Archive for September, 2008

!eggstrondinary = BA on APOD (again)

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

Okay, its Autumnal not Vernal, but can’t an Equinox go by without egg balancing, and the obligatory reference to the Bad Astronomer’s explanations.  According to the Astronomy Picture of the Day (available as a Windows background), edited by Robert Nemiroff, who has a free Astronomy course online, and Jerry Bonnell, apparently no.   APOD again published the picture of BA Plait (whose new book is out October 20th) balancing eggs in his kitchen.  The kids above show Phil up by balancing eggs on their (Blefuscudian) small end.

Update: eggPOD

September 19 = TLAPD

Friday, September 19th, 2008

Again.  So Shiva ma Timbas, and buysteal the book.

Coming Tomorrow = the coldest place in the Universe + 100,000 times the temperature of the center of the Sun

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

What is simultaneously the coldest place in the Universe and 100,000 times the temperature of the Sun?  It is also the largest machine ever built – the Large Haldron Collider (LHC) – scheduled for first light beam tomorrow.  Check out the popular rap.  

It will take months to tune the beam to full power, but the LHC’s ATLAS detector should definitively answer the question of whether the Higgs particle exists or not.  Higgs is the famous “God” particle which would explain the reason for mass.  It is the only particle in the Standard Model of Physics yet to be observed. The Atom Smashers is a documentary film of the competition to discover Higgs before the LHC came online.

Equally interesting is the ALICE experiment, pictured above being inserted into the Time Projection Chamber (this is not science fiction!). Instead of smashing protons, ALICE will look at the quark/gluon soup created from smashing something heavier (lead), a recipe that hasn’t existed since shortly after the Big Bang. It may answer questions like why we find the Universe is mostly matter instead of matter/antimatter, and what is that mysterious Dark matter.

You can participate with LHC@home. The voyage begins tomorrow with live video from CERN.

Chrome = Shiny!

Thursday, September 4th, 2008

Serenity Comic & Chrome

Yesterday Google released their web browser to beta.  It is called Chrome, and, from what I’ve seen, it is great.  Like Joss Whedon’s Serenity, Chrome has an online comic book.   But unlike Whedon’s Firefly-class ship, Chrome is fast – very fast.  And it uses a process per tab instead of a thread per tab – providing better firewalls to thwart security bugs and memory leaks.  This should compete well with IE8 and Firefox 3.

P.S. Joss Whedon’s Dr. Horrible’s Sing-Along Blog is now available in hi-resolution for free on Hulu.