Never pass up a chance to sit down or relieve yourself. -old Apache saying

Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Murder by Proxy

Mike Malloy is a national treasure, but he can only be "consumed" in small doses.  In this video, Mike takes on Sean Hannity and Cliven Bundy, the domestic terrorist.  Which one is a domestic terrorist?  Bundy?  Hannity?  Both?

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

exploding whales

Something I had never considered...

Caution: Dead Whale Contents Under Pressure

Whales are some of the largest creatures ever to appear on Earth, so when they wash ashore after death it's no small task to remove the carcass. Because of the incredible size, the whale must be cut into smaller and more manageable pieces. The act of cutting it up poses yet another obstacle: dead whales can explode when punctured.
At the time of the whale’s death, it begins to decay. The internal organs and all of the food it consumed before dying begin to rot. As bacteria swoop in to decompose the animal, they generate heat and gasses that build tremendous pressure inside of the whale. When biologists cut into the whale to remove or study it, the gas comes exploding out and can bring blood and internal organs with it. 
There are actually three gasses behind this phenomenon: methane, ammonia, and hydrogen sulfide. As you might imagine, this combination smells really, really bad. Methane is a by-product of digestion, ammonia is what gives cat urine its distinct pungent odor, and hydrogen sulfide is the gas that smells like rotting eggs. So, if you can imagine a whale-sized fart/cat pee/egg bomb with blood and entrails flying at your face, that’s pretty much the full experience of an exploding whale. 
Check out this amazing, and obviously graphic, footage of a whale exploding that originally appeared on Faroese Broadcasting Corporation. Good thing he was wearing a rain coat:


Good thing he was wearing a rain coat:
or how about this one?

Monday, April 28, 2014

killer pig virus

You might want to stock up on bacon and lard while you can...

Yet another threat to our food supply.

Killer Pig Virus Wipes Out More Than 10 Percent Of Nation's Hogs, Causing Spike In Pork Prices

The killer stalking U.S. hog farms is known as PEDv, a malady that in less than a year has wiped out more than 10 percent of the nation's pig population and helped send retail pork prices to record highs. The highly contagious Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus is puzzling scientists searching for its origins and its cure and leaving farmers devastated in ways that go beyond financial losses.

dead before reaching 7 days old
Since June 2013 as many as 7 million pigs have died in the United States due to the virus, said Steve Meyer, president of Iowa-based Paragon Economics and consultant to the National Pork Board said. United States Department of Agriculture data showed the nation's hog herd at about 63 million as of March 1, 2014.

PEDv was first diagnosed in Ohio last May and has spread within a year to 30 states with no reliable cure in sight. U.S. packing plants may produce almost 2 percent less pork in 2014, according to Ken Mathews, USDA agricultural economist.

"Something like a tablespoon of PEDv infected manure is roughly enough to infect the entire U.S. hog herd," said Rodney "Butch" Baker, swine biosecurity specialist at Iowa State University.

The National Pork Board has spent about $1.7 million researching the virus, which is nearly always fatal in pigs younger than 21 days. With pork prices at an all-time high of $3.83 a pound, the loss of baby pigs cuts into profits for hog farmers.

PEDv does not pose a risk to human health and is not a food safety issue, the USDA says.

Months of forensic research so far have turned up no clear evidence of how the disease entered the United States.

The virus is nearly identical to one that infected pigs in China's Anhui province, according to a report published in the American Society of Microbiology journal mBio. Researchers also are exploring whether the widespread use of pig-blood byproducts in hog feed might have introduced the disease.

There have been outbreaks in recent years in Europe, Japan, Mexico and parts of South America, though in milder forms than seen in the U.S. and China.

The disease has taken root in Canada, too, where the pork industry is deeply integrated with U.S. pork production.

The virus "acts like a lawn mower" on the villi in a pig's intestines, which are the tiny projections that aid digestion, said Tony Forshey, chief of animal health at the Ohio Department of Agriculture. With their villi gone, the piglets cannot absorb nutrients from food or water, contract diarrhea and die from dehydration.

