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Nanocosmetics Used Since Ancient Egypt

ScuttleMonkey posted more than 7 years ago | from the lead-good-for-the-skin dept.

252

Roland Piquepaille writes "French researchers have found that Egyptians, Greek and Romans were using nanotechnology to dye their hair several thousands years ago. Nanowerk Spotlight reports they were using lead compounds which generated lead sulfide (PbS) nanocrystals with a diameter of only 5 nanometers. At a moment where many people wonder if the use of nanoparticles is safe, it's good to know that nanotechnology has been widely used for a very long time."

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Using "nanotechnology" to dye your hair... (5, Insightful)

daveschroeder (516195) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055552)

...is hardly the same as using nanotechnology to repair your brain or otherwise ingest.

And aside from that, I'd hardly call this "nanotechnology" just because a hair dye process deemed effective by ancient Egyptians coincidentally happened to generate particle small enough to meet the definition of "nanoparticle".

Additionally, this is yet another questionable Roland Piquepaille submission.

Re:Using "nanotechnology" to dye your hair... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055570)

No no, you can't talk about Roland because you will modded down! He and his many accounts see to that. At least tag this Roland so people with a brain won't waste their time commenting, and mods won't waste time modding down comments like this.!

Re:Using "nanotechnology" to dye your hair... (4, Funny)

RobertB-DC (622190) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055700)

At least tag this Roland so people with a brain won't waste their time commenting...

Actually, I've been tagging them "pigpile". But I'll add "roland" as well. Thanks!

Re:Using "nanotechnology" to dye your hair... (4)

SatanicPuppy (611928) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055611)

Beyond that, the question of health effects isn't even addressed. That's the whole point right? How do environmental nanoparticles effect those who are exposed to them? So they had nanoparticles, and ancient egypt existed, so it must not be too bad, right? Or maybe there was more than one reason that they died young...Just because something existed in the past doesn't mean it's not a danger in the here and now.

Regardless, if they were using lead based cosmetics they're not exactly a model to emulate.

Re:Using "nanotechnology" to dye your hair... (5, Funny)

msobkow (48369) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055713)


Lead poisoning occurs regardless of the size of the lead particles.


It seems the article poster has a reputation, based on the grandparent comment. If they can try to spin lead poisoning as proof that nano-tech is safe and keep a straight face, they must have spent part of their career working for the tobacco industry.

FFS it's a BLOG about vampires and BS (1)

msobkow (48369) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055741)

FFS, is /. so desperate for articles that it's now a means for someone's BLOG to build traffic?

Rob, this is really sinking to a new low for content... :(

Re:FFS it's a BLOG about vampires and BS (1)

Hamilton Lovecraft (993413) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055772)

Plus he doesn't know much about vampires. He seems to be under the misapprehension that a human fed upon by a vampire always becomes a vampire.

Re:Using "nanotechnology" to dye your hair... (4, Insightful)

LewsKinslayer (87724) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055621)

Agreed. If this is what nanotechnology has come to mean, then we need to abandon the word entirely, and move on to a new one. When I think of nanotechnology I think of molecular manufacturing [crnano.org] , and Fullerene nanogears [nasa.gov] , you know, the sort of nanotechnology that actually moves around and does stuff.

O RLY? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055652)

YA THINK SO?

daveshroeder [slashdot.org] sucks.

Re:Using "nanotechnology" to dye your hair... (2, Insightful)

argStyopa (232550) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055682)

Correct. By the same logic, humans have been "using" nano technology forever, since mitochondrial structures take advantage of nano-geometry. So do T-cells. For that matter, humans have been using "genetic engineering" for millenia too!

Whew, I didn't realize were so intrinsically advanced!

Or, it could be a complete misunderstanding of the word "use" by a slashdot editor to contrive to make an otherwise boring story interesting. Hm.

It's a friggin *lead* compound... (5, Insightful)

comingstorm (807999) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055702)

... plus, it's very finely divided, which makes it much more active than the big chunks of lead that we avoid because they cause brain damage.

In general, any "nanotechnology" that isn't encapsulated will have this problem; a very large specific surface area can make things hazardous even if the substance is otherwise chemically inert.

And I'll second parent's assertion that it's not actually nanotechnology; it's friggin' chemistry. When you can program it, or it can reproduce, *then* you can call it genuine nanotech; not before.

