Dan: “You know, I am missing my legs. Is that an issue?”
Rebecca: “I never dated a guy because he had nice knees. But I do like nice arms.”
Love after war. Photo by Nikki Kahn (TWP)
If there was life on Mars, scientists may have found its final resting spot.
The law, which breezed through the Ohio House and Senate and was signed by Gov. John Kasich in June, allows patrons who have concealed-carry permits to bring guns into bars, restaurants, stadiums and other places that serve beer, wine and liquor, adding Ohio to the list of 44 states that have similar laws.
The catch: They can’t drink alcohol.
DEEP BREATH. In. Out. Be calm.
You might have heard some news about something called a “neutrino” that might have moved faster than the speed of light. This news is out of CERN, in Europe, and like Ron Burgundy, it’s kind of a big deal.
Remember Einstein’s E=mc² equation? Well, that wouldn’t exactly be ruined, but relativity would need to be seriously adjusted. As Phil Plait put it, it would turn so much of physics upside-down that it’s like saying “… that gravity pushes, not pulls.” So what did they observe?
A neutrino is a particular subatomic particle, like an uncharged electron. They travel, well, very fast, and can go through matter. Photons are light, and they travel at (wait for it) the speed of light. According to what we know up to now, neutrinos should travel fast, but according to the laws of physics not as fast as light. That’s where the CERN experiment comes in.
The scientists at CERN set up a detector at a very exact distance away from a source of photons and neutrinos. When I say exact I mean exact. Like so precise that they could be within a meter or so of error at a distance of 730 km apart. They know how fast light travels, and it should have taken about 2.43 milliseconds for the light to reach the detector in Italy from CERN. According to the scientists, the neutrinos arrived 60 nanoseconds before the light.
The Swiss are impeccable time-keepers.
They report that their error is within 10 nanoseconds, so it’s a significant result. But there are a couple of problems. Not problems that for sure disprove it, but certainly give reason for caution.
- It’s very hard to know exactly when neutrinos are created in whatever source you are shooting them from. So the “start” point is a little fuzzy.
- As noted at Bad Astronomy, a supernova called 1987a throws some more cold water on this. See, that supernova was 160,000 light years away. So if neutrinos traveled faster than light by the same ratio as above, we would have seen the 1987a neutrinos about four years before the light. And that didn’t happen.
- Neutrinos are pesky little things, and very hard to control and measure, being as they flow right through planets and the like.
The scientists had a webcast from CERN today, and they are being very careful to say that this needs to be checked and über-checked, and then repeated again after that. They also claim no theoretical re-writes of history. The problem is that the press is not being nearly so cautious.
So take a deep breath, relax, let their fellow scientists and the skeptics have at it for a while, and don’t be sad if this turns out to not be as big a deal as thought. Of course, it might be true, but when it comes to extraordinary claims, you have to provide extraordinary proof.
The Government Accountability Office saves taxpayers $87 for every $1 the government gives it, but the GAO is now facing a $50 million budget cut. Read more on the POGO blog.
NASA’s Webb Telescope Completes Mirror-Coating Milestone
NASA’s James Webb Space Telescope has reached a major milestone in its development. The mirrors that will fly aboard the telescope have completed the coating process at Quantum Coating Inc. in Moorestown, N.J.
The telescope’s mirrors have been coated with a microscopically thin layer of gold, selected for its ability to properly reflect infrared light from the mirrors into the observatory’s science instruments. The coating allows the Webb telescope’s “infrared eyes” to observe extremely faint objects in infrared light. Webb’s mission is to observe the most distant objects in the universe.
Have you ever wondered how Tumblr was born? Wonder no more! We just uploaded some fresh footage to our “Make Your Move” series on innovative entrepreneurs. Let the founder of Tumblr, David Karp tell you himself how it all came together, what inspires him, and what’s next for Tumblr.
So this is how it all began. It sounds extreme to say Tumblr changed my life, but it did in a lot of ways. And here’s a nice look at the birth of this thing I love so much.
NASA will host a news briefing at 11 a.m. PDT, Thursday, Sept. 15, to announce a new discovery by the Kepler mission. The briefing will be held in the Syvertson auditorium, building N-201, at NASA’s Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif. The event will be carried live on NASA Television…