Sunday, September 30, 2012

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First United Methodist Church to be preserved by Barbara and Eric Rudd Art Foundation

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Barbara and Eric Rudd Foundation Inc. has purchased the First United Methodist Church in North Adams.

Saturday September 29, 2012

NORTH ADAMS -- The First United Methodist Church has been sold to a local artist and real estate developer who envisions it becoming the home of a contemporary art installation and several nonprofit agencies.

"We purchased the church through our foundation," Eric Rudd said Friday. "I have some ideas for the space, but nothing is definite yet. Our first goal is to preserve the building. We'll be making some immediate repairs, so if we have a hard winter, there won't be any more damage that would make it economically impossible to repair."

The church, which went on the market in April 2010, was purchased from the First United Methodist Church of North Adams and Williamstown for $125,000 by the Barbara and Eric Rudd Art Foundation Inc., on Sept. 14, according to documents filed with the Northern Berkshire Registry of Deeds.

The congregation was close to selling the building in 2011, but a deal with another interested party fell through before the purchase was completed.

"It's an absolutely gorgeous church," Rudd said. "It think the congregation sold it to the foundation because they understood what our plans are. I think they bent over backwards to make the sale happen because I'm interested in not only preserving it, but also making it available to the public -- for the benefit of the city and the people visiting here. The idea isn't to chop it up and privatize it."

The Methodist Church at 159 East Main St.,

along with the First United Methodist Church in Williamstown, were put up for sale following the merger of the two respective congregations into New Hope United Methodist Church. The Williamstown church was sold to the Williamstown Community Preschool in June.

The congregation plans to build a new church.

Rudd said that while he isn't at a point where he can say "who or what" will locate inside the building, he said he has several ideas as to what should be there.

"It's all up in the air," he said. "I do know part of it will be an art installation that I have in mind. There's a lot of extra space."

One group he has had a discussion with is the North Adams Historical Society, which runs the North Adams Museum of History and Science in Western Gateway Heritage State Park.

"I will say that I have a dialogue with them, but nobody has signed on," Rudd said. "There is talk that the history museum will have to find a new home if Heritage State Park is privatized. I think this could be perfect location. But, and it's a big but, the devil is in the details."

He added, "Whatever is going to be done is going to be done first class. We're not going to spend a few bucks and say it's done. It's going to be as good as, or better, that anything else in the United States. Should there be a history museum that continues after the privatization of Heritage Park, it could locate here."

Another part of his vision includes bringing in nonprofits that will have a permanent place in the building, such as a visitor's center.

"We're looking for permanence. We're hoping the activities that go there have a 50- to 100-year timeline," Rudd said. "I'm interested in a permanent museum of contemporary art and of the history of North Adams. There's also talk of making a visitors center. What we have on Route 2 [near the Windsor Mill] is a wonderful thing, but think about the activity a good visitor center can have. If Heritage Park is going to be developed and expanded as a tourist center, then these two locations can become bookends."

Mayor Richard J. Alcom-bright said Friday that he takes comfort in knowing that Rudd, who has a proven track record with preserving and reusing historic buildings, such as the Eclipse and Beaver mills, has stepped up to take on the preservation of the Methodist Church.

"Eric has a lot of vision on many levels and a proven track record when it comes to things like this," Alcombright said Friday. "Not knowing what that [vision] will become, I will say that the most encouraging piece of all of this is that the church is in the hands of someone who will most likely preserve one of our most precious historical buildings. What we do know at this point, is that the Methodist Church will not be torn down. That's a huge positive message.

The mayor added, "We're thankful we're at this point. We can only hope for the best for our other churches and historical structures. Hope fully it will inspire more developers or more private investors to preserve our other historic churches, Notre Dame and St. Francis. Kudos to Eric and his willingness to step up to this challenge."

Rudd said he hopes to see his plans for the church inspire others to invest in historic buildings in the downtown.

"I'm a strong believer that all of the historic and older buildings we have in the city -- that people say are obsolete -- all have potential for reuse. We just need to find the right key to preserve these historical landmarks."

To reach Jennifer Huberdeau, email


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Givenchy, Hermes and Celine get elegant

PARIS (AP) ? True style doesn't try too hard.