Re:It's a friggin *lead* compound... (2, Insightful)

XenoRyet (824514) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055755)

And I'll second parent's assertion that it's not actually nanotechnology; it's friggin' chemistry. When you can program it, or it can reproduce, *then* you can call it genuine nanotech; not before.

Thank you for saying that. Seriously, eveyone considering writing the word "nanotechnology" should have to say that phrase, or one very like it, ten times before they proceed.

No, you can't have our facny sci-fi word to make chemistry sexy. You'll have to do that on your own.

Re:Using "nanotechnology" to dye your hair... (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055761)

Additionally, this is yet another questionable Roland Piquepaille submission.

My god, when will /. provide a filter for this idiot?

Re:Using "nanotechnology" to dye your hair... (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055768)

And aside from that, I'd hardly call this "nanotechnology" just because a hair dye process deemed effective by ancient Egyptians coincidentally happened to generate particle small enough to meet the definition of "nanoparticle".

Don't you know? History has been rewritten. Anything small is now nanotechnological!

Those of us who remember that nanotechnology originally meant the technology to position individual atoms are pretty irrelevant now, I'm afraid.

Lead fish makes Christans crazy (1)

agent (7471) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055557)

Hello Fish Friday!

Two scoups of crazy.

Gay comment! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055695)

Gay gay gay--gay gay gay, gay gay. Gay gay gay. Gay gay gay; gay gay, gay gay...gay gay gay gay...gay gay, gay gay gay gay. Gay...gay gay gay gay...gay gay. Gay gay gay; gay gay...gay gay gay gay gay gay...gay gay gay gay gay--gay gay gay; gay gay gay...gay gay; gay gay gay; gay gay . Gay gay; gay gay gay--gay gay gay, gay gay gay gay. Gay.

Not exactly a ringing endorsement... (4, Insightful)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055559)


At a moment where many people wonder if the use of nanoparticles is safe, it's good to know that nanotechnology has been widely used for a very long time.


Well...humans have done other things for a long time that were none too healthy. A few examples:
  • Smoking was thought to be harmless....doctors used to smoke.
  • People used to eat and drink from pewter vessels.
  • People used to use asbestos as insulation.
  • (etc. etc. etc.)


So just because people used to do something for a long time doesn't necessarily make it harmless.

Re:Not exactly a ringing endorsement... (1)

stultus_juventus (1000906) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055624)

Best of my knowledge Queen Victoria died from being poisoned by the zinc or lead in her make-up. I think this news story is more a face than anything worth hearin

Re:Not exactly a ringing endorsement... (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055631)

So just because people used to do something for a long time doesn't necessarily make it harmless.

It's a lot worse than that - every single ancient Egyptian who used this technology has died. With a survival rate of 0% it's no wonder the stuff never caught on.

Re:Not exactly a ringing endorsement... (1)

Mr. Flibble (12943) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055712)

Well...humans have done other things for a long time that were none too healthy. A few examples:

Next thing you know Trip, we will find out that posting often to slashdot is none too healty... ;)

Re:Not exactly a ringing endorsement... (3, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055746)

But smoking isn't actually ALL that bad for you if you don't do it like a chimney, and especially if you're not smoking things that have had carcinogens fucking added to them. Excuse me, no, I don't need any arsenic added to my tobacco. Besides, there's things to smoke other than tobacco :P

Pewter, okay, bad idea :)

But asbestos is still used as insulation! Just not in buildings. And it's still used to make brake pads. The idea was not a bad one, but the way it was implemented was terrible.

Re:Not exactly a ringing endorsement... (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055910)

But asbestos is still used as insulation! Just not in buildings. And it's still used to make brake pads. The idea was not a bad one, but the way it was implemented was terrible.

Um, no, I don't believe that's the case. Unless I'm very mistaken, asbestos hasn't been used in brake pads for many years, It's been replaced by other compounds.

I don't know of any other current uses of asbestos, either. Do you have any links?

Re:Not exactly a ringing endorsement... (3, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055982)

Unless I'm very mistaken, asbestos hasn't been used in brake pads for many years, It's been replaced by other compounds.

You are mistaken. It's just been outlawed in most first-world countries. It's still used in other places. It's also used in gaskets; I've seen gaskets with asbestos content personally. Anyway, you haven't looked very hard if you can't find current uses of Asbestos: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asbestos [wikipedia.org] has a whole section.

