Category Archives: Science is fun

Higgs Boson & American Science

So that happened. After decades of research and about nine billion in funds, scientists are pretty damn sure that Higgs Bosons exist. Two teams conducted experiments (ATLAS and CMS) that returned generally the same results, independently from each other I might add. While this is probably one of if not the greatest scientific discovery of our generation, there is still a lot of information to pour through, especially in determining if the discovery is THE Higgs Boson. The particle itself wasn’t observed but rather decay paths that point very convincingly at the Higgs.

“We have a discovery. We have observed a new particle that is consistent with a Higgs boson.”

Confidence is high among the scientists, but it might be too early to really say. It is the heaviest Boson found and it is still too early to say that it fits The Standard Model of particle physics completely, we’ll have to wait and see.

So why is this important?

Well this might explain why things have mass, which goes hand in hand with explaining how the universe works and how it was created. We only know about roughly 4% of the universe, everything else is still hidden to us. Things like Dark Matter and Dark Energy still elude us, but with this discovery we are one step closer.

I am not really sure how and if this will impact our lives in the immediate sense, if at all. Such valuable discoveries tend to have a large impact on our lives as the implications are rolled out. I would list the vast number of life changers we enjoy but really all you need to do is look around your house. How is that electricity treating you?

So that Superconducting Super Collider that was axed in 1993, I bet some people are looking embarrassed right about now. This discovery could have been an American discovery, but short-sighted politicians and the belief that America no longer needed to prove its science eliteness to the world after the Cold War resulted in Europe having one. That leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

While I understand the clinching of assholes at the funding it would take for scientific breakthroughs, cutting science funding is a step backwards just waiting in the future. Sometimes the greatest discoveries and ventures for humanity need massive amounts of money, effectively being  suicide trip businesses. Luckily for us governments can place a large amount of money into projects that later have countless benefits. What better example than the Space Race? Look at the many medical and technological benefits from that endeavor that have enhanced not only America but humanity as a whole, not to mention the various industries it boosted. Now we have commercial space rockets docking to the International Space Station and very serious plans to mine asteroids. This is all possible from the massive groundwork paved by the government and the massive money sink it burdened.

That sense of wonder has faded considerably from the minds of many Americans. I can’t help but feel concerned for the future as other countries start catching up, pushing to pass our once might lead. Before long countries won’t be asking if they can work with us, but rather if we can work with them, like how we hitch rides to the ISS from Russians.

 

If you want to read more, check these out.

http://www.cnn.com/2012/07/04/tech/physics-higgs-particle/index.html

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-18702455

http://www.calgaryherald.com/technology/Higgs+boson+announcement+greeted+with+cheers+ovations+CERN/6881706/story.html

http://simple.wikipedia.org/wiki/Higgs_Boson

 

 

 

 

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Google Augmented Reality Glasses

Have you seen these? This is insane! These glasses are both awesome and terrifying at the same time.

Check them out for yourself.

I wonder if his loft has a map…

The streamlining of random questions/tasks one will have instant visual aid in answering/solving will be really, really neat. However this really kicks the end of privacy argument up a few notches.

Imagine it.

“Where is John?”

….locating John…..

John’s current location is his apartment bathroom.

“John, Taco Bell and Jameson shots don’t mix.”

Which John remembers to take off his glasses and feels like he can’t go to the bathroom without the world intruding.

To put my point in more context, I have a Blackberry that I rarely use except for texting. It is almost three years old and was built for the Edge network. Maybe it is my anti-social curmudgeonly outlook on life, but I don’t want to be that connected. Having information that readily available would be nice but at the same time it might be too much.

Then again the ease in which knowledge is placed at ones eyelids has the vast potential for awesome. Hands off, borderline instantaneous information could be so amazingly useful I can barely wrap my head around the applications.

Mark my words, the next step will be implants.

 

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I Was Kidding……

So remember my post about the all purpose zombie tool? Well somebody decided to actually make and market one.

Time to break that piggy bank open and squee with nerdy glee.

