Friday, April 19, 2013

“How pinteresting”

Pinteresting, rhyming with interesting, is an adjective derived from the latter and the name of an exciting, rapidly evolving online pinboard, named Pinterest. This hot social network tool helps you collect and share pictures, illustrations, graphs, schemes and anything else visual. It lets you organize things on boards—making your great stuff or little niche toy available online and ready for repinning. For example, Axeleratio's Pinterest Boards contain a Sculptures & Architecture, Plant Life and a Petroversity board. The number of creative and pinteresting boards is increasing daily. People also use Pinterest to market their business, sell products and build their brands [1]. Pinterestingly, there is a board with the title “Pinteresting” [2]. Keep staying pinterested!

Dog bronze sculpture by Jean van Keuren pinned to Axeleratio's Sculpture & Architecture board at Pinterest
Dog sculpture pinned to my Sculptures & Architecture board
Pinning tips and trends can be found in the Pinterest Blog [3]. The Pinterest Twitter microblog, @Pinterest, has over one million followers. Also, more and more businesses are taking note on what Pinterest can do for them [4]. It eventually will pay to keep your level of pinterestness or pinterestedness high. Pinteressantissimo!

Keywords: Internet, social media marketing, visual platform, networking.

References and more to explore
[1] Jason Miles and Karen Lacey: Pinterest Power. Mc-Graw Hill, New York, 2013.
[2] Pinteresting:
[3] Pinterest Blog:
[4] Samantha Noble: Pinterst Tips for Business Profile Pages [].

Abbreviations and acronyms in business

Business communication is full of secret messages, short lingo, abbreviations and specific acronyms. Whether you are running or working for an enterprise or firm, are planning a start-up or simply are doing business with an individual or an organization, you certainly will encounter some frequently used short terms. I have collected, briefly explained and linked selected terms, particularly for small businesses and entrepreneur interests and activities. They can broadly be categorized as follows:
  • International agencies, organizations and councils including ICANN, ISO, WBCSD, WIPO, WTO;
  • National (mainly U.S.) agencies, offices and organizations including MBDC, NAPEO, OSHA, SBA, SBAC, SBDC;
  • Legislative acts, regulations, policies, and programs including BABCPA, BOB, CAIP, CAN-SPAM, EAR, ERISA, ESOP, FAR, FICA, FUTA, ITL, MACRS, REACH, SBIR, SCOR, SIC, SIMPLE, STTR, TSR, WAWF;
  • E-commerce related terms including CPC, CPI, CTR, PPA, PPC, SEO;
  • Miscellaneous other codes and notations such as Ad, ADR, B2B, B2G, BATNA, COGS, CRM, D-U-N-S, d/b/a, EBIT, EIN, EOQ, IFB, JIT, L/C, LOHAS, POS, PPP, ROAS, ROI, ROMI, TQM, USP, VMI.
The meaning of an acronym often depends on the context within it is used.  For example, CPA may stand for Certified Public Accountant or Critical Path Analysis.

Keywords: solopreneur, management, trading, marketing, legislation, schemes, short terms, phrases, category, disambiguation.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

The more common term for additive manufacturing: 3D printing

The term additive manufacturing refers to technologies through which solid, three-dimensional products are constructed by successive addition of parts. Typically, these parts are layers that are deposited or printed on top of each other. Therefore, the common term 3D printing (or 3-D printing) is used. 3D printing is applied in rapid prototyping—the printing of plastic models to explore ideas and innovations. Currently, 3D printing is maturing to an advanced stage enabling the composition of complex devices and machinery [1]. Bioprinters are developed to biofabricate body tissue by printing living cells [2].
The typical 3D-printing process is based on inkjet printing: A layer of resin or polymers is precisely placed onto a substrate, while the deposited layer is turning itself—by hardening—into the substrate for the next layer. Also, metal or ceramic pigments or nanoparticles (or precursor compounds thereof) are spread out on a build platform and then reacted, melted, alloyed or sintered together; for example, by laser treatment.

A lot of excitement about 3D printing derives from envisioning all the possibilities people will get to digitally design and make their own toys and goods [3].

The term additive manufacturing contrasts the term subtractive manufacturing, which refers to the traditional machining and manufacturing processes including cutting, sawing, fracturing, cleaving, carving, drilling, polishing and finishing off. Instead of shaping a product by starting with a material piece or block and generating dust and waste, the 3D approach structures a product by building lightweight architectures from optimized resource minima. 

Keywords: engineering, chemistry, nanotechnology, advanced materials, design, fabrication, mass production.

References and more to explore
[1] Larry Greenemeier: To Print the Impossible. Scientific American May 2013, 308 (5), pp. 44-47. 
[2] Larry Greenemeier: Scientists Use 3-D Printer to Speed Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research [].
[3] The Economist: The printed world []

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Tockolith: a series of paints named after their inventors, the Toch Brothers

Tockolith is a patented paint combination invented by the Toch Brothers, claiming that Tockolith makes steel protection permanent and prevents corrosion of, for example, bridge steel, when it is exposed to high-temperature locomotive gases containing sulfur. In their neat book about Tockolith, published in 1914, the Toch Brothers explain that their paints are the only ones which combine with rust and form calcium ferrite, inhibiting progressive oxidation [1].

