"Zetix is a remarkable fabric from Auxetix Ltd; it can resist multiple bomb blasts without tearing. It is a member of a class of fabrics called auxetics that actually become thicker when stretched out." (LiveScience) Thanks to Andrew N. for the link!


  1. As soon as I read the title, “New Fabric Resists Bomb Blasts”, a tickle in my toes told me it was a geri post (nothing personal).

    I think, though, this is another example of how you are not seeing the forest though the trees when reporting. Your second-hand journalism needs context.

    While the article lists some useful, albeit peripheral, benefits to civilians, in a more pertinent political context you may have ventured to explore the miltary-industrial significance of such a development.

    You may have also overlooked the “(From Auxetix)”, sign off. Geri, this is just a press release. Good journalists see a press release like a good detective sees a crime scene. They survey the obvious, draw upon experience and context, and most important, they read between the lines.

    Another common feature: They follow the money.

    What do you think is a more profitable market for Auxetix, making dental equipment or taking on huge military contracts – tent material, car and tank defense, body armor?

    Such a development only allows for rich powers who can afford such technology to run rick shod over any opposition, legitimate or otherwise. You may say, “Any thing that protects our troops from ‘the enemy’ is good”, but I would rather consider nonviolent, diplomatic solutions, not miltary modernization, as “good”.

    The next following statement is crafted for sensationalism but I think gets to the point. So tell me, G, how is this headline any different than: “New US bullets designed to kill more humanely”.

    Would that be good news?

  2. Anything can be seen to have a bad side. Particularly if you bring subjective politics into it.

    It’s getting political when you start saying “one country will use it more than others to save their lives and I personally don’t like that, so that makes it bad”. Which sums up your argument. The big issue here is that scientists are making lots of great devices and inventions that on the whole help people. You hardly mentioned and fogged off the many clear benefits for good this has, which I quote below :-

    * Car Safety – Seat Belts
    In an accident, the passenger is usually thrown forward. In attempting to restrain this movement, the seat belt gets stretched and, much like an elastic band being pulled, becomes narrower. This is the opposite what you want; in getting narrower, it concentrates all the forces into a much smaller area.
    * Construction – Concrete Reinforcement
    Conventional reinforcements that are used in concrete structures suffer from the fact that as they are loaded in tension, they get thinner. This causes a de-bonding effect, where the reinforcing rod pulls away from the surrounding concrete.
    * Health – Dental Floss
    Auxetic dental floss offers several key benefits, including the ability to expand to fit the widely differing gaps between human teeth and the ability to deliver chemotherapeutics, fluorides or flavors directly to the gum line.
    * Manufacturing – Filtration
    When a conventional net-like material is stretched, the holes close up, whereas in an auxetic version the holes open up. This can be exploited to create a range of objects where controlling the hole size may be important.
    * Aerospace – Smart Sensors
    Smart sensors can be used in a variety of composite structures as in-situ monitoring devices. One of the problems with conventional structures is that when they experience loads or shocks that may have weakened or damaged them, there is rarely any satisfactory method of assessing their integrity.

  3. I had better mention the “from Auxetix” issue. Yes they are the company that makes this. But does that mean it will all likely not work? Fact is this material has been made, works, and has won many globally recognized awards. I suggest you check their website. Please, more research before posting such negative comments in future would be helpful. It takes us away from looking for more stories.

    Auxetix has won the Techtextil Innovation Prize 2007 for the best technical textile development of the year.

  4. Let me speak up for Geri, of whom you attacked her journalistic integrity. She has worked hard and run this website for many years, bringing a vital source of good news to the world. She checks stories as much as she can and turns down many from me that do not hold to be true.

  5. “What do you think is a more profitable market for Auxetix, making dental equipment or taking on huge military contracts – tent material, car and tank defense, body armor?”

    Firstly, on the military front, even there good news. As it stops people getting killed. You say it may allow one army to overthrow the other more easily. But even if it makes that much of a difference this is also a positive, in that it stops wars being drawn out affairs. In history it is when two sides are evenly matched that the biggest problems occur, causing wars to last decades and killing many people.

    And on the comment about where the money is. There’s big money in car seat belts, there millions of new cars being made. And the same is true of the construction industry. And filtration will help make better silicon chips, and we know how much money is in that.

    And in planes it helps safety – has to be good news. And dental too!

  6. Andrew –

    Your arguments come off like a TV pundit and are hurtful. You really have it down. You take one point,and then go off on it completely out of context and then you jeer and patronize at my expense. Please show me respect by addressing my ideas, for that is what I am trying to do. My tone may be harsh but it’s good to be critical of ourselves and our institutions.

