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Ancient Egyptian Tech May Be Key To Printing 3D Ceramics 138

Zothecula writes "We like to think of technology as always being forward looking. It's supposed to be about nanoparticles and the Cloud, not steam engines and the telephone exchange. But every now and again the past reaches out, taps the 21st century on the shoulder and says, 'Have a look at this.' That's what happened to Professor Stephen Hoskins, Director of the University of West England, Bristol's Centre for Fine Print Research. He is currently working on a way of printing 3D ceramics that are self-glazing, thanks to a 7,000-year old technology from ancient Egypt."
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Ancient Egyptian Tech May Be Key To Printing 3D Ceramics

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  • Re:Technology (Score:5, Insightful)

    by ClioCJS ( 264898 ) <cliocjs+slashdot AT gmail DOT com> on Thursday September 13, 2012 @11:17PM (#41331269) Homepage Journal
    A compass only points to the magnetic north and south. The geographic north and south that we all actually use on our maps and GPSes is based on the rotation of the earth, and could be determined simply by observing sunup/sundown times internationally (and realizing the earth is round).

    Compasses? We don't need no stinkin' compasses.

  • Re:Technology (Score:5, Insightful)

    by redneckmother ( 1664119 ) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @11:35PM (#41331355) Journal

    Don't give Apple any ideas. They may see that a wheel is a completely rounded corner!

    Aaaaahhhhhh.... but we got plenty of prior arts, don't we? :)

    Hasn't stopped them so far, has it? :)

  • Re:Technology (Score:4, Insightful)

    by jd2112 ( 1535857 ) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @11:41PM (#41331387)
    Given sufficiently expensive legal team any prior art can be rendered irrelevant.
  • by ezakimak ( 160186 ) on Thursday September 13, 2012 @11:56PM (#41331431)

    NASA had to resurrect fabrication techniques from the days of the gold rush gold mines to build some of their parts large enough for the rockets that went to the moon.

    It seems that there's a lot of knowledge and skills that are getting lost as we "progress". Sure, some of it is useless since we truly have replaced things with better stuff, eg linotype. But then again, there are some technologies and skills that are dying off that would be good to capture somehow, such as how to build and work a foundary. I'm not sure of a good way to capture *skill*--it's usually passed on person-to-person.

  • Stop it already! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by qbitslayer ( 2567421 ) on Friday September 14, 2012 @12:32AM (#41331599)

    This strawman is really getting old. You guys should wake up from your self-righteousness every once in a while and realize that science is not served by criticizing non-scientists. Science moves forward through self-criticism. Unfortunately, since you decided to turn science into an 'us versus them' pissing contest, any criticism of science is wrongfully and automatically seen as coming from 'them' and truths run the risk of being rejected just because they look like they might have come from the other side. This is both lame and dangerous because it creates the same sort of untouchable and destructive elitism and blind despotism that organized religion is known for throughout history.

  • Re:Technology (Score:5, Insightful)

    by camperdave ( 969942 ) on Friday September 14, 2012 @01:03AM (#41331725) Journal
    Um... We knew North and South long before the compass. Egyptians aligned the pyramids with North about a thousand years before the invention of the compass. Mariners navigated by the stars for generations before the compass became a commonplace navigational tool. As a matter of fact, the north pointer of a compass is called that because it points to the north pole of the Earth. Even today, when I want to know which way is North, I look at where the Sun is in the sky (or I look for the Big Dipper at night).
  • Re:Technology (Score:4, Insightful)

    by tsa ( 15680 ) on Friday September 14, 2012 @01:10AM (#41331747) Homepage

    Compasses are very new. We still use a lot of technology from the stone age. Fire, thread, clothes, paint... The list goes on and on.

  • Re:But... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by dido ( 9125 ) <{hp.muirepmi} {ta} {odid}> on Friday September 14, 2012 @03:32AM (#41332271)

    And what of it? Nothing of what your people in high school has said in any way contradicts true science. I at first thought that you were talking about the Omphalos hypothesis [] which is a load of bullshit (but it is what the original posters were referring to), but reading what you wrote more carefully says that it's not what you are talking about at all. Your said that your high school people believed that the natural world as a whole was created by God as something for us to discover. Think of what that really means for a second. If you read it carefully, it actually says that the honest practice of science is nothing more or less than God's will for us! For what is science but an attempt to to discover and understand the workings of the natural world? Contrary to what many people around here seem to think, there is nothing inherently anti-science about religion and the belief in God in general. It is non-scientific to be sure, a belief in God and in science can be held without a whit of cognitive dissonance. Science is there to tell us the how of the world, religion is there to tell us the why. Granted, there are many religions out there that fail to grasp this essential fact and so rail about with creationism and all that because they wrongly believe that their religion is the only possible repository of all truth. The questions religion is supposed to answer are fundamentally meaningless for science, and vice-versa.

  • by tehcyder ( 746570 ) on Friday September 14, 2012 @09:53AM (#41334193) Journal
    It's not a question of scientists v. non-scientists: it's rationality v. superstition.

    I 'm not a scientist (I don't work researching physics, biochemistry or whatever) but I would declare myself rational.

Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from a rigged demo.