Re: Not exactly a ringing endorsement... (1)

geekmansworld (950281) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055747)

Hear, hear. Seems that some of us are lacking in aspects of journalistic integrity. Give me the facts, and I'll decide how the story spins after reading it. No need to force a conclusion, even implied, before your audience even starts reading.

Tsk tsk...

Re:Not exactly a ringing endorsement... (1)

KillerCow (213458) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055773)

they were using lead compounds ... At a moment where many people wonder if the use of nanoparticles is safe, it's good to know that nanotechnology has been widely used for a very long time.


Well...humans have done other things for a long time that were none too healthy.


Like, using lead compounds to dye their hair.... I highly doubt that they didn't suffer from lead poisoning. The implication that it has been "safe" for a "very long time" is ridiculous.

Also, talking on mobile phones. (2, Funny)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055838)

Also, talking on mobile phones is also safe, since new data has uncovered that ancient Egyptians used to talk as well!

Pewter ... not exactly (3, Informative)

Riturno (671917) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055963)

Pewter is not inherently a problem since it is primarily tin with a bit of copper, with possibly some other non-toxic metals. You can still get pewter drinking vessels and utensiles, which are safe to use.

The problem is that some pewter contains lead to add color and change the hardness. This is especially true of older pewter. This pewter is not safe.

Modern pewter is generally not a problem.

Roland Piquepaille article (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055560)

This is another Roland Piquepaille article.

Re:Roland Piquepaille article (4, Funny)

solevita (967690) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055666)

Please God, grant me the ability to punch Roland Piquepaille in the face over standard TCP/IP.

;)

Re:Roland Piquepaille article (2, Funny)

RumGunner (457733) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055808)

Sorry, you'll need IPv6.

Re:Roland Piquepaille article (1)

xactoguy (555443) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055825)

<xactogy>i'm going to become rich and famous after i invent a device that allows you to stab Roland Piquepaille in the face over the internet

my apologies to <[SA]HatfulOfHollow> [bash.org]

I am now convinced about Roland Piquepaille (5, Funny)

KWTm (808824) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055987)

I read with some skepticism the negative comments[1] regarding Roland Piquepaille, some postulating that some staff member of Slashdot has a secret agreement to accept his submissions.

Well, now, this takes the cake. Egyptians using nanoparticles? This is news?

Ahem, In Other News ...
When Gandhi incited civil disobedience against British rule by picking up a pinch of salt from the sea, those sodium chloride particles were less than one nanometre across![2] OMG! The Indians used nanotechnology to overthrow the British!!! WTF! Is this a harbinger of the war-like uses of nanotechnology??? BBQ!!!1!!11!one!1!

Can we have a topic devoted to Roland Piquepaille so that we can adjust our viewing preferences in accordance with the amount of adoration we feel for this Submitter of Many Slashdot Articles?

-----
Footnotes:
[1]
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?cid=14501811&sid=1 74309 [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?cid=14436063&sid=1 73521 [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?cid=14049437&sid=1 68524 [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?cid=13236725&sid=1 57979 [slashdot.org]
http://slashdot.org/comments.pl?cid=13188470&sid=1 57186 [slashdot.org]

[2] (Yeah, I know the actual particles of salt he held were more than 1nm across, but then it dissolved into the sweat from his fingertips, and the salt regrouped into nanoparticles that spread out in a thin layer across his fingertips.)

We're doomed! (1, Redundant)

nogginthenog (582552) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055564)

Didn't the great Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilisations all collapse?

Re:We're doomed! (1)

Poromenos1 (830658) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055850)

No, there are actually Egyptians, Greeks and Romans (well, Italians?) today. +5, Informative!

Re:We're doomed! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055961)

Didn't the great Egyptian, Greek and Roman civilisations all collapse?

Yes, they did. what's your point?

Safety (4, Insightful)

evanbd (210358) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055565)

Huh? I'm pretty sure the Egyptians didn't do a lot of work to decide if it was safe. The lead used would be unsafe regardless of the nanoparticulate nature of the compound. Lead was used in lots of other ways through history, too. That doesn't make it safe.

Re:Safety (1)

poptones (653660) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055643)

Not only did they use it for hair dye, they used it for face powder... and various test have revealed many of these folks died of lead poisoning.

So, yeah, this anecdote is comepltely supportive of modern nanoparticle technology...