So far, no vaccine has been able to completely protect pigs from the disease. An Iowa company, Harrisvaccines Inc., has made some progress, while pharmaceutical giants Merck Animal Health and Zoetis Inc have joined with universities to begin vaccine development.

Bright yellow signs marked "PED" are popping up outside North Carolina farms warning the virus is present. One-third of North Carolina's 3,000 hog farms have been struck by PEDv since the first diagnosed case there in June 2013, the state says.

So many piglets have died that Tom Butler, a farmer who fattens hogs for market in southeastern Harnett County, is having difficulty finding animals. His herd is down 25 percent to 6,000 pigs, costing him more than $100,000.

read the rest here.  Poor little piggies.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Slaves to Prejudice

I normally don't cite the New York Times' Maureen Dowd, but this column is a good one.  

I am still having a hard time understanding how any relatively sane, normal, reasonable person could call themselves a Republican these days when you survey the current crop of Republicans.  

The GOP has gone deep into right-field.  They are so far right they're out in the parking lot. If that bothers you and you are an old-fashioned Republican in the mold of Barry Goldwater, maybe you should protest this lurch into lunacy by renouncing your membership in the GOP?  If they don't see their membership decline significantly, what impetus would they have to change?

You could always rejoin the Republican Party later, once they come to their senses.  But you really should not be encouraging the current crop of crackpots.  They are tainting the entire country with their stink. Do you want to associate with that?

Slaves to Prejudice

by Maureen Down - The New York Times

WASHINGTON — WHEN a cranky anarchist in a cowboy hat starts a sentence saying “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” you can be dang sure it’s going downhill from there.

The unsettling thing about Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy’s ugly rant on the Virgin River on Saturday, The Times’s Adam Nagourney told me, was that there was no negative reaction from the semicircle of gun-toting and conspiracy-minded supporters who had gathered round to hear it. The oblivious 67-year-old Bundy, who has refused for 20 years to pay for his cattle to graze on our land, offered a nostalgic ode to slavery.

Recalling that he saw African-Americans sitting on the porch of a public-housing project in North Las Vegas who seemed to have “nothing to do,” Bundy declaimed: “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy?”

The man hailed as a “savior” and “folk hero” by Fox News doubled down Thursday, declaring: “Cliven Bundy’s a-wondering” if the black community was happier during slave days when “they was in the South in front of their homes with their chickens and their gardens and their children around them and their men having something to do.”

By Friday, he was saying that all Americans are slaves to the government and comparing himself to Martin Luther King Jr. and Rosa Parks. Just another dark-ages bigot who goes nuts at the idea that whites are losing clout in an America run by a New Age black president. What’s the use of being white, after all, if you can’t be king of the hill — even if the hill really belongs to the government?

Conservatives saw no hypocrisy in rallying around Bundy for breaking the law, refusing to pay between $1 and $2 a month per cow to graze on federal land, while they refuse to consider amnesty for illegal immigrants committing Acts of Love.

Rand Paul, the libertarian senator from Kentucky who wants to be the Republican presidential nominee, took almost a day to distance himself from the self-immolating Bundy. Paul was so worried about alienating the segment of the party that will decide the nomination, he couldn’t even respond quickly to say the most simple thing on earth: Racism is bad.

As BuzzFeed reported, Chris McDaniel, a G.O.P. state senator mounting a strong challenge to Thad Cochran in the Mississippi Republican primary, has written blog posts blaming the “welfare dependent citizens of New Orleans” for not finding higher ground during Katrina, charging that “Mexicans” entering the country are hurting “our culture” and calling racial profiling of Muslims a “victory for common sense.”

From cockfighting rallies to online gun sweepstakes to cracks about “wetbacks” to waxing nostalgic about slavery, the Republican fringe has gone mainstream. When the younger stars of the G.O.P. race to embrace a racist anarchist lionized by Sean Hannity, it underscores the party’s lack of leadership or direction.

