Semiconductor paste? Why did I read a Roanoke Times article about VT KnowledgeWorks in late September and find myself mesmerized by the idea?

Did I recall white paste glue from childhood, that minty-smelling plastic tub of possibility that, with one loaded swipe of an applicator like a rectangular tongue, connected this to that and made art?

My broken dishwasher has reacquainted me with the company of National Public Radio, NPR, and I’ve been lathering and blubbering during interviews and reviews related to The Diving Bell and The Butterfly. The film is based on the autobiography of a man who had a stroke resulting in “locked-in syndrome.”  He learned to communicate by blinking his left eye during a recitation of the alphabet.  Letter by painstaking letter, what was within him was transcribed into art.

Yes, I went to the VT Knowledge Works Technology Showcase to learn before anybody else what was even newer than "the new new thing,” but when I walked in the front door in my very adult business attire, carefully applied make-up, and meticulously coiffed hair, I introduced myself to Member Services Managers Susan Higgs and Lindsey Eversole with, “Where’s the paste?!  I gotta see the paste!”

My mother’s careful training asserted itself and I was able to shake hands politely with G. Q. Lu of NBE Tech before I blurted out, “May I see the paste?”  Without a word, he took from his suit coat pocket a container the size of a jar of shoe polish and unscrewed the lid.

Dark silver swirls, copper moments, iridescent shimmering stillness.  What was it?  Polish for a dragon’s scales?  Eye shadow worthy of a goddess?  Manna?

Right there in the middle of entrepreneurs and their showboards on tripods, I felt moved to tears.   From nothing, G. Q. had created something, something that could connect this to that, that could bring within to without.  And it had the unmistakable power of art.

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