“3D Printing of Glass Now Possible” by Karlsruher Institut Für Technologie (Kit)

Glass is one of mankind’s oldest materials. It was used as far back as in ancient Egypt and ancient Rome and has found a place now also in manufacturing technology of the 21st century. An interdisciplinary team at the KIT led by mechanical engineer Dr. Bastian E. Rapp developed a process using glass for additive manufacturing techniques. The scientists mix nanoparticles of high-purity quartz glass and a small quantity of liquid polymer and allow this mixture to be cured by light at specific points – by means of stereolithography. The material, which has remained liquid, is washed out in a solvent bath, leaving only the desired cured structure. The polymer still mixed in this glass structure is subsequently removed by heating. “The shape initially resembles that of a pound cake; it is still unstable, and therefore the glass is sintered in a final step, i.e. heated so that the glass particles are fused,” explains Rapp. He conducts research at the KIT Institute of Microstructure Technology and heads a working group of chemists, electrical engineers, and biologists. The scientists present the method in the Nature journal under the title of “Three-dimensional Printing of Transparent Fused Silica Glass.”

The variety of 3D-printing techniques available so far have been used on polymers or metals, but never on glass. Where glass was processed into structures, for instance by melting and application by means of a nozzle, the surface turned out to be very rough, the material was porous and contained voids. “We present a new method, an innovation in materials processing, in which the material of the piece manufactured is high-purity quartz glass with the respective chemical and physical properties,” explains Rapp. The glass structures made by the KIT scientists show resolutions in the range of a few micrometers – one micrometer corresponding to one thousandth of a millimeter. However, the structures may have dimensions in the range of a few centimeters, emphasizes Rapp.

3D-formed glass can be used, for instance, in data technology. “The next plus one generation of computers will use light, which requires complicated processor structures; 3D-technology could be used, for instance, to make small, complex structures out of a large number of very small optical components of different orientations,” explains the mechanical engineer. For biological and medical technologies, very small analytical systems could be made out of miniaturized glass tubes. In addition, 3D-shaped microstructures of glass could be employed in a variety of optical areas, from eyeglasses meeting special requirements to lenses in laptop cameras.

The development by scientists under Junior Scientist Group Leader Bastian E. Rapp is a result of the “NanoMatFutur” junior scientist funding scheme run by the German Federal Ministry for Education and Research (BMBF) to support the development of innovative materials for industry and society. The work performed by the research group headed by Rapp has been funded by the BMBF since 2014 for a total of four years to the tune of approx. € 2.8 million. “Our research benefits very much from the interdisciplinary cooperation of various KIT institutes. Besides the Institute of Microstructure Technology, colleagues of the Institute of Nuclear Waste Management and the Institute of Applied Materials, among others, are involved in the project,” says Rapp.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

What has Happened to Conservatism in the South?

I am sick, disgusted, and angry. Last night was a *long* night for the critically important Special Election for Congress in Georgia’s sixth congressional district to fill Congressman Tom Price’s vacated seat.  The final numbers are now in and boy was it close:  Democrat Jon Ossoff finished with 48.1% of the vote – just 1.9% away from having won the seat for the Democrats. Either the people of the 6th district–solidly Republican since 1979–have lost their collective sense of right and wrong, or an alien population has moved into the district and have overpowered the sane.

Posted in Conservatism, Cultural Barometer, Death of a Nation, Death of Western Culture, Politics, Progressives, Socialism, Society at Risk | Leave a comment

Bureaucrat Pensions and America’s Brazilian Future — International Liberty thanks to Dan Mitchell

When I write about poorly designed entitlement programs, I will warn about America’s Greek future. Simply stated, we will suffer the same chaos and disarray now plaguing Greece if we don’t engage in serious reform. Ideally sooner rather than later. But when I write about state governments, perhaps it would be more appropriate to warn […]

via Bureaucrat Pensions and America’s Brazilian Future — International Liberty

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Beautiful thoughts

The great German Poet Goethe, was once asked by a friend what he would suggest as a daily exercise for spiritual betterment. He said:

“I would like to read a noble poem.

I would like to see a beautiful picture.

I would like to hear inspiring music.

I would like to meet a great soul.

And for my fellow man, I would like to say a few sensible words.”

Edna St. Vincent Millay:

“Long I have known a glory in it all

But never knew I this,

Here such a passion is

As stretcheth me apart. Lord, I do fear

Thou’st made the world too beautiful this year.”