It is called the The DoubleStar Zombie-X AK-47 and it means serious business ( *insert drum rift*).

AK47 + Chainsaw =

Of course if you are a manly lumberjack that oozes masculinity this can be used to defend yourself from Gentle Ben and hippies. You know, for the kids.

 

The DoubleStar Zombie-X AK-47 is a weapon specially customized to battle zombie hordes by attaching a battery-charged chainsaw to the end of the barrel, as well as a EOTech Zombie Stopper XPS2-Z Holographic Sight which puts a biohazard symbol on your target instead of the classic red dot. DoubleStar hasn’t announced when or if this will go on sale, but its less fancy DSC Zombie Slayer predecessor sells for $1,249.99, so the Zombie-X is likely to be a bit pricier.

I particularly like the holographic sight side mounted, so you can shoot zombies with style.

Source.

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All Purpose Zombie Tool

Like any self-respecting nerd, I have my break-in-case-of-zombie-apocalypse glass shielded axe and shotgun plus ammo cache. I mean who doesn’t? It is all the rage now a days.  You never know when your neighbor is going to show up to snack on you, so being ready for any decaying mindless killing machine prone to random fits of choreographed dance is something that any potential snackee might want.

So watch this video. A home-made all purpose zombie cleaning tool that has such high multipurpose that you can expect a swiffer version any day now.

**WARNING**

This video may contain an awesome Scandinavian pirate accent. (Probably not politically correct)

You know you wish you were this guy’s neighbor…. unless you are a zombie… that might be very stressful during neighborhood barbecues.

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Science, It Can Do That

A Chinese furniture worker accidentally severed his fingertip.  So what did he do? He flipped the world the bird and went and saw some doctors that said something in Chinese in the ballpark of, “Dude, fuck that. We can grow that back. We got this new way of growing fingertips back, we give your stomach a pig tail and stitch them together. How does that sound?”

“That sounds horrible.”

The doctor shrugged, “We can attach it to your penis.”

“Stomach sounds good.”

In which the man-made a facial expression to the effect of:

and then the doctor said, “I’m super serious.”

So what happened? Well…. Look for yourself.

Read the entire article here.

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More Robots

So here is more evidence that some giant spider robot brain is controlling engineers and general crazy people into making more of our future robotic overlords.

What is worse than giant robot spiders? A robot designed after a dinosaur snake.

Yes.

You read that right.

I just used the words robot, dinosaur, and snake in the same sentence. To add that extra flavor of terror to your soul, look at the people compared to the size of the snake.

The snake is called Titanboa, a prehistoric snake found in Columbia a little while back. Apparently it was nearly 2 tons and 45 feet long.

Now there is a robot version, one impervious to fire, bullets, and Jennifer Lopez.

RIP Steve Irwin.

Also, here is a robot controlling a human arm with electrodes.

Apparently robots are teaching humans to do things by shocking the stuffing out of them. If robots had a sense of humor and not a cold lifeless death-centric view of world domination, imagine driving down the street and your car shocking your ass and you start stabbing your face with car keys, just to tickle your car’s transistors. People, this is our future, keep a shotgun handy.

On the plus side, the next time you are driving through Wal-Mart and almost get hit by a car crossing the parking lot the wrong way, you can blame the robots for punching the driver in the face.

 

 

 

 

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Spider Robots

So part of my mission in life is to expose the robot apocalypse as it unfolds. I have posted in the past about some human replacing robotic advancements, but now I want to show you a few things that are both awesome but ultimately irrefutable evidence that we are all going to die. To add insult to injury, people are designing our future overlords as spiders.

But wait! There is more. They come in a compliment of different sizes.

We have the pants soiling Godzilla sized spiders.

A beast called La Princesse. This cute gal has scuttled across St. Petersburg, Liverpool, and Yokohama.

Imagine if you will, you are casually strolling down Water Street in Liverpool, England. You look up at a building and see this,

And you realize that regardless of the size, a spider (robotic or not) can make you scream like a little girl. But a gigantic building scaling spider made your ass fall completely off. That is right, your ass just fell off. Now what?