Re:Safety (1)

commodoresloat (172735) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055861)

Oh come on. If nanotechnology was unsafe, it never would have passed the stringent review of the Ancient Egyptian Food and Drug Administration (AEFDA). Clearly this article is proof positive that we should immediately deploy nanotechnology everywhere without worrying about safety.

Am I first? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055566)

Cool!

mad hatter (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055568)

That explains why history repeats itself, don't we ever learn?

If the ancient Egyptians used it... (2, Insightful)

ncttrnl (773936) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055572)

It must be safe! I mean... their life spans were totally almost half of ours.

Re:If the ancient Egyptians used it... (1)

joe 155 (937621) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055704)

interestingly I just read (from a book on useless facts) that the average life-span was 36 years in ancient Rome, who are also mentioned in TFA. Hardly something we would wish to go back to. And lets not forget that using the logic of the article we could just change a few words round and have

"At a moment where many people wonder if the use of human sacrifice will appease the Gods, it's good to know that it has been widely used for a very long time"

Re:If the ancient Egyptians used it... (4, Informative)

kfg (145172) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055876)

... their life spans were totally almost half of ours.

The people who wore these hair dyes were typically of the upper classes. The upper classes might well live to something even we would recognize as an advanced age.

Pepi II is thought to have ruled for 94 years. Ramses II lived to see his 90th birthday and his heir was in his 60s when he took the throne, ruling for about another 20 years.

Do not confuse life expectency with ages that might well be fairly commonly attainable. A huge chunk of the the lower life expectency is due to high infant mortality and death during childbirth, scewing the statistics. If one made it to the 21st year; and didn't work on pyramids and such, one's life outlook was held to be something around the classic age of man; four score and ten. That's why it's the classic age.

KFG

When all else fails (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055575)

At least we can turn to the knowledge of a civilization that isn't around today for "some reason" for guidance. I for one welcome our nontech using overlords.

safe? how about the long term? (1)

Burlap (615181) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055576)

the fact that they didnt live much past 30 doesnt bode well... not saying it had anything to do with the crystals.. just that it is a little hard to get a long term study when everyone who uses it died from some ailment or another within a decade or two.

Re:safe? how about the long term? (1)

Double Mint Len (998680) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055647)

the fact that they didnt live much past 30 doesnt bode well

Actually, Burlap, that is a common misconception that the average lifespan was actually when people died. Because medicine was so bad, most children didn't make it past 4 or 5 years old. Therefore, if you average 80 and 5, you get 42.5. Thats a big age difference. Plus there was war and whatnot. I mean, if you think about it, the Romans and Egyptians did things that are still used today. They were very advanced civilizations. There are records of Egyptian doctors doing successful brain surgeries.

Re:safe? how about the long term? (1)

RLiegh (247921) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055858)

>There are records of Egyptian doctors doing successful brain surgeries.

Can you cite a source? Particularly on the 'successful' part?

This does not inspire confidence (5, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055577)

These same people were drinking wine from lead goblets, I don't know if they are the ones we should be looking at for safety advice.

Re:This does not inspire confidence (4, Funny)

jaysones (138378) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055714)

It's hardly safe- All of these people are dead!

Re:This does not inspire confidence (1)

value_added (719364) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055853)

These same people were drinking wine from lead goblets, I don't know if they are the ones we should be looking at for safety advice.

Exactly!

And apart from nanotechnology and cool pyramids, what have the Egyptians ever done for us?

Re:This does not inspire confidence (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055975)

And apart from nanotechnology and cool pyramids, what have the Egyptians ever done for us?

A catchy 80's song? [wikipedia.org]

Even if they were using nanocrystals... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055581)

...that doesn't mean they were doing so *safely*. We don't know the health risks ourselves now, let alone what health problems the Egyptians, Greeks or Romans experienced - hence this is completely irrelevant.

Good point... (4, Insightful)

Error27 (100234) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055598)

At a moment where many people wonder if the use of nanoparticles is safe, it's good to know that nanotechnology has been widely used for a very long time.

Rubbing your head with lead sulfide definitely sounds safe enough, I guess that proves that nothing can go wrong with using technology.

Re:Good point... (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055911)

At a moment where many people wonder if the use of X is safe, it's good to know that the category X includes something we consider safe, therefore all other things covered by X must also be safe. For example:

At a moment where many people wonder if some uses of molecules are unsafe, it's good to know that other forms of molecular technology have been used for a very long time, therefore all uses of molecules are safe!

