchips, but I did not understand how people discovered their existence.  The chip’s exterior has to first be taken off because the images are hidden behind it.  After, they use a microscope to look for specific areas on the chip that the image would most likely be found.  After that, they continually increase the magnification to take a closer look until they find the pictures.  Upon researching about these pictures, I came across a website that showed me exactly how microscopic these works of art really are.  Most of these images range from 20 to 200 microns.  One micron, or one micrometer, is one millionth of a meter.  The typical strand of hair is 88.9 micrometers in diameter.  One of the most famous micro images on a chip is the image of Waldo.  He is 50 micrometers wide, a little more than one half the width of a strand of hair. 

            It interests me how companies put these images in their microchips.  Some of the images that have shown up include Waldo, sailboats, bicycles, Kermit the Frog playing the guitar, a camel, and the cartoon character, Dilbert.  I think it shows us not only how advanced our technology is, but about the desginers’ individual creativity and character. 

According to Molecular Expressions, “chip designers have been placing cartoon characters and other images on integrated circuits for many years.”  I think it is extremely creative that these chip designers came up with this clever idea to make their mark in the most inconspicuous places.  With these microchips getting smaller and smaller, it amazes me how designers are still able to create these images.

week 8 \ the (apparently?) universal panacea of space \ ben marafino

Monday, March 9th, 2009

<!– /* Font Definitions */ @font-face {font-family:SimSun; panose-1:2 1 6 0 3 1 1 1 1 1; mso-font-alt:宋体; mso-font-charset:134; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 135135232 16 0 262145 0;} @font-face {font-family:”Cambria Math”; panose-1:2 4 5 3 5 4 6 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:1; mso-generic-font-family:roman; mso-font-format:other; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:0 0 0 0 0 0;} @font-face {font-family:Calibri; panose-1:2 15 5 2 2 2 4 3 2 4; mso-font-charset:0; mso-generic-font-family:swiss; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:-1610611985 1073750139 0 0 159 0;} @font-face {font-family:”\@SimSun”; panose-1:2 1 6 0 3 1 1 1 1 1; mso-font-charset:134; mso-generic-font-family:auto; mso-font-pitch:variable; mso-font-signature:3 135135232 16 0 262145 0;} /* Style Definitions */ p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal {mso-style-unhide:no; mso-style-qformat:yes; mso-style-parent:”"; margin-top:0in; margin-right:0in; margin-bottom:10.0pt; margin-left:0in; line-height:115%; mso-pagination:widow-orphan; font-size:11.0pt; font-family:”Calibri”,”sans-serif”; mso-fareast-font-family:SimSun; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;} .MsoChpDefault {mso-style-type:export-only; mso-default-props:yes; font-size:10.0pt; mso-ansi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-bidi-font-size:10.0pt; mso-ascii-font-family:Calibri; mso-fareast-font-family:SimSun; mso-hansi-font-family:Calibri; mso-bidi-font-family:Arial;} @page Section1 {size:8.5in 11.0in; margin:1.0in 1.0in 1.0in 1.0in; mso-header-margin:.5in; mso-footer-margin:.5in; mso-paper-source:0;} div.Section1 {page:Section1;} –>
/* Style Definitions */
{mso-style-name:”Table Normal”;
mso-padding-alt:0in 5.4pt 0in 5.4pt;

the (apparently) universal panacea of space

It’s quite strange how space seems to get proposed as a universal panacea to all of Earth’s ills. We’re growing short on precious metals? Let’s mine asteroids? Too many people on Earth? Let’s move them up there, either to the Moon or even other planets! … and so on. The reality of the situation is that many of these proposals are impractical to begin with, yet we continue to indulge our fantasies of space while losing sight of more realistic solutions right here on Earth. However, it would in all likelihood be quite unfair to assert that space itself is not worth exploring or exploiting - it turns out that humanity - and the Earth itself, perhaps - just isn’t ready for the big leap yet.

Let’s take one example of a commonly proposed project - the space ‘elevator.’ Its supporters assert that it’ll supplant expensive rocket launches as a more convenient system for delivery of materials (let’s say satellites, spaceships, space station components, construction materials, etc…) to space. I don’t necessarily dispute that, but let’s take a step back and think about the sheer scale of such a proposal. It’ll require a 35,000-kilometer-long cable (that’s nearly 22,000 miles, for those of you who find yourselves metric-challenged) that won’t snap when subjected to centrifugal and gravitational forces as the Earth rotates. Others have proposed 100,000-kilometer (62,000 mi) long cables, to be constructed from similarly panacea-like materials, like carbon nanotubes - turns out the longest carbon nanotube we’ve managed to make so far is only 18 millimeters long. That’s about as wide as one of your fingers.

