Tipp Talk-May 9

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From GregEnslen.com:  Events, activities and other hometown items going on in and around Tipp City, Ohio by Greg Enslen

An iPhone—from the Future?

I read the other day that the new iPhone, which is supposed to come out later this year, might be made partly of a new substance called “liquid metal.” I have no idea if this metal is some kind of breakthrough in materials design or just a clever marketing ploy, but the name certainly evokes a certain “science-fictiony” quality.

Liquid metal has been around a long time in the form of mercury, a.k.a. “quicksilver.” It’s used in thermometers and barometers—and these days, that’s about it. Why? Well, because it’s poisonous.

Hat makers in the 1800s used a mercury compound to make felt hats, rinsing animal skins in the solution. That didn’t work out too well. The symptoms of their prolonged exposure to mercury led to the term “mad as a hatter,” and possibly inspired Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter.

For me, the concept of liquid metal is most tied to the shape-shifting, practically unstoppable T-1000 robot from “Terminator 2.” This James Cameron-directed sequel (he had directed the original some seven years earlier) featured a villain in the form of a liquid metal robot that could transform its shape and appendages at will. In some of the earliest advanced computer special effects, the villain chased our heroes through buildings and streets, morphing his arms into swords or hammers and using his ability to repeatedly elude capture.

In one memorable scene, the Arnold Schwarzenegger character (who, in the second movie, plays a good version of the evil robot he played in the first) is protecting Sarah and John Connor and shoots the T-1000 at point-blank range, blowing several large holes in the robot. As our heroes run away, the holes in the T-1000 begin to shrink as the liquid metal fills in and repairs the damage.

At the end, the T-1000 is caught in an explosion of liquid nitrogen, which causes the robot to freeze and shatter into a thousand small pieces. I distinctly remember sitting in the theater and watching as those small blocks of metal melted and then slowly moved toward each other, pooling and rising into the air, forming a man’s shape.

So when I heard that the iPhone 5 would be made out of liquid metal, my first thought was, “will I be able to throw it on the ground, have it shatter, and then watch as the puddles of metal ooze together and reform my phone?”

If so, that would be cool.

Around Town

  • The always-fabulous “What a Girl Wants” Fashion Show for a Cure was held on May 5 to overflow crowds. My informants tell me it was the best one yet!
  • The family and I got some great deals during the Tipp Community-Wide Garage Sale, held Saturday, May 5. Anna picked up some books, I found a DVD copy of “Live Free or Die Hard” for $3, and Xander scored a huge box of Nerf guns and Nerf bullets.

Check In With Me

Hear something interesting for “Tipp Talk?” Visit my website at www.gregenslen.com and drop me a line using the “Contact Me” page, or email me at genslen@yahoo.com. And don’t worry—I won’t quote you unless you want me to!

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