Sorry, I just hate stupid logic used to silence rational questions about the safety of certain substances.

Age old doesn't mean safe ... (2, Insightful)

Gopal.V (532678) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055608)

We've made enough and more mistakes along the path of our history to assume one of our "reinventions" is safe merely because somebody else used it before. Mad hatters, heavy metal colours, hallucinogenic potions, trepanning - just find a more upto date list.

Unless you want to add some mysterious oriental magic to it ... *meh*

not a good example of saftey in nanotech (4, Funny)

way2trivial (601132) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055609)

I mean, you do realize- all those people are dead now?

a 100% mortality rate does not bode well for the method...

*Gasp* (0, Redundant)

RyanFenton (230700) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055612)

...and all of those ancient empires *ended*!

But at least now we know how it all happened. Nano-science did 'em in.

Next thing they'll tell us is that nature is involved in some of these mysterious 'nanoparticles'. Nonsense - the mustard seed is as small ad it gets in nature, and that's it - the Bible says so right there (Matthew 13:31-32)! The noiyve of these scientists and historians, I tells ya!

Ryan Fenton

Ever heard of hyperbole? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055819)

jackass

Re:*Gasp* (1)

Grishnakh (216268) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055979)

I'm all for laughing at funny Bible verses (like the one about bats being birds), but this one doesn't quite cut it. According to Bible.org, this passage is just a parable, and the mustard seed is simply said to be the smallest type of seed. That may or may not be true (I Am Not A Herpetologist), but if it isn't, the people at the time probably didn't know that and the parable would have lost its impact if Jesus had stopped to explain that there was really some other plant on another continent with smaller seeds.

What? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055618)

When I hear genetic engineering, I think manipulating DNA/genes directly, not selective breeding by humans.

What do you think of when you hear nanotechnology? To me merely having nano-scale particles doesn't quite cut the mus, it dilutes the definition of nanotechnology.

Re:What? (1)

Larry Lightbulb (781175) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055840)

The line that genetic engineering = selective breeding is sometimes used as proof that genetic engineering is safe.

Safe To Use ? I think not (0, Redundant)

c.morrissey (990575) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055620)

Ok first we have to look at all of these civilizations ... If my history is correct they have all disipated. I would say that this would have to do with some of their "crazy" leaders going to war and other outlandish civil projects. Some speculate that the rampent crazyness in the upper classes in greece and rome was caused by lead pipes ! ... but maybe it was because of their hair dye. My guess is that not all of the lead was turned into this "nano" tech, there for people who could afford to dye their hair actully ended up ingesting lots of lead over their life time. This seems far more likely then the lead plumbing as not alot of lead will flake off when used as pipes.

Re:Safe To Use ? I think not (1)

c.morrissey (990575) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055844)

I get a redundent ... who is rating these right now ! yes my first statement is but i posted when i could only see one comment which ... at the time wasn't redudent.

As for the rest of my post, I have read through the rest of these posts and ones on smoking that are completly off topic and not replying to previous posts have a higher score and I haven't found one post like mine !

Fallacy (2, Insightful)

Glog (303500) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055632)

At a moment where many people wonder if the use of nanoparticles is safe, it's good to know that nanotechnology has been widely used for a very long time.

People have been smoking for much longer than the tobacco companies have been selling cigarettes. They've also been drinking alcohol for even longer than that. Neither of those is safe today (the former more unsafe than the latter).

Re:Fallacy (1)

ResidntGeek (772730) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055857)

Snoking does damage to the body, alcohol does dmage to the brain. Which is worse is different for different people.

Personally, I'd choose to damage my body before my brain. No use living 20 more years if you're a dumbass wasting other people's oxygen.

In other news (1)

jayhawk88 (160512) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055633)

I have successfully created room-temperature fusion power by putting my phyladendron on the kitchen window sill.

PbS != safe (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055637)

Lead sulphide? Galena? Safe? Yeah, let's also make orange and red pigments from orpiment [wikipedia.org] and realgar [wikipedia.org] while we're at it.

The fact ancient peoples used something does NOT necessarily make it "safe" in any sense.

Nan? (1)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055648)

Bah.

This is chemistry.

Now, if the ancient Egyptians had been synthesizing lead sulfide nanoparticles inside a pyramid-shaped fab, I'd call it nanotechnology and bow to the wisdom of the ancients.

