Wires and supercapacitors constructed inside living plants

In November 2015, the research group presented results showing that they had caused roses to absorb a conducting polymer solution. Conducting hydrogel formed in the rose’s stem in the form of wires. With an electrode at each end and a gate in the middle, a fully functional transistor was created. The results were recently presented in Science Advances.

One member of the group, Assistant Professor Roger Gabrielsson, has now developed a material specially designed for this application. The material polymerizes inside the rose without any external trigger. The innate fluid that flows inside the rose contributes to create long, conducting threads, not only in the stem but also throughout the plant, out into the leaves and petals.

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Schumpeter always argued that capitalism, as an intrinsically amoral economic system driven by the pursuit of profit, dissolvent of all barriers to market calculation, depended critically on pre-capitalist — in essence nobiliary — values and manners to hold it together as social and political order. But this aristocratic “under-girding,” as he put it, was typically reinforced by a secondary structure of support, in bourgeois milieux confident of the moral dignity of their own calling: subjectively closer to portraits by Mann than Flaubert. In the epoch of the Marshall Plan and the genesis of the European Community, this world lived on. In the political realm, substantial figures like Adenauer, De Gasperi, Monnet embodied this persistence — their political relationship to Churchill or De Gaulle, grandees from a seigneurial past, as if an after-image of an original compact that socially was no longer valid. But, as it turned out, the two braces in the older structure were more interdependent than they once had seemed.

For within the span of another twenty years, the bourgeoisie too — in any strict sense, as a class possessed of self-consciousness and morale — was all but extinct. Here and there, pockets of a traditional bourgeois setting can still be found in provincial cities of Europe, and perhaps in certain regions of North America, typically preserved by religious piety: family networks in the Veneto or Basque lands, conservative notables in the Bordelais, parts of the German Mittelstand, and so on. But by and large, the bourgeoisie as Baudelaire or Marx, Ibsen or Rimbaud, Grosz or Brecht — or even Sartre or O'Hara — knew it, is a thing of the past. In place of that solid amphitheatre is an aquarium of floating, evanescent forms — the projectors and managers, auditors and janitors, administrators and speculators of contemporary capital: functions of a monetary universe that knows no social fixities or stable identities.

Not that inter-generational mobility has greatly increased, if at all, in the richer societies of the post-war world. These remain as objectively stratified as ever. But the cultural and psychological markers of position have become steadily more eroded among those who enjoy wealth or power. Agnelli or Wallenberg now evoke a distant past, in a time whose typical masks are Milken or Gates. From the seventies onwards, the leading personnel of the major states was moulting too — Nixon, Tanaka, Craxi were among the new plumes. More widely, in the public sphere democratization of manners and disinhibition of mores advanced together. For long, sociologists had debated the embourgeoisement of the working-class in the West — never a very happy term for the processes at issue. By the nineties, however, the more striking phenomenon was a general encanaillement of the possessing classes — as it were: starlet princesses and sleazeball presidents, beds for rent in the official residence and bribes for killer ads, disneyfication of protocols and tarantinization of practices, the avid corteges of the nocturnal underpass or the gubernatorial troop. In scenes like these lies much of the social backdrop of the postmodern.

—  Perry Anderson, “The Timing of Post-Modernity”

I’m seeing a lot of people mentioning the St. Louis and the dozens and dozens of countries that blocked entrance to Jewish Refugees before and during the Holocaust. Honestly, I’m in favor of absorbing Syrian refugees for exactly that reason. My family had nowhere to escape to when the Holocaust happened and, as a result, my grandmother and grandfather were the only survivors of their families outside of a recently discovered second cousin on my grandmother’s side. They were finally admitted to the United States in 1949.

My point here is that if you are going to use the historical treatment of Jewish Refugees as a parellel, you are obligated to understand what happened to them. They didn’t all die. A great many of them fled to British Mandate Palestine between 1933 and 1939, more than doubling the Jewish Population in less than a decade. Some welcomed the refugees, others rioted. To keep the peace, the British created the White Paper of 1939 which effectively blocked all Jewish immigration to Palestine. 

At the same time Jews were blocked from entering virtually every other Nazi-free country in the world, with few exceptions. We revere the names of those who helped Jews escape, Wallenberg, Sugihara, Winton, Roncalli. But they were rare exceptions. History remembers the Six Million who could not escape.

