Author Archive | Diane Petryk-Bloom

Wait A Femtosecond, I Can See Atoms!

Photo: MSU

Photo: MSU

First, lenses wowed us with a teeming world just too small for our unaided eyes to perceive.

The electron microscope gave us images at the atomic level. We could see the structure of micro organisms, cells, crystals, metals, and more. That was pretty awesome, but those images were static; form without function.

Now, scientists at Michigan State University have created a device that “captures movements of atoms and molecules” according to the university’s online publication MSU Today.

Developed by MSU Associate Professor of Physics and Astronomy Chong-Yu Ruan, the microscope lets scientists observe the nano world, where material change happens.

Those changes are measured on a femtosecond timescale. Its the unit of time, Ruan explains, that atoms take to perform specific tasks, such as mediating the traffic of electrical charges or participating in chemical reactions.

A femtosecond is one-millionth of a billionth of a second, which is incomprehensible without analogies.… Read the rest

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TPP: The Most Sinister Corporate Power Grab Yet

TPPImagine. While some of us are working to curtail fracking, assure GMO labeling, promote various green and buy-local initiatives, protect Internet freedom,  bolster  labor rights, enforce banking regulations, behind our backs our president, Barack Obama,  is working to make all those efforts moot.

I am not making this up, even if you haven’t heard of it yet.

It is the Trans Pacific Partnership trade pact, only the TPP isn’t just a trade agreement.  It slays safety regulations and labor protections, curtails communication freedoms, and re-writes domestic laws of the participating countries.  It’s been called a mass assault on democracy and the biggest, most sinister corporate power grab yet.

The reason you haven’t heard of it is two-fold.  All the negotiations, since 2008, have been going on behind thick closed doors and the major media outlets have apparently found it too hard to get a whiff and a sniff.  Or, they’re in on it.… Read the rest

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