Julia L F Goldstein

How Are You Changing the World?

X-rays and Toothpaste

Mar 24, 2015 by Julia L F Goldstein
My new dentist (let's call him Dr. X) is a very smart man. I asked him why his office had not migrated from film to digital X-rays, and I was impressed with the thoroughness of his research on the topic. He seriously considered buying digital equipment when he moved to a new office several years ago, but decided against it for several reasons:1. Digital plates have poorer resolution than films, making it more difficult to see details in images. This makes diagnosis more challenging.2. In an effort to improve resolution in the newest generation of digital cameras, technicians often increase radiation dosage.  This was surprising news to me, as the general trend in medical imaging is toward technology advances that enable...

Fun With Acronyms

Mar 18, 2015 by Julia L F Goldstein
In an effort to keep up on news related to the beats I cover, I have several Google Alerts set up. One of them is "CZT," which is shorthand for cadmium zinc telluride (CdZnTe). This material is similar to the semiconductor cadmium telluride (CdTe), which is used in thin film solar cells. CZT is also a semiconductor and it is useful for detecting radioactive materials. This is important for homeland security, in order to screen for overseas shipments that may contain a dirty bomb, and also in medical imaging, to monitor radiation dosage. So if I get news that a CZT supplier has ramped up production or has landed a contract with an influential customer, that is something I need to know. My...

The Dangers of Sitting All Day

Mar 10, 2015 by Julia L F Goldstein
The news over the past couple of years is that sitting is especially unhealthy. I read an article in Runner's World awhile back that said sitting is as bad for your health as smoking! So what is a writer to do? Get a standing desk, of course, and perhaps a treadmill to go with it. There's a whole store near me devoted to desks designed for standing or walking, called appropriately "Work While Walking." At the moment I'm going back and forth between sitting at the beautiful maple desk I bought for my home office almost 15 years ago, and standing at the kitchen counter with my wireless keyboard and mouse on the counter and my laptop perched on a cereal box so the screen...

Particle Board

Mar 06, 2015 by Julia L F Goldstein
Despite what you might think after reading my introductory post, I am not always enamored of engineered materials. So when the design consultant asked whether I wanted the plywood upgrade for the interiors of the new cabinets in my laundry room, I said yes. Even though it's just a laundry room. Even though there is particle board in my kitchen cabinets (not my choice - they were there when we moved in). I'm happy with this 20-year-old house we bought last summer, but there are definitely things I want to change. Like the laundry room. I can't understand why no one ever put in a laundry room sink when the room is plumbed for it. Now, I could buy one of...

Welcome, readers!

Mar 05, 2015 by Julia L F Goldstein
As a freelance writer, I figured it was about time I had a blog. People have asked me about my blog, and I've been sort of embarrassed to say I don't have one. It's time to fix that. To some extent I've needed to be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century, but here I am. My underlying theme has to be materials. That's been the focus of my technical interests ever since college, when I took an introductory Materials Science course and became fascinated with the concept of engineered materials, the idea of being able to tailor a material's properties and function, and decided I had to get an advanced degree in materials science. So I may write about anything from...