The survivors found themselves homeless, their money, property and businesses stolen. Many who attempted to return faced pogroms by their former neighbors who were hoping that the Jews were gone for good. And so they lived in Displaced Persons camps for years, petitioning for opportunities to simply make new lives for themselves along with whoever remained. Some, like my grandparents, had distant relatives in countries like the United States and could successfully petition to bring them there. But even then the numbers of immigrants allowed was limited. Ultimately, many of these displaced survivors ended up in Palestine and what would eventually become the State of Israel.

My point is this. So much rhetoric around Israel comes by comparing it to imperialist powers like Britain, Spain and Belgium. But those were countries sending their people out into other parts of the world to exploit them and expand the power and influence of the home country to whom they remained loyal. Jews who fled to British Mandate Palestine had nowhere else to go. 

The reality is that a majority of Israeli Jews are refugees and their descendants. Refugees from Europe, Africa, the MIddle East and the Soviet Union. They were fleeing persecution to go to the one place on Earth that promised to never turn them away when, historically, so many places had.

So if you are moved to sympathy by the plight of the Syrians I share your feelings. But if you are going to use Jewish refugees as a basis for comparison, you need to recognize that in the absence of countries willing to take them in, Jewish Refugees really had only one choice to make.

I’m not asking you not to criticize the Israeli Government. I do it all the time. I’m asking you to recognize the humanity of the Jewish People, both Israeli and diasporic. I’m asking you to acknowledge that conflating Imperial Power Grabs with a need for a place to simply survive is disingenuous at best and is ultimately anti-semitic. You can question the circumstances of Israel’s founding. You can fight for justice for the Palestinians. I don’t care if you support a one-state or a two-state solution. All I want you to do is acknowledge that Jews have a right to live somewhere and that it’s rank cruelty to displace us as if we had a safe mother country to go back to.

I read a metaphor, I forget where, that said that Jewish Immigration to Israel was similar to a situation where a man flees a burning house and has no choice but to jump off a roof and land on another person, breaking their arms and legs. We need to acknowledge the harm Israel’s creation and actions have done. At the same time, we also need to recognize that too many Israel critics believe that the Jews should’ve burned. 

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… non perché non ci sia bisogno della memoria solida, classica ed importante del messaggio storico e civile generale né perché io mi illuda che tutti sappiano davvero quanto orribile è stato ciò che ricordiamo oggi, ma perché voglio ricordare che chi era nei campi erano a tutti gli effetti persone. E, come tutte le persone, avevano dei lavori, delle passioni, dei talenti. Alcuni di loro erano artisti.

Ho pensato in questo post di proporvi alcune opere ed artisti legati ai campi di concentramento, che li hanno vissutiQuesto post ha delle biografie brevissime e non dà un commento artistico che probabilmente lo renderebbe troppo esteso per il sito e l’attention span generale, ho voluto lasciare solo degli spunti. Magari vedendo una di queste opere e leggendo una breve storia vi verrà voglia di approfondire uno o due di questi artisti… questa è la mia speranza.

Chi volesse una versione più estesa, può chiederla in privato. 

Zoran Mušič

Sloveno, deportato nel novembre 1944 a Dachau. Riuscì a ritrarre segretamente la vita del campo in circostanze estremamente difficili e pericolose, continuando a disegnare durante la prigionia; tra il 1970 e il 1976, cominciò la serie Noi non siamo gli ultimi (Nous ne sommes pas les derniers), in cui trasformò il terrore e l'inferno della prigionia nel campo di concentramento di Dachau in documenti di una tragedia universale.

David Olère

Arrestato nel 1943, Olère fu portato prima a Drancy e poi deportato ad Auschwitz con circa altri 1000 ebrei, di cui solo 120 selezionati abili al lavoro. Registrato nel Sonderkommando di Birkenau, ne fu sempre tormentato nei sensi di colpa, pur sapendo di non avere alcuna scelta. Fu anche forzato a lavorare come illustratore, scrittore e decoratore di lettere per le SS. Fu coinvolto nella marcia della morte, raggiungendo Mauthausen e Ebensee, dove rimase fino alla liberazione. 

Cominciò a disegnare negli ultimi giorni nel campo e il suo lavoro è una testimonianza unica, non essendoci foto di ciò che succedesse all’interno delle camere a gas ed essendo l’unico artista del Sonderkommando sopravvissuto.

Aldo Carpi

Su delazione di un collega, è arrestato nel 44 e deportato a Mauthausen e poi a Gusen: riesce a documentare la vita e la morte nel campo di concentramento tramite moltissimi disegni. Rientrato in Italia l’anno successivo, viene acclamato direttore dell'Accademia di Brera.