After making noise about reaching out to women (even as Senate Republicans unanimously blocked a vote on the Paycheck Fairness Act and Republican legislatures around the country pass more abortion restrictions), the G.O.P. now has the delightful Det Bowers out there doing marital counseling. Politico reported that the wacky 62-year-old evangelical minister, who is challenging Lindsey Graham in the South Carolina G.O.P. Senate primary, once asserted that 95 percent of broken marriages are caused by women giving more attention to their children than to their husbands. “He did run off with some other woman, and you packed his bags,” Bowers said, adding: “You just ran him off. You paid more attention to your children than you did to him. ‘Oh, he doesn’t need me?’ He needs you more than they do. He chose you, they didn’t.  An abominable idolatry.”

It’s a measure of how hallucinogenic conservatives are that they are trying to re-litigate slavery during the second term of the first African-American president.

Earlier this month, Jim DeMint, Tea-Party godfather and president of the Heritage Foundation, bizarrely told a Christian radio station that it was not “big government” that freed the slaves, but “the conscience of the American people” and Abraham Lincoln, a Republican. (Umm, wasn’t he big government along with his hundreds of thousands of troops?)

In another case of inexplicable foot-dragging, Rand Paul was reluctant to cut loose Jack Hunter, his social media director and co-author on a Tea Party book, after the media wrote about his past life as a shock jock named the Southern Avenger who advocated secession, wore a Confederate flag mask, toasted John Wilkes Booth, and complained that whites are “not afforded the same right to celebrate their own cultural identity” because anything “that is considered ‘too white’ is immediately suspect.”

At Harvard’s Institute of Politics on Friday, Paul said that “The Republican Party will adapt, evolve or die.”

He might want to listen to his own advice.


Saturday, April 26, 2014


No surprise here.  Another explosion at a plant owned by the Koch brothers.  They spend so much time and effort on perverting politics, who has time or money for safety at their plants? After all, they are all about deregulation:  the right to pollute, kill and maim your workers and the surrounding community.  Free enterprise!!

On April 26, 2014 a major explosion occurred at a Koch Industries owned, Georgia Pacific pulp and paper plant, located in Corrigan, Texas. The explosion severely injured at least seven people. NBC affiliate KETK reported at least four life flight helicopters on the scene, on Saturday evening, following the explosion. Others were taken by ambulance to a hospital in Luftkin, Tx.
According to Khou, 11 news, the explosion happened at around 6:30 pm. Initial reports from firefighters on the scene suggest that the explosion was the result of faulty equipment at the plant. The Corrigan fire chief stated that the injuries appeared ‘very bad.’
Georgia Pacific was acquired by Koch Industries in 2005. It should come as no surprise that Georgia Pacific, owned by the anti-government, anti-inspection, anti-regulation, libertarian Koch brothers has a history of injuring and killing workers.
Less than a week before the explosion, on April 15 2014, WTOK in Alabama reported that an employee of a Georgia Pacific paper mill was killed, following a ‘workplace accident.’
In October of 2013, another worker was killed after “a vacuum-pressure relief device discharged steam and paper stock” causing a watchman to fall 30 feet, to his death. That incident occurred at a Georgia Pacific plant in Cedar Springs, GA. Following that death, OSHA cited Georgia Pacific for several serious workplace safety violations,
“Investigators found that a rusted, loose and improperly anchored catwalk guardrail system gave way when steam pushed the worker against it. OSHA also issued citations for inadequately written procedures for assuring that equipment was rendered inoperable while employees performed welding operations; failure to locate pressure-relief devices, so they vented away from employees; and failure to assure that input valves were closed and locked before welding began.”
Georgia Pacific employee deaths occur regularly; for instance, deaths were reported in 20082009, 2010, 20112012 and so on.
Residents of Crossett, Arkansas, where a Georgia Pacific paper mill is located, are experiencing far higher than normal rates of lung cancer, which have been linked to the Koch owned plant.
It’s no surprise, either, that these incidents have taken place in Republican states like Georgia, Texas and Arkansas. Red state governments send out open invitations for companies that are looking to skirt safety regulations, avoid inspections, dodge taxes and exploit workers.
Last year Texas governor Rick Perry released a series of ads that were meant to attract businesses to his state. In the ads, Perry bragged about the lone star state’s lax regulations and oversight of businesses. Shortly after he released the ads, a massive explosion at a West Texas fertilizer plant went off ‘like a nuclear bomb,” nearly wiping an entire town off the map. Hundreds of people were injured or killed and clean up costs following the devastating explosion are likely to exceed $100 million dollars.
The truth is those ‘job killing regulations’ that republicans like Rick Perry, and tea party libertarians like Charles and David Koch, are always railing against, are actually vital, life saving oversight programs. Regulations protect workers from being blown up on the job. They keep corporations from destroying the water supply or sending poisons into the air we breathe. They protect ordinary people from exploitation.
Charles and David Koch have poured billions of dollars into the political process, in an effort to decimate regulatory policies and eliminate the agencies that enforce them. How many people would be alive today if the poured that money into ensuring that the companies they own meet all state and federal workplace safety standards instead?

