Interesting things I've bookmarked (old posts, page 36)

Higgs boson is running out of places to hide

Physicists are not panicking about the fate of the Higgs yet, but they may be getting frustrated. If the Higgs is indeed hiding in the low mass range, "a malicious deity has carefully chosen the Higgs mass to make it as hard as possible for physicists to study it", said Peter Woit of Columbia University on his blog, Not Even Wrong.

Cutting Edge Tech for Next Mars Rover

NASA is pushing the boundaries of technology as it readies its next mission to Mars, loading up its 4th Mars Rover with nearly a dozen instruments and deploying an innovative but risky landing procedure. Scientists and engineers were piecing together some of the final components to the new rover, dubbed Curiosity, on Saturday as it ramps up for a high-stakes launch in November. The $2.5 billion dollar rover is more advanced than the Pathfinder, Spirit and Opportunity that roamed the red-planet in past years.

What Is Intelligence Anyway by Isaac Asimov

What is intelligence, anyway? When I was in the army, I received the kind of aptitude test that all soldiers took and, against a normal of 100, scored 160. No one at the base had ever seen a figure like that, and for two hours they made a big fuss over me.(It didn't mean anything. The next day I was still a buck private with KP - kitchen police - as my highest duty.)

Why did Japan surrender

In recent years, however, a new interpretation of events has emerged. Tsuyoshi Hasegawa - a highly respected historian at the University of California, Santa Barbara - has marshaled compelling evidence that it was the Soviet entry into the Pacific conflict, not Hiroshima and Nagasaki, that forced Japan's surrender. His interpretation could force a new accounting of the moral meaning of the atomic attack. It also raises provocative questions about nuclear deterrence, a foundation stone of military strategy in the postwar period. And it suggests that we could be headed towards an utterly different understanding of how, and why, the Second World War came to its conclusion.

If you believe in fairies stay the fuck away from children

That this kind of superstitious, irrational literalism could be even tacitly approved by governmental education systems is beyond my vocabulary to condemn. It has no more place in schools than astrology or crystal healing or some sweaty dude in a tracksuit saying he has a hunch at the greyhounds.

Van Halen and M&Ms

So, when I would walk backstage, if I saw a brown M&M in that bowl . . . well, line-check the entire production. Guaranteed you're going to arrive at a technical error. They didn't read the contract. Guaranteed you'd run into a problem. Sometimes it would threaten to just destroy the whole show. Something like, literally, life-threatening.