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Comment Re:What automobile ? (Score 1) 1141

You, Sir, seem to be unaware of The Zombie Survival Guide ( It explains, plainly and vividly, why in a real zombie outbreak, the person laughing would be the one escaping on his bicycle in between the cars on a jammed and/or blocked freeway, while you in your useless car would either die of dehydration or be eaten on the spot.
Open Source

Open Source Developer Knighted 101

unixfan writes "Georg Greve, developer of Open Document Format and active FOSS developer, has received a knighthood in Germany for his work. From the article: 'Some weeks ago I received news that the embassy in Berne had unsuccessfully been trying to contact me under FSFE's old office address in Zurich. This was a bit odd and unexpected. So you can probably understand my surprise to be told by the embassy upon contacting them that on 18 December 2009 I had been awarded the Cross of Merit on ribbon (Verdienstkreuz am Bande) by the Federal Republic of Germany. As you might expect, my first reaction was one of disbelief. I was, in fact, rather shaken. You could also say shocked. Quick Wikipedia research revealed this to be part of the orders of knighthood, making this a Knight's Cross.'"

Comment Re:Bottom/Anti-Bottom Hypernuclei? (Score 1) 179

It's not an ignorant question at all. I think the answer would indeed be that bottom quarks are so heavy they decay too quickly for us to observe them in bound states like hypernuclei.

The question is basically the same as - you can read up on that one quite well on Wikipedia - "Why do we observe charm quarks and bottom quarks in bound states such as the J/Psi or Bottomonium, but no Topponium?"

Comment Re:Has anyone noticed? (Score 1) 179

It's simple, really: We know about most of the matter that is common around here, which is matter that exists under the conditions that we have here.

Now, when we go ahead and try to create hitherto unknown forms of matter, we create extreme conditions not normally encountered around us. A way to do this that we understand fairly well is to create extreme pressures and extreme temperatures, as in RHIC collisions.

As it happens, those are the conditions inside collapsed stars, so when we discover new forms of matter this way, it's likely that it exist there, as well.

Your friendly neighborhood hopefully-soon-to-be astrophysicist

Comment Re:"Anti-strange"? (Score 3, Informative) 179

Wouldn't an Anti-Strange Hypernuclei just be a Normal Hypernuclei?


"Strange", in this context, means "having the attribute of positive strangeness", which means that these hypernuclei are composed of at least one nucleon which, in turn, is composed of at least one strange quark (as opoosed to "ordinary" up and down quarks).

Thus, "anti-strange" means "having the attribute of negative strangeness", which stands for all the ablove blah-blah, but with "strange anti-quark" inserted instead of "strange quark".

Comment Misleading summary (Score 5, Insightful) 179

Hypernuclei with negative strangeness haven't been "created for the first time". They've been produced in RHIC collisions for as long as they've been running (with sufficient energy), and it's only now that we've been able to see them.

That, however, is quite the accomplishment, as relativistic heavy ions collisions are so complex that we're hardly begun to understand what happens in them. Think a two-hundred-truck collision at 1,000 mph, and you're interested in what screw came from which truck and how the drivers' shoes were tied.

[No truck drivers were hurt in the writing of this comment!]


Man Sues Neighbor For Not Turning Off His Wi-Fi 428

Scyth3 writes "A man is suing his neighbor for not turning off his cell phone or wireless router. He claims it affects his 'electromagnetic allergies,' and has resorted to being homeless. So, why doesn't he check into a hotel? Because hotels typically have wireless internet for free. I wonder if a tinfoil hat would help his cause?"

Comment Re:Digital Hadron Calorimeter?!? (Score 4, Informative) 36

Well, it makes sense to someone familiar with accelerator design, but it's pretty redundant:

A calorimeter measures the deposition of energy along the trajectory of particles created in or scattered by a collision. Since other, more precise or better suited methods for measuring electromagnetic particles such as electron and muons exist, calorimeters are mostly used for hadrons. And it is highly likely that it be digital, because without a trigger for choosing ~200 events per second to be saved and processed out of hundreds of thousands that actually ocur every second, you'd have yourself a nice, useless analog calorimeter.

So yeah, "Digital Hadron Calorimeter" is a bit of a buzzword-fest, but it gets the message across.


Penguin Poop Seen From Space 86

Scientists have found ten new emperor penguin colonies by spotting their skid marks on the Antarctic ice from satellite images (video on page). The ice around the penguins gets very dirty because they congregate in a small area in very large colonies for months. Peter Fretwell, Mapping Expert, British Antarctic Survey says, "What we find is that we can see the guano (excrement) from space. They stay in the same space in very large colonies for eight months of the year and the ice around them gets very dirty, and it's that that we can see on the satellite images."

Comment Probably forbidden by international treaties (Score 5, Insightful) 432

There is a Treaty banning Nuclear Weapon Tests In The Atmosphere, In Outer Space And Under Water (, which would probably hold and prevent this from happening, even though the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty ( still allows nuclear explosions for "peaceful purposes". Anyway, the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty (, which stands on much better fotting again since Obama supports it, would definitely prevent it.

Comment Re:nobel (Score 5, Informative) 104

It wouldn't matter much at all to Maxwell's equations. The model is well fit to accommodate magnetic monopoles, if the

div B = 0

equation were modified to read, say

div B = rho_m / mu_0

in analogy to Gauss' law. The defining qualities of Maxwell's model, such as the compliance with relativity, would remain intact.

For further reading on this, David J. Griffiths' 'Introduction to Electrodynamics' is many a professor's first recommendation to students.

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