That was the statement at Paris Fashion Week, alarmingly simple, but proved in a number of ready-to-wear presentations Sunday which heralded a move towards clean, simplified elegance.

Celine designer Phoebe Philo ? at the top of her game ? produced a chic display, effortlessly.

Three years after the lauded Briton's Celine debut, she delivered a strong show, which evoked her boho-bourgeois style in soft silhouettes with subtle architecture.

Another of Paris' influential designers, Riccardo Tisci of Givenchy, presented a new vision of style Sunday.

Again, Tisci channeled a clean look, simplifying the house silhouette in a less elaborate yet sophisticated collection.

Hermes ? the house of the jet-setting fashion buyer ? served up the elegance in its usual cocktail of travel, silk, leather and exotic cultural references.

Summing up his show, the house's designer Christophe Lemaire said it represented "a clean, sharp, modernist traveler."

Monday's highly anticipated shows include Stella McCartney, Chloe ? and the hottest ticket of the week ? Hedi Slimane's debut outing as designer for the rebranded Saint Laurent.



Spring is about gentle contradictions, not color, Phoebe Philo seemed to say: Shown through a muted palette of black, white, navy and gray.

The real point of the show was the gentle play on contrasting lines, then textures, then form.

Loosely hanging silhouettes ? often with attention to neck details in high necks, bands and twists ? came in column or boxy shapes, with a couple of black A-line tuxedo-dresses for good measure.

The gloss of sheeny silks whispered a contrast against matte fabric.

Philo has often been noted for her chic "utilitarian tailoring," which she delivers with uncanny ease.

Here we saw it used artistically in hemline frays which turned into tassels, and twisted fabric that wrapped round the back sewn crudely together in a lump.

It's a style that wouldn't look out of place on Juliette Binoche, for example, who accepted a best-actress award at Cannes in 2010 in custom Celine.

The house is right in fancying themselves as Paris calendar's arty side.

When fashion insiders asked to see the mandatory program notes, there were wry smiles as they were handed a text-free book of collage pictures.



Trend-setting designer Riccardo Tisci changed the direction of Givenchy's ready-to-wear Sunday.

He simplified the silhouette to a more flattened and spread out front-and-shoulder emphasis in 37 black, white and gray looks.

A strong voice in the fashion conversation, Tisci's tailoring influences designers far and wide.

Last spring, for instance, he brought back the peplum.

Now, hardly a collection goes by without one cropping up.

The wilder bondage-gear touches that added spice to last season's equestrian-inspired trip, were gone here, in a less elaborate display ? but which had its moments of clean elegance.

A great feature was the clean, descending ripples in many of the looks which are sure to spread into other collections like wildfire.

But for a designer who likes to live dangerously, this more saleable collection? though a departure from last season ? felt at times like he was playing-it-safe.



The fashion crowd got their summer holidays early ? flown first class across a vibrant mix of Polynesian prints and color-rich baroque foulard motifs.

Several of the models carried hang luggage. The mascot of the house, after all, is an airborne messenger.

The looks stopped off at every fabric under the sun: in full grain leather woven in silk, washed silk twill, plunged lambskin, satin piping and lovely indigo denim linen.

Colors too, were diverse in cappuccino, terracotta, sulphur, emerald, cobalt and ?the palette's most beautiful ? celadon.

The flight this season stopped off at the Netherlands and Germany? with tinges of the geometry and graphics of 1930s.

"I'm a modernist at heart," Lemaire said following the show, hosted next to Paris' Tuileries gardens.

This idea was worked into the collection's best looks with a feel of famed Dutch painter Piet Mondrian ? who used geometric shapes and blocks of colors that could be seen in several of the final looks.

Printed geometric floaty silk blouses and slightly jarring assorted pants made bold statements.

They also featured the slight play on masculine styles that Lemaire likes to toy with periodically: A cotton wool cravate appeared on most of the looks as a man's tie, tucked into a hoop.

The result was pure luxury, air delivered as only Hermes can.



Kenzo headed back to the Southeast Asian jungle Sunday in a vibrant, fun collection that picked up their last menswear theme: A rainforest trek.

After just one year at the helm, the hard work of designers Humberto Leon and Carol Lim has paid off: They've managed to re-stamp the brand with a cool, populist edge.

