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Updated: 32 min 56 sec ago

Christmas Homework

Dec 26 2017 - 07:12
Scared by the void of Christmas vacations? Unable to put just a few more feet between your mouth and the candy tray? Suffocating in the trivialities of the chit-chat with relatives? I have a solution for you. How about trying to solve a few simple high-energy physics quizzes? 

I offer three questions below, and you are welcome to think any or all of them over today and tomorrow. In two days I will give my answer, explain the underlying physics a bit, and comment your own answers, if you have been capable of typing them despite your skyrocketing glycemic index.
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Environmental Lawyers At NRDC Sue To Have Higher CO2 Emissions

Dec 20 2017 - 18:12
Meleah Geertsma, a senior attorney in the midwestern US for Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) - yes, they have so many attorneys they have titles like "Senior" and for geographical regions - says they are suing the federal government...again. This time over natural gas.

Their complaint is that the government rolled back the previous administration's increases, basically some expanded parking space, near national monuments and is allowing development again. And development may mean clean-burning natural gas, which NRDC now claims causes cancer.
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This Holiday, Poor People Will Be Wiser About Conflict Than The Middle Class

Dec 20 2017 - 18:12
If you have a lot of assets to split, and splitting is easy, it's also easy to create ultimatums. When America was a poor country, people stayed together longer, families lived near each other, conflicts were resolved. You never went to bed angry, it was said.
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Dragonfly And CAESAR: NASA Greenlights Concepts For Missions To Titan And Comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko

Dec 20 2017 - 17:12
The U.S. National Aeronautics Space Administration NASA has selected two finalist concepts for a robotic mission tentatively set to launch in the mid-2020s.

The two finalists pared down from 12 are Comet Astrobiology Exploration Sample Return (CAESAR), which seeks to bring back a sample from 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko, a comet that was successfully explored by the European Space Agency’s Rosetta spacecraft, to determine its origin and history. Led by Steve Squyres of Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, CAESAR would be managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. 
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Diboson Resonances - Part 2

Dec 20 2017 - 06:12
In the previous post I discussed the generalities of "diboson production" at the LHC. Dibosons are pairs of elementary bosons - the photon (carrier of electromagnetic interactions), the W and Z bosons (carriers of the weak interaction, respectively charged and neutral), the gluon (carrier of the strong interaction, and coming in 8 undistinguishable varieties), and the Higgs particle.  -->

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Exploding Stars: How Atmospheric Ions Cloud Climate Change Studies

Dec 19 2017 - 06:12
Cosmic rays from supernovae can influence Earth´s cloud cover and how that influences climate could be useful for making better models.

A new study shows how atmospheric ions, produced by the energetic cosmic rays raining down through the atmosphere,help the growth and formation of cloud condensation nuclei – the seeds necessary for forming clouds in the atmosphere. When the ionization in the atmosphere changes, the number of cloud condensation nuclei changes affecting the properties of clouds.

More cloud condensation nuclei mean more clouds and a colder climate, and vice-versa.
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Diboson Resonances: A Whole New World - Part 1

Dec 15 2017 - 12:12
After one quite frantic November, I emerged victorious two weeks ago from the delivery of a 78-pages, 49-thousand-word review titled "Hadron Collider Searches for Diboson Resonances". The article, which will be published in the prestigious "Progress in Particle and Nuclear Physics", an Elsevier journal with an impact factor above 11 (compare with Physics Letters B, IF=4.8, or Physical Review Letters, IF=8.5, to see why it's relevant), is currently in peer review, but that does not mean that I cannot make a short summary of its contents here. -->

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Vaping Is More Popular Than Opioids Among Young People - And That's A Public Health Win

Dec 14 2017 - 11:12
Too much caffeine is bad for you. It's very risk to buy powdered caffeine for that reason. But it's addictive and people do it. Likewise, too much nicotine is bad for you and you can't shouldn't buy undiluted optically pure nicotine and start inhaling it. 

But young people will do risky things. Some may smoke marijuana or cigarettes, some may get addicted to alcohol or drugs. Young people who take up vaping rather than opioids today are a lot better off than a generation ago.
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The Supreme Court Could Make The Endangered Species Act The Most Powerful Law In America - By Doing Nothing

Dec 08 2017 - 12:12

The definition of "endangered" is vague but in no dictionary does it mean an animal that does not even live in a state must be placed there, with private landowners footing the bill for $20 million, in order to keep a creature from declining in population.

