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Challenge: Measure Muons Energy With High-School Math And Win A Mug!

Feb 05 2021 - 07:02
Today I wish to offer you, dear reader, the chance to contribute to scientific research in particle physics. And I claim you can do that by only leveraging basic high-school knowledge in mathematics and geometry. Let me explain what the problem is, first of all, and then I'll put you in the conditions of contributing!

Muons are subnuclear particles of high interest in collider physics. I could write about muons for ages, but it would not be of relevance for our problem of today, so let's just say they interact feebly with matter, so they traverse thick layers only depositing in them small amounts of energy (mainly in the form of electromagnetic radiation).

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19 Years Late And 800% Over Budget, Will The James Webb Space Telescope Finally Launch?

Feb 04 2021 - 11:02
A few short years after NASA got money for the successor to the Hubble telescope, they told Congress that 11 years would not be enough time to build it. They told the public they couldn't put a telescope into space by 2002, even though that was more time than it took to start from nothing and have living breathing humans walk on the moon.

The James Webb Space Telescope is named after the NASA manager who oversaw that moon landing. Were he alive today he'd probably wish they had chosen Gene Kranz for the name instead. He'd certainly be skeptical that modern NASA can do any Big Science. Cute robots on Mars, sure, but not big stuff like this.

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Moving The Apocalypse Goalposts: Goofy Doomsday Clock Now Invokes Coronavirus In Risk Of Nuclear Destruction

Feb 01 2021 - 14:02
The Doomsday Clock, a marketing gimmick of the anti-nuclear group Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, gets an unreal amount of attention from political allies in journalism in a way that scientists can't understand any more than how Environmental Working Group's so-called "Dirty Dozen" list of foods (that strangely exempts organic food pesticides their corporate donors sell) gets so much corporate media coverage.

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Do You Know These 10 Ways To Protect Yourself And Loved Ones From COVID? How We Can All Help Stop Our Outbreaks

Jan 30 2021 - 14:01

I base this on the advice of the WHO, the US CDC and other such reliable sources.

Check the links to find out more.

Here I talk about this article in a video:

(click to watch on Youtube) 1. Most people don’t know to isolate from their own household and that you can still protect your loved ones if you develop symptoms of COVID.

You may remember this video of how Li Ting, an emergency room nurse looked after his wife at home in Wuhan.

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An Alternate Approach To Stopping Mosquitoes That Spread Zika - Using Crispr To Make Them Resistant To Carrying It

Jan 28 2021 - 10:01
The mosquitoes that carry zika, like Aedes aegypti, are considered by all but the most activist ecologists to be useless disease vectors. There is nothing they do in nature that isn't easily done by other mosquitoes and they can safely join the 99.999999999% of species that have gone extinct without causing a cascade of doom. 

Seriously, Send me your hate mail, @ me on Twitter, try to cancel me, I don't care, that is absolutely correct. They are ecologically useless and have survived despite that, because evolution is not always fair.

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CMS Leads Search For Higgs Pair Production

Jan 27 2021 - 14:01
Eight years ago the CMS and ATLAS experiments, giant electronic eyes watching proton-proton collisions delivered in their interior by the CERN Large Hadron Collider (LHC), discovered the Higgs boson. That particle was the last piece of the subnuclear puzzle of elementary particles predicted by the so-called "Standard Model", a revered theory devised by Glashow, Salam and Weinberg in 1967 to describe electromagnetic, weak, and then strong interactions between matter bodies. 
The Higgs boson itself is even older, having been hypothesized by a few theorists as far back as 1964 to explain an apparent paradox with massive vector bosons, particles that had to be massless in order to not violate a symmetry principle that could in no way be waived.

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The First 3D Printed House Is On The Market, And It Still Costs $300,000

Jan 26 2021 - 10:01
If you are thinking you might buy a Creality 3-D printer to save money making stuff at home, a new MLS listing may make you change your mind. It is the first 3D-printed home to get a government permit in the United States and is on sale for a whopping $299,999.

The house $213 per square foot, and you are so far from Manhattan you might as well live in Scranton, but whether it sells right away or not is less important than the proof-of-concept. The hook is that it was printed on site using SQ4D's Autonomous Robotic Construction System (ARCS) and they want to get a patent to have robots print houses.

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How Fast Can Dogs Learn New Words? The Answer

Jan 26 2021 - 08:01
Most dog owners will say that dogs understand tone, and interpret that rather than words, and that most dogs do not learn words (i.e. names of objects), unless extensively trained, but a new analysis shows that is not always the case.

Some dogs have some exceptional abilities and can learn new words after hearing them only four times. A new study by the Family Dog Project is just what it sounds like; investigating dogs who seem to learn words in the absence of any formal training by simply being exposed to playing with their owners in the typical way owners do, in a human family.

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Climate Change Shaped Empires, Even In Roman Times

Jan 26 2021 - 08:01
The Arsinoite nome (now called Faiyum) region 60 miles south-west of Cairo was once the breadbasket of the Roman Empire but by the end of the third century most settlements there had been abandoned.

The problem was climate change. Attempts by local farmers to adapt to the new dryness and desertification of the farmland didn't work and they had to move.

Nature gave the area a one-two punch. Climate data indicates that the monsoon rains at the headwaters of the Nile in the Ethiopian Highlands suddenly and permanently weakened, which meant lower high-water levels of the entire river in summer, while a tropical volcanic eruption in 266, which in the following year brought a below-average flood of the Nile, also played a role.