But they're serious about their work in other ways too: Fashion insiders had to live the catwalk theme ? literally ? by trekking to the far-flung venue, the Maison de Judo, on the Paris city limits.

In bold ? sometimes purposefully garish ? orange vermilions and greens, the collection threw up some great wide pants and boxy-shaped jackets as well as a lot of safari-style street wear.

Though some of the jungle printed ensembles looked overly busy ? a beautiful camouflage print made up for it with images of flowers that looked like leopard.

But there was art in the detail too, with the designers showing a flair for tailoring in great utilitarian features.


Thomas Adamson can be followed at http:/ /


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How I Create: Q&A With Career Coach Michelle Ward - Psych Central

How I Create: Q&A With Career Coach Michelle WardWhat do you want to be when you grow up? That?s the question Michelle Ward, the When I Grow Up Coach, helps her clients answer. Ward is certified by the International Coach Federation. She?s spent over 750 hours coaching hundreds of creative people to devise the career they think they can?t have ? or discover it in the first place.

She?s also a musical theater actress with her BFA from NYU/Tisch. And she?s one of the most creative and passionate people I?ve had the pleasure of meeting online. Ward infuses everything she does with creativity and her enthusiastic one-of-a-kind approach.

Below, in our monthly series, Ward shares the behind-the-scenes of her creative process, how she overcomes the comparison trap, her powerful advice for readers and much more.

Ward also has served as an expert source and contributor for publications such as?Newsweek and Forbes and websites such as Yahoo!?and?AOL Jobs. She?s spoken at?SXSW, The World Domination Summit?and?Etsy Success Symposium.

She?can be found coachin?, bloggin? & givin? away free stuff at

1. ?Do you incorporate creativity-boosting activities into your daily routine? If so, what activities do you do?

You might wanna slap me for saying this, but I feel like everything I do centers around doing it creatively. I?ve built my business on writing and making videos and speaking and playing my pink ukulele?so every time I decide to work on something, I think about what I want to express and how. I wrote/filmed/edited a music video for?my communty site.

When I put my career change exercises into?workbook?form, I decided to make the whole freakin? thing (yes, all 50+ pages) rhyme.

When I offered?An Effective Escape: Leaving Your Day Job Without Living in Your Parents? Basement?for the first time, it was as a virtual workshop. I?m usually doing something around speaking, singing, or writing? but not in a do-a-creative-exercise-every-day way.

2. ?What are your inspirations for your work?

It depends on what I?m working on, but the things that are popping into my head? Dr. Seuss,?Cee Lo Green,?Garfunkel & Oates, Cee Lo Green, stuff from my childhood (I so wanna write a Choose Your Own Adventure Book!), Jessica Swift, Color Me Katie, Danielle LaPorte, Alexandra Franzen, my clients, Broadway?.oh, I?ll stop there now.

3.?There are many culprits that can crush creativity, such as distractions, self-doubt and fear of failure. What tends to stand in the way of your creativity?

The Comparison Vampire! Oh, I call the voices we have in our heads that suck the good stuff outta us Vampires, and The Comparison Vampire tends to be the worst of all.

Look at how professional?her?videos are. Look at how perfect?his copy is. Blech. It makes you wanna just throw in the towel and never write another word or speak another sentence or pluck another tune ever again.

4.?How do you overcome these obstacles?

I think a big part of it is being confident and authentic in what you?re doing. Sure, his copy might be ?perfect? and her videos might be ?professional,? but mine are 100 percent Michelle at all times, and I?m proud of what I produce.

I?m all there, singing or speaking or writing my heart out, and I?m confident that what I put out into the world represents my uniquity, my perspective, and my knowledge. Let?s face it: They?re not better than you, They?re?different. Two separate things.

5. ?What are some of your favorite resources on creativity?

Anything that Keri Smith puts out is worth picking up and working through. It looks easy on the surface to follow her exercises (i.e. smear food on this page of the book, tie a string around the book and take it for a walk, etc.), but actually confronts our Vampires and can be a great (yet scary!) learning experience.

I also recommend the Right Brain Business Plan?to any and all creative entrepreneurs (I have one!), aspiring or otherwise. The Artist in the Office is also a must for those of us barely surviving our day jobs, and nothing beats The Artist?s Way for tapping into your inner creative.

