Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lasers and Art

Interesting story about using lasers to clean artwork from the BBC this weekend.

This application (and its cousin, removing tattoos) didn't make it into Chad's laser smackdown, but it is an interesting combination of applied physics and chemistry.

What was interesting to me was that they have had to design lasers with the specific frequency needed so the energy gets deposited in the grime rather than the paint of the frescoes they are using it on, and also research the duration of the pulse so the damage is limited to the undesirable material and not the pigments or surface coating on the wall.

What struck me as really clever was using a laser underwater to do in situ cleaning of a coin in a shipwreck. It must be really useful to identify the value of an archaeological site without having to excavate a found object and bring it back to the lab.

Read Entire Article......

Sunday, February 14, 2010

PhD Comics goes surreal

Surreal, or real?

From the latest installment (Cecilia in Thesisland, Part 6) of an ongoing series by Jorge Cham's cartoon blog Piled Higher & Deeper, we find

Click on the image or the link above to go to the full cartoon.

What a wonderful combination of the reality of dealing with teaching duties while working on your dissertation and the daily reality of dealing with undergrads!

Well, not my daily reality. This (and the even better situations in other panels) only happens because other faculty send the message early and often that they will give credit where it is not due. It doesn't take long before students realize you mean every word in the syllabus, particularly if you give a quiz on the first day of class that asks them to find the place in the syllabus where you say how they can earn extra credit in the class.

Sure you can go to that wedding. That invitation will explain why you missed the first (and easiest) test of the year and will have to use that zero as the one exam you get to drop, but a wedding does not excuse you from having to learn the material.

Read Entire Article......