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Wordsworth wrote an endless poem in blank verse on” the growth of a poet’s mind.”  I shall attempt a more modest feat for a more distracted age: a blog, “Things which a Lifetime of Trying to Be a Poet has Taught Me.”

 In Acts 17:23 Paul noticed that the Greeks worshiped God in ignorance and even had an altar to the “unknown god.”  In Romans 1:23 he explained why they did not know God; they had rejected true knowledge of Him.  In Colossians 2:9 he shows where the true knowledge of God lies—in Christ, “for in Him all the fullness of deity dwells in bodily form.”  The Greeks’ knowledge of God had become fragmented into bits and pieces that were less than true deity. Christ shows what they would look like in their original unity.

COMMENTARY, ACTS 17:23, ROM. 1:23, COL. 2:9

The ancients worshiped what they did not know:

Corruptible men and beasts and creeping things

Enthroned in splendor, deathless.  From below,

They scaled the sky with such imaginings,

But for that trip they needed stronger wings.

The glimpses filled their hearts with holy dread;

They could not see the way the King of kings

Joined all the scattered hints into one Head:

Atropos, who snips thread after thread;

Poseidon, master of the raging sea;

Hera of the hearth and marriage bed;

Live-giving power of Persephone;

Aphrodite’s beauty; Ares’ might;

Zeus’s thunder; and Apollo’s light.

The Word

Remember: for more poetry like this, go to https://lanternhollow.wordpress.com/store/ and order Stars Through the Clouds! Also look for Inklings of Reality and Reflections from Plato’s Cave, Williams’ newest books from Lantern Hollow Press: Evangelical essays in pursuit of Truth, Goodness, and Beauty.  And look for Williams’ very latest book, Deeper Magic: The Theology behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis, from Square Halo Books!

Donald T. Williams, PhD

The Robots Cometh: Miniature Edition

Hello again! Having just ended a long series, I decided I would break things up with another look at the similarly popular science fiction topic of robots! Big ones, small ones, deadly ones, cute ones- there are so many to choose from even today, and you can get some great ideas for your writing by looking at what is currently being developed.

Nano-bots (and Almost-Nano-bots)

As computer components have become smaller, it has become possible to create robots small enough to do some pretty amazing things, particularly in the medical field. While the much-sought-after nano-bots (robots only 1-100 nanometers long) are not yet possible, they will theoretically be able to manipulate objects at the atomic scale. This would allow doctors to release swarms of these tiny robots into the human body to administer localized drugs, repair diseased or damaged tissue, or any number of other internal medicine that could become a cure-all for any number of health problems. While we can’t do this yet, we are getting closer. Robots are now being built on the Micro-scale (1-100 micrometers long, a micrometer being 1000x longer than a nanometer), and are so small that they can be injected into the human bloodstream. Other robots don’t even need to be that small, but let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Here are some cool examples of some of the tiniest robots currently being developed:

Delicious Digestible Doctors

Well ok, not quite “delicious”, but they are ingestible. The digestive tract can be extremely difficult and invasive to

That looks really uncomfortable- but probably better than the incisions would be...

operate on, especially as sometimes the doctor cannot actually get a bearing on what the problem site looks like before they’ve already opened their patient up. This ingenious little robot surgeon appears to be a solution to that problem- why cut into your patient to get to his insides when you can just start from there? Robotic equipment has already been used for several years to aide in operations, but the ARES (Assembling Reconfigurable Endoluminal Surgical System) modular robot will allow doctors to build the operating equipment “on site”, so to speak, inside the patient, simply by having him swallow the parts. The bot will then build itself in the body, anchor, and the doctor can use it to both get a better view and perform certain surgical procedures. Obviously, not every kind of digestive-tract surgery can be done this way, but this is a big step forward  in medically-applied robotics.

CRAWLING IN MY SKIIIIIN…

Kind of creepy, right? Too large to be called a micro-bot at a whopping 1 millimeter (1/1000th of a meter) in width, Virob is also a less than ideal design. One of the biggest problems with robots this small is their power source, because as of yet we have no means of creating batteries that small. Virob does address that problem, relying on externally-administered magnetic waves to create its movement, but the skittering motion and relatively large size could potentially cause severe harm to the body if it malfunctioned. Besides, who want’s something like that crawling around in his insides? Pass. These issues, however, could be turned on their head in a science fiction story, however- I could see swarms of these things used as a weapon to weed out dug-in targets. Think the scarabs from The Mummy, only tinier.

Artificial Flagellum and Various Other Oddities

For a more elegant solution, you need not look any further than the Proteus. With its whip-like tail and brilliant, miniaturized motor (an amazing feat), this tiny swimmer actually owes its form factor to very common biology (which you probably recognize). If you remember from your high school textbook (or maybe you got to play with the microscope like I did), tiny cells like paramecium and many other microbes use tiny hair-like structures to create movement. Other than the most obvious example, there are several examples in microbiology of the long tail-propeller that the Proteus models, and allows for a safe way for this tiny robot to propel itself within the body.

I hope my findings have been useful! Look for another Science Fiction Problems next week!

Until then, here’s another robot I found for your enjoyment (kinda like the Virob, but cuter):