When a newspaper announced the attempted theft of a new metal formulation by a Chinese student at Iowa State University, I was inspired to learn more about what was involved. I was "boggled" on many scores. Bill Gertz's item in Washington Times on 5 August mentioned the name Terfenol-D, a magnetostrictive metal, and the producer of that material, Etrema Products Inc. of Ames, Iowa. Using the Google search engine and entering the metal name and manufacturer, I was presented 335 documents within 0.41 seconds that would take weeks to read but described most of what any reasonable person could want to know about this topic.
Boggle #1: The Internet has grown in a dozen years to become a greater engine for discovery than all libraries and other stores of knowledge have cumulatively provided in all of human history. Access to knowledge, to acquire instant response to amorphously defined inquiries that are specific but related only in associative terms, is a marvel that defies adequate, descriptive appreciation. Suffice it to say that the computer beats going to the library on a hot August afternoon and remembering how to use the Dewey Decimal System. It is important for the younger half of America's population, under age 26, to appreciate this free Internet resource and for the older half of the citizenry to learn its use with skill and confidence. All should say a thankful prayer for computers. Paying homage to the Internet is akin to thanking parents for assisting children to shine the light of understanding on the darkness of ignorance. A lesson here is to use that bright light, the Internet, to illuminate your world with appreciation for being the powerful tool it is.