Then to claim your trash ridden rump for unknown spider robot experiments, this little guy picks your ass up and scurries off down a drain pipe to some massive robot spider nest where they do horrible things to fallen off asses, you see this guy.

And your head explodes. In which more little robot spiders come out and collect the brain matter for some tremendous spider robot brain.

You heard it here first.

 

 

To read more about La Princesse, check here.

 

To read more about the tiny robots and what they are actually used for, click here.

 

 

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Skynet Is Real

Here is a little nugget of awesome from across the Atlantic Ocean.

 

The Skynet project involves using the spare processing capacity of computers as a giant, distributed supercomputer.

PCs joining Skynet will scour the data for sources of radiation that reveal stars, galaxies and other cosmic structures.

 

Thank you Britain. If the Terminator movies taught us anything it is that Skynet will be our downfall. When it goes live humans will die, period. So the fact that somebody has built something that ideally could be put on every PC in the world, all interconnected with each other, is a clear sign that the apocalypse will not be with zombies but robots. We’re screwed.

If a mysterious government official comes to your door and asks to borrow your computer, I have one thing to say to that.

 

Source

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Gamers – Unlimited Resource

 

So I was shown this on another website by some gaming buddies. I thought it was so awesome and interesting that I would show you guys.

Here is the skinny:

Researchers made a video game called FoldIt to simulate protein folding that would help solve some respectable scientific problems. Today it was reported that the players of the game have solved a problem revolving around an issue with the HIV virus. Just so you know, this is a big deal.

Taking complex problems and putting them in a video game to utilize human reasoning and problem solving is a relative new concept. By doing this scientists can take large problems that computer processing cannot necessarily solve easily. This is an awesome usage of community, unused resources, and technology that really shows what people are capable of doing when they work together…….. or in competition…… depends on where you stand on the idea. It also shows how far intellectual skills have come and can be used to achieve goals under wide-spread platforms. This really is amazing.

Source

 

 

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Science Fiction & Fantasy Gets Snobbed From Snobbing Snobs & A Potential New Earth

First, a big congratulations to Peter Dinklage for winning an Emmy for Best Supporting Actor in HBO’s ‘A Game of Thrones.’ I have actually just started watching the show on demand earlier today and so far I am fairly impressed with the show. That is amazing in itself because often things become lost in translation between mediums, Hollywood likes to mess with already winning formulas. I am a huge GRRM fan and pleased to say that from the one and half episode I have watched, it gets my fanboy approval – for whatever that is worth.

With that being said, the rest of the science fiction and fantasy style shows nominated for an Emmy (most in smaller categories) walked away empty-handed. Essentially the bread and butter of the nerd world was snobbed by snobbing snobs. The only other awesome tip of the hat to science fiction and fantasy shows the Emmys gave was to Futurama in the Outstanding Animated Program and Outstanding Voice-Over Performance.

Other shows like ‘True Blood’ came up completely empty-handed. ‘A Game of Thrones’ and ‘Spartacus’ lost to ‘Southland’ for Outstanding Stunt Coordination. I have a hard time believing that ‘Southland’ had better stunts than ‘Spartacus’. You can read the article here at sciencefiction.com and the entire Emmy winners here.

Speaking of science, apparently there might be a Super Earth in our neck of the woods. Super Earth means Earth like planet, but bigger. A potential candidate is roughly 36 light years away, which is damn close. Supposedly it might hold water if conditions are right (still to be determined) and it is rotating around an orange star that is a little smaller and colder that ours. We need to find out if it has an atmosphere, so an image needs to be captured for the light off the planet to be examined. Overall astronomers are pretty excited and hopeful. A larger and more sensitive telescope could deliver clearer information. Option A – build a 3,ooo mile telescope that would take months to print an image. Option B – use the Sun’s gravitational field as a lens. You can read the source from here. Of course something similar happened a few years ago, and this one is shorter distance. You can find it here.

 

So you know what a bigger Earth means right?

 

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