Archive for August 25th, 2008

Stained glass windows = solar-powered nanotech air-purifiers

Monday, August 25th, 2008

The medieval glaziers who made the cathedral in Chartres and the Duomo of Milan so breathtaking inadvertently made the taking of said breath healthier.

It’s the gold paint they used that acts as an air purifier when light shines through the glass.

[Associate professor at Queensland University of Technology] Zhu [Huai Yong] said that tiny gold particles found in medieval gold paint react with sunlight to destroy air-borne pollutants like volatile organic chemicals/compounds (VOCs), which are emitted from paints, lacquers, and glues, among other things.

“These VOCs create that ‘new’ smell as they are slowly released from walls and furniture, but they, along with methanol and carbon monoxide, are not good for your health, even in small amounts,” Zhu said.

When interacting with gold particles, sunlight creates an electromagnetic field that reacts with the oscillating electrons in the gold. This field resonates and breaks apart pollutants in the air, according to Zhu.

No wonder churches smell so great. I sense a new/old trend in Green building coming on. No more overpriced Sharper Image ionizer things; just glorious stained glass in every window.

:hattip: The Cranky Professor

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Peru on a roll

Monday, August 25th, 2008

This time it’s not just pending litigation, but rather a major, major score of almost 3,898 Inca and pre-Inca artifacts returned from the National Institute of Latin American Anthropology and Thinking in Buenos Aires, Argentina.

According to the Peruvian embassy in Buenos Aires, these pieces include valuable ceramics, textiles, metal objects from different pre-Hispanic cultures, as well as a colonial picture, all of which were taken out of the country illegally.

These artifacts are part of an 18,000-piece collection of Peruvian cultural heritage that was illegally taken to Argentina, affirmed the Peruvian embassy.

I can’t find any other information about this collection, the circumstances of its removal from Peru or the legal reasoning behind the return of a fraction of it. I’ll keep digging.

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