Sunday, June 3, 2007

37. Aesthetics

(brought into consumption simply because of perceived beauty, spirituality, and/or symbolism/ideology interests instead of a ‘material functionality’ prominent in many other consumptive positional categories)


Mark said...

Interview Steve Varga, ProGrass Landscape Horticulturist.

WHAT: Wilsonville-based ProGrass announces NaturalCare: Natural
Solutions For A Healthy Landscape. ProGrass NaturalCare becomes the
safest, most natural landscape care service available to Oregon

WHERE: Yard, Garden & Patio Show, Convention Center, Booth # 1030

WHEN: Friday, Feb. 24 - Sunday, Feb. 26, 2006, 10a-9p Fri & Sat, 10a-6p Sun.

WHY: Concern for the environment

Concern for the health; safety of children; pets

Confusion about how to create a vibrant, healthy landscape

Confusion over the when/how/why to use chemicals in landscape care

To improve the health of your landscape by improving soil quality

NaturalCare creates sustainable landscapes by providing long-term solutions rather then short-term results

NaturalCare provides a new way of caring for your landscape. Your
goal will be lots of biological activity in the soil so healthy grass
can form a thick cover to discouraging weeds and an extensive root
system that is resistant to drought. Healthy soil means lots of
earthworms and microorganisms, which need plenty of organic matter to
flourish. Doing this successfully is a difficult task for homeowners
and requires specialized knowledge and products not available to the
general public.

When you use only chemical fertilizers, your lawn can become more
susceptible to drought and disease. Over time, lawns can become
chemically dependent. Natural organic fertilizers work in a different
way, providing the key elements to develop rich, healthy soil that is
the building block of healthy plants.

VISUALS: Steve will demonstrate how NaturalCare provides a safe
& healthy alternative for landscape care. Comparison chart listing
ingredients of both NaturalCare and well-known national fertilizer


· Mychorrhizae - Naturally occurring soil organism which promotes
root growth in plants. This contributes to water absorption, nutrient
uptake, general plant growth, decreases in plant diseases and improved
tolerance to heat and stress.

· Humates - Organic acids which are abundant in natural minerals.
They help transfer nutrients from soil to plants, improve water
retention of soil and stimulate the development of microorganisms in
the soil.

· Fishmeal - Natural form of nutrients and soil mulch used by
Native Americans. Supplies nitrogen, phosphorous and potassium.

· Organic fertilizer - Dry and sterilized form of animal manure,
bone meal or feather meal which release nutrients when decomposed.

· Sea kelp - Provides natural plant hormones and nutrients for plants

· Yucca -- Natural extract from desert plant acts as wetting agent to allow materials to move in the soil freely.

· Biological control- Insect control derived from a
naturally-occurring bacterial or fungal spores such as Bacillus
· Botanical control - Insect controls derived from plant extracts such as pyrethrum.

· Horticultural soaps - Insect control products from soap-based fatty acids which kill soft-bodied insects.

CONTACT: Jack Rubinger, Media Relations, 503-788-7325

Steve Varga, ProGrass Horticulturist, 503-969-8950

Mark said...

You can remove a lot of poisonous paints this way--at least those on metals.


February 1, 2008 Contact: Jonathan Sherwood
Researchers Create Gold Aluminum, Black Platinum, Blue Silver


Gold Aluminum (photo credit Richard Baker, University of Rochester)

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Black Titanium (photo credit Richard Baker, University of Rochester)

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Gold Aluminum, Blue Titanium, Gold Platinum (photo credit Richard Baker, University of Rochester)

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Guo in lab at the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester (photo credit Richard Baker, University of Rochester)

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Chunlei Guo, associate professor of optics at the University of Rochester, holds a piece of iridesent platinum (photo credit Richard Baker, University of Rochester)

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New York Times
Lasers Make Other Metals Look Like Gold
(February 1, 2008)

Scientist Creates True 'Black Metal'

Chunlei Guo Laser Laboratory

Optical Scientists Say Transformation of Any Metal to Any Color Now Possible

Using a tabletop laser, University of Rochester optical scientists have turned pure aluminum, gold.

And blue. And gray. And many other colors. And it works for every metal tested, including platinum, titanium, tungsten, silver, and gold.

Chunlei Guo, the researcher who a year ago used intense laser light to alter the properties of a variety of metals to render them pitch black, has pushed the same process further in a paper in today's Applied Physics Letters. He now believes it's possible to alter the properties of any metal to turn it any color—even multi-colored iridescence like a butterfly's wings.

Since the process changes the intrinsic surface properties of the metal itself and is not just a coating, the color won't fade or peel, says Guo, associate professor of optics at the Institute of Optics at the University of Rochester. He suggests the possibilities are endless—a cycle factory using a single laser to produce bicycles of different colors; etching a full-color photograph of a family into the refrigerator door; or proposing with a gold engagement ring that matches your fiancée's blue eyes.

"Since the discovery of the black metal we've been determined to get full control on getting metals to reflect only a certain color and absorb the rest, and now we finally can make a metal reflect almost any color we wish," says Guo. "When we first found the process that produced a gold color, we couldn't believe it. We worked in the lab until midnight trying to figure out what other colors we could make."

Guo and his assistant, Anatoliy Vorobeyv, use an incredibly brief but incredibly intense laser burst that changes the surface of a metal, forming nanoscale and microscale structures that selectively reflect a certain color to give the appearance of a specific color or combinations of colors.

The metal-coloring research follows up on Guo's breakthrough "black metal" discovery in late 2006, when his research team was able to create nanostructures on metal surfaces that absorbed virtually all light, making something as simple as regular aluminum into one of the darkest materials ever created.

Guo's black metal, with its very high absorption properties, is ideal for any application where capturing light is desirable. The potential applications range from making better solar energy collectors, to more advanced stealth technology, he says. The ultra-brief/ultra-intense light Guo uses is produced by a femtosecond laser, which produces pulses lasting only a few quadrillionths of a second. A femtosecond is to a second what a second is to about 32 million years. During its brief burst, Guo's laser unleashes as much power as the entire electric grid of North America does, all focused onto a spot the size of a needlepoint.

The intense blast forces the surface of the metal to form nanostructures—pits, globules, and strands that response incoming light in different ways depending on the way the laser pulse sculpted the structures. Since the structures are smaller than the wavelength of light, the way they reflect light is highly dependent upon their specific size and shape, says Guo. Varying the laser intensity, pulse length, and number of pulses, allows Guo to control the configuration of the nanostructures, and hence control what color the metal reflects.

Guo and Vorobyev also achieve the iridescent coloring by creating microscale lines covered with nanostructures. The lines, arranged in regular rows, cause reflected light of different wavelengths to interfere differently in different directions. The result is a piece of metal that can appear solid purple from one direction, and gray from another, or multiple colors all at once.

To alter an area of metal the size of a dime currently takes 30 minutes or more, but the researchers are working on refining the technique. Fortunately, despite the incredible intensity involved, the femtosecond laser can be powered by a simple wall outlet, meaning that when the process is refined, implementing it should be relatively simple.

The new process has worked on every metal Guo has tried, and the results are so consistent that he believes it will work for every metal known. His team is currently working to find the right tuning to create the rest of the rainbow for the solid-colored metal, including red and green.