Monday, March 31, 2008

Another Photo

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March 29, 2008

I thought I'd post my other picture from Saturday morning because it is cool, too. After a snowy weekend, we have blue sky and sun today although it is still chilly. It was 36 when I let Apolo out this morning. I am by myself. Well, sort of because I have contractors in my bathroom. Dave left for Washington DC yesterday. When he leaves, I always wash my sheets and have a nice, clean bed to crawl into by myself. Not that I like it when he is gone, but sometimes it is enjoyable to have the entire bed to sprawl in.

What is my husband doing in Washington DC this time? I asked him during Earth Hour on Saturday night when we had all of the lights off and the TV off and we were not on computers. We did burn candles. I am not kidding--this is what he said. He is on a national science committee to look into the health effects of nanomaterials. You know? It is one thing to not be able to use my TV or DVD or all of the features on my telephone but when my husband cannot even explain to me what he is doing, I feel like the world is slipping into another dimension.

What the <#*&^> are nanomaterials? Plastic? No. But I guess plastic is the most familiar frame of reference to help me understand. Thank you to the internet and wikipedia for explaining it to me---sort of. Up until Saturday night, I was feeling pretty good about my ability to understand Dave's research. This quote from wikipedia tells me why Dave is in DC even if I am still not clear what they will be discussing in an actual meeting. Geez! I hope I am not revealing some huge national security secret or the Jaguar repo guy may be the least of my worries.

"While nanomaterials and nanotechnologies are expected to yield numerous health and health care advances, such as more targeted methods of delivering drugs, new cancer therapies, and methods of early detection of diseases, they also may have unwanted effects. [2] Increased toxicity is the main concern associated with manufactured nanoparticles.

When materials are made into nanoparticles, their reactivity increases. These more reactive particles can enter the body through the skin, lungs, or digestive tract, and may cause inflammation and damage to the lungs as well as other organs. However, the particles must be absorbed in sufficient quantities in order to pose health risks."

Ok, now in today's newspaper, unlike wikipedia, is an article I understood completely and thought was fascinating. This is a study that remains within the dimensions I live in on this earth. It was about bears and bear spray. A study now indicates that bear spray is more successful for deterring a bear attack than a gun. A rifle is more difficult and time consuming to shoot than a spray can. It takes at least four rifle shots to get a grizzly to change its mind but evidently two cans of spray made from chili peppers will do the trick without killing the bear. But here is the deal. Do NOT---I repeat---do not wait until you see the whites of the bear's eyes before using the spray can. People have thought that if they spray the bear's eyes, this will be enough but it is too little too late and the bear gets really mad. No, as the bear approaches and at precisely 40 to 60 feet away, begin spraying in a side to side motion to create a cloud. Use a second can, if needed. The bear will start coughing and will not want to charge through the cloud. A wildlife biologist said so, so it must work. Frankly, this is a study for which I have no intention of volunteering.

And I am sitting here at my computer getting exposed to more nanomaterials trying to figure out a clever ending to today's post. I can't think of one except to say, we know bears can kill us but we don't know if nanomaterials do......yet.