Spring, geeky tech, and the continued tapping of thesis words

Foosh mints

Today has been fairly productive, with one excellent break out in Oxford’s sunlit gardens and along its warm paths. I am well on the way to having the structure of chapter two revamped, though my introductory sections for chapters three and four still need to be finished. The most difficult thing is staying focused for any length of time. It is all too easy to find a more immediately satisfying way to use one’s time.

Speaking of immediate satisfaction, this week’s Economist features their Technology Quarterly (most of the links below require a subscription). Most of it is stuff that is pretty familiar: cellulistic ethanol, solar power (mentioned here recently), data visualization, display technologies, and climate engineering. One thing that was new to me is the emergence of ‘haptic’ touch screens that are able to simulate the feeling of various materials by slightly stretching the skin of the fingers touching them. It is possible to make tapping on a screen feel like pushing a button, or even make a flat screen feel like a sharp edge. It doesn’t take much thinking to imagine some really interesting applications for such technology, particularly in terms of making technology more comprehensible and accessible.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

6 thoughts on “Spring, geeky tech, and the continued tapping of thesis words”

  1. For those curious what the boxes all over my desk are, the answer is Foosh mints. Superdrug stopped carrying them, so I had to order them from the UK distributor directly. Hence the volume purchase.

    Many thanks to Claire for helping to make it possible (Paypal troubles would otherwise have foiled me).

  2. Hi, there is a freely available version of the “Economist” article on haptics at:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *