The rubber’s fed on a machine,
it’s heated up to fit the mold,
then pressed until the foam is very lean,
and punched, or cut – it’s all controlled.
They’re fitted on a metal head,
to seal up gas or lubricants,
resistant seals are used widespread;
so many shapes with usefulness.
Gaskets aren’t clearly visible.
They are there, sealing and forming.
They’re optimal, reliable,
elastic and high performing.
Harsh and varied technologies
use them without apologies.
Also Posted on:
The challenge for this week, by chazinator, was to write a poem that references in some way the technological or machine spirit of our time.
This week, I was fortunate enough to attend the Space Craft Technology Expo at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
I went on a Press pass because I have a column on Nanotechnology now (see the right side of my page, there’s a link.) My column is writing poetry. Ontario Gasket, Inc. had an interesting display of their gaskets. Since this gasket topic does not fit the nanotechnology column, I am posting on my blog.
I decided to write a sonnet about this. Why? Well, I figured everyone else would be writing about some kind of technological system, or maybe something philosophical about the impact of technology on mankind and society and all that. I was certain (still haven’t looked) that no one would take one specialized vital part and write about it.
In case you wonder how vital gaskets, o-rings and other seals are in machines, look up Space Shuttle Challenger disaster and learn that it was a Viton ® O-ring that failed and caused the explosion.
Image credit: Bat-Ami Gordin © 2012 all rights reserved, credit if you use it, please.
Calculating the probabilities
that our world is constructed uniquely ―
that others will cross our way obliquely.
Let’s ponder how life might exist elsewhere,
it’s sensible! Where are the right pools
for life to begin, so temperate and fair?
Astrobiologists do not have those rules
to explain the riddles of creation,
or the imprint of initial cosmos.
Astronauts query, in the space station:
they study the origins of homos.
The knowledge they uncover is sublime,
to feed dreams we will share for all of time.
Photo credit: European Space Agency
We all have pondered a full nights of stars.
We’ve stared into the mosaic of space.
We’ve wished to settle planets such as Mars,
and hoped to find life in another place.
Ten thousand sounds from a noiseless goddess
sing to us as rotational motions ―
persist to send refined lines of darkness
that shock our contemplative emotions.
The Aurora looks like a thunderstorm.
On the most sacred night, after you blinked,
see the blackened sky take on a new form.
Everything in the universe is linked.
Foreboding omen of the northern sky;
spelling-binding apparition floating by.
This picture was taken by @Astro_Wheels Astronaut Douglas H. Wheelock on November 20, 2010.
I got it off his twitpic site.
Powerful magnetic forces tangled
in the solar wind, fracture and shatter
then rejoin with vengeance till flares, mangled
and twisted in bits of stellar matter,
pop-off on the solar surface. It’s jazz
played with frenzied brutality. It’s twitching
epileptically toward the poles. Viewed as
dynamic motions, it keeps enriching
catastrophic solar events. The sun
is miasmic. It is a complex beast.
It churns and quivers. It stops for no one.
A ball of hydrogen, to say the least!
Fluids ebb and flow on a disc shaped star,
materials suddenly fling out far.
The Sun is a seething ball of ionized gas, called plasma, and has very complex magnetic fields that interact with this plasma. The Solar activity impacts the magnetic fields of the Earth. It also has significant influence on Earth’s weather.
The picture comes from:
Halogen splendidly shines. Tungsten floods.
Illuminated motorways span
the distinctive desert landscape. Light buds
are a bright incandescent urban plan.
Congruent energies are constrained
to white lines. Regions delineated
by mercury-vapors can be contained
in a contrasting field. Initiated,
baffling magic underscores mankind’s offspring.
They grew wings to fly and live between light
and dark. They see spider web lamps flick’ring
when sparkling crystals twinkle through the night.
Astronauts see cities like a portrait
as they sojourn through levels of orbit.
OpenLinkNight ~ week 36
This comes from
It’s a picture by @Astro_Wheels AKA Douglas H. Wheelock taken on May 29, 2011 from the International Space Station.
It was hard to write. What to write about for such a cool but strange picture? I had to research types of lighting to get some great terms to add in (halogen, mercury-vapor, incandescent.)
