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.
In 1971, astronomer Frank Drake, the father of the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, drew a map pinpointing Earth in our galaxy. That diagram, a “pulsar map,” was etched on a plaque designed by Frank and Carl Sagan and first carried into space in 1972 by the Pioneer 10 and 11 spacecraft. In 1977, the pulsar […]
Last night, NBC Nightly News aired the wonderful video below about the Voyager Golden Record vinyl box set I produced with my friends Tim Daly and Lawrence Azerrad! Forty years ago this month, NASA launched two spacecraft, Voyager 1 and 2, on a grand tour of the solar system and beyond, into the mysteries of […]
Machine learning algorithms have successfully identified plant species in massive herbaria just by looking at the dried specimens. According to researchers, similar AI approaches could also be used identify the likes of fly larvae and plant fossils. From Nature: There are roughly 3,000 herbaria in the world, hosting an estimated 350 million specimens — only […]
The Pry.Me Bottle Opener holds tens of thousands of times its own weight, and you can pick one up now from the Boing Boing Store.This remarkable keychain is considerably smaller than any of your keys, but don’t let that fool you: it can easily open any bottle, and could even tow a trailer full of […]
Guaranteeing your privacy online goes way beyond checking the “Do Not Track” option in your browser’s settings. To ensure that your internet activity is totally hidden from Internet Service Providers, advertisers, and other prying eyes, take a look at Windscribe’s VPN protection. It usually costs $7.50 per month, but you can get a 3-year subscription […]
This project management bundle will help you get organized and learn how to lead a team to success. You can pay what you want for these five courses when you pick them up from the Boing Boing Store.To help you become an invaluable asset for your company, this bundle includes a curated collection of professional […]