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Raleigh, NC July 13, 2007

Posted by gregquill in Uncategorized.

This was published on CBSNews.com. It’s a nice article about the city nearest my house, which I haven’t seen for some 430 days (according to DirecTV in the trailer, who wants me to dial in!).

(CBS) Getting to know Raleigh means looking back — and looking ahead.

It’s a town that takes its history seriously. “Raleigh, in my opinion, really does a good job of preserving its history,” said Dutchie Sexsmith, a tour guide on the tourist trolley that rolls through Raleigh.

“Raleigh was not burned during the civil war because the governor at the time, Vance, sent a letter to General Sherman with a key to the city saying we surrender, please protect our state capital. Sherman, luckily, did respect our wishes and basically the rest of the city was saved as well,” she explained.

On Dutchie’s tour, she said, “you would visit wonderful architectural places like Blunt street, which has wonderful Victorian style homes. Raleigh was nicknamed in 1840 The City of Oaks. We have wonderful old majestic oaks, particularly surrounding the state capitol and the grounds.”

But coexisting with the painstaking preservation of the Old South is a region that is also known for its cutting-edge research facilities.

For instance, some of the area’s most exciting research is being done at North Carolina State University. Here, Dr. Stephen Michielsen has formulated a substance that he believes could change our lives.

“We came up with a photoactive material that when applied to the surface of textiles kills all viruses that are spread by human to human contact,” he told The Early Show.

Dr. Michielsen says the coating kills everything from the bird flu virus to the germs that cause the common cold, and that one of the first uses for it may be on protective masks.

“Other applications we’re considering are upholstery for furniture for your home, carpet for daycare centers, clothing in general,” he said.

And at the school’s College of Textiles, scientists are developing a firefighting suit that protects from chemical and biological agents, as well as from extreme heat.

“It begins with new material technologies, new fabrics and new membranes that provide the thermal insulation but also the chemical and biological resistance. We are developing new textiles all the time, and not only for fire suits, but for all types of functional clothing,” said the school’s Dr. Roger Barker.

Dutchie said she understands the dichotomy that is the Raleigh area.

“Raleigh is a great example of New South and Old South mixed together,” she said. “We have wonderful old architecture that’s been preserved in a really wonderful downtown area and we also have great things like Research Triangle Park. People really genuinely love this area.”

© MMVII, CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.



1. kenju - July 13, 2007

All true!! Except it is spelled “Blount Street” and pronounced blunt.

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