Monday, December 11, 2006

You Learn Something New Everyday

I've been doing a lot of reading at work recently since the lab is currently under construction. It seemed like a good time to go ahead with my fiber training and getting familiar with the FT-IR (Fourier Transform Infrared). I knew I'd be learning a lot about this topic and that I'd likely find it interesting.

And you know what happens when I learn things? That's right! You do too.

For example:

There are many man-made fibers that come from natural compounds. I didn’t know this. I assumed man-made meant synthetic. However, this is not the case. Let's look at rayon. What I always assumed to be some sort of synthetic chemical turned magically into fabric is nothing but wood cellulose that comes from pine, spruce, and eucalyptus trees. This cellulose is somehow dissolved in an aqueous solution and extruded through holes of a spinneret into filaments with a stretch spinning process.

Clothes. Made from wood! It's not just for paper anymore.

Who fricken knew?

Also, I read this little tidbit that was really encouraging:

"It is quite ludicrous to expect that it would be practical, or serve any useful purpose, to attempt to determine the origin of all extraneous fibers found present on a garment. This is sometimes suggested in court as a practical and sensible solution."

That last sentence actually made me laugh. Because I know it's true. Man, I'm going to hate court so much!

That is, unless it produces something like this. I mean, really, Supreme Court, I love you. This is nearly poetry. At least, it is for me. You all might not find the beauty in it like I do. But really… moving.

Wherever he steps, whatever he touches, whatever he leaves, even unconsciously, will serve as silent witness against him. Not even his fingerprints or his footprints, but his hair, the fibers from his clothes, that glass he breaks, the tool marks he leaves, the paint he scratches, the blood or semen he deposits – all of these bear mute witness against him. This is evidence that does not forget. It is not confused by the excitement of the moment. It is not absent because human witnesses are. It is factual evidence. Physical evidence cannot be wrong; it cannot perjure itself; it cannot be wholly absent – only its interpretation can err. Only human failure to find it, study and understand it, can diminish its value.
(Harris v. United States, 331 US 145, 1947)

Here's to me not diminishing value.

End Blog.

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