When, exactly, did Slashdot become so retarded?

Re:Nan? (1)

P3NIS_CLEAVER (860022) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055678)

It would be nice if somebody would create a definition for nanotechnology that indicates where chemistry ends and nanotechnology begins. I can't think of a single 'nanotechnology' trait that isn't already defined in chemistry.

Q and A (4, Insightful)

rs79 (71822) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055804)

Q: "When, exactly, did Slashdot become so retarded?"

A: During the Bush admistrations war on science, reason, morals and ethics.

Re:Q and A (1)

susano_otter (123650) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055918)

Q: "When, exactly, did Slashdot become so retarded?"

A: During the Bush admistrations war on science, reason, morals and ethics.

Slashdot must have been seriously retarded to begin with, if Chimpy McHitlerBurton's pathetic, fumbling attempts at theocratic fascism were all it took to make it... even more retarded?

What, exactly, is your theory here?

Re:Nan? (1)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055912)

When, exactly, did Slashdot become so retarded?

When they started posting every piece of crap that came along from Roland Piquepaille.

Oh goody! (1)

LaminatorX (410794) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055668)

Now thanks to nanotech, we can enjoy the same longevity and quality of life that the ancients enjoyed.

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go appoint my horse to the Senate, "bathe" in oil, and marry my sister.

Re:Oh goody! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055915)

I know this is a bit off-topic since I'm about to talk about ancient China and not ancient Egypt, but in China, 2500 years ago, a 100 year life span was expected and considered normal (at least among the upper classes...). And this isn't mere idle speculation, but is documented in leading medical texts of the time. They fully expected the human animal to live to be 100 years of age. 2500 years ago.

So yeah, the egyptians were living short life spans, and things like lead poisoning surely didn't help, but not all ancients were so woefully ignorant and unobservant of health issues.

Safe? (2, Insightful)

TheWoozle (984500) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055669)

While lead sulfide [sciencelab.com] [PDF] isn't particularly hazardous, I wouldn't categorize it as safe. Lead poisoning is on my list of things to avoid. YMMV.

Re:Safe? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055799)

But is it nanoparticularly hazardous?

And how many... (0, Redundant)

ezzewezza (84083) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055672)

And how many ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks do you see walking around today? That's right. None. Safe, indeed!

Are you kidding? (5, Insightful)

bshort404 (112024) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055673)

Without a doubt, this is the worst post ever.

The Egyptians used nano-particles? There's a world of difference between a very small mineral grain and a synthesized nano-bot.

Get a clue.

humankind has a history... (1)

thelost (808451) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055684)

of substance abuse, or rather the use of dangerous substances for purposes of medicine, cosmetics and even polishing hats, should I trust nanotechnology based on the evidence that we will stick the stupidest things on and in our bodies?

Not so... (3, Insightful)

teutonic_leech (596265) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055720)

When do people get this into their thick heads: Correlation does not equal causation. I know this might not be the best application for quoting this, but the fact that nano particles were 'accidentally' used does not make this 'nanotechnology'. Yet another attempt to hype this new term and in the process completely obfuscate and dilute its true meaning. Nanotechnology is the science and technology of building devices, such as electronic circuits, from single atoms and molecules. I'm fairly certain the ancient Egyptians were a few steps behind that technological achievement. I'm even miffed when they call microparticles (e.g. sunscreens, lubricants, etc.) a result of 'nanotechnology' - it's a grayzone yes, but we should keep our definitions in check.

Wow!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055722)

People in ancient times making use of chemistry. amazing!

Oh yeah? (1)

Xaroth (67516) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055730)

Well if they're so smart, then why are they all dead? Noodle THAT one for a while!

Re:Oh yeah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055830)

Well if they're so smart, then why are they all dead? Noodle THAT one for a while!

I've been to Egypt. I can assure you that Egyptians are still alive.

Safe? (1)

Un pobre guey (593801) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055733)

At a moment where many people wonder if the use of nanoparticles is safe, it's good to know that nanotechnology has been widely used for a very long time.

Right. Unless they were rubbing lead onto their bodies.

Dude, nanotechnology or not, they were using lead. Lead is toxic, remember?

OK Slashdotters, let's all get on the Nanotechnology Is Modern Cool And Futuristic And Is Therefore A Good Thing So It Must Be Safe In All Cases bandwagon.