According to the 19th century poet essayist James Russell Lowell, “there is more force in names than most men dream.”



Posted in philosophy, theology | Leave a comment

Turkey and NATO—the End of the Line” Caroline Glick

In her column titled “Turkey and NATO—the End of the Line,” Caroline Glick began by saying that NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg’s optimism about Turkey’s commitment to the alliance is misplaced.

Then she documented Turkey’s track record:
For nearly 14 years, since his AKP party first won the national elections in late 2002, Erdoğan and his followers have made clear that they are ideologically—and therefore permanently—hostile to the West. … Ever since then, Erdoğan has paid lip service, and even assisted NATO and the EU from time to time, when it served his momentary interests to do so. But the consistent trend of his behavior has been negative. … Erdoğan was the first major leader to embrace Hamas after its electoral victory in the 2006 elections. … During Hezbollah’s 2006 war against Israel, Turkey was caught red handed as it allowed Iran to move weapons systems to Hezbollah through Turkish territory. Erdoğan has turned a blind eye to al Qaeda. And he has permitted [the Islamic State] to use Turkey as its logistical base, economic headquarters and recruitment center. Earlier this year the State Department claimed that all of the 25,000 foreign recruits to [the Islamic State] have entered Syria through Turkey. …

Posted in Dictatorship, Foreign Policy, Islam, Muslim, News and politics, Politics | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Terrorism Spills Blood on the Streets of Germany

Terrorism Spills Blood on the Streets of Germany

In the recent days, Germany has suffered four bloody attacks by men of Middle Eastern origins. The violence has shaken Germany and all of Europe, with many blaming refugee policies that allow terrorists to infiltrate the Continent. Here’s a rundown of the recent attacks:

  • July 18—A 17-year-old Afghan refugee wounded four people on a train in Würzburg and a fifth outside the train before being killed by police. The Islamic State claimed responsibility.
  • July 22—An 18-year-old German-Iranian killed nine at a shopping center in Munich and injured 35 more, before turning his gun on himself. He had previously been in psychiatric care, but officials are still considering all possible motivations.

July 24—A 21-year-old Syrian asylum seeker used a machete to kill a pregnant woman and injure two others in Reutlingen.

  • July 24—A 27-year-old Syrian man detonated an explosive device outside a concert in Ansbach, injuring 15 and killing himself. He had previously sworn allegiance to the Islamic State.

Even when a terrorist attack fails to kill many people, it succeeds in its goal of instilling terror and uncertainty.

Germany is a nation on edge, with many waiting and wondering where and when the next attack might be. This fear and the failed refugee policy are destroying the trust between the government and the public.

What happens when the majority of Germans realize that their leaders have green-lighted policies that endanger them?

What happens when the majority of Germans lose confidence and trust in mainstream leaders? Frustrated and angry, the German people, as any people would, will seek an individual, a political party, willing to heed their concerns and solve Germany’s migrant crisis. This trend is already evident in the dramatic rise of pegida and the AfD, a right-wing political party whose popularity is at all-time highs. Many of the Germans becoming disillusioned with mainstream politics and turning to these groups are not hardcore neo-Nazis. They don’t want to persecute the migrants or see them imprisoned, beaten up or killed. They are not extremists seeking genocide. They are regular, sound-thinking, rational people, many of whom have terrific empathy for those suffering in Syria and elsewhere. These people are simply concerned about the impact millions of migrants will have on their nation, its institutions, its infrastructure, its economy, its culture and on the German people.

They are concerned about Germany’s future. But Chancellor Angela Merkel’s government refuses to give serious attention to these concerns and refuses to tell the truth about the impact the migrants are having and will have on the nation.

If she continues to do this, Germany’s chancellor risks helping transform the German people—and Germany itself—into something very different and much more frightening than the democratic, peaceful, friendly nation we see today.

The Merkel government’s handling of this situation is turning the German people into a ticking time bomb! The more disillusioned, frustrated and angry the German people become, the more vulnerable they will be to radical politics and radical leaders with radical solutions.

Don’t be deceived by the images of Germans embracing the migrants or Germany’s chancellor making the cover of Time magazine as its “Person of the Year.” All is not well in Germany. Growing numbers of people are becoming unhappier by the month, not just with the migrants, but with Chancellor Merkel and her pro-migrant friends in the government and the media.


