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Why The Solar Eclipse This August Is A Wonder Of Nature And Not Something To Be Scared Of - David Meade's "Prophecy" Is BS

Aug 16 2017 - 05:08

This is another of my "Doomsday Debunking" articles, using science and astronomy to debunk some of the crazy modern myths about the end of the world.  This time it's the idea that the eclipse of the sun on 21st August in the US is a sign that the world is about to end. If you are an astronomer or scientists you will just LOL at this for sure. But for some people this fear is like a living nightmare for them. They contact me, extremely scared that the world is, literally, about to end because of this eclipse. They probably flunked maths and physics at school and just don't have the scientific and astronomical background to evaluate it.

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Revenge Of The Slimeballs - Part 3

Aug 15 2017 - 06:08
This is the third part of Chapter 3 of the book "Anomaly! Collider Physics and the Quest for New Phenomena at Fermilab". The chapter recounts the pioneering measurement of the Z mass by the CDF detector, and the competition with SLAC during the summer of 1989. The title of the post is the same as the one of chapter 3, and it refers to the way some SLAC physicists called their Fermilab colleagues, whose hadron collider was to their eyes obviously inferior to the electron-positron linear collider. -->

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American Workers Have It Good, But Find Plenty To Complain About On Surveys

Aug 14 2017 - 19:08
Survey results show that workers believe the American workplace is physically and emotionally taxing, and they don't like the social environment. Since we are only now recovering from an economic malaise, they also worry about unstable work schedules. Some cited unpleasant and potentially hazardous working conditions.
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QED: First Direct Evidence Of High Energy Light-by-light Scattering, Where Photons Interact And Change Direction

Aug 14 2017 - 18:08
Physicists from the ATLAS experiment at CERN have confirmed one of the oldest predictions of quantum electrodynamics (QED), finding the first direct evidence of high energy light-by-light scattering, a very rare process in which two photons – particles of light – interact and change direction.
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Nomophobia: Made Up Disease Or Real Smartphone Anxiety Condition?

Aug 14 2017 - 17:08
Nomophobia, defined as smartphone separation anxiety,  is when people perceive smartphones as part of their extended selves.

Counselors, lawyers and therapists are aggressively pushing it as the fad diagnosis of 2017, but what behaviors and descriptors can help identify people with high nomophobia ? A new paper compares how people considered to have high and low nomophobic tendencies perceive and value their smartphones.
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Not Just Another Rant About TSA

Aug 12 2017 - 23:08
No, this is a theoretically based rant about TSA. My students can get credit for reading it!

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Tense Situation On North Korea - Not Like Cold War Cuban Missile Crisis However

Aug 12 2017 - 11:08

With all the tense situation about North Korea, I thought I should do a new post about the situation there. I'm doing this as part of my "Doomsday Debunked" articles I do to help people who are often very scared that the world will end in one way or another. First this is not a risk of global nuclear war. It’s nothing like the Cuban missile crisis. There we had two major powers facing each other on a hair-trigger. And each had the capability of destroying the other’s military capabilities.

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Why We Can't Use Hubble To See The Lunar Lander - How Could We See It In High Resolution?

Aug 12 2017 - 10:08

Have you wondered why we can't see the Apollo landing sites from Earth? Moon is so far away that even the ISS at around 108 meters in length would span just over one pixel if Hubble were to photograph it on the Moon at its highest resolution. From NASA:

Can Hubble see the Apollo landing sites on the Moon?

No, Hubble cannot take photos of the Apollo landing sites.

“An object on the Moon 4 meters (4.37 yards) across, viewed from HST, would be about 0.002 arcsec in size. The highest resolution instrument currently on HST is the Advanced Camera for Surveys at 0.03 arcsec. So anything we left on the Moon cannot be resolved in any HST image. It would just appear as a dot.”

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Fast Food Restaurant Density Correlated To Lower Levels Of Obesity

Aug 10 2017 - 11:08
We know that corporations go where their market is. Whole Foods sets up shop in wealthy, progressive counties while smaller companies like Monsanto market to rural farmers. What about fast food companies? The claims have been that since there are obese people near places where high densities of restaurants exist, the restaurants must cause the obesity. Less considered is that people might move to where more food choices are and where those are dense, such as in cities, people tend to be more educated.
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Puzzle: Which Tank Fills First? What Happens If You Increase The Flow Rate? Someone Tried - With A 3D Printer

Aug 09 2017 - 19:08

You may have seen this tank filling puzzle that's gone viral. But have you wondered what happens at a faster flow rate? Someone has tried it out, with a 3D printer. First though, let's look at the original puzzle. 

 Here it is.

Look closely, as it says.

Most people answer “G”.

If that's your answer too, take another close look. Many of the pipes are blocked, The line that blocks off D from C is not a mistake.

To find the real answer - well first, it looks like it's just a drip at a low flow rate from the drawing. So let's assume that..

From A to B to C is straightforward. None of them can fill before the next one.

