Technology Twofer – #WATWB

This month for WATWB, I am sharing two articles from ThomasNet, the digital outgrowth of the Thomas Register that describes itself as “a data, platform and technology company that has become the leading resource for the industrial marketplace.” I don’t know about all that, but I find some of the articles they publish to be fascinating. On November 14th, the two articles included here were part of the newsletter. They both seemed perfect for WATWB, so you get two for the price of one.

The first article is about technology that will help the world clean up after technology. One of the biggest problems technology brings with it is rapid obsolescence that leads to the need to recycle electronic components.

“According to New Atlas, one of the biggest problems in disassembling and recycling electronic components relates to the most basic ingredient in the product – the glue. And because the use of harsh solvents is often used to get them apart, the overall environmental friendliness is… not great.”

Researchers have worked to develop a new adhesive, one that makes it easier to disassemble the components. According to the article:

“The solution they’ve landed on is a polyurethane adhesive that’s packed with tiny iron oxide particles…

But the cool part is what happens when you want the pieces to come apart. When it’s sent off for recycling, the researchers say, the component utilizing the adhesive can be placed in a machine that generates a weak magnetic field that oscillates in such a way that the iron oxide particles heat up and the adhesive melts. The heat reportedly doesn’t extend to the bare hands of the people involved in the process, making it safe for recyclers as well.”

The second article is about how six scientists teamed up to save a turtle.

“Freddy was badly burned in a Brazilian brush fire. Because turtles depend on their shells for safety from predators, Freddy was in serious danger. After suffering two bouts of pneumonia because of the fire and surviving 45 days without food, he desperately needed a new shell.”

A group consisting of four veterinarians, a dental surgeon, and a 3D designer came to the rescue. They printed a shell that fit Freddy and they painted it to match his natural shell so he would still blend in with his surroundings.

“Freddy had lost a staggering 85% of his shell, so this was not just a simple print job. The work included taking 40 photos of a healthy turtle, then reconstructing it in 3D and inputting it into the computer. The shell was then printed in four pieces that fit together like a puzzle.

Made of corn-based plastic, each piece took 50 hours to print to make sure the new shell would be solid.”

Freddy, sporting his new shell. Thanks to ThomaseNet. Image Credit: Courtesy of the Animal Avengers

The “We are the World” Blogfest is now in its third year. This blogfest’s goal is to spread the message of light, hope and love in today’s world. We are challenging all participants to share the positive side of humanity. This month’s co-hosts: Damyanti Biswas, Lizbeth Hartz, Shilpa Garg, Peter Nena and Simon Falk, welcome participants and encourage all to join in during future months. #WATWB is a blog hop on the last Friday of every month.

58 thoughts on “Technology Twofer – #WATWB

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  1. This is what I do not understand: we have the capacity to do such great things to help but this seem to be the exception to the rule. We are knowingly killing ourselves and yet we keep doing it. Articles like these two give me hope.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That’s the idea behind WATWB, Pam, to highlight these stories, to show that some people ‘get it’ and are trying to turn things around. The other issue is that these stories rarely get top billing in the mainstream media – those outlets seem to prefer stories that further divide people, as opposed to stories that might bring us together around a cause. Even the stories about climate change and other dangers are usually presented in an “us vs. them” format. I am hoping that people like the folks in these stories can influence others.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. I hear stories like this, Dan, and my heart has hope that this world can be turned around. To know that technology and some humans with big hearts helped Freddie, shows me that people truly are turning the way of Compassion. You really have given me hope! Thank you!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Amy. The group of people who helped Freddy, have banded together to help other animals. I love reading stories like this, especially when it’s in an industrial newsletter where a lot of people will see it. I hope it makes them all think…just a little, about what they can do.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I hope the very same thing, Dan. It is high time people THINK about the condition our planet is in, and who lives on it. And it is time technology began to repair the damage that has been done. I really again thank you for posting this. My hope runs high today!

        Liked by 1 person

  3. Two great stories, but Freddy is truly a “feel good” story. What this poor guy had to endure just to survive, he absolutely deserved, and got, an incredible helping hand. I hope Freddy enjoys many happy years in his new shell. Hooray for the good guys! 👏
    🐾Ginger 🐾

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That prosthetic tortoise shell is just framdantastic, Dan. I wonder if, down the line, they could color it so that its camouflage would be more normal. It might feel self conscious among the other tortoises. 😉 I call this a stupendous use of our new technologies. Much better than printing off zip guns and trial wedding rings. 🤔🤭

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Both the stories are amazing. This shows the importance of technology and science in our life. If we will use it in a positive way then it can be used to save a life but if we wil use it in a negative way then we will surely destroy ourselves.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Hi Dan – wonderful news re the ‘new’ glue … interesting what scientists can come up with – we’re always looking for new ways. The new turtle shell is remarkable – I’ve seen other similar things happen – but not a whole turtle shell like this … I hope the 4 pieces have expanding joints so Freddy can grow. Thanks for telling us about ThomasNet … interesting to say the least – cheers Hilary

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thanks Hilary. That’s a good point about expansion. I hadn’t considered that but I’m sure they gave it some thought. I purged most of the tech newsletters I was getting before I retired but I transferred my favorites to my personal email.

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      1. … and I guess you can subscribe – as I do to a few things that interest me … eg British Museum and similar .. and put into Feedly …

        The trouble is you might have retired – but the brain ticks on, sometimes along similar veins …

        Hope that snow doesn’t swamp you … cheers H

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I think it’s a good thing to have the brain ticking. They make the snow sound so much worse than it will be. We get 10-12” of snow during several storms in s normal year. Everyone who lives here is capable of dealing with it. Weather has become such drama.

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  7. The story about the turtle has really touched me. I remember seeing animal carcasses in the wake of the Amazon fire and feeling depressed about it. What those people did for it is irreplaceable. It is invaluable. God bless them!! Each piece took 50 hours to print. That is 200 hours in total! 25 days if they worked for 8 hours a day non-stop! Wow!
    I did a street lighting project one time and later on I had a presentation about LED luminaires for street lighting. One of the questions I was asked was how to dispose of dead LED lamps. Disposing of electronic equipment is very challenging. I’m happy about what those researchers did. Thank you for the post, Dan.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I’m glad you liked this, Peter. They also painted the shell to look correct. No one was asking about disposal when they started using florescent lighting. I just hope some doesn’t rule this adhesive out because it costs a tiny fraction more per unit.

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  8. ” …technology that will help the world clean up after technology.” That is exactly what we need more of, along with people who will work all those hours to save a turtle. These are the kinds of things we need to put our energy into.Thanks for this awesome post, Dan.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Wow, was a 3-D printer used in the turtle shell creation? I’ve read of other amazing creations using such printers–such as the creation of prosthetics using plastic trash. What a fabulous use of technology. Thanks for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

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