6. ?What is your favorite way to get your creative juices flowing?

For writing, I keep tons of images with inspiring sayings on a Pinterest board, and that?ll be my first stop if I need something to write about. For my songs, I tend to have an idea as to what I wanna sing about (it?s recently been about my?boob cancer, oddly enough), and then rhymes come to me on the subway, when I?m about to fall asleep, or in the shower. I always have my iPhone handy to take notes.

7. ?What?s your advice for readers on cultivating creativity?

Don?t wait for lightening to strike or the perfect moment where inspiration knocks you over ? because it often doesn?t happen that way. Instead, show up to do the work and start wherever feels easiest.

Sometimes I start a blog post in the middle because the beginning just won?t come to me. Sometimes I write a song with the chorus leading the way because the verses are elusive. Do something every day for a small bite of time (yes, you can?get a lot accomplished in 15 minutes a day, thankyouverymuch) and you?ll be able to have a tangible product in no time.

Also, don?t be married to the format. Sometimes I know I need to write a blog post, but writing feels hard in that moment?so I make a video instead. Pay attention to what feels fun and easy at the time, and know if you move forward with that it?s not cheating.

8. ?Anything else you?d like readers to know about creativity?

Wanna know a secret? You?re creative. You might not believe me, but it?s true! We all have it in us?just start believing that I?m talking to you when I mention ?creative people,? start exploring in a fun and easy way, and you?ll be able to own that title more than you think!

Margarita TartakovskyMargarita Tartakovsky, M.S. is an Associate Editor at Psych Central and blogs regularly about eating and self-image issues on her own blog, Weightless.

Like this author?
Catch up on other posts by Margarita Tartakovsky, M.S. (or subscribe to their feed).

????Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 29 Sep 2012
????Published on All rights reserved.

APA Reference
Tartakovsky, M. (2012). How I Create: Q&A With Career Coach Michelle Ward. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 30, 2012, from



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Swimming & Diving: Florida State, Miami @ All Florida Invite vs ACC , 09/29/12 All Day


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HTC?s upcoming One X+ flagship phone pictured in leaked photos

President Barack Obama continues to lead Mitt Romney in a new round of polls released Friday. The president maintains leads in a few key states, and for the first time this week, Obama is ahead in both major national tracking polls. With the debates coming up next week, Romney is about to get his best chance to turn the race around soon.


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Here's The Problem With Our Economy - Business Insider

Several factors have come together to produce a frustratingly weak economy that has persisted in the U.S. for more than a decade:
  • "Globalization" has opened up a vast pool of billions of workers who work for much less than Americans. This, in turn, has resulted in companies shifting formerly middle-wage-paying jobs overseas.
  • Technology has continued to increase productivity, allowing companies to do more with fewer employees.
  • Average hourly earnings have been flat for ~50 years (after adjusting for inflation), as companies steer their wealth primarily to senior management and owners at the expense of average employees.
  • Tax policies have increasingly favored investors and high wage earners over middle-class and upper-middle-class wage-earners.
  • An obsession with "shareholder value" at the expense of other stakeholders (namely, customers and employees) has led companies to cut employee costs to the bone.

These and other factors have contributed to the most radical redistribution of wealth that the United States has ever seen. Since the late 1970s, the country's assets and income have moved steadily from "average" Americans to the richest Americans. This has created a society with more extreme wealth inequality than we have seen at any time since the 1920s.

Fairness aside, the problem with this state of affairs is that it leaves hundreds of millions of American consumers?the real engines of the economy?with little money to spend. With consumers having little money to spend, businesses suffer. As businesses suffer, they look for ways to cut costs. And this, in turn, hurts employees (consumers) even more.

One thing to keep in mind as we think about how to fix this state of affairs is that this is not an era in which everyone is suffering. Everyone is not suffering. Big companies and their owners and senior managers are not suffering. They are doing great. Big companies and their owners and senior managers, in fact, are doing better than they have done at any time in history, at least judging by the amount of profit they are producing.

It's everyone else who is getting hosed.

Now, in the current political environment, you can't make an observation like that without being pegged as an anti-business "socialist" or "communist." So, it's important to emphasize that there is nothing anti-business about this observation. I am as "pro-business" as they come. I just don't believe that great businesses exist solely to capture "profits" and steer cash into the pockets of their owners.

