Scientists at the CERN center in Geneva are going to crank up the Large Hadron Collider this week, hoping to detect or even create miniature black holes. If they are successful, they can even reveal parallel universes. Does that mean like Bizarro world on the Superfriends? I’m no physicist, but aren’t even teensy tiny black holes kinda dangerous? Hmmmm. It’s supposed to be a “game-changer”. Stay tuned and keep an eye on your event horizon.
Scientists used to come up with better stuff than this. Another one from the “who paid for this ingenious study?” files. Even ABC News was on this story two years ago, and they didn’t tout any scientific evidence:
I went to Target the other day to spend approximately 20% of my husband’s take-home pay (as we tend to do here in the affluent suburbs). Now that they sell groceries, there is nothing I can’t get there! Included in my purchases was a bottle of NyQuil. Well, not really NyQuil, but the Target generic brand of NyQuil – it’s almost three bucks cheaper! Upon checking out, the emaciated young cashier asked for my ID. For the faux NyQuil. Huh? He didn’t just look at it, he scanned it! That makes me not so happy, now that Target, and probably “the man”, has all the info on my purchases in addition to my personal information.
Later that same day, I went to the local hardware store to get some hydrochloric acid for my son’s science fair experiment (something about the relationship between pH and boiling points). I walked in and asked for it, was shown directly to the shelf, and had my choice of quart or gallon jugs of hydrochloric acid (called muriatic acid which is really a 38% solution of hydrochloric acid). I selected a quart and went up to the cashier. Nobody asked for ID.
I started laughing and shared my story of Target and generic NyQuil. Soon there were four employees yucking it up in the front of the store, and they shared the fact that they cannot sell spray paint to anyone under 18. I reminded them that it is Pinewood derby season in the suburbs, and they laughingly told me that Cub Scouts need not apply! I paid cash for my dangerous acid, and scoffed at them, reminding them that they had no idea who I was, or what my intentions were for the acid! Bwah-ha-ha-ha-ha! As I left, one of the gents shouted “HAVE FUN WITH YOUR ACID!!!”. Does this make any sense?
It is Science Fair season in our affluent suburb, and it seems like only yesterday I was shouting at my children to focus and finish their projects only hours before last year’s fair was to begin. Each year, the children decide at the last minute that they would like to participate in the fair, but they can’t come up with anything cool that they can do in the next 10 days (last year’s mummified chicken wasn’t done the night before the fair!). Then they talk with their friends about doing a project together. Yay! Then the other parent calls you, being kinda pushy about it, and declaring how her child only has two hours available to do the fair, so are they on or what? We have to figure out if we have to get a poster board! Huh? Can’t we just teach the children a lesson in planning ahead, and say “you know what, you kids won’t have enough time to get together to do your best work on this, so we can either do something individually, or just not do it this year”. I hate to be a downer, but slamming something crappy together seems worse than not participating, right? Children at this age haven’t learned the hideous nature of group projects. To them, the group project is simply an opportunity to play and horse around, and take part in the mayhem that is the Science Fair. So now we are on the hook for a group project. The fair is in six days, and the team has spent 40 minutes working on their idea (cue the blank stare as to what there is still left to do). It is no wonder that the frazzled, baking-soda dappled parents look really fatigued on the night of the fair. I reckon the PTO would make a boatload of money replacing the bake sale with a cash bar.
Popular Science reports on technology from Texas Tech University that could be helpful in the fight to clean up all that pesky oil in the Gulf of Mexico. It’s a cotton/charcoal product that can absorb and detox oil. The only trouble is, these guys are not Nobel Prize winners, not from Harvard, and don’t have a personal friend in the current administration, or at BP. Chances are, the government won’t want them to make a buck on their cool product, either. Here’s the summary:
A major research institution has just announced the discovery of the densest element yet known to science. The new element has been named Pelosium. Pelosium has one neutron, 12 assistant neutrons, 75 deputy neutrons, and 224 assistant deputy neutrons, giving it an atomic mass of 311.
These particles are held together by dark forces called morons, which are surrounded by vast quantities of lepton-like particles called peons.
The symbol of Pelosium is PU.
Pelosium’s mass actually increases over time, as morons randomly interact with various elements in the atmosphere and become assistant deputy neutrons within the Pelosium molecule, leading to the formation of isodopes.
This characteristic of moron-promotion leads some scientist to believe that Pelosium is formed whenever morons reach a certain quantity in concentration. This hypothetical quantity is referred to as Critical Morass.
When catalyzed with money, Pelosium activates CNNadnausium, an element that radiates orders of magnitude more energy, albeit as incoherent noise, since it has half as many peons but twice as many morons as Pelosium