Warning! Roland Picklepail submission... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055749)

Editorializing and erroneous conclusions lie within!

Lead Pipes. (1)

DAldredge (2353) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055763)

Lots of lead was used to make a lot of paint and pipes for 100's of years before we realized how bad it was - something being in use for a long time doesn't necessarily mean it is safe.

Re:Lead Pipes. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16056002)

Yep, just like your wife...

Ancient Romans also used lead pipes (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055782)

So I guess using lead for water pipes is safe and healthy, right?

Re:Ancient Romans also used lead pipes (3, Insightful)

Chaffar (670874) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055896)

Ancient Romans also used lead pipes
We know what the Romans would do with lead pipes if they were still around right now - they'd beat the living sh*t out a certain submitter with a history of drawing erroneous conclusions based on distorted facts.

Roots(s) of the problem (1)

T1girl (213375) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055814)

I wonder how often they had to get their roots (excuse me, we're supposed to call it "regrowth" now) touched up. Did they make a follow-up appointment the same day they got their dye job? Did people keep appointment calendars back then?

Refusing to dye your hair is like telling the truth -- you never have to remember to go back to touch it up, and you never have to try to remember what you said. I'm always amazed that people aren't content with their natural hair color. A dye job may look pretty cool when it's frshly done, but nothing looks worse than black roots peeking through on a blonde or gray roots starting to show on a redhead.

But there must be some very basic desire to change the color of one's hair, since this practice dates back at least to ancient Egypt.

Just one thing about this article... (1)

Synonymous Bosch (957964) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055816)

it's good to know that nanotechnology has been widely used for a very long time."
By civilizations that are long extinct... :)

Don't believe the hype. (1)

cunina (986893) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055834)

This is just a ploy by archaeologists to get a slice of the sweet, sweet VC money out there.

Technically... (1)

GmAz (916505) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055835)

Technically, when I use a pencil to write on a piece of paper, I am using nanotechnology to write on that paper. I mean, carbon molecules that make up the 'lead' in my pencil can be measured with the term nano. And I highly doubt that the ancient egyptions knew that they were doing something that would do nothing more than get some scientist name in a book. Big whoop.

what a crap write up (4, Insightful)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055865)

calling what the ancient egyptians were doing with PbS "nanotechnology" is like saying me popping my zits is "ecosystem terraforming"

"At a moment where many people wonder if the use of nanoparticles is safe, it's good to know that nanotechnology has been widely used for a very long time"

oh yeah! i just farted! therefore, global warming isn't a threat to mankind!

that's about the same level of logical deduction there dear author!

who wrote this crap and who greenlighted it?

enough (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055879)

enough of the blow jobs for Roland Piquepaille. Let's have some real tech news.

Nanotech != chemistry (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#16055906)

At first glance, it would appear that someone somewhere has to have a difficulty with the word "nanotechnology" for them to confuse chemistry with "the art of manipulating materials on an atomic or molecular scale especially to build microscopic devices (as robots) [m-w.com]."

But then I saw the first two words.

Its amazing we aren't all dead. (1)

TechGranny (987537) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055937)

You know this is probably way off topic, but..

I've read some posts about "good for you", and "bad for you" discussion here that this article seems to have brought up.

As we sit baking in EM radiation from our monitors and every other circuit in our immediate environment, while not getting enough exercise, and breathing formaldehyde from carpets and furnishings, and ingesting copious amounts of additives in our food, and taking risks like driving, walking, or blinking, and a few (at least one of us here has had sex)... Omg the risks...

Its amazing that all of us aren't dead.

Personally I intend on living until I die, and yes its a fact. Living is bad for your health.(TM)

where are they now? (1)

wardk (3037) | more than 7 years ago | (#16055939)

so if it's not so dangerous, where are these ancient nanotechnolgy societies now?

Long history of stupid uses of toxic chemicals (4, Insightful)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 7 years ago | (#16056000)

Romans and Greeks used lead paints to make their faces white. After the fall of Rome, people selectively poisoned themselves with arsenic [chemheritage.org] to make themselves look paler. And, given the health impacts of stuff like silicosis [cdc.gov] and asbestos [lakesidepress.com] damage, both of which are related to particle size and shape, I'd say that any small particle had better be eyed pretty warily by anyone with brains, no matter what idiots in the past have done with it.
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