Tag Archives: Star Trek

Transparent Aluminum


From: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transparent_aluminum#Transparent_aluminum

[Transparent Aluminum] was notably mentioned in the 1986 film Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home. Panels of ultra-thick acrylic glass were needed to construct water tanks within their ship’s cargo bay for containing two humpback whales and tons of water. However, the Enterprise crew, without money appropriate to the period, found it necessary to barter for the required materials. Chief Engineer Montgomery Scott exchanges the chemical formula for transparent aluminum for several sheets of the material from a manufacturer called Plexicorp. When Dr. Leonard McCoy informs Scott that giving Dr. Nichols the formula is altering the future, the engineer responds, “Why? How do we know he didn’t invent the thing?”



MERRIMACK, N.H., Nov. 4, 2013 — GT Advanced Technologies Inc. (Nasdaq:GTAT) announced that it has entered into a multi-year supply agreement with Apple Inc. to provide sapphire material. GT will own and operate ASF® furnaces and related equipment to produce the material at an Apple facility in Arizona where GT expects to employ over 700 people. Apple will provide GT with a prepayment of approximately $578 million. GT will reimburse Apple for the prepayment over five years, starting in 2015.


Sapphire is currently used as the substrate for LED manufacture and is used by Apple in the lense covers of various ‘iDevice’ cameras as well as the fingerprint sensor in the iPhone 5s. The Apple – GT Advanced Technologies deal suggests that Apple needs an assured supply of Sapphire for current and future devices. Such future applications could include Sapphire screens and/or wearable products. (http://www.patentlyapple.com/patently-apple/2013/09/apple-invents-a-fusion-process-that-will-add-a-sapphire-laminate-layer-to-iphone-ipad-future-iwatch-cover-glass.html)

From Pocketnow.com:

From GT Advanced Technologies:

Sapphire is second only to diamond in hardness (that is, scratch resistance). The formula for Sapphire is Al2O3.

Sapphire = Transparent Aluminum

See also (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sapphire)

Z Fans (You know who you are)

First the good news:

I am making significant progress on Day 46. I think that you will like what I have written.

I finally watched the latest StarTrek movie on pay per view.

I just bought and downloaded the unrated cut of World War Z from iTunes. (Now I can find out how many of my ideas they stole 🙂 )

Hillary is sleeping happily across my chest as I write this.

Now the bad news:

So … Yesterday was my friend’s 42nd birthday and I bought him dinner, then we came back and watched StarTrek (see above). Anyway … we are happily sitting on the reclining sofa watching StarTrek not six feet from the 50 something inch TV that number one son gave the Mrs several years ago.

Hillary is happily sleeping across my chest. Patches is sleeping on my right thigh.

Pickles jumps up on my lap, then jumps up on to the back of the sofa and promptly falls off over the back. This scares him and he bolts out of the TV room. This scares Hillary who bolts off of lap. This scares Patches who bolts off my thigh by way of my right arm grooving two deep bloody trenches into my forearm and in the process clears the end table to my right of all it contents.

I pause the movie and get up to see if the cats are OK. As I leave the TV room, I go to step up onto the tiled entryway and my right leg goes “zip” forward (I am wearing socks on smooth tile) as my left leg remains firmly planted. What ensues is a less than perfect high school-cheerleader style spit. At 60 years old, overweight and out of shape, my body does not bend that way. I collapse to my right side, blood dripping off of my right arm. “Ow ow ow ow ow” and proceed to laugh hysterically, even though I hurt like hell. It is times like this that I think that I must be the star of some metabeing’s slapstick situation comedy. I get a wash cloth to wash the blood off of my arm and come back to finish the movie. An hour later after the movie is finished, I can barely walk. I limp to bed and the Mrs gives me some of her muscle relaxants, pain killers, and anti-inflammatories. By morning I can kinda sorta walk but slowly and in great pain so I send an email taking day off, repeat the meds and crawl back into bed. At 8:00 PM I still hurt, but not so bad.


[Author’s note: To start at the beginning of Day 42 go >> HERE << ]


Bloggers' Rights at EFF

Wrestling with Worry

[Author’s note: This post is a continuation of the Welcome to the Future series of essays. If you haven’t read Welcome to the Future, I suggest that you start >> HERE <<]

Wrestling with Worry

I would really like to be able to say, “I vividly remember the night I couldn’t take it any more,” but I can’t. What I do remember is that it was during high school, I was really worried about something, and I was walking over to my best friend’s house thrashing it out in my mind. I was going over and over all of the various scenarios for the outcome of whatever it was I was dreading, and trying to formulate an action plan for each and every contingency. I remember stopping dead in my tracks and thinking … “[expletive deleted] Every time I plan for an outcome it ALWAYS turns out different from what I expected.” There had to be a better way.

From that point on, I vowed to stop worrying. To paraphrase Captain James T. Kirk from the Star Trek episode A Taste of Armageddon, “Worry is instinctive. But the instinct can be fought. I can stop it. I can admit that I am a worrier … but I am not going to worry today. That’s all it takes. Knowing that, I’m not going to worry – today!” I didn’t stop worrying over night, but every time I was tempted to start worrying I told my self “not today.” At some point, without even realizing it, I had stopped worrying. It took a few years, but I no longer worry. Not that I don’t get concerned, upset, or even angry at times (ask my wife). I just don’t worry about things anymore. Worry and fear cause normally rational people to do irrational things. Worry is counter-productive, it clouds the mind and hinders the ability to think clearly. Worry is fear. Fear is the mind killer.

In the ’40s, ’50s, and ’60s, Dale Carnegie reached out to thousands of people with his books and training seminars. His two most popular books were: How to Stop Worrying and Start Living and How to Win Friends and Influence People. They continue to be popular today. My dad was a big fan of Dale Carnegie’s teachings. As a kid in the mid-60s, the last thing I wanted to do was read a bunch of self-help books. As teenager in the late ’60s, I knew better than anyone else and didn’t have the interest in reading self-help books. Instead, as an adult, I had to learn it all on my own. But learn it I did. People are people. We all want basically the same thing. We want to be respected. We want to be acknowledged. We want to be appreciated. We want to be valued. Sometimes a smile and a nod is all it takes. A kind word, and a “Thank you” do wonders.

My dad was always talking to total strangers. It was embarrassing. We went places and he called people by name. Everyone seemed to like my dad. As I grew older I paid more attention to the people around me. I listened more and talked less. I worked hard to learn people’s names and politely kept asking until I remembered. I embarrass my grown sons now when I ask people their names. Yet I go into restaurants and it is like a family reunion. Everyone is glad to see me. Caring enough to learn someone’s name, greeting them by name, thanking them by name means that you respect that person as a unique person – someone of value. Rich, poor, black, white, male, female, Christian, Muslim, Jew, Hindu, American, Russian, Chinese … we all seek respect and good will. Not long ago it dawned on me … “Oh My God I have become my father.”

As part of my research for this essay, I discovered that the Apple iBookstore had both Dale Carnegie’s How to Stop Worrying and Start Living and How to Win Friends and Influence People. I purchased and downloaded them both to my iPad. Better late than never …

Next >> Happiness