Science journalist Dave Mosher found a perfectly charming way to propose to his girlfriend, Kendra Snyder. Snyder is a communications officer with Brookhaven National Laboratory, home of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider, in which physicists collide gold ions in an attempt to study the state of the Universe in the moments after the Big Bang.
Just before 4:00 p.m., Kendra's boss Pete pulls her aside to say he has received an unusual phone call from a physicist at RHIC. The physicist -- aka Bill -- found a rare crystalline deposit in RHIC's beamline at the STAR detector, he says, and needs her to go down and see if it's worth writing a story about.
Conveniently, Pete and all of Kendra's other coworkers are tied up. Even Kendra's eager intern turns down the opportunity to see this bizarre deposit and the giant detector.
How weird, Kendra thinks.
After a 5-minute drive, she meets Bill the physicist at the fiveish-story loading dock outside of the detector's chamber. Bill starts to spout mumbo-jumbo about beamline metals, collision energies, crystallization environments, chemical reactions, and so on. They walk behind an enormous concrete radiation shield and there is the colossal detector, recently opened up for its usual summer maintenance period.
They walk up a dual staircase and onto a platform just below the particle beamline. "And that's the kind of crystal we found," says Bill, and quickly scurries down the other side of the staircase. It's a diamond ring in a box.
Mathematician Stephen Wolfram and his company do a lot of consulting for Hollywood. But he doesn’t often do it on an urgent basis because a movie is about to shoot and they neglected to “tech the tech.” When I first started looking at the script for [Arrival], I quickly realized that to make coherent suggestions […]
Can you “hear” motion or light flashes? If so, according to new research from City University London, you may be experiencing a not-so-rare form of synaesthesia. Synesthesia is the fascinating neurological phenomenon whereby stimulation of one sense involuntarily triggers another sensory pathway. For example, a synesthete might taste sounds or hear colors. (In this study, […]
Scientists declared the ruby seadragon a new species in 2015, but that was based on dead specimens in a museum. Now though, Scripps Institution of Oceanography biologist Greg Rouse who led the team that originally discovered the species, managed to find two of the wonderful fish swimming around the Recherche Archipelago, off the south coast […]
You know as well as I that writing complex, long-long form text requires significant organization. You’re probably also well aware that Word just isn’t up to the task. That’s why I’m a huge fan of Scrivener, the software suite used by best-selling authors and technical writers alike.Scrivener is much more than another digital typewriter. With a […]
Looking to upgrade your weekend? Here are three randomly awesome products on my mind this week.#3 FRESHeBUDS Pro Magnetic Bluetooth EarbudsAs more and more phones and gadgets switch to Bluetooth-only compatibility, you’ll need to get Bluetooth headphones like the rest of us. I’ve been super impressed with these affordable magnetic headphones. Pull the magnetic earbuds apart to auto-connect […]
Traditional folding wallets are designed for paper bills—but these days, carrying cash is rarely a necessity. More often than not, I don’t carry cash at all. This Bogui Clik Wallet is the best answer I’ve found for avoiding the hassle of those tight-fitting credit card pockets.This attractive, minimalist wallet features a protective lip, so my cards don’t […]