Friday, January 06, 2006

Sands of time

In the 70's there was a pop culture trend of nature based entertainment, pet rocks, rainbow colored sand filled bottles, and ocean motions were all the rage. Now that we have the world wide web, we have a psychological need to re-experience history in this new format. Hence the online Sand Art game that will tempt you to minimize any other program from running on your system while it takes over generating your personalized masterpeice. Click the image to see the animation.


Blogger Jake said...

I just happened upon your site, and I'm thinking I may become a regular, as opposed to irregular, which is an entirely different issue indeed.

What's your take on the recent data about buckyballs being highly toxic? It's like, they discover something so very cool...and now this. Very disappointing, and I hope the preliminary evidence is wrong.

Three dimensional imaging is of great interest to me. What software do you use? Too bad we dont' have 3D displays yet, and so your 3D animations have to be shown in 2D. It's like looking at a painting through a keyhole i think. Too bad also, that we can't see things as they really are - in 4D (unless you think Einstein was blowing smoke). I saw a 3D animation once of a how a 4D geometric shape would appear if it were rotating through 3 dimensions. It was awesome.

I don't know...I just read your profile, and all the things you listed as interests have always really captured my imagination. I'm so glad to know that you're out there.

3:32 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

Hello Jake,

First up - since fullerenes have not been largely manufactured yet, it is actually the perfect time to do research, become aware of potential implications and there for develop new strategies to avoid those that are not beneficial to us.
What's interesting about the toxicity issue is that this is an integral element of drug delivery systems (particularly in cancers where you want a direct target), including some current day treatments that have been controlled by quantity or other chemical interactions.
Second The study details - There are some unclear facts (assuming you are talking about the fish study), specifically in question are the conditions and solubility of the water as there have been varied terminologies used in different news reports. Apparently the buckyballs in the study were released in their pure state into free flowing water. However coated buckyballs have demonstrated a lower rate of incident, especially in the case of hydroxyl groups, the more attached, the less the toxicity. Rice has shown that surface modification has a huge impact on toxicity. In some write ups it buckyballs have been explicitly described as safe when coated, rather than raw as in the fish study.
DNA - If by chance you were referring to the latest DNA computer simulation study, it is just a simulation so it can not be completely confirmed. And while there is demonstrated docking and bending (in an aquatic environment) in the simulation they haven't shown whether or not the buckyball can actually penetrate a cell nucleolus to get to the DNA. They have the buckyball directly introduced.
Here is a Quote from the New Scientist article. "Mark Wiesner, an environmental engineer at Rice University in Houston, says that it will take experiments with actual buckyballs and DNA to tell whether the simulations hold up. "Cells are bombarded with naturally occurring nano-sized particles and appear to get by just fine, so it is not at all clear whether this speculation holds any merit in the real world," he says." So I think we need more research data.

3D stuff
I use 3D Studio Max. You might want to check this url out: for a computer with a 3D screen (which can be turned on and off). If you recall where I can download the 4D animation you mention, I would love to take a look.
And, thank you!

6:29 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

Lots of good information. Thanks.

As for the toxicity issue - Sadly, they (fullerenes) could be regulated out of existence very easily due to public hysteria and ill-informed legislators. All it would take is a few too many preliminary studies with "potential" negative effects. No actual problems required. (This could get me off on a soap box about whether a poorly educated democracy can effectively govern itself in a world full of fast breaking, highly technical issues...but I digress.)

I know there's been a lot of talk about using fullerenes as drug delivery systems, but I don't know much about that. Bucky balls as lubricant additives, bucky tubes as strenghteners in laminants, and also, their potential for superconductivity applications - those are more up my alley.

I'll take a look at 3D studio Max (again). It seems like the last time I looked into it I talked myself out of the expenditure due to my lack of artisitic talent!

The Sharp monitor is a pretty clever way of eliminating the need for glasses. Have you ever seen one in action? Maybe they are still a few years off, but I look forward to displays that are actually 3D, rather than stereoscopic...more holographic in appearance. We'll see. Porn and gamers will likely be the early adopters. Ha!

I'm not sure, but I think that 4D simulation I mentioned was on a "Nova" episode I saw a couple of years back. I'll see if I can't narrow it down a little more.

9:56 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

Hey Jake, my apologies, but I'm going to be crunched this week working on a triple animation job due on the 16th, so I'll have to get back to our discussion when I'm done (but I will). Until then...

8:05 PM  
Blogger Jake said...

Hmmm. A career of doing what you love to do...What a concept!

I hope it goes well.

6:57 PM  
Blogger Gina said...

Awwww.....thank you!

1:38 AM  
Blogger Gina said...

Hi Jake, as of today my animation project has been granted the final approval so I can get back to our discussion.
You bring up a very important point, one that has displayed itself on a rather consistent basis when a new technology is emerging. Fear of change, fear of loss of control, and fear of what is unseen in this case. During the last century we have made great strides with the discovery of DNA, biotechnology and medical devices such as synthetic organs, drugs, pacemakers, and other life saving measures. Some of these new applications have methods of development, side effects or other related dangers. At the dawn of some of these treatments the reaction may have been similar to the one you are describing, but now for the most part when people are ill, or in danger of losing their life they will go to the hospital and sign a consent form (risks and all) to receive even the most crude and invasive care, at a very primal and innate level, we want to live.
It is sometimes getting out of the gate that is the most difficult part of introducing a new idea, for example stem cell research. Of course we could say this has more ethical implications, but at the core level since nanotechnology is all matter, this will become a relative attitude. It's been described as tinkering with nature, but if you look around your home, you will see a virtual cornucopia of products manufactured by modifying nature. Plastic, cleansers, computers, light, Formica, drugs in the cupboard (basically anywhere you look) all tinkered with. They did not come out of the earth as raw materials. We are so used to them that they are not new or uncomfortable anymore, even though some people end up with multiple chemical sensitivity disorders, the rest of us go on using these products. Now with the stem cell issue, it's people like Nancy Reagan, her son, and Michael J. Fox who help us along by showing us the real humanity of the issue. They have used their platform to let us know that these issues can effect us or our loved ones directly and that research and development could provide an end to suffering.
What's unfortunate about nanotech is that it is such a wide spectrum that it has already been exploited in fiction books and television shows in such a derogatory way that it has the potential to persuade the viewer to have a negative attitude about it. The truth is there are precautionary measures that need to be taken, and this is the case for most technologies, with these in place it is so very worth the effort and to our benefit.The reason why I am so focused on the healthcare aspect (as well as cleaning up pollution etc.) is because it is my motive and my most heartfelt hope for a better future. This is the story of nano that needs to be told.
I have not viewed the Sharp screen myself but for a fleeting moment when I was looking into a better laptop system for my rendering it had crossed my mind. I have tried the glasses that work with (most) games, but unfortunately I never could get mine to work even with an updated driver. Your 4D world is interesting. Just the other day I was thinking about virtual reality and wondering if one day kids could patch into my 3D animation worlds via their current day VR machine, similar to Atari being played on the PC now. Of course in the VR world they could walk around in real space, touch, feel and interact with the environment. Gaming of the future I'm sure.

2:34 PM  

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