Interesting Reading #345

by | Oct 13, 2009 12:45 AM ET

The Collider, the Particle and a Theory About Fate - "Then it will be time to test one of the most bizarre and revolutionary theories in science. I'm not talking about extra dimensions of space-time, dark matter or even black holes that eat the Earth. No, I'm talking about the notion that the troubled collider is being sabotaged by its own future. A pair of otherwise distinguished physicists have suggested that the hypothesized Higgs boson, which physicists hope to produce with the collider, might be so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one, like a time traveler who goes back in time to kill his grandfather..."

'Spider pill' offers new way to scan for diseases including colon cancer - "A new way to scan for diseases, including cancer of the stomach or colon, using a remote contol ‘spider pill' camera with moving legs, has been hailed by scientists in Italy..."

Superconductor World Record Surpasses 250K - "Superconductors.ORG herein reports the observation of record high superconductivity near 254 Kelvin (-19C, -2F). This temperature critical (Tc) is believed accurate +/- 2 degrees, making this the first material to enter a superconductive state at temperatures commonly found in household freezers..."

The periodic table of elements

A New Challenge to Einstein? - "General relativity, Einstein's theory of gravity and spacetime, has been pretty successful over the years. It's passed numerous tests in the Solar System, scored a Nobel-worthy victory with the binary pulsar, and gets the right answer even when extrapolated back to the first one second after the Big Bang. But no scientific theory is sacred. Even though GR is both aesthetically compelling and an unquestioned empirical success, it's our job as scientists to keep probing it in different ways. Especially when it comes to astrophysics, where we need dark matter and dark energy to explain what we see, it makes sense to put Einstein to the most stringent tests we can devise. So here is a new such test, courtesy of Rachel Bean of Cornell..."

Stretch and squeeze – a stress ball computer interface - "Consumers are now familiar with prodding at hard glass or plastic screens to interact with computers, phones and other gadgets. But a new Japanese prototype has a touch interface with a squeezy, rubbery feel..."

Giant, Mucus-Like Sea Blobs on the Rise, Pose Danger - "As sea temperatures have risen in recent decades, enormous sheets of a mucus-like material have begun forming more often, oozing into new regions, and lasting longer, a new Mediterranean Sea study says (sea "mucus" blob pictures)..."

Welcome to Debt City - "Expats who took out loans to finance extravagances during Dubai's good times now flee or face jail..."

World's first wind-up mobile phone coming soon - "it's a wind-up mobile phone, believed to be the first of its kind, and it's scheduled to make an appearance sometime in the early part of next year..."

Medical Myths That Can Kill - "I have met many, many people in my medical career that try to further anti-traditional medicine rhetoric, in different sectors of the general public. I do realize how much criticism the Medical community receives, and how warranted some of them actually are. Medicine is after all, a scientific based community that furthers itself by evidence, peer review, continuous revisions and self criticism..."

Earth Observation - "Photos from the Space Station"

In Mammals, a Complex Journey to the Middle Ear - "The middle ear also explains why mammals, as a group, have the sharpest hearing on Earth and the greatest diversity of listening styles, from the bats and dolphins that can detect pressure waves bouncing around at the spiky, ultrasonic end of the bandwidth, to elephants and humpbacked whales that can hear infrasonically, capturing the long, low sound prints muttered by their peers for miles around. All told, a new study suggests, the middle ear was such a great invention, such an essential part of being a mammal, that once evolution had seized upon it, no crude substitute or older model would do..."

Tennessee Woman Arrested for Facebook 'Poke' - "According to an affidavit filed with the Sumner County General Sessions Court on Sept. 25, Shannon D. Jackson of Hendersonville, Tenn., allegedly violated a legal order of protection that had been previously filed against her when she sent a virtual "poke" to another woman on Facebook..."

Virtual Composer Creates New Music - "There's a mysterious new composer on the classical music scene. Her name? Emily Howell. But no one's ever seen her in person. The reason? She's a computer program created by David Cope, a professor at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Host Guy Raz speaks with Cope about his creation and gets a sneak peek at Emily's first record, which hits stores next spring..."

T-Mobile and Microsoft/Danger data loss is bad for the cloud - "T-Mobile and Microsoft/Danger have told Sidekick users who have been suffering for a data outage this week that their data is gone for good. So far, tech punditry's read on this massive, high-profile data loss is that it's a black eye for "the cloud." For once, the consensus is spot-on..."

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