Friday, April 25, 2014

spider bite foot

You wanna see some gross, scary shit?  Just put those three words in the Post Title into a search engine and look at the pictures.  Yeow!

A friend of mine recently got bitten by what he believed was a brown recluse spider.  

brown recluse spider
They are pretty common in the southern parts of North America and love to hide out in boxes. How many boxes do you have around you?!?! Yikes!  I have a ton since we just moved!!


His bite required a trip to the hospital and surgery, resulting in a nasty gash in his foot. He wouldn't send any pictures, on purpose.  He's going to be OK, minus part of his foot.

He told me he thinks he got bit while he was sleeping.  Brrrr.  Naturally I had to remind him how lucky he was that the bastard didn't go for his gonads.  Yeah!! 

If you have a strong stomach, click here.

How about those 10 Deadliest Spiders?  

The Lord works in mysterious ways.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


We need more attractive, articulate atheists like Jaclyn!!  I know they are out there, still hiding in the atheist closet.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Too funny.  (Will this work?)

Tuesday, April 22, 2014


So many Republicans wear their religion on their sleeve and accuse Obama of being the anti-Christ.  They need to change their focus, to their own mirrors.


Anti: Opposed to; against. 
Christ: Central figure of the Christian faith and originator of its teachings. 

Christ told his followers to feed the hungry. 

If you are an elected representative who votes to cut off food stamp recipients, you are anti-Christ. You are also a despicable human being. 

Christ admonished true believers to treat others as they themselves wished to be treated. 

If you are a politician who supports laws that treat women, gays/lesbians, those of another faith, race or ethnicity as unequal, you are anti-Christ. You are also a dumbass bigot. 

Christ told his flock that they are their brother’s keeper. 

If you fail to “keep” your brother by refusing to extend his unemployment benefits in his time of dire need, you are anti-Christ. You are also a selfish prick. 

Christ bade those who truly loved Him to give up their worldly possessions, and come follow Him. 

If you are a mega-church minister living in luxury thanks to church members donating money they can ill afford to do without, you are anti-Christ. You are also the lowest form of scum imaginable.
Christ said that as we do to the least among us, so we do unto Him.
If you vilify those whose very survival depends on government assistance by calling them lazy parasites who are sucking the nation’s coffers dry, you are anti-Christ.  You are also a lying little fuck.
Christ clearly stated that we should care for the sick and dying.
If you are a governor who refuses to expand Medicaid because your standing among fellow Party members might be negatively affected if you do so, you are anti-Christ.  You are also an arrogant asshole for thinking that your political aspirations are more important than those you condemn to sickness and death.
Christ said, “Blessed are the Peacemakers”.
If you are a politician who promotes war over diplomacy, you are anti-Christ.  You are also a coward who would see others die rather than be labelled a bleeding heart liberal by your warmongering political colleagues.
If you fill your campaign coffers or your collection plate by doing any or all of the above while holding yourself out as a Christian, you are anti-Christ.  You are also a self-serving,  hypocrite whose actions are beneath contempt.
By these signs, you will know him:
The anti-Christ is the pastor who tells his congregation that homosexuals are to blame for floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, and medical conditions that afflict their children.
The anti-Christ is the office-holder who tells his constituents that the poor, the sick and the homeless who depend on financial assistance are to blame for the country’s economic woes.
The anti-Christ is the politician who refuses to support gun-control legislation because the violent deaths of school children are less important than the votes of gun-obsessed NRA adherents.
The anti-Christ is the juror who acquits a murderer because his guilt is mitigated by the fact that his victim was black.
The anti-Christ is the judge who sentences a poor woman to prison for stealing in order to feed her children; it is the judge who waives jail time for a wealthy man who steals a child’s innocence in order to feed his sexual appetites.
The anti-Christ is the priest who refuses Communion to the pro-choice advocate, while denying the sexual abuse of children within his own church.
The anti-Christ is the self-proclaimed pro-life advocate who turns a blind eye to the health and welfare of the already born.
The anti-Christ is the office-holder who tries to keep his fellow citizens from accessing affordable healthcare and earning a living wage,
The anti-Christ is the pastor who claims separation of Church and State when it comes to his tax-exempt status, and then uses the pulpit to persuade his congregation not to vote for certain politicians and/or their party.
Anti: Opposed to; against.
Christ: Central figure of the Christian faith and originator of its teachings.
It’s really quite simple, when you think about it.  It’s unfortunate that so many people never do.