Again, perhaps we’ve got too much faith in our inventiveness. Yes, humanity is indeed a creative and cunning race, but we must be careful not to get ahead of ourselves. To trust too much in what we deem possible only serves to inflate even further our technological hubris - which might prove dangerous when the right circumstances come along. In addition, we must look to the Earth before space for solutions - after all, if we do manage to relocate even a fraction of our planet’s population, what about all the people left behind? Much would have been wasted for so little gain, and indeed this is a worrying theme that we encounter far too often in our daily lives. Witness the out-of-control prices of medical treatment in the US, largely the result of reliance on the latest and greatest breakthroughs in medical technology, which are inherently expensive to discover and to bring to the patient. They are not necessarily undesirable advances in themselves, but their use - to the near-total exclusion or sequestration of other, older, yet just as effective methods - should not be monopolised. Likewise with space - have we even gotten to the point where such solutions are practical enough to discuss seriously in the public sphere, or are they destined to remain the stuff of science fiction? The future will reveal the answer - whenever that may be.

Learn some more about space elevators here:

(Sorry for submitting this a little late, Alberto, but I’ve been bogged down by midterms and finals, among other things!)

alice nakata/week 7/memory

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

I am just known to all my friends as having a bad memory, especially when it comes to people’s names and faces. I have always needed repetition in order to remember things. I didn’t think there was any way you can “train” your memory, but apparently there is.

Tadamasa Fujimoto is a 41-year-old Japanese male who, due to an unfortunate accident in his adolescence, suffers from a memory disorder. He cannot hold a memory; his memory is severely short term. But by training his memory in his own way, he is now able to hold his memory longer and is able to memorize things at an incredible speed.

In his training, he shuffles a deck of cards, flashes each card and memorizes the order. He can memorize the random order of all 52 cards in 48 seconds. Another is to memorize numbers with multiple digits. He looks at a paper with many numbers and can recite them, again memorizing at an incredible speed. 15 digits in 1 second, 20 digits in 2.5 seconds, 30 digits in 9.5 seconds, and 100 digits in 1 minute 30 seconds. He can also memorize illustrations, names, faces, and phrases. His personal record for memorizing 500 illustrations is 20 minutes.

The way he trains his memory is plain and simple. He just does what is described in the above paragraph every day. It soon became a hobby to memorize everything he sees and thus improved his medical condition. This “memory training” is now used with the elderly and people who suffer from memory disorders, as well as students who uses this method to study.

week 8/space/alice nakata

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Space, to me, seems a little frightening to me because it seems so easy to just die out there. The black hole is intimidating also, with its suction and the road to nowhere. But the interesting facts and phenomena that only happens in space made it a little less frightening place.

One fact that is interesting to me is that the Sun is losing up to a billion kg per second due to solar winds. Also, 1 pinhead of the Sun’s energy can kill a person at a distance of 160 kilometers. And speaking of kilometers, our galaxy (the Milky Way) is spinning at 225km per second. On top of the spinning, the Milky Way is traveling through space at about 330 km per second. When we drive the freeway at speed limit of 65 mph, we are going at about 100km/min. So if we are traveling 330 km per second, that’s over 180 times faster than the freeways speed limit!

The phenomena of liquid turning into spheres is amazing also. Because there is no gravity in space, surface tension shapes water into spheres. Magnetic-like molecules on water’s surface cause the surface to act like an elastic skin. Each molecule is pulled with equal tension by its neighbors. The tight-knit group forms the smallest possible area, which is a sphere.

Another interesting phenomenon is the cold welding. In space, when you put 2 pieces of metal together, they become stuck, or welded, forever.

alice nakata/final proposal

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Have you ever wondered about the mechanism behind a chameleon’s ability to camouflage? For my final project, I would like to propose a body suit that is constructed by the exact mechanism of the skin of a chameleon. With this suit, people would be able to camouflage to the environment they are in. Imagine sitting on a bench and looking like wood. This suit would be used just for fun; it shouldn’t be worn daily. It would be considered a high tech toy. But other than using it for fun, it can be used in police force and the military. This would be a revolutionary invention. Both artistic and high tech.

week 6/cloning/alice nakata

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

I have recently finished reading a book titled Angel Maker (by Stefan Brijs) which is based on religion vs cloning. I don’t plan to talk about the aspect of religion in this blog, for it might take for ever for me to finish writing about that topic. I would like to state some cloning facts and my viewpoint on the scientific method, especially of human cloning.

The Human Genome Project states there are 3 different types of cloning: copying genes and other pieces of chromosomes to generate enough identical material, splitting a developing embryo soon after fertilization of the egg by a sperm to give rise to two or more embryos, and as in the production of Dolly, using somatic cell nuclear transfer in which scientists transferred genetic material from the nucleus of an adult animal’s udder cell to an egg whose nucleus, and thus its genetic material, had been removed ( These procedures are not impossible to perform… But many ethical issues are stopping scientists from carrying out the procedure.