The Toch Brothers' iron and steel protecting formula, first sold in 1903, included organic lime salt as a binder, alumina silicate and other components of Portland cement [1,2]. Therefore it's longer name: Portland Cement Paint (see pages 15 to 17 in [1]). But the Toch Brothers distinguished Tockolith from Portland Cement by the way the final, hardened coating is chemically formed:
It must not be inferred that Tockolith sets in a few hours when applied to iron or steel, in the same manner as Portland Cement; such is not the case. The binder holds the cement in place and the setting process continues with exceeding slowness, under certain conditions requiring four months. It dries to the touch, however, in about six hours. When the binder has fully disintegrated an exceedingly hard cement coating remains on the steel, and this coating is a perfect preventive of corrosion. 
The older Toch brothers were Jewish immigrants from Bohemia (today part of the Czech Republic) living in New York's Lower East Side. Their business, the Toch Brothers firm, imported and sold paints and varnishes, and eventually ventured into manufacturing paints. Maximilian Toch, one of the sons of one of the brothers, had a passion for science, art and photography. He studied industrial paints and focused his research on protective materials for the modern urban landsacpe [2].

The word “Tockolith” combines the brother's family name “Toch,” changed into “Tock” with an appended letter “o” for easier pronunciation, and the word stem “lith” from the Greek word lithos, meaning stone or rock. Thus, the designation “Tockolith” underlines Maximilian Toch's “struggle for permanence” within his family's paint-manufacturing firm leading to the invention of quality paints for enduring steelworks.

Keywords: chemistry, steel, concrete, cityscape, pollution, deterioration, restoration.

References and more to explore
[1] Toch Brothers: Tockolith, R. I. W. Paints. 320 Fifth Ave., New York, 1914 [].
[2] Augustin Cerveaux and Evan Hepler-Smith: Quest for Permanence. Chemical Heritage Spring 2013, 31 (1), pp. 20-26 [].

Thursday, April 4, 2013

The plant Welwitschia mirabilis discovered by and named after the Austrian botanist Friedrich Welwitsch

The xerophyte Welwitschia mirabilis has always been known to the local people of  the Namib desert in Africa. This plant is endemic to a narrow strip of that desert range, where it was (re)discovered for modern science in 1859 by the Austrian explorer and botanist Friedrich Martin Josef Welwitsch (1806-1872). Eventually the plant genus was named in his honor. The Latin species name mirabilis means extraordinary, marvellous or wonderful [1-4].

Welwitschia mirabilis is the only species of the genus Welwitschia and therefore simply referred to as Welwitschia. This distinct species is most closely related to cone-bearing needle trees (pines, spruces, firs and larches). Each plant has only two permanent strap-shaped leaves. Welwitschia is well adopted to grow under extremely arid conditions, but plants are frequently exposed to fog that moves into the desert from the Atlantic Ocean with the cold Benguela Current upwelling off the coast of Namibia and Angola.

Friedrich Welwitsch spent seven years in Angola, where he collected a large number of plant and insect species, many of them new to science. Welwitsch himself called his marvellous discovery Tumboa, which was later renamed to Welwitschia by Joseph Dalton Hooker [3]. Hence the complete plant identifier: Welwitschia mirabilis, Hooker, f. The primatologist Jane Goodall, known for her expertise on chimpanzees and less known for her love of trees, recently wrote about Welwitsch's encounter with his Tumboa [4]:
... it is said that he fell to his knees and stared and stared, in silence. He sent a specimen to Sir Joseph Hooker, at Kew botanical gardens in London—and Sir Joesph for several months became obsessed with it, devoting hours at a time to studying, writing about and lecturing about the botanical oddity. It is, indeed, one of the most amazing plants on earth, a living fossil, a relict of the cone-bearing plants that dominated the world during the Jurassic period.
Keywords: botany, natural history, southern Angola, Namibia; living fossil, nomenclature, scientific classification: Plantae > Gnetophyta > Gnetopsida > Welwitschiales > Welwitschiacea.

References and more to explore
[1] Oxford Biography: Welwitsch, Friedrich Martin Josef (1806-1872), botanist [].
[2] Wilkinson's World: The Bizarre Welwitschia [].
[3] Natural History Museum: Portrait of Friedrich Welwitsch [,131698,en.pdf].
[4] Jane Goodall: The Roots of a Naturalist. Smithsonian March 2013, 43 (11), pp. 74-84 [].

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

An acronym in conservation biology and policy: ORCA for Ocean Research and Conservation Association

Orca refers to the killer whale (Orcinus orca). But written in all caps, ORCA stands for Ocean Research and Conservation Association, a nonprofit that cares for marine species from top predators all the way down the food web. ORCA was co-founded in 2005 by Dr. Edith “Edie” Widder, a biologist and deep-sea explorer. ORCA's main campus is housed in the historic Coast Guard station in Fort Pierce, Florida [1-3].

ORCA is dedicated to the protection and restoration of aquatic ecosystems, including the species these environments sustain. ORCA's mission statement explains that scientific understanding and advanced technology will play a major role in achieving this goal. For example, the development of high-tech sensor and communication technology is intended to support environmental quality monitoring and to find better management solutions [4].

Smithonian's staff writer Abigail Tucker recently joint Edith Widder in a submarine dive to explore bioluminescent sea animals. She also reports about an ORCA fund-raiser party with Widder near Fort Pierce [5]:
The party is a fund-raiser for her [Edith Widder] nonprofit, the Ocean Research and Conservation Association (ORCA), based in nearby Fort Pierce. ORCA's mission is to monitor coastal pollution, particularly in the Indian River Lagoon. Widder fights back tears while she tells the crowd about dolphins dying from pollution in waters just outside the door. Mullet are showing up with lesions, manatees grow tumors. Widder worries about the implication for human health, too.

Keywords: oceanographic research, marine ecosystems, aquatic conservation.

References and more to explore
[1] ORCA:
[2] ORCA Staff Biographies | Dr. Edie Widder:
[3] About ORCA:
[4] ORCA's Mission:
[5] Abigail Tucker: Light Fantastic. Smithsonian March 2013, 43 (11), pp. 50-59 [].