To me, this is just more evidence that there is no such supernatural being as God or Christ.

Monday, April 21, 2014


We probably have climate change to "thank" for the spread of this latest tropical disease.  I wonder what else is lurking in the jungle?  Oh boy, we are going to be living in an area (south Texas) that is expected to be inundated with this one.  Duck and cover!


Al-Jazeera America

Asian tiger mosquito
When Clare Rourke woke up one morning March of last year with a sore toe, she didn’t worry too much about it. She, her husband and their three daughters were living in Yogyakarta, Indonesia, for a few months as part of a family year abroad. She and her husband had traveled widely — through India, the Middle East and South America — and had never been seriously ill. And they took necessary precautions, making sure everyone in the family received the recommended vaccinations.
But by the middle of that day, Rourke was sicker than she had ever been before. “I hurt in so many places — my feet, hand, wrists, ankles, elbows, knees,” she says. “I actually remember thinking that I just might die.” Her joints were so swollen, hot and painful that she couldn’t rest her elbows on the bed. Her temperature rose to 104 degrees. “I felt like something was attacking me and I was seriously losing the fight,” she says. That night, two of her daughters also became achy and feverish, and within a few days, all three had rashes on their hands, legs and arms. They were infected with chikungunya, a virus originally from Central Africa.
The virus, transmitted by mosquito bites, was rampaging through Yogyakarta — part of an outbreak that has stretched across the Indian Ocean, India and Southeast Asia since 2005. Now it is roaring through the Western Hemisphere. In December 2013, the first locally transmitted case of chikungunya in the Americas was identified on the Caribbean island of St. Martin. As of mid-April, more than 25,000 cases had been reported across the region, from the Dominican Republic to French Guiana, on the northeast coast of South America.
Public health officials suspect the virus may already be in Puerto Rico, and they predict it will make the leap to the continental United States within months. “There’s nothing to stop this outbreak from continuing to spread,” says Lyle Petersen, director of the division of vector-borne diseases of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Infections are likely to escalate this summer, when the Caribbean rainy season sets in and mosquito populations climb. Chikungunya seems poised to join a handful of tropical diseases — including dengue, Chagas’ disease and West Nile — that are spreading across the southern United States.
The good news is that the initial symptoms — sudden fever, rash, headache and aching joints — generally clear up within a week or two, and the disease is rarely fatal. So far in the Caribbean outbreak, six people have died from it.  
But there is no vaccine and no treatment. And as Rourke found out, many of those infected suffer from severe joint pain long after the initial illness. In the Makonde language of East Africa, chikungunya means “that which bends up,” and that’s exactly what Rourke did for months, hobbling about her house and leaning on furniture to support her. Even maximum doses of painkillers like ibuprofen made little difference. A neighbor, seeing her limp down the street, gave her a local remedy, a syrupy medicine, but that didn’t help either. Finally, steroids brought some relief.
It’s not known what percentage of people infected with the virus develop long-lasting joint pain. In an outbreak in 2005 and 2006 on the French island of Reunion in the Indian Ocean, about one-third of the population was infected, giving researchers a good opportunity to study the disease. Local physicians working with researchers at the Institut Pasteur in Paris followed one set of chikungunya patients who had been sick enough to be sent to the hospital, finding that about 60 percent still had significant arthritic pain three years later. People over the age of 35 and those with diabetes were more likely to be affected. “It’s going to make you feel awful for a long time,” says Kristy Murray, an infectious-disease specialist and associate vice chair for research at Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. “It’s really debilitating.”
Read the rest here.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Week in Science