When a free-market economy is functioning well, as the American economy did for most of the 1950s, 1960s, 1980s, and 1990s, the benefits of the system accrue to all participants, namely:

  • Owners and senior managers
  • Customers
  • Employees
  • Society at large

When the system gets out of balance, however, the benefits begin to accrue disproportionately to one or two of of the constituencies at the expense of the others.

And that's the situation we're in now.

The benefits of our free-market capitalist system?which, by the way, is the best economic system on the planet, by a mile?are accruing disproportionately to owners, managers, and customers, at the expense of everyone else.

If we want to fix our economy, we have to fix that. Specifically, we have to persuade companies and their owners to hire more employees and share more of their immense wealth and profits with them.

Importantly, companies don't need to do this just for altruistic reasons (though no one would object if they did). If enough companies do this, they will not just help their employees. They will help their future sales growth. Because their employees and customers, the American consumers, will then have more money to spend.

The following three charts illustrate the current situation.

1) Corporate profit margins are at an all-time high. Companies are making more per dollar of sales than they ever have before. (This chart, by the way, gives the lie to the common refrain that companies are suffering from "too much regulation" and "too many taxes." Small companies may be suffering, but big ones certainly aren't).

2) Fewer Americans are working than at any time in the past three decades. One reason corporations are so profitable is that they don't employ as many Americans as they used to.

3) Wages as a percent of the economy are at an all-time low. This is both cause and effect. One reason companies are so profitable is that they're paying employees less than they ever have as a share of GDP. And that, in turn, is one reason the economy is so weak: Those "wages" are other companies' revenue.

One thing is clear: Our current system and philosophy are not sustainable.

Why not?

Because they're creating a country of a few million overlords and 300+ million serfs.

That's not what has made America a great country. It's also not what most people think America is supposed to be about. And it's not what will restore our economy to health.

SEE ALSO: Okay, Let's Put Aside Politics And Look At The Economic Facts...


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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Sprint And Motorola Party Like It?s 2010: Motorola XPRT Finally Gets A Taste Of Gingerbread

Image (1) gingerbread-android-300x300.jpg for post 47047Now that Motorola is owned by Google, you may think that past and present Motorola devices should get the latest and best version of Android. With Sprint announcing quietly on its forum that the Motorola XPRT will be updated to Android Gingerbread (2.3), it shows once again that the update rollout process for Android is broken ? Android 2.3 was released two years ago.


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HP takes Open webOS 1.0 live, shows it supersized on a TouchSmart (video)

HP takes Open webOS 10 live, shows it supersized on a TouchSmart video

WebOS loyalists have been waiting a long, long time for HP's September launch of Open webOS, but the company has made good on its promise with not a moment to spare. Open webOS 1.0 is now available with core browser and e-mail apps, the Enyo 2.0 framework and enough hooks to allow porting to a platform of choice. To prove this last point, HP has gone so far as to port the software to a TouchSmart all-in-one -- a device just a tad larger than a Veer 4G. Lest anyone be hasty and get visions of developing a custom build for the TouchPad, though, they'd do well to remember both HP's disclaimer ruling out legacy support as well as word of the holes that exists in the current Open webOS release. The company needs time to offer open-sourced media support, a Bluetooth stack, advanced network management, faster rendering and newer versions of both Qt and WebKit. The curious can nonetheless try the OS in an emulator today, and intrepid developers can start building their own projects with the code and tools found at the source link.

Continue reading HP takes Open webOS 1.0 live, shows it supersized on a TouchSmart (video)

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HP takes Open webOS 1.0 live, shows it supersized on a TouchSmart (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Fri, 28 Sep 2012 14:04:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Places in the F.A.Y.Z.


It was just a regular day when suddenly everyone over 15 poofed... [Literate RP'ers only/Accepting]


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Forum for completely Out of Character (OOC) discussion, based around whatever is happening In Character (IC). Discuss plans, storylines, and events; Recruit for your roleplaying game, or find a GM for your playergroup.
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Probing the mysteries of cracks and stresses

ScienceDaily (Sep. 28, 2012) ? Diving into a pool from a few feet up allows you to enter the water smoothly and painlessly, but jumping from a bridge can lead to a fatal impact. The water is the same in each case, so why is the effect of hitting its surface so different?