Watch for a Change

Common sense alone tells us an explosion is coming. But the Bible specifically warns us what will be the result: a radical change in German leadership.

The book of Daniel is written specifically for the “time of the end” (Daniel 8:17; 12:4, 9). In passage after passage, it talks about a powerful leader who will shake the world. He will be the “king of the north” (Daniel 11:40), ruling over a united European power. Most likely he will be the leader of Germany, which controls the rest of the European Union.

What type of man is this new leader? The Bible says that “the king shall do according to his will; and he shall exalt himself, and magnify himself above every god” (verse 36).

He will be a “king of fierce countenance” (Daniel 8:23).

He is assertive, aggressive and ambitious. He is a strong leader!

This leader shall come “understanding dark sentences” (verse 23)—or, as Clarke’s Commentary puts it, he is “very learned and skillful in all things relating to government and its intrigues.”

He is also very different from Germany’s current leader.

Angela Merkel has been one of the most popular and successful postwar German chancellors. During 2013, 2014 and the first half of 2015, her approval level generally hovered around 70 percent. She has been exactly the leader Germans have wanted. For Germans to desire this new stronger leader, there will have to be some big changes. This means more than simply being fed up with Ms. Merkel. They will begin desiring some radically different characteristics in their leader.

Daniel 11 says that this strongman comes into power through “flatteries” (verse 21). The Jamieson, Fausset and Brown Commentary says that “the nation shall not, by a public act, confer the kingdom on him, but he shall obtain it by artifice, ‘flattering.’” Daniel’s prophecy also says that the people “shall not give the honour of the kingdom” to this person. All this indicates that he may not come to power through normal democratic processes.

By autumn 2015, Ms. Merkel’s approval ratings had dropped to just under 50 percent. By itself, that’s not terrible, but it’s a huge drop in a very short time.

The migrant crisis is creating a desire for a strong leader.

The irony is, this change in attitude is exactly what Ms. Merkel, the police and the liberal media want to avoid. Jörg Luyken noted in the Local, “Newsrooms are at one and the same time scared of appearing racist and terrified of stirring up a latent racism they believe still exists in German society” (January 5). Nigel Jones made the same point in the Telegraph. Since the copyright of Mein Kampf expired in January, German officials have worked hard to keep the book out of people’s hands. Anyone publishing the unedited original faces prosecution on hate crime laws. Instead, only a heavily annotated 2,000-page version is available. “

It [is] as if Germany’s rulers do not trust their own people with the ability to handle uncomfortable truths,” wrote Jones. “Whether those truths are the poisonous doctrines that once entranced the nation and led to the Holocaust and the devastation of Europe in the Second World War, or the more immediately dismaying reality that parts of German cities are no longer safe for German women to walk in because of their own government’s policies, the instinct to suppress the truth remains the same” (January 12).

Ms. Merkel and those like her see the capacity for this transformation in the German people. That is why all the cover-ups have occurred in the first place. But in trying to suppress the truth, they’re undermining Germans’ confidence in just about every part of their government, creating an even bigger backlash, and paving the way for their own destruction.

Posted in Death of a Nation, Death of Western Culture, Foreign Policy, Islam, Muslim, News and politics, Politics, Society at Risk, Western Civilization | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Why the Definition of Marriage Matters, by Dr. Jim Eckman

Why the Definition of Marriage Matters

Apr 4th, 2015 | By | Category: Culture & Wordview, Featured Issues

marriage331On 17 March 2015, the Presbyterian Church (USA) [PCUSA] voted to change the definition of marriage within the PCUSA constitution to include same-sex marriage. The language of the constitution was changed from “a man and a woman” to “two people, traditionally a man and a woman.” The PCUSA thus joins other denominations/religious associations that permit their clergy to perform same-sex marriages: the Episcopal Church, the United Church of Christ, the Quakers, and the Unitarian Universalist Association of Churches, and both Reform and Conservative Judaism. The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America permits individual ministers to decide for themselves whether they will perform same-sex marriages. Obviously, those within the theologically liberal wing of Protestantism as well as those within the theologically liberal wing of Judaism no longer take seriously the words of Scripture when it comes to marriage. How should we think about this incredibly rapid accommodation to the shifting winds of cultural change within Western Civilization?