It's hard to keep up with the world of science. Hey, what's new with the Bible these days? Same old shit?  

Sexual organs:
New moon:
Time lapse of the eclipse:
Stem cells:

Herbivore ancestor:
Hep C:
Video of the meteorite explosion:
Watch the Falcon 9 launch:
Hubble image:
Sperm RNA:

Saturday, April 19, 2014


So they "celebrate" Easter with brightly colored eggs and rabbits?

IF this person named Jesus ever existed in the first place, which is doubtful.  

Friday, April 18, 2014

CBD research

What is CBD?  Well, in addition to "Central Business District" CBD is the shorthand term given to Cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive compound found in cannabis.  CBD is showing great promise in the limited medical trials conducted so far, and anecdotally.

Just look at the some of the effects achieved thus far, most still anecdotally.  

Some Potential Health Benefits of CBD:

  • CBD has been found to be anti-spasmodic and antiepileptic, which could be beneficial for those who suffer from epilepsy, Dravet's Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis (MS), ALS, among others.
  • At high doses (more than several hundred mg) CBD can be a sedative, and also helps insomniacs stay asleep longer. In low doses, CBD has been found to be alerting.
  • CBD is effective as an anti-inflammatory, anti-anxiety (anxiolytic) and relieving for nausea (anti-emetic)
  • CBD is a powerful pain reliever (analgesic)
  • CBD has been shown to inhibit cancer cell growth (anti-carcinogenic).
  • CBD helps the immune system function more efficiently.
  • CBD is a neuro-protectant and a powerful antioxidant. It has applications in treatment for Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, cerebral ischemia as well as brain and nerve damage from strokes.
  • CBD is an anti-psychotic and recent research has indicated it is effective in treatment of schizophrenia.
  • CBD could be effective in easing symptoms of a wide range of difficult-to-control conditions, including: rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, alcoholism, PTSD, epilepsy, MS, antibiotic-resistant infections and neurological disorders, to name a few.
  • CBD as been found to be effective in treating gastrointestinal disorders like Irritable Bowel Disorder (IBD), Crohn's Disease, or Ulcerative Colitis.
There is finally some research underway on CBD.  Read up on a lot of it here.

CBD - it's about being healthy, not high.  They say that, as a rule, if it sounds too good to be true, it usually is.  But there is an exception to every rule, except that one.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Lawrence Lessig

Will you join the fight for campaign finance reform?  Lawrence Lessig gives an important TED talk.

Lawrence Lessig has already transformed intellectual-property law with his Creative Commons innovation. Now he's focused on an even bigger problem: The US' broken political system.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

graphene miracle

I have always had a (naive?) feeling that technology would ultimately "save" us from destroying ourselves and/or the planet.  The product in the article below - graphene - looks like to be a part of that puzzle.  That, and the rapidly decreasing prices of solar and wind power.  We probably have all the technology and answers we need.  Just wrestling them past the current special interests who "run" things is the real challenge.

Bend It, Charge It, Dunk It: Graphene, the Material of Tomorrow
by Nick Bilton, the New York Times

Graphene transistors visible on a piece of flexible plastic. Graphene is not only the hardest material in the world, but also one of the most pliable.
Graphene is the strongest, thinnest material known to exist. A form of carbon, it can conduct electricity and heat better than anything else. And get ready for this: It is not only the hardest material in the world, but also one of the most pliable.

Only a single atom thick, it has been called the wonder material.

Graphene could change the electronics industry, ushering in flexible devices, supercharged quantum computers, electronic clothing and computers that can interface with the cells in your body.

