Video: Fragility of the global submarine cable network and need for modernized regulation

By Lisa McDonald / July 13, 2022

The global submarine cable network carries about 95% of all global transnational communication data. However, it is vulnerable to disruption by human interference and natural disasters. To ensure continued operation, new monitoring systems and management regulations need to be put in place.

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Video: ‘Sand battery’ keeps Finnish town warm during the dark, cold winters

By Lisa McDonald / July 6, 2022

Adapting to climate change not only requires updating our existing energy systems but also designing new ways of storing and transmitting energy that can better withstand extreme environments. Finnish startup Polar Night Energy just completed the first commercial installation of their new heat storage system, which stores thermal energy using sand.

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Video: Upgrade your barbecue with ‘squeezable’ glass bottles

By Lisa McDonald / June 29, 2022

Though glass bottles have numerous advantages over plastic bottles, they lack the squeezability factor to easily eject their contents. Two entrepreneurs in the U.K. designed a silicon rubber attachment for glass bottles that gives them the squeezability factor.

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Video: US mining companies lay plans for domestic rare earth processing facilities

By Lisa McDonald / June 22, 2022

Mining rare earth ores is only the first step in securing the rare earths supply chain. These ores must undergo refining processes, and China controls nearly all of the world’s rare earth processing facilities. Two U.S. mining companies, MP Materials and USA Rare Earth, plan to open domestic rare earth processing facilities within the next year.

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Video: Ceramics and glass make their mark on new global conservation vaults

By Lisa McDonald / June 15, 2022

The Global Seed Vault in Svalbard, Norway, demonstrated that countries can work together for the common good through preservation and long-term protection of important societal resources. Two new global vaults making headlines will involve ceramic and glass materials, with the former material being documented and the latter used as a storage medium.

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Video: The science behind Queen Elizabeth II’s visual carriage display

By Lisa McDonald / June 8, 2022

When archival footage of a young Queen Elizabeth II waving to the crowd during her platinum jubilee celebrations appeared, news outlets almost universally called this visual display a “hologram.” However, based on the video evidence available, it was most likely a different type of illusion technique, a Gizmodo article contends.

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Video: World Environment Day celebrates 50 years—how ceramic and glass materials help us live sustainably

By Lisa McDonald / June 1, 2022

In honor of World Environment Day on June 5, we look at a few of the many important contributions by ceramic and glass scientists that move us toward a more sustainable and harmonious relationship with nature.

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Video: The forgotten history of Franklin’s glass armonica

By Lisa McDonald / May 25, 2022

Few musical instruments are made out of glass. In the mid-1700s, American polymath Benjamin Franklin was inspired by glass harps to design a friction-based instrument called the glass armonica. Though popular at the time, glass armonicas are largely forgotten today.

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Video: Tile manufacturers face clay shortages due to war in Ukraine

By Lisa McDonald / May 18, 2022

Disruptions in the energy market are not the only market forces affecting the European ceramics industry. The war in Ukraine is also driving a shortage in supplies of Ukrainian clay.

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Video: Fiber-reinforced bogies gain steam in the rail industry

By Lisa McDonald / May 11, 2022

Though the rail industry has been much slower to adopt fiber-reinforced composites compared to other transportation industries, more rail companies started developing composite bogies, a major structural component, in recent years.

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