Friday, October 22, 2004

Foresight Day One: My pumpkin and my pants


I'm in Washington now, at the Foresight Institute's First Conference on Advanced Nanotechnology. Much of it is way too advanced for me, but I'm having fun looking at my Powerbook wallpaper with a picture of my son on it. Max Lovy amid the pumpkins looks amazingly similar to Christian Schafmeister's illustration of "A Synthetic Approach to Water Soluble Nanoscale Molecules with Controlled Structures." Well, you can't really tell with this crude cameraphone picture, but there's lots of ... um ... orange in both.

Proving that it truly is a small world, I ran into NanoBusiness Alliance chief Sean Murdock at the airport this morning. I asked him if he wasn't at the wrong meeting. I mean, Sean is all business and Foresight is all ... well, foresight. Sean told me he's trying to expand the big nano tent. Sean's a brave man, and I can't wait to hear his talk tomorrow.

First thing I did when I sat down next to Scott Mize, the new Foresight chief, was to spill coffee on my pants. Better living through chemistry saves the day again. The coffee just beaded up and rolled off. But, you know, I'm not wearing nanopants from Nano-Tex. I'm wearing Stain Defenders with a DuPont Teflon coating. Here's a little secret that Sean probably doesn't want me to give away. DuPont's Teflon coating is pretty much the same thing as Nano-Tex's "nanowhiskers," minus the catchy prefix.

Finally, my clumsiness can make a useful contribution to science.

Update: Adam Keiper of The New Atlantis shows me how liveblogging is done. He'll give you more-complete coverage, while it's more my style to hit and run (run like hell for my life, sometimes).

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