Julian Voss-Andreae’s Light-Harvesting Complex (top view), 2003: Wood, particle board and casting resin, 22” x 25” x 25” (56 x 64 x 64 cm) Photo courtesy the artist.
Researchers at Caltech and NYU recently received a $2 million grant to develop biomemetic self-replicating materials. According to Caltech's Si-Ping Han, if 'self-replicating' sounds sci-fi, it is.
Along with Caltech professor William A. Goddard, III, Han will research how to make structures that can make copies of themselves. The applications are many, but Han says one example where a self-replicating material might come in handy is with building smaller electronic devices. With current construction methods, scientists can make transistors on the nanoscale. But how do you make a transistor that's smaller than seven nanometers? According to Goddard and Han, you synthesize a material that can assemble itself into the desired structure.
And how do you get a material to assemble itself into a more complex structure? You use DNA of course. The hope is that, guided by DNA base pairing, these materials will fold themselves into the desired shapes in the same way an origami artist takes a two dimensional piece of paper and folds it into something three dimensional.
Courtesy Milton Love
Dr. Milton Love in his office at UCSB Aug. 26, 2011. The author of "Certainly More Than You Want to Know About the Fishes of the Pacific Coast" was in no danger.
It’s late summer, the leaves are beginning to look a bit bedraggled, and my university is filled with loud and very enthusiastic students … walking backwards.
Yes, this is the time for prospective students and their mildly anxious parents to visit universities and colleges in preparation for the annual ritual of application filing. And part of that ritual is walking behind a backwards-walking student guide extolling the virtues of their incipient alma maters. All libraries are world class, all dormitories are world class, all professors are world class, and the sun never sets on the winning football, basketball, and parchesi teams.
Many years ago, and for an incredibly short period of time, I was one of these guides, responsible for discussing the science program with our guests. In a moment of great moral clarity -- or more likely in a moment when my blood testosterone concentration had reached truly dangerous levels -- I decided to try something different: I would give my charges an honest appraisal of my institution.
LA Public Library/Security Pacific National Bank Collection
R.D. McLean portraying Junipero Serra in the Mission Play at the Mission Playhouse in San Gabriel in 1926, with two actors portraying Indians.
Like many other Midwest children my age, I first learned of Mission Era California from a Donald Duck comic. One of the late Carl Barks’ masterpieces, Donald in Old California, appeared in 1951, giving us a dreamlike color-cartoon picture of the pre Gold Rush days, of red-tile roofed haciendas and mission bells, of genteel Spanish-descended rancheros. It was my first realization, at age 9, that there were states in the union that did not share our Eastern legends of pilgrims and Plymouth Rock.
At the very same age, California fourth-graders were learning the complete official version of the Disneyfied old California—the story of kindly friar Junipero Serra, spreading his utopian Catholic mission communities, and with them the arts and benefits of basic Mediterranean civilization, up the West Coast from San Diego.
Vince Bucci/Getty Images
Author Elmore Leonard poses during a portrait session prior to a reading and signing of his latest novel "Up In Honey's Room" on May 24, 2007 at Book Soup in Los Angeles, California. Leonard died at age 87 in his home Tuesday [Aug. 20].
More than twenty years ago, my father, W.T. "Bill" Rabe, was dying of cancer. But, my dad being my dad, he was working on a project among all the other loose ends he was seeing to, a project that involved Elmore Leonard. Leonard, better known as "Dutch" to his old friends from Detroit, wrote my dad just a few days before my dad died, and the typed letter has become one of my prized possessions.
Dutch moved with his family to Detroit in 1934, and went to the University of Detroit's high school. When he graduated in 1943, he joined the Navy, then returned to earn his degree at the U of D.
(U of D Tower Yearbook)
The rest of his story is being told all over the media today, so I won't go into it, but Dutch was part of a close-knit group with connections to the U of D that stayed in touch for decades.
Joni Mitchell seated beside poet Joaquine. Standing behind are the Voguing Popes: Bret Boreman, Steven Arnold and J.V. McCuley.
I just received an irresistible invitation, coming, as it did, on the heels of last week’s discussion of the best pop melody. My friend Paige Osburn just debuted an LA music podcast called Gateway Band LA. The podcast includes a segment in which a person reveals their top 5 songs about LA, and Paige asked me to do the honors this time.
Here’s my top 5:
#1 is “California” by Joni Mitchell from her 1971 album Blue, a lovely, melancholy but comforting tale about missing the comforts of California in a stupid, disappointing world. She’ll be happy to come back and “I’d even kiss a Sunset pig,” which I take to be an LAPD officer.
#2 is “MacArthur Park,” as sung by its creator, Jimmy Webb, on Saturday, June 15, at Levitt Pavilion in MacArthur Park. It’s a cantata that gives a impressionistic take on the park, love, and longing.