Alice Lok Cahana

Ungherese, arrivò ad Auschwitz-Birkenau appena adolescente e vide anche Begen-Belsen e Guben. Parte della sua famiglia sopravvisse grazie al diplomatico svedese Raoul Wallenberg, cui Alice dedicò moltissimi lavori. Fu liberata nel 1945 insieme alla sorella Edit e da allora scrisse e dipinse dell’Olocausto senza sosta.

Shelomo Selinger

Ebreo polacco, fu deportato nel 1943 a Faulbruck con suo padre. Sua madre e le sorelle morirono, mentre lui sopravvisse a ben nove campi e due marce della morte. Fu scoperto vivo in una pila di cadaveri quando l’armata rossa liberò Terezin. Recuperò la salute ma perse la memoria per sette anni per il trauma. E’ opera sua il monumento nell’ex campo di Drancy.

Alfred Tibor

Ungherese, gli fu negato il sogno di diventare un ginnasta per via della fede ebraica, che lo portò all’espulsione dalla olimpiadi estive negli anni 30. Nel 40 fu mandato ai lavori forzati in un campo dell’esercito ungherese, ma fu catturato e mandato nei campi di prigionia per più di sei anni e uno dei due uomini sopravvissuti dei 270 del suo battaglione.

Dina Babbitt

Imprigionata ad Auschwitz, fu costretta per salvare la vita della madre ad obbedire al dottor Mengele, che le commissionò disegni dei prigionieri Rom e dei suoi atroci esperimenti. Fuggita in America nel dopoguerra e diventata un’animatrice, Dina avrebbe voluto i disegni distrutti, ma ottenne sempre un secco rifiuto. La sua storia fu raccontata nel documentario Eyewitness (1999) e in una graphic novel scritta per perorare la sua cause nel riavere i dipinti.

Alina Szapocznikow

Nata a Kalisz da una famiglia di medici, crebbe nella Polonia occupata e spese la maggior parte dell’adolescenza nei ghetti, lavorando come infermiera. Vide morire il padre nel 38 e il ghetto liquidato nel 42. Insieme a sua madre, fu deportata ad Auschwitz, Bergen-Belsen e Terezin.

Plenty of programs will default to Schindler’s List this Yom HaShoah, but I had the misfortune to grow up in a family of Jewish educators – I’ve seen that one episode of Quantum Leap enough times to know there are other ways to go through this day. 

May I offer then a short list of alternative media so that you may never forget.

If, like me, you know there are other Holocaust films out there

Conspiracy (2001) – an HBO/BBC production that centers around the Wannsee Conference, where various officials in the Nazi Party settled down to a buffet lunch to decide the fate of European Jewry.

Judgment at Nuremberg (1961) – a film that examines the difficulties inherent in pursuing this new breed of crime, that against humanity.

Skokie (1981) – a TV movie about the real-life battle between the heavily-Jewish community of Skokie, Illinois   and the Neo-Nazi party that sought to march down their streets.  (Yes, The Blues Brothers didn’t make that up.)

Marathon Man (1976) – The Dustin Hoffman thriller that finds its real danger in the scene where Olivier’s Szell wanders untouched among the patrons of New York’s diamond district.

The Wave (1981) – another TV movie, this one shows the temptations of group-think and where that might lead.

Paper Clips (2004) – a documentary depicting the efforts of small-town Tennessee school to gather the titular paper clips for their Holocaust memorial.

Pimpernel Smith (1941) – because this piece of British wartime propaganda urged Raoul Wallenberg to do something.

Exodus (1960) – an adaptation of Leon Uris’ most famous work (more from him later) to show that it didn’t end when they opened the gates.

If television is more your style, however, might I suggest –

The Twilight Zone’s “Death’s-Head Revisited” and “He’s Alive” (the former especially, if just for Rod Serling’s monologue)

Band of Brothers’ “Why We Fight”

Mad Men’s “Far Away Places” and “Babylon”

But maybe you don’t have time watch an episode –

- then listen to some Dylan, to some Reed, pop on a Ramones album, to understand the seething incomprehensibility that filled those young artists, that fueled the early punk years –

Or if reading’s more to your speed and people won’t stop pushing The Book Thief in your face, try –

The Periodic Table, by Primo Levi

The Trial of God, by Elie Wiesel

The Last of the Just, by André Schwarz-Bart

Mother Night, by Kurt Vonnegut

Speed of Light, by Sybil Rosen

The Yiddish Policemen’s Union, by Michael Chabon

The works of Irwin Shaw, The Young Lions if you find yourself with time, “Act of Faith” if you don’t

Read some Hemingway, some Fitzgerald, some Eliot, some Pound, so you understand anti-Semitism didn’t begin and end with one man

And because the day is a commemoration of Jewish resistance, read Uris’ Mila 18.

