nanotubules

Okay, just a science related Steven Universe headcanon, but did you know that diamond consists solely of carbon? (Without taking mineral inclusions or impurities into account)

Thus diamonds are an allotrope (substance containing an arrangement of one element) of carbon, same as graphite, ‘bucky balls’, and carbon nanotubules.

Did you know scientists recently created the blackest substance known to man? It’s made of carbon nanotubules. Light doesn’t reflect normally on this, even if you shine a bright light source on it. Photons are absorbed, creating an object that appears flat or sillouetted. Almost formless.

So what if the diamonds fused together? The 'Black Diamond’ headcanon. Maybe even the triple diamond fusion that is theorized by some fans to have unleashed gem corruption upon earth?

What if she was some formless, unimaginably empty void horror. As dark as their collective consciousness.

Probably not canon, but it would be cool as fuck.

On gem hierarchy (Steven Universe)

One thing I found odd about this last Steven Bomb (Steven Bomb 4 aka Steven’s Birthday Week) is that Ruby and Sapphire are very different classes, despite rubies and sapphires both being types of corundum. This probably means the gem hierarchy has basically nothing to do with hardness or geologic classification or composition or anything, really. Maybe rarity, since Garnet did say Sapphire was a “rare” gem. Which would maybe make sense… until you realize diamonds are not actually rare crystals and that their value only comes from the processes necessary to cut and polish them.

So I began thinking… maybe gem hierarchy comes from their utilitarianism. The more practical uses a gemstone has, the higher it is on the gem hierarchy. And if you think about it in this way, it maybe starts to make sense. Quartz is used to make glass, which is very prevalent in everyday life, as well as many different electronic components. Sapphire is used everywhere from watch faces to body armor to LED lights to the earliest computer chips. And diamonds, diamonds are one of the strongest natural materials known to humankind. Diamonds are on drill bits and saw blades and inside audio speakers. And if you widen the definition of “diamond” to any carbon lattice structure, then a whole entire world opens up. Many things from coal to ash to carbon fiber fall fall under this category, as well as experimental supermaterials on the cutting-edge of materials science like nanotubules and graphene. With this view, it’s no wonder diamonds are at the top of the gem hierarchy.

On the other hand, rubies, being a more restrictive definition of gem (rubies only refer to specifically red-colored corundum while sapphires can refer to many different types of corundum) don’t seem all too useful, and pearls (which we know are for all intents and purposes slaves on the gem homeworld) have very little if any industrial use.

What do you think?

FM radio becomes the world’s first plant-powered appliance

Moss, as a rule, isn’t that impressive. In the wetter regions of the world, the stuff grows pretty much wherever you let it. It’s green and squishy and pretty enough, we suppose. What moss isn’t is a good source of electricity, or at least it wasn’t until recently. By wiring together 10 little pots of the stuff, a group of scientists from the University of Cambridge have actually harvested enough moss-grown electricity to power an FM radio.

How the moss actually powers the radio is thanks to something called a Photo Microbial Fuel Cell (Photo-MFC). These are comprised of three basic parts: an anode to collect the electrons the moss strips from water during photosynthesis, a cathode where the electricity is consumed and an external circuit to connect the two. Each of the ten moss pots contained in the Moss FM rig is hooked up to its own Photo-MFC, and these in turn are hooked up to a battery.

The battery stores what energy it can from the process, currently about .01 percent of the moss’s output and then powers the radio. So far, that .01 percent output is only enough to run the radio’s speaker and tuner for a couple of minutes. That’ll change in the coming years, however, since researchers at the University of Georgia have already found a way, using microscopic nanotubules, to produce twice as much electricity from plants as you can get from today’s photovoltaic cells. Once the two approaches merge, we could easily see everything from moss to the trees lining our streets turned into, quite literally, the greenest power plants around.

First it was rock music.

Then it was metal.

Now, I’m proud to present the next iteration in genres of music that are named in ascending order of hardness and durability: GET YOUR EARS READY FOR CARBON-NANOTUBULE