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Higgs Decays To Tau Leptons: CMS Sees Them First

Aug 09 2017 - 10:08
I have recently been reproached, by colleagues who are members of the competing ATLAS experiment, of misusing the word "see" in this blog, in the context of searches for physics signals. That was because I reported that CMS recently produced a very nice result where we measure the rate of H->bb decays in events where the Higgs boson recoils against a energetic jet; that signal is not statistically significant, so they could argue that CMS did not "see" anything, as I wrote in the blog title.  -->

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Arabian Herbs Analyzed As Potential Cancer Treatments

Aug 08 2017 - 09:08
Cancer is a leading cause of illness and death worldwide. In 2015, the World Health Organisation (WHO) recorded 8.8 million cancer-related deaths and nearly twice that are diagnosed each year. Since people are living longer, cancer diagnoses is likely to continue to increase by about 70% for at least the next two decades.

Given that more cancers are likely in the developing world, the search is on for treatments  that are simple and inexpensive to manufacture. The answer may lie in herbal medicine. The problem, as always, is that while there are numerous anecdotes about those, there are few studies. 
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Metabolically Unhealthy Thin People

Aug 01 2017 - 16:08
Just like some people are overweight but healthy - an obesity paradox - some people are thin but have a three-fold higher risk of mortality and/or cardiovascular events.

Weight is not the best way to understand metabolic health, according to an analysis of lean, overweight and obese people.

A new paper claims that ~20 percent of normal weight adults are still metabolically unhealthy and have a higher risk of mortality and/or cardiovascular events than metabolically healthy obese subjects. Oddly, a reduced accumulation of fat in the lower body puts lean people at risk.

One size does not fit all
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An ATLAS 240 GeV Higgs-Like Fluctuation Meets Predictions From Independent Researcher

Jul 27 2017 - 07:07
A new analysis by the ATLAS collaboration, based of the data collected in 13 TeV proton-proton collisions delivered by the LHC in 2016, finds an excess of X-->4 lepton events at a mass of 240 GeV, with a local significance of 3.6 standard deviations. The search, which targeted objects of similar phenomenology to the 125 GeV Higgs boson discovered in 2012, is published in ATLAS CONF-2017-058. Besides the 240 GeV excess, another one at 700 GeV is found, with the same statistical significance. -->

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Membership Associations Breed Future Leaders

Jul 26 2017 - 18:07
Shrinking travel budgets and the availability of online training have conspired against today's professional associations, the typical first-victims of operational austerity.  Public institutions eager to appease their elected leaders are especially quick to freeze travel during challenging economic times.  This, however, may be a grave mistake.  Why? Because there are hidden, undisclosed benefits to membership associations that are worthy not only of discussion, but of careful consideration by corporate and governmental executives trying to save a buck.  
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Revenge Of The Slimeballs - Part 2

Jul 26 2017 - 05:07
This is the second part of a section taken from Chapter 3 of the book "Anomaly! Collider Physics and the Quest for New Phenomena at Fermilab". The chapter recounts the pioneering measurement of the Z mass by the CDF detector, and the competition with SLAC during the summer of 1989. The title of the post is the same as the one of chapter 3, and it refers to the way some SLAC physicists called their Fermilab colleagues, whose hadron collider was to their eyes obviously inferior to the electron-positron linear collider. -->

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Moon Water May Be More Common Than We Think

Jul 25 2017 - 15:07
Satellite data have detected widespread water within ancient explosive volcanic deposits on the Moon. That means its interior may contain more indigenous water than previously believed. The ancient deposits are believed to consist of glass beads formed by the explosive eruption of magma coming from the deep lunar interior.
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Alcohol In Space: The Universe Is Absolutely Drowning In Booze

Jul 25 2017 - 14:07

A cold beer on a hot day or a whisky nightcap beside a coal fire. A well earned glass can loosen your thinking until you feel able to pierce the mysteries of life, death, love and identity. In moments like these, alcohol and the cosmic can seem intimately entwined.

So perhaps it should come as no surprise that the universe is awash with alcohol. In the gas that occupies the space between the stars, the hard stuff is almost all-pervasive. What is it doing there? Is it time to send out some big rockets to start collecting it?

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ALPIDE: The New CMOS Pixel Chip For ALICE And IMPACT

Jul 25 2017 - 04:07
Last week-end Padova researchers tested the first calorimeter and tracker prototypes of the iMPACT project at the APSS/TIFPA Proton Therapy Facility in Trento (Italy).

iMPACT (innovative Medical Proton Achromatic Calorimeter and Tracker) is a project led by Piero Giubilato, who won an ERC consolidator grant from the European Union. The project aims to develop a high resolution and high rate (>100 kHz/cm2) proton Computed Tomography (pCT) scanner. The scanner will combine a highly-segmented range calorimeter made of PVT scintillators, for energy measurements, and a silicon pixel tracker, for trajectory reconstructions. 
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Even The Smell Of A Predator Can Cause Animal Extinction

Jul 24 2017 - 19:07
There is ongoing concern about species extinction but it isn't just the fact that 99.999% of species have never been cataloged, so it's impossible to know how many are extinct, it's that Mother Nature may cause it long before we could.

A new study suggests nature's ecological web is so tenuous that it's amazing anything survived this long; even the smell of a predator can have disastrous effects in populations of small size in flies. They spend less time eating, more time being vigilant, have less sex, and produce fewer offspring. 
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