2017-06-23 (Midsommarafton)

Today, I learned that:

The world today is upside down, even in the so called Developed world, between old traditions, which seem to hinder more than help, and interesting innovations using old concepts in a totally new way.

Chalmers Lindholmen

Chalmers University of Technology, branch at Lindholmen in Gothenburg. The building named Kuggen (the “Cogwheel”) to the right is the library where the lecture below was held. Photo taken on 2017-05-30

The latter can be clearly seen in this lecture held at the branch offices of Chalmers University of Technology at Lindholmen in Gothenburg, Sweden, see photo above. Since I was visiting Gothenburg that day, I first visited my friend Lars Lindsköld, who made that interesting lecture about personal identification numbers in March, see my post of
2017-04-01
. Here is a selfie we took to immortalize our encounter:

Lars Lindsköld och jag

Selfie of Lars (to the right) and me, photo taken on 2017-05-30

Then I listened attentively to a lecture by Lars Larsson, professor in Mechanics and Marine Science at Chalmers, where he described a concept boat. Starting with a small dinghy which top speed was 5 knots, by placing wings on centre board and rudder, and using carbon fibre and graphene, he and his team were able to transform that slow boat into a racer boat reaching 20 knots! See references #1 and #2 below, showing the main highlights of the lecture and a video of the foiling optimist. Thanks Lars for letting me share your knowledge with the world! Also, here is a photo of the professor and his racer dinghy:

Lars Larsson and his flying dinghy

Professor Lars Larsson and his concept dinghy. Photo taken on 2017-05-30.

Returning to the initial paragraph of this post, the old traditions which hinder the contemporary life are of course the British habit of the Queen announcing the new government by reading from a document, which was manually written with ink on “goatskin” that takes three days to dry! See reference # 3 below.

Trevlig midsommar!

… That’s what I learned in school !

Refs.:
1: Den flygande Optimisten – så fungerar den

2: The foiling optimist

3: The British practice of printing the Queen’s speech on goatskin is delaying the opening of their parliament

*: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-06-10 (Fredag)

Idag lärde jag mig, att:

Det trevliga lekmannaspråkprogrammet Ordalaget har sagt sitt. Idag var det final och gravölet serverades på allra bästa sätt, live i studion på SR Jämtland i Östersund. I referens nummer 1 nedan finns allt om denna slutepisod, med bilder och listor på alla ord som har ordalagts under de drygt fem år som programmet sändes.

ordalagettrio

Ordalaget, dvs. Christina Kjellsson, Stefan Hanberg och Lars T. Johansson, uppträder live inför publik i finalprogrammet. Foto: Leif Landin/SR Jämtland.

Visste du om att Sverige besitter en naturtillgång som endast blev känd för några få år sedan? Jag tänker på fyndigheten i lappländska Vittangi av höggradig grafit, som kan komma att användas som råmaterial i tillverkningen av supermaterialet grafén. Idag kostar grafén omkring US$ 30 per kg, så nog verkar det som en ljus framtid för svensk gruvindustri. Läs mera i referens nummer 2 nedan.

(Today’s post in Swedish deals with the final episode of a layman’s language programme, and the rich supply of high-grade graphite in the extreme north of Sweden.)

… Tack för idag, slut för idag!

Refs.:

1: Ordalagets final live!

2: Miner ends quest for gold to unearth strongest material in world

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-03-27 (Söndag)

Idag lärde jag mig, att:

Sveriges Radio sänder ett program på söndagsmorgonar som är riktat till en yngre publik, 9-13 år, och som heter Helt sant! I en blandning av fakta och sketcher lär de sig vetenskaper på ett lättillgängligt sätt. Idag fick vi lära oss att papper kan återvinnas 7 gånger, men att för glas finns det ingen övre gräns. Och nu vet också våra påläggskalvar vad grafén är, den ultratunna polymeren jag beskrev i mitt blogginlägg 2016-02-01 som har Chalmers som europeisk forskningsledare. Och dagens hyllning till grafén kom i form av sång, lyssna på referens nummer 1 nedan.

Men samtidigt som vi lär ut spjutspetsteknik till våra barn, så finns det politiker runt om vår jord som förnekar evolutionen, att det pågår en global uppvärmning, och t.om. att AIDS är frukten av ett virus. Det senaste påståendet framfördes och vidhålls av den sydafrikanske ex-presidenten Thabo Mbeki. Se nedanstående bildtext och lyssna också på ljudfilen i referens nummer 2.

mbeki

Citat från Johan Bergendorff, SR Vetenskapsradions Veckomagasin 2016-03-25: “Härom veckan gick Sydafrikas förre president Thabo Mbeki ut i ett öppet brev och försvarade sin tidigare inställning att hiv-viruset inte orsakar aids. Thabo Mbekis nygamla kvacksalvarpåståenden som kostade mer än 300 000 sydafrikaner livet har rivit upp gamla sår.”

… Slut för idag, tack för idag !

(This post in Swedish deals with teaching science to children and also how the former South African president Mbeki continues to deny a connection between HIV
and AIDS.)

Refs.:

1: Materialspecial med sånghyllning till grafén

2: Thabo Mbeki fortsätter förneka att HIV orsakar AIDS i Sydafrika

+: What did you learn in school today ?

2016-02-01 (Monday)

Today, I learned that:

By entering the month of February, 2016, my blog is also entering its second calendar month. I wish to thank everyone for suggestions, compliments and even complaints, because that is the best way to progress. As you have seen from the posts from January, I like to vary the topics and hopefully there is a little something for everyone.

Although most people have not heard of it, there is a brand new material that is starting to gain space in our lives. The material, which is called graphene, is a two-dimensional atomic crystal made up of carbon atoms arranged in a hexagonal lattice. The first time that anyone was able to isolate graphene was in 2004, and already in 2010 the pioneers, Andre Geim and Kostya Novoselov, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics for their research. The following fantastic video, created by the Graphene Flagship Project is a perfect introduction, so I urge you to watch it:

The Graphene Flagship Project, launched in 2013, together with the Human Brain Project, are the first of the European Commission’s Future and Emerging Technology Flagships, whose mission is to address the big scientific and technological challenges of the age through long-term, multidisciplinary research and development efforts. The Graphene Flagship is coordinated by my alma mater Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg, Sweden.

The Graphene Flagship is tasked with bringing together academic and industrial researchers to take graphene from the realm of academic laboratories into European society in the space of 10 years, thus generating economic growth, new jobs and new opportunities. The core consortium consists of 142 academic and industrial research groups in 23 countries.

In 2015, I had the pleasure of participating in a MOOC ( Massive open online course ) offered by Chalmers within the EdX organization, one the most prestigious MOOC providers, founded by Harvard University and MIT in 2012. It was a tough course, but it gave me very interesting information about what graphene is, how we can produce it, and what we can use it for.

ChM001x, Introduction to Graphene Science and Technology - Certificate

The references below provide further information about graphene and its applications.

… That’s what I learned in school!

Refs.:

1: Graphene Flagship

2: Introducing Graphene

3: Introduction to Graphene Science and Technology

4: MOOC

5: The Age of Graphene and how it will transform our mobile experiences

+: What did you learn in school today ?