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    • Accepting and Using Climate Change
      A couple days ago I was thinking about the problem of surveillance states and I realized “this problem is likely to become less of one because of climate change.” And I started thinking about all the opportunities and good things climate change makes possible. My grieving was done. My pre-grieving, I suppose. I see grieving […]
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Happy Fourth of July!

Fireworks over the Delaware

I’m still busy with home type projects.  There’s a huge root that I need to dig out of my front flower bed.  But I’ll be heading down to the Delaware later for some fun at Lambertville-New Hope.  What are your plans today?

In the news today, have we found the Higgs-Boson particle that will explain Life, the Universe and EVERYTHING??  CERN says it has. A couple of days ago, the measurements from the Fermi lab were still off by a teensy bit.  In the case of this elusive particle, that’s like being a little bit pregnant.  Either you’ve found it or you haven’t, or you’ve found something else… But even if this mysterious particle is not the Higgs-Boson, there are indications that it could still change our standard model anyway.  That’s the beauty of science.  You go off looking for something specific and sometimes you end up with something that’s not exactly what you expected.  Then you have to change your model and that leads you to a new set of experiments. I’m not a particle physicist but I think this is exciting.

Here’s an easy to understand explanation of the Higgs-Boson from Fermilab:

The analogy to water molecules is particularly interesting to this chemist.  Is there something like a hydrophobic effect with respect to Higgs-Bosons?  How do you model the continuum of the Higgs field?

I love this quote from the NYT article:

Dr. Incandela’s and Dr. Gianotti’s presentations were repeatedly interrupted by applause as they showed slide after slide of data bumps rising like mountains from the sea.

Dr. Gianotti said at one point: “Why are you applauding? I’m not done yet. This is just beginning. There is more to come.”

She noted that the mass of the putative Higgs made it easy to study its many behaviors and channels. “So,” she said, “thanks, nature.”

The only problem is that the discovery from Fermi was eclipsed by CERN-Hadron in Switzerland.  I detect a whiff of intercontinental rivalry here.  CERN hasn’t checked all of its numbers yet either but if they are correct, the US has lost another scientific area that it has dominated for decades.  We closed the Fermi lab’s accelerator last year.  This will be lost on the conservatives as they go rampaging through the budget discarding anything that doesn’t blow people up.  Come to think of it, isn’t that what adolescent boys are into?  Blowing things up?  Some people never grow up.

It’s just frustrating that the states that have the most people in them and on the coasts are constantly trumped by the states in the south and the vast open prairies that refuse to evolve where the spaces between people are only rivaled by the spaces between neurons.

So, anyway, here’s a couple little ditties from SchoolHouse Rock.  Everyone sing along!

and

Liberal interpretation: “We the people in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice and ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and protect the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution, for the United States of America.”

Conservative interpretation: “We the people in order to provide for the common defense and protect the blessings of liberty for ourselves, do ordain and establish this constitution.”