    You do that which you accuse me of fogging over things – I said, yes there are civilian benefits, but they’re motivations (assuming they are motivated by profits, which as a corporation seems fair) are likely military. Part you glossed over ———> Military modernization isn’t good. It only leads to arms races and military hubris. I’m saddened to see that you agreed with my “US Bullets” headline. War is terrible, any advancements which make it easier, more safe, or more convenient are bad. We all now we can’t survive a WWIII – demilitarization would be the good news story here.

    And lastly w/ regards to the posted story, the fact of the matter is, if any journalist wrote a story based off of a press release (unless the story was explicitly about “Company X makes statement”) they would be reprimanded.

    Geri –

    Here I think we get at a core issue and I would be very grateful if you would like to dialog on this point.

    “Good” characterizes something. Sports is sports – hockey and baseball. Politics – laws and elections. But “Good” is inherently contextualizing. So as a “good news” reporter, when you post a story, immediately you are contextualizing the piece to, at the very least, imply that this is not bad news (that much cannot be argued against, right?).

    So, when you post stories which involve such politically charged stories about war, or the global economy, you are taking a position, of sorts. Which is fine. However, when journalists take positions (see as an example the linked NY Times article below), they have a responsibility to analysis the political, historical, and/or cultural context(s). Anything less is irresponsible. So that is why, I believe linking to a press release of a company who has much to profit from war, is not a good move, it just lacks context.

    I agree with you Geri, people want to hear good news and we need more space for it in the media. People want good news because they want hope, I know that’s why I want more of it. Hope is something in short supply in the world, these days. So when I check GNN, and I see something like the two stories I’ve commented on, I don’t see hope. I, like others, see military modernization, or exploitation. I know that is our prerogative, but if you are really looking to forge a movement here, please consider us. We’re a large part of your base. Progressively and conservatively oriented people alike might just get scared away if the morality of a story is equivocal.

    I know it’s all subjective, but you can’t be everything to everyone. Someone might post a story, “Church attendance up 10% this year”, some think it’s good; other think it’s bad. So it does require a bit of perspective – like you said, you turn down many stories.

    In the end, I very much appreciate the service you provide and continue to check it with hope. Thanks for all your hard work and sorry for any perceived low blows. I look forward to your thoughts.


  7. Ah! sorry for the formatting, here it is without the link.

    feel free admins to cut it and the reference to it on my behalf.

    You might want to fix that problem as many people like to link inside comments to reference their contributions.

  8. I suggest you read “How to win friends and influence people” – as you have won no friends here.

    I was merely defending against each of your arguments, in different comments, all of which were negative, confidently attacking us for what stories we decide to run. You seem certain you know which stories should be run, and also that you represented all of our readers. Presumptious?

    Geri has been doing this for ten years now, and I think she knows her readers by now. She knows and gets feedback from lots of them. It’s a nice family astmosphere in here.

    Over confident! I took time to answer all of your points, but you seem to think I completely missed them!

    You attacked the Iraq story calling it ,”quasi-journalism”, that would not be reported as good by other “proper” journalists. But the BBC told Geri it was one of the best good news stories for Iraq for the year. Now just what does that say ? Think about it..

    Really, I think this is more about you and your internal anger at American for invading Iraq. You got annoyed that anyone could suggest there was good news coming from there. As you went to great lengths to attack the Iraq good news story, trying to say the oil was not good news for the Iraq people. Also you bring up America again in this story, not even about them, saying they will use it to overthrow more people.

    I think you have reacted and read too much into it, also what these stories and this whole site is all about. If I were to hire you as a big picture person, I would be stupid. If we report a good news story from Iraq, then we are not saying all is great there. Please understand this. We are not goody goody types blind to only good news and in denial eyes stuck shut with super glue. But we do feel that good news is under reported. Esp. as it sets examples and also – yes – cheers people up.

    You just over-reacted and failed to understand where we are coming from.

    Any right to reply to your comments was justified, you should have known that. It;s your choice to be hurt by it.



    PS. As Geri has said, readers are allowed to form their own opinions of each story. This can be debated in the comments. We are not putting a total “good stamp” of approval on it as you seem to think.

  9. The site looks just great now!! I’m so pleased with it.

    On the links, I’ve posted links before that did not show up, it is known about. But as links are rarely posted it’s a minor point in the to do list, compared to all the great work done on the site, to bring it up to its great new look / features.

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