Postcards from the Bleeding Edge
Sunday, August 21, 2005

  The diamond age

I spent the weekend vibrating over the potential of nanotube sheets. I started with the idea of trying to calculate what a suspension bridge would weigh... and gradually I moved into thinking about smaller, day to day items - like houses. Assuming a huge house built of pine, that weighed 25 tons - you could make one that weighed far less than a few hundred pounds, before infrastructure. Most of the weight in supporting a house goes into supporting itself, all you really need is enough material to support the loading of furniture and people and to keep out the weather.

Tomorrow's house would be a double nano-walled construction, and transparent where-ever you didn't put insulation...

Said house could be powered by the sun, and lit by oleds, built out of the same material.... the mind boggles!

There's a few flaws in this idea, like having an entirely electrically conductive house might not be the best thing in lightning prone areas - but the ratio was the first ratio that let me get a grip on the strength of carbon nanotube sheets. It's still not the right ratio - I have no idea what a typical house weighs, for example, and what happens when you try and drive a nail through a few nanotube sheets? Do you need a titanium or depleted uranium nail?

Second flaw is that these measurements of the nanotube fabric are aligned along the direction of the nanotubes and only count for tensile strength - compressive strength is apparently negligable - but imagine a roof spread like a tent over a basic house frame and you can begin to imagine home uses for the technology.

The actual tested material, 18 sheets thick, had a strength of 465MPa/(g/cm^3). High strength steel is listed 125 MPa/(g/cm^3)).

Third flaw is that the durability of the material hasn't been proven - it could fray, or oxidize, or melt in the rain... but none of those characteristics of the material have been published yet.

It's not just me going nano-nuts this week, The Houston Chronicle writes:

And the list goes on.
 
Comments:
An electrically-conductive house, if grounded, would be a good thing in an electrical storm; it would function the same as old Ben's lightning rods which bleed off the local electrical charge and, thereby, make the area less attractive to lightning.
 
I had thoughts along that line, too, thinking that the whole house would serve as a lightning rod. My concern was that a house could build up a large resevoir of potential energy (inducing lightning strikes) - and secondly, if you leaned up against a wall at the wrong time.

I'm a digital guy, this newfangled analog electricity thang isn't always intuitive for me - having a lightning rod going to ground strikes me as safer than having the whole house being ground, but what do I know?

I've been fighting off a -50 db hum in my sound system for a month now.
 
Speaking of grounds, maybe your hum is a ground loop, a bad ground or a turned-over plug (which reverses ground and hot leads even with 3-wire "grounded" circuits).
Then again, maybe its a bass drone setting the "ground" for a verse or two of "Donella Beaton" to be skrilled on the mixolydian chanter. (Did I tell you I once gazed at the rising highlands from my Pict ancestral home near Glahms and Meigle from and that I could see the place where King Arthur chained Guenevere to a stone one night and left her to the wolves? Ah, family...)
 
s/skrilled/skirled/
 
s/Meigle from/Meigle/
(Can't edit comments. Gak!)
 
I did some further analysis of the hum problem, posted at the top of my blog...
 
I was looking at your posts about breast cancer and found a good article about the same breast cancer info too...

God luck with it : )
 
Looking for throat cancer information I came across this post. I totally agree with you and would feel the same way!

jon
 
Hello, nice stuff on your site. I need to spend more time on my site about VOIP and other cisco voip certification stuff. Thanks for some ideas.
 
Hi,

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I have a site dealing with link seo suggest. You are heartly invited to take some really good tips from it.



Come and check it out if you get time :-)

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Hi,

I'm sorry for being intrusive in to your blog. But I am Melissa and I am a mother of two that is just trying to get out of an incredible financial debt. See my hubby is away in Iraq trying to protect this great country that we live in, and I am at home with our two kids telling bill collectors please be patiant. When my husband returns from war we will beable to catch up on our payments. We have already had are 2001 Ford repossessed from the bank, and are now down to a 83 buick that is rusted from front to back and the heater don't work, and tire tax is due in November.

I'm not asking for your pitty because we got our ownselfs into this mess but we would love you and thank you in our prayers if you would just keep this link on your blog for others to view.

God Bless You.

Melissa K. W.
To see my family view this page. My Family


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