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Let’s Review 100: ” listen: there’s a hell of a good universe next door; let’s go”

Swim Lessons: A Life in Pools

In recent years, physicists have been watching the data coming in from the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) with a growing sense of unease. We’ve spent decades devising elaborate accounts for the behavior of the quantum zoo of subatomic particles, the most basic components of the known universe. The Standard Model is the pinnacle of our achievements to date, with some of its theoretical predictions verified to within a one-in-ten-billion chance of error – a simply astounding degree of accuracy. But it leaves many questions unanswered. For one, where does gravity come from? Why do matter particles always possess three, ever-heavier copies, with peculiar patterns in their masses? What is dark matter, and why does the Universe contain more matter than antimatter?

How People Created Ice in the Desert 2,000 Years Ago

Nano-House: World’s Smallest Home Built in a Vacuum by Micro-Robots Standing just over one two-thousandth of an inch (.0006 inches), the world’s tiniest home sits on an optical fiber lot that is about a million times smaller than a typical two-story, single-family house. Designed and built byFrench researchers from the Femto-ST Institute, the micro-home features all the hallmarks of a cozy little residence: gable roof, windows, a chimney and, of course, a front door.

Credito Emiliano and Parmigiano: the curious story of the bank taking cheese as investment collateral As a bank profoundly rooted in its territory, Credito Emiliano understood the dilemma faced by farmers almost every season and decided to act: they were to offer them loans, asking as a guarantee for repayment a given amount of cheese wheels. The wheels’ value would increase in time, giving the bank financial insurance. In other words, the sheer market value of the cheese itself was, and still is today, a good reason to accept it as a loan guarantee: in the end, depending on the aging, a wheel of real Parmigiano can go for anything between 900 and 2500 USD.

A Mysterious Stone From Roanoke’s “Lost Colony” “If this stone is real, it’s the most significant artifact in American history of early European settlement,” said Ed Schrader, a geologist and president of Brenau University in Georgia, where the stone is kept. “And if it’s not, it’s one of the most magnificent forgeries of all time.”

The all-time record high temperatures for Los Angeles are the result of faulty weather stations and should be disqualified |

But it was in America that pizza found its second home. By the end of the 19th century, Italian emigrants had already reached the East Coast; and in 1905, the first pizzeria – Lombardi’s – was opened in New York City. Soon, pizza became an American institution. Spreading across the country in step with the growing pace of urbanization, it was quickly taken up by enterprising restaurateurs (who were often not from an Italian background) and adapted to reflect local tastes, identities, and needs.

Forty-Five Things I Learned in the Gulag 1. The extreme fragility of human culture, civilization. A man becomes a beast in three weeks, given heavy labor, cold, hunger, and beatings.
2. The main means for depraving the soul is the cold. Presumably, in Central Asian camps people held out longer, for it was warmer there.
3. I realized that friendship, comradeship, would never arise in really difficult, life-threatening conditions. Friendship arises in difficult but bearable conditions (in the hospital, but not at the pit face).
4. I realized that the feeling a man preserves longest is anger. There is only enough flesh on a hungry man for anger: everything else leaves him indifferent.
5. I realized that Stalin’s “victories” were due to his killing the innocent—an organization a tenth the size would have swept Stalin away in two days.

Boxed in: life inside the ‘coffin cubicles’ of Hong Kong

Room For One More? This 250-room mansion is the largest privately owned home in the US

Fifty years later comes Stanley Kubrick explanation of the baffling end of “2001: “The idea was supposed to be that he is taken in by god-like entities, creatures of pure energy and intelligence with no shape or form. They put him in what I suppose you could describe as a human zoo to study him, and his whole life passes from that point on in that room. And he has no sense of time. It just seems to happen as it does in the film. They choose this room, which is a very inaccurate replica of French architecture — deliberately so, inaccurate — because one was suggesting that they had some idea of something that he might think was pretty, but wasn’t quite sure. Just as we’re not quite sure what do in zoos with animals to try to give them what we think is their natural environment.”

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  • Kerry July 9, 2018, 7:15 PM

    Fiore’s deli, Hoboken, NJ. Mozzarella made on site, just like in this video. You could buy it in knots. Do not refrigerate! Makes my mouth water just thinking about it. With Jersey tomato slices on fresh Hoboken bread, yum-o, what a fabulous treat! It’s one of the few things I miss about NJ.

  • mezzrow July 9, 2018, 7:40 PM

    Is that BEANZ with a Z? I did not know they did that.

  • BillH July 10, 2018, 7:11 AM

    Boxed in: life inside the ‘coffin cubicles’ of Hong Kong…. My hooch in VN was only about twice that big, and I was field grade.

  • Casey Klahn July 10, 2018, 9:47 AM

    Superassymetry. That is science beyond my pay grade, but I do like to dip my toes in it every once in a while. My son and I were comparing how that when I was his age, the Earth was a half billion years old, and in my lifetime it has aged to circa 4 billion years old. No wonder I feel so creaky.

    Record High temps. My fam & I were at Sea World for the record high in SoCal. The only thing that saved us was the beach. Glad to be home in the cool weather. It is funny to read about dumb weather station placement. Now, we can look at an array of stations in our area and watch how weather works regionally. I used to do that back in the day – look at the barometric readings in the Cascade mountains and go either north or south to find the better mountain to climb on a given weekend.

    I avoided politics perfectly well. The subjects of the day in California among the polite seem to be Uber, hybrids and electric Muskmobiles. I rode in one of those, and wondered if one ran out of fuel could he carry a little red can to the corner station and bring back a gallon of electricity?

    Stalin. Have you seen the comedy @ the death of Stalin? It makes the Sove history palatable, but nightmare stories like Shalamov’s must pepper our conscience. We Americans have plenty of Soviet-style behavior, nowadays. It pales by comparison, but the slope, like Shalimov’s arctic pit, is slippery. “I saw what a weighty argument for the intellectual is the most ordinary slap in the face.”

    BillH. My compliments.

  • Vanderleun July 10, 2018, 12:37 PM

    Welcome back, Casey.

  • ghostsniper July 10, 2018, 1:57 PM

    Casey, you just run a USB from your phone to the dash outlet and back-charge it.
    Unless you’ve run the phone down texting while driving.

  • ghostsniper July 10, 2018, 1:58 PM

    Or, maybe you can put it in reverse and push it for awhile and recharge it.

  • Casey Klahn July 10, 2018, 5:40 PM

    Ghost: one lady was afraid to back her hybrid up in the parking lot for some reason. She was afraid it would rev backwards too fast.

    They are swank new cars, that’s for sure. Must go with the price tag.

  • LS July 10, 2018, 6:52 PM

    “Here’s to sugar on your strawberries.”