The Ambiguous Colors of Nanotechnology: Kate Nichols’ nanoparticle paints have changed how she sees color

July 2015                                                                                                          Nautilus

Kate Nichols leans her delicate face against the glass of a chemical fume hood in a University of California, Berkeley lab, peering into a beaker filled with a pale yellow liquid—“like a well hydrated person’s pee,” she says, laughing. The yellow brew is a fresh batch of silver nanoparticles. Over the next week, the liquid will turn green, then turquoise, then blue as the particles morph in shape from spheroids to prisms under the influence of time and fluorescent light. Post-docs and grad students elsewhere in the nanotech lab are synthesizing nanoparticles for research on artificial photosynthesis and quantum dot digital displays. But not Nichols. She isn’t a scientist, but an artist, gripped by color.

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(ESSAY) “You are not just an affair”: I fell for the world’s oldest romantic cliché — being human

 July 2015                                                                                                  Salon

When my lover and I arrived at the Pont des Arts in Paris I immediately wanted to hook a lock with our initials on it to the mass of other “love locks” dangling from the railings on both sides of the bridge.
(Credit: JaysonPhotography via Shutterstock)
 I took her hand and whispered my intentions into her ear.  She turned her head slowly toward me, and I saw that she was — really? — rolling her eyes. She looked beautiful in her classic black wool coat, pulled tight around her neck against the October chill.  Her silver hair, with an impeccable French cut, fell dashingly across her face.  I loved that hair.

Now I know that the French had grown weary of the locks on the Pont des Arts.  What began as a romantic gesture by couples in the 2000s had turned into a tourist scourge weighing many tons.  Not only were the locks — quelle horreur — ugly, they were threatening to sink the bridge into the Seine.  In fact, Paris officials recently announced that they are going to cut off the whole lot of them.  Read more @Salon