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Alpha Zero Teaches Itself Chess 4 Hours, Then Beats Dad

Dec 07 2017 - 08:12
Peter Heine Nielsen, a Danish chess Grandmaster, summarized it quite well. "I always wondered, if some superior alien race came to Earth, how they would play chess. Now I know". The architecture that beat humans at the notoriously CPU-impervious game Go, AlphaGo by Google Deep Mind, was converted to allow the machine to tackle other "closed-rules" games. Successively, the program was given the rules of chess, and a huge battery of Google's GPUs to train itself on the game. Within four hours, the alien emerged. And it is indeed a new class of player. -->

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Does Your Brain Naturally Feel God? Temp Lobe Feel Of Person Presence & Evolved Religion

Dec 05 2017 - 23:12
There is an area close to the left ear, in the ‘temporal lobe’, that, when stimulated via strong magnetic fields, triggers religious feelings, visions of bright lights at the end of a tunnel, and, at a certain frequency, the feeling of the presence of somebody next to oneself, or somehow present, although subjects are in another room and separated from the researchers. This area is damaged in patients with the kind of schizophrenia that Vincent Van Gough suffered. His attacks of deeply religious visions started a few years before he died.

 

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Threat Via Emoji - The Law Does Not Consider Them A Joke

Dec 05 2017 - 07:12

Nearly everyone is familiar with emoji, those popular icons that appear in text messages, emails and social media platforms. Emoji are often used as light-hearted adjuncts to text, or to soften the blow of a message.

Emoji can be viewed as overly simplistic in some contexts. For example, government officials were questioned when Foreign Minister Julie Bishop conducted an interview using just emoji, and described Russian President Vladmir Putin using an angry face  

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Predicting How Plant Species Might Respond To Climate Change

Dec 05 2017 - 06:12
Though CO2 emissions have plummeted in the United States, as developing nations achieve prosperity they will want air conditioners, sanitation and food - and those all require energy. They sure are not going to let already wealthy nations tell them they must be stuck with solar panels.

So climate change may still happen, at least if energy technology stops and fossil fuel use does not. If so, how will plant species will respond to climate change? A 16-year experiment may provide answers. Of course, the experiment is small, the size of two football fields inside the Garraf National park southwest of Barcelona, but it is home to many protected species. So even if it can't model an ecosystem it can model part of one.
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For The British, Bans Increase Happiness

Dec 04 2017 - 14:12
In 2007, there was a ban that increased happiness for married women, but not men, according to the British Household Panel Survey.
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Making Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria Treatable Again

Dec 04 2017 - 13:12
Transport proteins called efflux pumps, and their role in creating drug-resistance in bacteria, could lead to improving effectiveness of drugs against life-threatening diseases and perhaps even bring defunct antibiotics back to prominence.
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When Pharmacy Experts Take Medical Histories, Medication Errors Drop 80 Percent

Dec 04 2017 - 10:12
When pharmacy professionals — rather than doctors or nurses — take medication histories of patients in emergency departments, mistakes in drug orders can be reduced by more than 80 percent, according to a recent paper.

Injuries resulting from medication use are among the most common types of inpatient injuries at U.S. hospitals, affecting hundreds of thousands of patients every year. Errors in medication histories can lead physicians to order the wrong drug, dose or frequency.
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Liza Gross And The Credibility Hole Science Media Must Crawl Out Of

Dec 04 2017 - 10:12
ABC News recently suspended Brian Ross (four weeks without pay) for fabricating an unsubstantiated story that matched his ideological beliefs about Republicans and President Donald Trump and which caused the Dow Jones Industrial Average to plummet. This was not the first time he had turned his wishful thinking into action, he also blamed the Aurora, Colorado shooting on the Tea Party. It was, however, the first time ABC instituted some accountability for his work.
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Another Nice Review Of "Anomaly!"

Dec 03 2017 - 09:12
It was nice to find John Duffield's review of my book "Anomaly! Collider Physics and the Quest for New Phenomena at Fermilab" in the Amazon site today. -->

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When Ignorance Kills Human Progress, And A Petition You Should Sign

Dec 01 2017 - 06:12
An experiment designed to study neutrinos at the Gran Sasso Laboratories in Italy is under attack by populistic media. Why should you care? Because it's a glaring example of the challenges we face in the XXI century in our attempt to foster the progress of the human race.
What is a neutrino? Nothing - it's a particle as close to nothing as you can imagine. Almost massless, almost perfectly non-interacting, and yet incredibly mysterious and the key to the solution of many riddles in fundamental physics and cosmology. But it's really nothing you should worry about, or care about, if you want to lead your life oblivious of the intricacies of subnuclear physics. Which is fine of course - unless you try to use your ignorance to stop progress.
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North Korea ICBM Likely Carried Light Mock Warhead - Not Quite So Mad Dictator - And Effects Of Hydrogen Bomb Test In Pacific

Nov 29 2017 - 04:11

Once more many people are getting scared as a result of the recent North Korea test which puts the whole of the US in range.  The headlines say it puts all of US in range. You have to read carefully to discover it was probably a lightweight mock warhead. The way over hyped news stories about North Korea scare vulnerable young children and adults. So I write this to help put it in perspective. Also to explain why there is no way North Korea want to attack the US with a nuclear weapon. Nor does the US have any military options involving an invasion of North Korea, and both sides know that.

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