(This list is by no means exhaustive, you are more than welcome to add your own.)


      ❝ with glasses perched on the bridge of the nose, her lips would greet the warmth of the cup allowing the amber liquid to fulfill her and brighten her. easing her  nerves had been more difficult then she had anticipated. time ticked away and eventually her eyes would meet the man who was to become her husband. he seemed different from the pictures that had been provided for her. he was fit to say the least.  ❝ you must be ronan hale, my name is amaryliss wallenberg. i believe we have a possible marriage to discuss?? ❞ all business like, amaryliss would chant these words even impressed with herself for say these words out loud. as always she knew how to make an impression, it wasn’t a good one though. 

anonymous asked:

(hmhkids. tumblr. com/ post/ 124170824643/ would- you- write- a-sequel- to-number- the-stars ) That is a link to a Q&A post about Lois Lowry's novel Number the Stars. The question is in regard to what happened to the main characters after the war, and the novel is sent in Denmark. What is your opinion on how Lowry answered this question.

The Quote:

No. A successful book has to include conflict and suspense. In real life, after the war, Denmark returned to being a small peaceful country. The Jews came home and continued their lives. All of that was wonderful for them but would have made a boring book. A lot of kids, though, have had fun writing additional chapters over the years. -Lois

I read Number the Stars in 6th grade over 20 years ago and haven’t picked it up since. I don’t consider it valuable Holocaust literature, though I do think the Danes deserve recognition for being one of the few countries that helped its Jews. 

But while I still praise the Danes, I can’t praise Lois Lowry for this awful, awful quote.

“The Jews came home and continued their lives…” No. How the hell do you just come home and continue your life when 6 million of your people have just been murdered? You don’t. There’s a powerful psychic wound there and responses like this make me think she wasn’t all that sympathetic to Jewish suffering so much as she was to goyische heroism and it makes me really reconsider what she wrote. 

There is a lot of criticism in jumblr of Holocaust lit that centers the experiences of non-Jewish or Romani heroes and downplays the experience of the victims and while I will defend some of them, like Schindler’s List which was directed by a Jewish man at the request of Schindler Jews, this trend really, really bothers me. The Holocaust was not a moral test for the powerful to pass. It was one they failed. The true heroes deserve to be remembered like Schindler or Wallenberg, Pope John XXIII or the Sugiharas. Fictionalized ones? Not so much. 

Are non-Romani goy-centered narratives occasionally worthy? Sure. I am a huge proponent of Louis Malle’s Au Revoir Les Enfants because it doesn’t lionize or victimize its goyische main character but instead uses him as a vessel for Malle’s regret and shame at his own misunderstanding of the horrors others faced while he was protected. It’s honest, and crushing and real in comparison to other works that feel exploitative. 

But, unfortunately, the Holocaust is serious business and writers and filmmakers can demonstrate that they are real artists by tackling the subject. Kate Winslet actually showed up on the show Extras to mock that trope, joking about taking a part in a Holocaust movie to win an Oscar, right before she did exactly that in the Reader (which I do not like or recommend). 

I mean, damn, there’s more honesty in Curb Your Enthusiasm’s mockery of Holocaust comparisons (watch at your own risk, it’s very uncomfortable) than in  a fair amount of Holocaust lit or movies. 

Does that mean that I believe people should stop making Holocaust lit or films? Absolutely not! Ida is a recent Holocaust themed film (it takes place in the aftermath but is heavily informed by it) that is brilliant and deserves to be seen! But the Holocaust is not about a cathartic jerking of tears or a convenient vessel for award ambitions.

And that got rambly.

Storing electricity in paper

Researchers at Linköping University’s Laboratory of Organic Electronics, Sweden, have developed power paper – a new material with an outstanding ability to store energy. The material consists of nanocellulose and a conductive polymer. The results have been published in Advanced Science.

One sheet, 15 centimetres in diameter and a few tenths of a millimetre thick can store as much as 1 F, which is similar to the supercapacitors currently on the market. The material can be recharged hundreds of times and each charge only takes a few seconds.

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