New Single Molecule Pictures Blow Insomniac's Mind

“We can see different physical properties of different bonds, and that’s really exciting.”
 — Dr. Leo Gross, an IBM scientist in Zurich, talks about why he likes Daniel Craig even more than Sean Connery. No. He’s really talking about the fact that he and his colleagues recently published “single-molecule images so detailed that the type of atomic bonds between their atoms can be discerned.” The pictures are amazing. The 13 atoms in this one molecule called a “fullerene” arrange themselves in a hexagonal shape that looks like a turtle (so, I guess that would be Timothy Dalton. Just kidding!) Or, if you’re a religious person of the Jewish persuasion, you may see a six-pointed star. And think that it’s a message from God, or something. Or if you’re Mel Gibson, you will think that it’s because Jews control the study of molecular science and that the pictures are probably fake. Also, an optical illusion starts to happen if you stare at the atoms for too long. The orange spots in the center of their red fields start to sort of throb in brightness. At least that happens if you stare at them for too long at six o’clock in the morning. Because for some horrible reason you woke up at five today and couldn’t go back to sleep, and instead started making a mental list of songs whose titles begin with the word “Don’t,” and so got up out of bed and went into your office to start writing them down. (Because it’s so important, because it would be such a shame — devastating for the world, really — if you forget Stan Ridgway’s “Don’t Box Me In.”) And then you turned on your computer and went on the internet (always a great idea!) and saw this story on the BBC Science site. Because you’re pathetic, is what I’m saying. Anyway, these pictures are about as microscopic as it gets, I guess. Totally mind-blowing. You should look at them. The new James Bond movie, Skyfall, directed by Sam Mendes and starring Daniel Craig, comes out in November. They just released the poster.