2016-03-22 (Tuesday)

Today, I learned that:

I woke up early this morning and when I was just about to make a move in Wordfeud, I noticed that there was a chat message waiting for me, “… a lot of mischief in Brussels”. So I tuned in to Radio Sweden P1 and heard all about the monstrosities that were happening there.

Twin Towers

I took this picture from the Empire State Building of the Manhattan skyline on 1994-09-18, when the Twin Towers were still the landmarks. 7 years later they did not exist any more!

It reminded me of other similar events which had happened during the last decade (London, Madrid, Paris,…), but most of all the “9/11” airplane crashes in New York. So I looked up the photo you can see above, which I took on 1994-09-18. You may remember that on 2016-02-07, I published a photo from an NFL-game in Atlanta, which I had taken one week earlier. I was there for product training at the Philips office, and after having concluded training Claudeir, Michael and I flew to New York, from where we would make other visits on the East Coast of USA the following week. So when I took that photo from the top of the Empire State Building, of course I remembered how the Twin Towers stood out in the horizon. Seven years later they did not exist!

And of course I also remember very well what happened on 2001-09-11. I was in a meeting in my office, when our secretary told us the news about the nightmare in New York. And on that very same morning, a Philips sales man landed in São Paulo for an important meeting later in the week. He took a taxi directly from the airport to the hotel, where he rested for some hours without knowing about what had happened earlier in the US. So I broke the news to him over the phone, he called his parents in Chicago, who gave him first-hand information about the calamity in their country. Due to the shutdown of the airports all over USA, his flight back on Friday evening was cancelled, but he was lucky enough to fly out on the following Monday evening.

But, in the midst of all these dark memories, today I also heard an illuminative piece of news. It was delivered by Scientific American about researchers at Harvard who have developed a material that can go from clear to opaque in a second, when an electric field is applied. Imagine that when you want to sleep without being bothered, you do not have draw any curtain or Venetian blind, no you just press a button and the windows in your bed room stops any voyeurs from peeking in. And then in the morning, in order to see the Sun in all its beauty, you just press the button again, while saying “Let there be light!”

… That’s what I learned in school !


1: Smart Glass Goes from Clear to Cloudy in a Jolt

2: Electrically tunable window device

+: What did you learn in school today ?