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Tag: materials


“How much wood would a woodchuck chuck, if a woodchuck could chuck wood?” asks the familiar tongue-twister, to which the reply would have to be, in parts of southern Saskatchewan, “Not much.” The prairies just aren’t known for their abundance of trees. Northern Saskatchewan, however, is an entirely different matter. My continuing travels around the …

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Since I only wear glasses late at night when I take out my contacts, for the past couple of years I’ve been making do with an old pair of frames broken in two places: the nose piece and the right earpiece. I must have glued them back together a dozen times, but the repairs never …

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I vividly remember a science fiction book I read as a kid about the destruction of civilization by a new strain of bacteria. It didn’t kill people: it ate plastic. Electronic equipment disintegrated, clothes dissolved, airplanes fell apart, buildings burned–modern society ceased to function, so dependent had it become on plastic. If our ancestors lived …

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There’s a window above my desk through I’m watching a cold wind blowing leaves down the street. It’s not blowing in my face, however, thanks to a very special material: glass. Glass is an “amorphous solid”– its molecules don’t form a strict pattern, like the molecules of steel or granite, but are jumbled together like …

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