While the material was discovered a decade ago, it started to gain attention in 2010 when two physicists at the University of Manchester were awarded the Nobel Prize for their experiments with it. More recently, researchers have zeroed in on how to commercially produce graphene.

The American Chemical Society said in 2012 that graphene was discovered to be 200 times stronger than steel and so thin that a single ounce of it could cover 28 football fields. Chinese scientists have created a graphene aerogel, an ultralight material derived from a gel, that is one-seventh the weight of air. A cubic inch of the material could balance on one blade of grass.

“Graphene is one of the few materials in the world that is transparent, conductive and flexible — all at the same time,” said Dr. Aravind Vijayaraghavan, a lecturer at the University of Manchester. “All of these properties together are extremely rare to find in one material.”

So what do you do with graphene? Physicists and researchers say that we will soon be able to make electronics that are thinner, faster and cheaper than anything based on silicon, with the option of making them clear and flexible. Long-lasting batteries that can be submerged in water are another possibility.

In 2011, researchers at Northwestern University built a battery that incorporated graphene and silicon, which the university said could lead to a cellphone that “stayed charged for more than a week and recharged in just 15 minutes.” In 2012, the American Chemical Society said that advancements in graphene were leading to touch-screen electronics that “could make cellphones as thin as a piece of paper and foldable enough to slip into a pocket.”

Dr. Vijayaraghavan is building an array of sensors out of graphene — including gas sensors, biosensors and light sensors — that are far smaller than what has come before.

And last week, researchers at the Samsung Advanced Institute of Technology, working with Sungkyunkwan University in South Korea, said that Samsung had figured out how to create high-quality graphene on silicon wafers, which could be used for the production of graphene transistors. Samsung said in a statement that these advancements meant it could start making “flexible displays, wearables and other next-generation electronic devices.”

Sebastian Anthony, a reporter at Extreme Tech, said that Samsung’s breakthrough could end up being the “holy grail of commercial graphene production.”

Samsung is not the only company working to develop graphene. Researchers at IBM, Nokia and SanDisk have been experimenting with the material to create sensors, transistors and memory storage.

When these electronics finally hit store shelves, they could look and feel like nothing we’ve ever seen.

James Hone, a professor of mechanical engineering at Columbia University, said research in his lab led to the discovery that graphene could stretch by 20 percent while still remaining able to conduct electricity. “You know what else you can stretch by 20 percent? Rubber,” he said. “In comparison, silicon, which is in today’s electronics, can only stretch by 1 percent before it cracks.”

He continued: “That’s just one of the crazy things about this material — there’s really nothing else quite like it.”

The real kicker? Graphene is inexpensive.

If you think of something in today’s electronics industry, it can most likely be made better, smaller and cheaper with graphene.

Scientists at the University of California, Berkeley made graphene speakers last year that delivered sound at quality equal to or better than a pair of commercial Sennheiser earphones. And they were much smaller.

Another fascinating aspect of graphene is its ability to be submerged in liquids without oxidizing, unlike other conductive materials.

As a result, Dr. Vijayaraghavan said, graphene research is leading to experiments where electronics can integrate with biological systems. In other words, you could have a graphene gadget implanted in you that could read your nervous system or talk to your cells.

(A video on graphene is here.  They won't let me embed it.)

But while researchers believe graphene will be used in next-generation gadgets, there are entire industries that build electronics using traditional silicon chips and transistors, and they could be slow to adopt graphene counterparts.

If that is the case, graphene might end up being used in other industries before it becomes part of electronics. Last year, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation paid for the development of a graphene-based condom that is thin, light and impenetrable. Carmakers are exploring building electronic cars with bodies made of graphene that are not only protective, but act as solar panels that charge the car’s battery. Airline makers also hope to build planes out of graphene.

If all that isn’t enough, an international team of researchers based at M.I.T. has performed tests that could lead to the creation of quantum computers, which would be a big market of computing in the future.

So forget plastics. There’s a great future in graphene. Think about it.

Looks like about the only thing that graphene cannot do is wipe your ass and change the babies' diaper.  Hey, wait a minute!!