Saturday, March 03, 2007

New Nanocoating Is Virtual Black Hole for Reflections

A team of researchers from Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute has created the world’s first material that reflects virtually no light.

The new material has almost the same refractive index as air, making it an ideal building block for anti-reflection coatings. It sets a world record by decreasing the reflectivity compared to conventional anti-reflection coatings by an order of magnitude.

A fundamental property called the refractive index governs the amount of light a material reflects, as well as other optical properties such as diffraction, refraction, and the speed of light inside the material.

Schubert and his coworkers have created a material with a refractive index of 1.05, which is extremely close to the refractive index of air and the lowest ever reported. Window glass, for comparison, has a refractive index of about 1.45.

Using a technique called oblique angle deposition, the researchers deposited silica nanorods at an angle of precisely 45 degrees on top of a thin film of aluminum nitride, which is a semiconducting material used in advanced light-emitting diodes (LEDs). From the side, the films look much like the cross section of a piece of lawn turf with the blades slightly flattened.

The technique allows the researchers to strongly reduce or even eliminate reflection at all wavelengths and incoming angles of light. Conventional anti-reflection coatings, although widely used, work only at a single wavelength and when the light source is positioned directly perpendicular to the material.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Profit of Doom - on Al Gore buying "carbon offsets" from himself

Period Homes - "This site provides resources for professionals working on traditionally styled residential buildings."

J.R. Burrows & Company - wallpaper designs, lace curtains, etc.

Trustworth Wallpaper

Flickr Foto Finder - searches for photos under the Creative Commons license

ArtRage 2 - painting program; free version available (Win2k, XP, OSX)

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Six Free Online Storage Services

A review of:, DropBoks, eSnips, MediaMax, OmniDrive, openomy

The Steampunk Workshop - "Wherein the craftsman demonstrates the construction of artifacts from an age of steam and brass."

Electrolytic Machining of Brass - Part II - Earrings and Charms for Necklace

In which your humble proprietor theorizes that; if he can etch into one side of a brass plate he may be able to etch completely through the plate from both sides. A fixture is constructed, current is applied, electrolyte boils and jewelery is made.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

GNU Solfege

Solfege is free music education software. Use it to train your rhythm, interval, scale and chord skills.

Classical Architecture: A Handbook of the Tradition for Today

"Classical Architecture: A Handbook of the Tradition for Today", available from W. W. Norton in the Fall of 2007, will provide today's architects and design professionals with essential lessons on the classical tradition of architecture and urbanism for practice today.

This companion website, featuring excerpts from the Handbook, serves as a gateway to the canon of classical architecture. The complete classical orders are presented here, for the first time online, in detailed drawings and explanatory text for every practitioner's use. Further excerpts from the Handbook will be added over time.

The Ionic Volute Construction - diagram and explanation

Worldwide Photographs of Natural Stones - Granite, Marble, Slate, Sandstone, Limestone, Travertine, Onyx - 2000 stone photographs from 50 countries are displayed in this stone album

Findstone Forums - Forum for Advice on Care & Maintenance of Natural Stones

Articles Online from Traditional Building Magazine - the bimonthly magazine edited for design and building professionals involved with public architecture: Commercial, Institutional, Government and Religious buildings. The resources in the magazine are used for restoring and renovating old buildings -- as well as for designing and constructing new buildings in traditional styles."

Product Reports from Traditional Building Magazine

Nietzsche and the university: An Analysis of How Misinterpretation can change an entire culture - on "The Closing of the American Mind"


At this point, one must know what has caused the formation of this moral vacuum. [...] In this respect, Nietzsche's call became one of pushing for inequality, or at least the recognition that people are unequal. Democracy, in this sense, posited every person as equal and thus attempted the creation of equality as the ultimate goal. Instead of the drastic restructuring and realignment of democracy, however, individuals on both the political Left and the political Right twisted Nietzsche's message. As a result, Bloom notes that "Radical egalitarianism" became the "cure for the evils of egalitarianism so marvelously portrayed by Nietzsche".

The orientation of the American life thus became centered on the concept of the self, eventually leading to nihilism. [...] From this lost capacity [to value] arises a sense of commitment to causes without the causes being based in truth. Essentially, the only issue is the level of commitment to a cause — regardless of how asinine the cause is. This supposed new openness and individuality however, can be viewed as the acceptance of dogmatism. Essentially, everyone's thought is acceptable if it follows principles of egalitarianism and tolerance. No thought is more important than another.

The Closing of the American Mind Revisited

Monday, February 26, 2007

DVD scene names and times, some in French

Subtitle file formats

SubScene - a subtitle site (click on "more info" to download a file if the search results page doesn't work)

CGSphere - a 3D graphics contest: "create the most captivating and visually appealing sphere from our provided scene using your 3D program and renderer of choice."

Sunday, February 25, 2007

Caption Swap - a movie subtitle/caption site that doesn't require registration