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Twitter Was Telling The World About COVID-19 When China Was Still Suppressing Information

Jan 25 2021 - 13:01
In January of 2020 we began to write about "coronavirus 2019" due to concern regarding increased cases of pneumonia during a mild flu season, while the Chinese dictatorship was denying there was any problem at all. Just over a week later a key whistleblower in Wuhan, Li Wenliang, turned up dead after being arrested and held prisoner for a month by the communist government for "rumor-mongering."

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Poor Kids In Developing Nations Are Geting Fatter Too - Because Food Is More Affordable

Jan 22 2021 - 11:01
In 1975, four percent of school-age kids were overweight and the NCD Risk Factor Collaboration says that was up to 18 percent in 2016. Like with smoking and alcoholism, obesity is often a pediatric disease - people who start early are far more likely to keep doing it in adulthood. 

Obese people have shorter life expectancy and risk factors like Type 2 diabetes and heart disease and the easiest indicator for obesity is weight gain.

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Google Ngram Viewer, What A Tool

Jan 21 2021 - 15:01
I know, Google has been around for decades by now, and nobody should be surprised to learn how easy they have made the life of information seekers, among other things (I am also an addict of their search engine, scholar, maps, trends, and gmail utilities). But my mouth still dropped today as I discovered their "ngram viewer". 
It happened by chance. I was trying to find out whether "as best as possible" is really a correct English phrase, or if it is just a tad slang, and the google search pointed to a page where the matter was settled by a cool graph:



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Bee Brains: New Attack On Science Claims Insects Can't Sleep Unless Pesticides Are Organic

Jan 21 2021 - 13:01
After suffering 80 percent losses in sugar beet crops due to the yellows virus, and now being free from the EU's activist-dominated politicization of science, the UK has decided to put a halt to the 80 percent decline and reverse course for crops before farmers went bankrupt.

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Deaths From COVID-19 Are Different From Other Respiratory Distress, But ICU Practices Are The Same

Jan 20 2021 - 14:01
If someone elderly with blood clots and cancer treatment dies from respiratory distress, the federal government is generous about calling it a COVID-19 death. Even gunshot victims are considered COVID-19 related if they had tested positive for the virus in the last 30 days. Meanwhile, China has been denying that they have any at all since March, and no one can disprove them because they destroyed the records from the Wuhan lab where they were experimenting with SARS on pangolins and only recently let the World Health Organisation in to look at carefully curated records.

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Less 'Feminine' Looking? Your Sexual Harassment Claims May Be Seen As Less Credible

Jan 19 2021 - 11:01
In 11 multi-method experiments involving more than 4,000 total participants designed to investigate the effect a victim's fit to the concept of a typical woman had on participants' view of sexual harassment and the consequences of that mental association, it was found that women who do not fit female stereotypes are less likely to be seen as victims of sexual harassment. 

If they claim they were harassed, they are less likely to be believed.

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Ivermectin Is No Longer Banned For Reducing Mild COVID-19 And A Small Pilot Study Gives It Some Hope For Approval

Jan 19 2021 - 09:01
The NIH Treatment Guidelines Panel recently changed ivermectin from firmly “against” to the neutral “neither for nor against” when it comes to mild COVID-19 treatment. Ivermectin, developed in 1975, led to the eradication of numerous parasitic diseases and earned the 2015 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine for its discoverers, Dr. William Campbell and Dr. Ōmura Satoshi. It is considered safe and cheap but like another famous drug, the malaria treatment hydroxychloroquine, its claims about COVID-19 are more anecdote than science. In vitro studies are fine exploratory efforts but were only shown to do anything positive at doses far exceeding realistic human levels, unworkable for mild COVID-19.

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Artificial Intelligence Can Beat Many Of Us In Chess, Yet Strangely Not In Memory

Jan 19 2021 - 09:01
Computers are well-known for being able to recover information quickly - a Google search will often give you the result you wanted as you type, even if you make spelling errors - but are not known for creativity. They are good for storage and retrieval.

A new study finds those may be flipped. The distinction was never absolute anyway. Though it was only in 1996 that a computer beat a chess champion, computers beat lower quality players all of the time. And our memory may be better than we think, it is instead that the brain strategy for storing memories may lead to imperfect memories, while allowing it to store more memories easier than Artificial Intelligence. 

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Playing With Radioactivity

Jan 18 2021 - 09:01
Broadly speaking, radioactivity is not something one should mess with just as a pastime. Indeed, ionizing radiation has the potential of causing carcinogenic mutations in your cells DNA, as well as produce damage to cell tissue. Indeed, it makes me chuckle that until 50 years ago or so kids could play with it by purchasing stuff like that shown below...



If you know what you are dealing with and take the necessary precautions, however, radiation _can_ be fun to study at home. The tools and the primary matter are not found at the corner grocery, though, so you need to have a specific interest in it before you get ready to start. 

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Which Type Of Digital Hoarder Are You?

Jan 16 2021 - 12:01

How many emails are in your inbox? If the answer is thousands, or if you often struggle to find a file on your computer among its cluttered hard drive, then you might be classed as a digital hoarder.

In the physical world, hoarding disorder has been recognized as a distinct psychiatric condition among people who accumulate excessive amounts of objects to the point that it prevents them living a normal life. Now, research has begun to recognize that hoarding can be a problem in the digital world, too.

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