This seemingly basic question is at the heart of complex research by a team in MIT's Department of Nuclear Science and Engineering (NSE) that studied how materials react to stresses, including impacts. The findings could ultimately help explain phenomena as varied as the breakdown of concrete under sudden stress and the effects of corrosion on various metal surfaces.

Using a combination of computer modeling and experimental tests, the researchers studied one specific type of stress -- in a defect called a screw dislocation -- in one kind of material, an iron crystal lattice. But the underlying explanation, the researchers say, may have broad implications for many kinds of stresses in many different materials.

The research, carried out by doctoral student Yue Fan, associate professor Bilge Yildiz, and professor emeritus Sidney Yip, is being published this week in the journal Physical Review Letters.

Essentially, the team analyzed how the strength of a material can increase quite abruptly as the rate of strain applied to the material increases. This transition in the rate at which a material cracks or bends, called a flow-stress upturn, has been observed experimentally for many years, but its underlying mechanism has never been fully explained, the researchers say.

"The formulation is not specific to this particular defect," Yildiz explains. Rather, she and her colleagues have figured out what they believe is a set of general principles. "We have proven that it works in this system," she says.

"There are implications that go beyond dislocations, beyond even crystals," Yip adds. But before extending the work -- something the team is working on now -- the researchers had to prove the principle by applying it to a specific case, in this case the screw dislocation in iron. While other researchers have analyzed behaviors associated with particular kinds of defects in specific materials, with these new general principles, "all of a sudden we have an explanation for their data that does not require such specific assumptions," Yip says.

Flow-stress upturn "is an important phenomenon in materials," Fan says, explaining how they bend and crack in a process called plastic deformation. "It's common in all metals," he says, as well as in many other materials.

But the way that deformation varies, depending on the forces being applied, Fan says, is similar to the way the surface of water in a pool can part gently when a diver hits the surface at a certain rate of speed, but doesn't have time to part and behaves like a solid when the impact is too rapid, as in a jump from a great height.

The key is something called "strain localization," Yip says -- that is, the way an impact or other stress is confined to a small initial location, and how rapidly the applied forces can then spread beyond that point. To understand that fully, he says, the team had to analyze how the atoms and molecules move to produce this behavior.

The team found that, in addition to the rate at which the strain is applied, the effect depends critically -- and in a highly predictable way -- on the temperature of the material. "People think they're independent," Fan says, but it turns out the effects of strain rate and temperature are strongly related.

The effects are quite dramatic, Yildiz says: The rate of change taking place within the material can suddenly change by orders of magnitude, transforming a slow erosion into a sudden catastrophic fracture. The analysis could potentially help predict the breakdown of structures as varied as concrete buildings, metal pressure vessels in powerplants, and the structural components of airplane bodies, but further work will be needed to show how these basic principles can be applied to these different materials.

"I don't want to say it's going to be the exact same phenomenon" in such different cases, Yildiz says, but the underlying principles of coupled environmental factors "could explain significant differences" in the way these materials behave under stress.

"We believe this behavior is universal" among different materials, Yip says, "but we haven't proven that yet. It's the beginning of a long journey."

Ting Zhu, a professor of physics at Georgia Institute of Technology, says the MIT team's work provides "a new perspective for a longstanding puzzle on the so-called upturn behavior of flow stress. The work represents a new paradigm that synergistically integrates the theoretical modeling with atomistic calculations, thereby enabling a parameter-free explanation of the puzzle." Zhu, who was not connected with this research, adds that, "Their approach should be generally applicable to a wide range of the flow-stress problems for both crystalline and glassy solids."

The work was supported by the U.S. Department of Energy's Consortium for Advanced Simulation of Light Water Reactors and its Division of Materials Sciences and Engineering.

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The above story is reprinted from materials provided by Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The original article was written by MIT News Office.

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Journal Reference:

  1. Yue Fan, Yuri N. Osetsky, Sidney Yip, and Bilge Yildiz. Onset Mechanism of Strain-Rate-Induced Flow Stress Upturn. Physical Review Letters, 2012; 109: 135503 DOI: 10.1103/PhysRevLett.109.135503

Note: If no author is given, the source is cited instead.

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