In Angel Maker, there is a doctor who succeeds to clone himself. Cloning humans, in reality, in a very controversial topic. In August of 1997, President Clinton proposed legislation to ban the cloning of humans for at least 5 years. The following month, thousands of biologists and physicians signed a voluntary five-year moratorium on human cloning in the United States, because of the issues (

And here are just some of the issues concerning human cloning:

Does an embryo, at whatever stage of its existence, have the same rights as human beings? If a clone is created from an existing person, who is the parent? Will cloned children face any social repercussions? Is it ethically right to harvest organs from clones?

And here are my viewpoints on them:

As a cloned embryo, I think s/he would be able to have all human rights. After all, it has the same genetic material as another human being, thus making the clone no less than human. I understand that these embryos are not conceived naturally, but I see the fact that they are made up human genes and material to be a heavier factor than abnormal conceiving procedures.

If a clone is from an existing person, the clone-donor should be the parent. In most cases, I believe the clone-donor is the one requesting to be cloned. Therefore, s/he would have to have full responsibility of the newborn clone. Taking care of a baby who is actually you… Awkward.

Will cloned children face any social repercussions? I can’t help but to think of all the bullying that would go on in the child’s life. Many might be teased by the fact that they are not original, their parents made them, and that their parents are what they’re going to turn out like. They might even get comments as “you’re not human.”

Harvesting organs from clones, however, is not too bad of an idea to me. But I would like to change this up a bit. I think if we are able to clone just the organs, it would be much more accepting than to clone a human and to take the clone’s organs away. Then many lives can be saved with no donor wait lists and with no bad reactions (if you are able to clone the organs from your own body).

Overall, I think cloning humans is a bad idea. There is too many problems that would come along with it. Cloning itself is not a bad idea though. As I said before, if we are able to clone organs, it would be used for the better. And if we can clone endangered species of plants and animals, that would be great too. But not humans. There would never be an ethically correct answer to be able to clone humans.

Final Abstract

Tuesday, March 3rd, 2009

Death is an inevitable experience that will strike every human being.  There are a multitude of ways humans can die, some of them being extremely morbid such as dying due to a painful, incurable illness such as heart disease or cancer.  These ways of dying cause extreme pain and suffering, which human beings should not have to go through.  If a machine was invented that humans could choose to be placed in, and be put through a quick, painless death, it would be the end of human beings experiencing painful, morbid death. 


Week 8 / Space / Erum Farooque

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

space-18Space is an extremely vague and broad topic. It can mean distance from one point to another, the area that surrounds, or even the vast enormity beyond Earth, outer-space. Art in space can be seen through the beautiful planets, stars and how everything is oriented. Space (on Earth) is very valuable and everyone tries to conserve and utilize their space to its max potential, and maximize their space itself as well.

Gil Kuno was an amazing presentor on Thursday. I found his projects especially interesting. All the different art projects he has worked on are all so different, unique, fascinating and exciting each in their own way. I really liked his ideas because he used music and video, two things that always grab my attention (such as the entertainment industry). He did different projects that used space to produce video or sound in a new remarkable way. One such project is the Pogophonic in which pogosticks are used as instruments. The idea is very unique to me and i have never heard of someone using a pogo stick to make music. The video is funny as you watch two guys jump on pgo sticks and they are actually making music and puttin on a show, which is ironically funny idea. space-22This idea utilizes the space we already have to create new forms of art and new expressions through music. Composition 20/40 is basically the same idea but with a ping pong table instead. Making the ping pong table and the pogo stick the input/output for the audio lets people create brilliant compositions with other random devices, apart from musical instruments. The vortex project projects different projections onto a dome and many of them imitaing space to create a virtual representation of space that is beautifully artistic. Another project that really stood out to me as well was the video art called Haze. It used the sculpture right outside UCLA’s broad art center. Filling it with haze caused various shapes and patterns to form. The movement of the haze was so soft and beautiful, it was very inticing to watch. The mysterious movements were very much like outer-space. The haze is mystifying and you never know what it will do next or where it will go now, just like we do not know what space is like, not entirely anyways. Space is so big, we have no idea yet how big, what else is there and if there more life out there. The haze moves in accordance to the heat inside the bowl-like

Lastly, I would like to discuss Gil Kuno’s Unsound Classic. It takes a picture and creates music to that picture. It is quite amazing and it geniously combines two different types of space together into one beautiful stimulating project. Syncing and converting audio to video is a unseen idea by me so i am greatly intrigued bby this. So, I found a youtube video of a project in which some did the opposite of what Kuno did in Unsound Classic. Instead of converting a picture to sound, this person converts music into pictures. You cna see the efficient use of space as the pictures move in accordance with the music.

Throughout this post, I have included some pictures of Space Art. The unseen and seen uspace-06niverse is artistically beautiful.

~Erum Farooque