I cannot resist the biting, but accurate comments in the minority Supreme Court opinion in United States v. Windsor(2013), written by Chief Justice Roberts and Associate Justice Scalia. Roberts and Scalia both acknowledged how the majority opinion of the Court was painting supporters of marriage as it has been defined for millennia as “bigots” who sought to “demean,” “disparage,” “humiliate,” and “injure” same-sex couples. Thus, in a sweeping decision, the Supreme Court of the United States redefined “an aspect of marriage that had been unquestioned in our society for most of its existence—indeed, had been unquestioned in virtually all societies for virtually all of human history,” while simultaneously defining proponents of traditional marriage as “enemies of the human race” [Quoted in Counter Cultureby David Platt, pp. 132-133].

That the Supreme Court of the United States should turn its back on millennia of teaching and practice about marriage is perhaps understandable. Long ago the Court and much of law gave up the proposition that there are absolute, unchangeable dimensions to law. But that the PCUSA has done so is absolutely stunning!! It is turning its back on God’s Word, on the Reformation and on the sound doctrine of genuine, biblical Christianity.

What follows is an outline of what the Bible teaches about marriage, its sacredness and its purpose. It is in outline form because I taught this material at my church, where, in my retirement, I serve a part-time teaching role.

The Foundation of Marriage: God’s Creation Ordinance, Genesis 1:26-27; 2:18-25

I. God created the human body and gender as a dimension of being in His image (Gen. 1:26-27)—“male and female He created them.”

  • Gender is a specific, intentional feature of God’s creation.
  • Two complementary sexes (male and female) is the first mentioned fact in connection with the “image of God” concept.
  • In Matthew 19:4-6, Jesus cites Genesis 1:27 as the normal pattern for marriage that God expects.
  • The Apostle Paul also cites Genesis 1:27 as the norm in Romans 1:23-27. 
  • The Creation Ordinance and both Jesus and Paul’s citation of this Ordinance strongly imply sexual intercourse as a bond between a man and a woman brought together in a “one-flesh” union. 

II. God created woman as a complement to man in the marriage bond, Genesis 2:18-24

  • The importance of the term “helper” (‘ezer), which means she adds strength to the areas where the man is weak—and vice versa.
  • The result is a complementary union of two different human beings (“male and female He created them”), each with unique physical, emotional, and psychological characteristics. The result is a marriage bond in which both are stronger and more capable of serving God together in their integrity.

III. The One-Flesh Principle, Genesis 2:24

  • Genesis 2:22-24 connects the creation of Eve from a part of Adam’s body with the one-flesh sexual union between a man and a woman in marriage. Note the important term “therefore” in v. 24. It is the union of two constituent parts—male and female— into a sexual whole.
  • Jesus stresses this connection between the two different sexes—“male and female”—when He addresses marriage in Matthew 19:4-6 and Mark 10:6-8.
  • The logic of sexual intercourse requires a sexual complement. The male is incomplete without the female and the female is incomplete without the male.

IV. God performed the first marriage 

  • The result is Genesis 2:25—there is no shame, no self-centeredness or selfishness; only total innocence and other-centeredness. This is God’s ideal and His goal.

Concluding Assumptions about Marriage from Scripture:

  1. Marriage is the fundamental institution God created for organized civilization. It is tied to His creation and His purpose for the human race as His image-bears who have dominion authority over His world.
  1. Marriage is monogamous and heterosexual, and, from Jesus’ perspective, permanent—“what God has joined together, let no man separate”, Matthew 19:6.
  1. Marriage is a commitment before God, regarded in Malachi 2:14 as a “covenant” commitment over which God stands as a “witness.” Indeed, Jesus states in Matthew 19:6 that “God has joined together” this union. The man and the woman have a new status before the Lord—they are husband and wife together.
  1. It is therefore logical to assume that some kind of public commitment is a necessary part of marriage. Society must regard the man and the woman as a couple, now bound together; they are no longer single. Therefore, sexual intercourse alone does not constitute a marriage. Cohabitation alone doesnot constitute a marriage. There must be some kind of public commitment recognized by God and by the community.
  1. Marriage is a metaphor, an archetype of the covenantal relationship between Jesus Christ and His church—see Ephesians 5:32. Our goal should thus be to build Ephesians 5:32 marriages.
Posted in Biblical Worldview, Breakdown of Marriage, Breakdown of the Family, Children at Risk, Christianity, Cultural Barometer, Death of a Nation, Death of Western Culture, Dr. James P. Eckman | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment