Operation Shield America is a new program announced by Customs Service that seeks identification of technology, components, and products that could be on a "shopping list for terrorist organizations." The agency's media spokesperson Jim Michie says that engineers could help the Customs Service by adding to the classified list of more than 100 items. "We're asking for help identifying what should be on this list," says Michie. "The other thing we want to know is who is buying products that could potentially be dangerous in the wrong hands." The Customs Service is asking manufacturers to turn over the names of any suspicious customers. The State and Commerce Department already have defined lists of controlled exports. However, Customs Service Commissioner Robert Bonner indicated that the items on the Customs list differed. Although Bonner did not release the shopping list, he did describe items on it: high-tech devices used for producing nuclear, chemical, and biological weapons, and low-tech items that help terrorists evade detection and capture. Bonner clarified that he did not want companies to investigate, but rather to just contact the agency. Contact the U.S. Customs Service at (202) 927-8727 or visit www.ustreas.gov/treasury/bureaus/customs.
Bioimimicry is not merely a helpful design tool -- it also encourages designers to think not only about how to solve design problems by imitating nature, but how to make the products, materials, and systems they design more ecologically sound and nature-friendly.
What if algae borne of fertilizer runoff that pollutes rivers and lakes could be harvested and used as biofuel feedstock? What if the leftovers could be recycled into farm soil nutrients, eliminating at least some of the need for artificial fertilizers in the first place? Western Michigan University researchers have a plan.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.