Clouds are under-rated. Sunny weather is all very nice, but I could paint a blue sky with a roller. Clouds on the other hand give us rainbows, and even without the rainbow they can be just as colourful.
This time last month I was in Limoges, in central France, for the 13th conference of the European Ceramic Society. The conference includes a presentation competition for young researchers, and I was lucky enough to represent Ireland in it. As well as meeting some clever people and learning a few things, I had a chance to explore the town a bit. Gare Benedictins is the central train station, a beautiful building at any time but all the better when the sky gets dramatic behind it.
The surface of our teeth is made of a hierarchical structure of very small and very organised crystals. Individual atoms are organised into 50-nanometre-wide crystal rods, which are organised into 4 micrometre wide prisms, which are organised into overlapping layers that make your teeth hard enough and tough enough to last a lifetime. It’s an amazing material and a lot of my research is about trying to copy it. Rather than waste any more words trying to explain, here’s a video that does a much better job!
I had planned something with a bit of science in it for the opening, but the weather we have at the moment deserves a painting I think. So here’s a nice bit of a sunset.
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