A superstar stellar celebrity
has appeared in the evening sky. Among
the worldwide observing community,
no one ever saw a starburst this young.
The inner clockwork of this titanic
event, was ranked as a universal
episode of intensity. Cosmic
explosions were seen by professional
digital astroimagers. They prepared
very large aperture telescopes,
then witnessed what the precursor star dared
to do before bursting. Everyone hopes
to glimpse the event with reinforced eyes:
that brilliant whirlpool that lives in dark skies.
Open Link Night ~ Week 34
This is a hubble space telescope picture. It’s just gorgeous.
Ionic currents light the nebula.
Most lustrous waves of fury in the sky,
growing remains of a supernova.
Super-charged neutron-star. Pulsar. Whereby,
feint gamma rays in a smoky curtain
flash actively in a magnetized state.
blasting ions at a powerful rate.
The most powerful particle sources,
a luminal heart of a shattered star,
spins and lights up stellar resources
in a dragon galaxy spitting fire.
Across the electromagnetic field,
enormous flares are splendidly revealed.
This comes from
I don’t have much to say about this. I liked the picture, and I loved the title, thought it was poetic, so I wrote this sonnet.
Atomic beach balls tossed beyond the bumps
of solid golden strips will now design
a strange imaginary landscape. Clumps
of particles appear to now entwine.
Electrons guided with some magic wands
create a message to my covered eyes.
These nanonistic, small molec’lar bonds
reveal to me all earthly matter ties.
I track and hover through the quarks of chance
enthralled by how our measurements can rule
the future of all technical advance;
A strange discovery: a student’s tool.
By thought and reason great ones had their turn.
now, with my hands, some new things I shall learn.
I wrote this one in 1993 after attending an IEEE convention in Seattle and learning about the Nanomanipulator. Warren Robinet was speaking and he said, “Imagine atoms the size of beach balls…” He was referring to a futuristic version of the nanomanipulator, where a virtual image of atoms (like a hologram) would be in the air, right in front of your face. You would have the capability of moving atoms around, like moving beach balls in the air. But that would not be a dream. That would not be a game. It would be a virtual interface to a nanomanipulator, and you would really be moving around atoms within the scanning tunneling microscope. He discussed how in the future, this could be a pedagogical method of teaching chemistry. That is, the students would learn molecular structure by actually moving around the virtual atoms and creating molecules.
His presentation was very stimulating, so I wrote this sonnet. I sent to him, and he sent it to the lab. They posted the sonnet on the bulletin board in their lab, and then Russell M. Taylor published the sonnet in the appendix of “The nanomanipulator: a virtual-reality interface for a scanning tunneling microscope.” http://www.warrenrobinett.com/nano/index.html
A great link to get an idea of how a nanomanipulator moves atoms around would be http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4W7lcYoBA98
Newton thought space and time were absolute
then Einstein discussed relativity.
It was easy to prove an attribute
of an attractive force: captivity
of bodies, was not new. Now imagine
a planet immersed in honey: as it
rotates, it swirls and pulls with an action
much like spinning space time. In an orbit
around the earth, four precise gyroscopes
measure this effect. Quantized current flows
until it detects magnetic stream slopes
differential. A spin-axis opposes
new directions. The strength of gravity
can’t match the speed of light’s velocity.
This sonnet is about gravity Probe B (GP-B), a mission sponsored by NASA aimed to prove the effects of Albert Einstein’s 1916 general theory of relativity.
Rather than quoting them verbatim, you can read more about this project on:
Open Link Night, Week 27
The Space Station’s golden solar arrays
squeeze out the last morsel of energy
from each orbit. An instrument surveys
all dosages of power at every
diurnal spin as they revolve around
the planet. Large measures of power will
be sucked into the batteries. Compound
silicon solar cells dominate. Still,
it is the rotary joint that lets
the panels track the sun and seize
the rays. ISS spins until it sets
into shadow. It performs this with ease
just like a geometry, zipping all through
limited plasma fields of cobalt blue.
This comes from @Astro_Ron ‘s (Ron Garan) http://twitpic.com/4s3pix
This was a difficult sonnet to write in that it contained many engineering concepts. In general, it’s easier to incorporate science into poetry than it is to incorporate engineering.
Open Link Night, Week 26