Posted in Uncategorized, tagged bills, crane & co., currency, dalton, doug crane, hologram, housatonic, massachusetts, micro, optical, optics, paper, paper mill, sweden, treasury, tumba on June 6, 2012 |
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A new $100 bill is in the works. For security, it will have half a million tiny lenses in a special strip, and the lenses will create a particular optical effect as you tip the bill this way and that. Kind of like a hologram, is my understanding. There will be even more tiny lenses on the Liberty Bell and the numeral 100, and as you tip the bill, the one will turn into the other, thanks to the lenses.
This rather surprising information I learned from a speaker today — Doug Crane, vice president of the family company that has been making America’s currency and some other nations’ currencies since 1801. He makes paper only from cotton (80%) and linen (20%).
There are a lot of interesting old documents about the history of Crane & Co. — and how it overlapped with key events and players in American history — at this blog on WordPress.
More information is on the regular website of the company, which is based in Dalton, Massachusetts, and employs 850 people locally. Among them are the people who make print so tiny you could “print the Bible twice on a dime.” They also employ optical engineers who create the micro lenses and are responsible for Crane’s 80 patents.
Other employees work in Tumba, Sweden, ever since Sweden asked Crane to take over its currency making. At the Tumba site, Crane makes currencies for additional countries.
A paper-making enterprise requires a lot of energy, so Crane is working with numerous alternatives as it moves toward its goal of 100% sustainability. It has already drastically cut its oil use in a partnership with a steam-producing landfill enterprise. Hydroelectric is proving trickier because there are so many jurisdictions on the Housatonic River to give permission to remove waterfalls.
Perhaps the river could become a Blueway and get everyone working together. (See yesterday’s post.)
Postcard from cranesbond.com
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged donors choose, education, fund raising, funding, kickstarter, light unit, OFH_John, optical, optics, Optics for Hire, schools, science on May 29, 2012 |
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I’m fascinated by the many ways the Internet has enabled broader support for worthy causes. I’ve blogged about Kickstarter, for example, “a funding platform for creative projects.” Through Kickstarter, friends and other well-wishers can help fund a documentary, an art installation, or a book publication within a designated time frame. Magic can happen, often with only small donations that add up.
Today OFH_John tweeted about something similar for schools, Donors Choose. Donors Choose calls itself “an online charity connecting you to classrooms in need.” You can search for projects in your local area, projects that have special meaning to you, and projects that might let your company offer special expertise.
John’s company has optical expertise and jumped on a need at a District of Columbia school, where an applied science project on light called for optical gear. Read about that here.
If you are seeking to help impoverished schools in particular, you may look for the “high poverty” rating at Donors Choose. School needs of all sorts are listed here.
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Posted in Uncategorized, tagged 3-D, bend light, boston, christopher columbus park, energy conservation, energy saving, engineer, gfavalora, led, light, light-emitting diode, lighting systems, Minsk, north end, OFH_John, optical, optics, Optics for Hire, phase discontinuity, reflection, refraction, seas, street lamp, Ukraine, waterfront on September 1, 2011 |
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This morning on my walk I noticed a sign about energy-saving LED (light-emitting diode) street lamps. The sign is hard to read here, but it says that the LED lighting was provided by the Friends of Christopher Columbus Park. It also says that “the City of Boston is testing different types of LED lighting systems around the town and wants to know what you think.” Tell the City here.
The main reason I’m interested is that John is in the optics business, and his team is always working on LED, 3-D, and other optical projects beyond my ken. (I blogged about his Eastern European optical engineers here and here. John and Gregg tweet at OFH_John and gfavalora.)
And while we’re on the subject of optics, check out an article about “bizarre optical phenomena, defying the laws of reflection and refraction. …
“Cambridge, Mass. – September 1, 2011 – Exploiting a novel technique called phase discontinuity, researchers at the Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) have induced light rays to behave in a way that defies the centuries-old laws of reflection and refraction.” They bend light. Kind of like a fun house mirror.
You can see what they are talking about here.
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