Rome Reborn

imageThis is an interesting project.

Researchers at the Institute for Advanced Technology in the Humanities at the University of Virginia have created a full 3D computer model of what Rome might have looked like in 320 AD.

To create the digital model, researchers scanned a 3,000 square foot, 1/250 plaster model of the city – the “Plastico di Roma Antica” – which was completed in the 1970s. Because of the model’s intricacy – the Plastico’s Coliseum is only 8 inches tall — Italian engineers used laser radar originally designed to measure precise tolerances on jet parts to scan within a tenth of a millimeter. Each 6-by-6 section contained 60 million data points.

Another cool detail is that my employer, Multigen-Paradigm was a sponsor.

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Lasers for stroke therapy

Saint Louis University has announced that they’re about to begin trials on a laser-based method for treating stroke victims.

Salvador Cruz-Flores, M.D., associate professor of neurology at Saint Louis University, is leading the only clinical trial in St. Louis that looks at an investigational device called the NeuroThera® Laser System to treat ischemic strokes. The study will enroll 660 patients at 50 centers worldwide.

To receive the laser treatment, the head of the patient is shaved. A special swimming cap-type covering put on the head that has openings that show 20 treatment sites where low-level lasers are activated.

Near-infrared light, generated from a laser, is delivered noninvasively for about two minutes to each site, which means the treatment lasts a total of 40 to 60 minutes. The laser treatment is broadly delivered because stroke also affects the tissue surrounding the blockage, Cruz-Flores said.

Is this more laser snake oil or is there really something to shining a low-power laser at the body?

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Lasers that know when they’re going to die

According to :

A new range of 635 nm laser modules featuring a "near end-of-life detection" facility to warn operators of their impending failure will make their debut at LASER 2007. Photonic Products, a UK-based optoelectronics device manufacturer and laser diode specialist, says that it developed the PM-NEOLD laser-diode modules after a request by a client, and is now making them generally available.

"As a laser diode approaches the end of its operational life, its imminent failure is signalled by an increase in the current drawn by its drive circuitry," David McGinness technical sales manager told "Typically, when the current draw reaches a value of 120% of its original operating value, the laser diode is considered to have reached its ‘near end-of-life’ condition."

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Hologram disaster relief

There’s only so much we each can do and while our family has given to the Red Cross already, I still want to do more.

With that in mind, throughout September (longer if necessary) through the end of the year I will be donating 50% of all hologram proceeds (note, not profits, please see below) to the Red Cross for relief efforts related to hurricane Katrina.

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