Nanoscopic sorrows and joys, and a real world Feynman Nine

Well it hurt my pride I must thay, *sniff* *sniff*, that the Martha’s Vineyard Book Festival declined my 11th hour suggestion that they include me in their illustrious roster at the Gala Event which is to take place this Sunday up at the Chilmark Community Center, otherwise known as “That dusty place up at Beetlebung Corner where they have the Monday night AA meeting.”

Now, I know I’m no William Styron or David McCollough but give me a break. I’m certainly the most prominent geekoid technoparanoid miniaturist in Dukes County, and ought that not to count for something? “Maybe next year,” came the email at 12:37 this morning. Well, maybe next year to you too! That was my response as I waited for that coffee to finish perking as I read my mail this morning.

Normally I would take this kind of snub in stride but I had been kinda hoping to move a box or two of books, as I could use the grocery money not to mention that precious cubic footage in the shed where the inventory is kept.

But now let’s look on the bright side of my nanoscopic writerly fame!

Several six or eight weeks ago or so I got an online order for one of my books from a certain person in Palo Alto, Callifornia. A few days later I got an email from Ann Arbor, DJ at the best radio station in the universe KFJC, enquiring as to how I would feel about having my book read by her on the air, and whether I would consent to be interviewed.

(Ann Arbor was the person who had ordered the book, you see, so I was already ahead of the game, because I would have sent her one for free.)

My reply as you may well imagine was that yes, just as Cardinal Ratzinger shits in the forrest, or is the pope or is a bear or is Catholic (I can never get that straight), I would love to have my books read on KFJC and to be interviewed by the celebrated Ms. Arbor herself.

Round about when this email conversation was transpiring, I got a check in the mail for $90 and an order for 6 copies of Acts of the Apostles from a certain ‘Allison’ in Fremont, California. Now I must confess that back when Acts was teh talk of Slashdot, in 2000, it was not uncommon to get orders of this size in the mail. But for the last several years its been one-zies two-sies when it hasn’t been outright drought. So that was nice.

And then I start getting lovely notes from Allison and from her Better Half W., and they’re sending me all kinds of cool links related to things technoparanoid and nanotech and also having to do with the alleged culture of Silicon Valley, just delightful stuff. It turns out that their professions and interests would make them ideal candidates for walk-on roles in Acts of the Apostles Part Deux (were such a thing ever to be written). In other words they’re doing cool techno-freaky work in biodigital convergence. And it also turns out that they are the people who turned Ann Arbor’s attention my way. And not only that, they invite me to stay at their house should I ever get out that way for a KJFC studio inteview. What interesting, generous and friendly people! And I owe the pleasure of their new friendship to the simple fact that I wrote and published my little book. So I think that’s special.

Anyway, here’s a little sample of the kind of thing Alison has been sending me:

Nano World: A nano DNA-delivery system
News source: World Peace Herald by Charles Q. Choi, UPI

Scientists have used silica nanoparticles loaded with DNA to deliver
genes safely into mouse brains, a technique that could lead to gene
therapies able to repair cells more safely and effectively than
current methods, which rely on viral vectors.

Paras Prasad, a physical chemist and executive director of the
University of Buffalo Institute for Lasers, Photonics and Biophotonics
in New York, has created silica particles roughly 30 nanometers in
diameter as non-viral gene -therapy delivery mechanisms. The synthesis
of these nanoparticles, led by University of Buffalo chemist Dhruba
Bharali, involves coating their surfaces with organic molecules that
bind to genetic payloads, protecting the delicate DNA from enzymatic

Dr. Paras Prasad.

Readers who have memorized the text of Acts of the Apostles will not fail to note the connexion between this technology and the Feynman Nine of my creation.

So here we are in August. Ann Arbor has been reading chapters of my book in regular installments for some weeks now on her Wednesday Morning show. I”ve been interviewed on the air. I’ve got some cool new friends in Fremont.

I didn’t really want to spend this weekend hawking books in Chilmark anyway.

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