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On the Second Day of Christmas

On the second day of Christmas, there were leftovers. Lots of leftovers.

All of our guests finally went home. It wasn't that they weren't welcome to stay longer, but they should have brought a change of clothes and their own toothbrushes!

In news around the globe, somebody got arrested for shoving the Pope to the ground, and it was another day at the office in Tehran.

Closer to home, it was a chance to speculate on the relatively secret research going on at UCSD in nano-technology. Five years ago, university researchers elsewhere had come up with very tiny musical instruments etched on crystal. A miniature guitar could be excited by tiny bursts of energy to make its strings vibrate.

That got one of us thinking: cancerous tumors could be attacked with micro-fine glass syringes that inject nano-lasers into the center of a tumor, then a tiny burst of energy could briefly set off the lasers, burning out the tumor from the inside without harming adjacent good tissue. As soon as the triggering pulse ended, burnt cellular matter and the nano-lasers would by sucked out before extracting the needle.

It's not practical by a long shot yet, but maybe some high-schooler now might start thinking that way for her or his doctor's thesis later in life.

Having a theoretical thought on the cure for cancer is not a bad way to end the year.

On the first day of Christmas...

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Slammed down by the bullring

Dragged down to the bottom

On the second day of Christmas, there were leftovers. Lots of leftovers.

All of our guests finally went home. It wasn't that they weren't welcome to stay longer, but they should have brought a change of clothes and their own toothbrushes!

In news around the globe, somebody got arrested for shoving the Pope to the ground, and it was another day at the office in Tehran.

Closer to home, it was a chance to speculate on the relatively secret research going on at UCSD in nano-technology. Five years ago, university researchers elsewhere had come up with very tiny musical instruments etched on crystal. A miniature guitar could be excited by tiny bursts of energy to make its strings vibrate.

That got one of us thinking: cancerous tumors could be attacked with micro-fine glass syringes that inject nano-lasers into the center of a tumor, then a tiny burst of energy could briefly set off the lasers, burning out the tumor from the inside without harming adjacent good tissue. As soon as the triggering pulse ended, burnt cellular matter and the nano-lasers would by sucked out before extracting the needle.

It's not practical by a long shot yet, but maybe some high-schooler now might start thinking that way for her or his doctor's thesis later in life.

Having a theoretical thought on the cure for cancer is not a bad way to end the year.

On the first day of Christmas...

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