Sunday, June 13, 2010
For the past week or so, folks in the Washington, DC area have been going gaga over the Nationals' new pitching phenom, Stephen Strasburg (not the gratuitous beefcake pictured above). Needless to say, the fawning, the adulation, the level of attention given to this baseball player has been making me ill. He's a baseball player! HE'S JUST A DAMN BASEBALL PLAYER!!!
A couple of days after Strasburg's big league debut, I received a copy of the University of Maryland's alumni magazine which (much too briefly) mentioned the work of chemists Sang Bok Lee and Gary Rubloff. Lee's research group is working on the creation of nanotube structures -- made of various materials -- and how those structures might be used, including their use in electrical energy storage systems. For me, this was an OMG moment.
I realize we all have our own enthusiasms, our personal list of things that excite and interest us, but imagine circuit components that are several times smaller and lighter than the smallest and lightest components we have now. Imagine batteries for computers and other electronic devices that are half the size, a third of the weight and last many times longer than the ones we currently use. Imagine being able to drive cross-country in an electric car with a battery that's so efficient, you'll be able to leave New York, speed down the highway at 65 mph and reach Vegas before you need to recharge. These things won't happen tomorrow, but it's where scientists like Dr. Lee are taking us. This is the future he and his research team are helping to build one nanotube at a time. TOP THAT, STRASBURG, YA BALL PLAYIN' FUCK!!
I mean, really... priorities, people!