Welcome to Science Thursday! The best day of the week. We have some pretty exciting things to get to this week, so exciting, that I just had to take the time in-between writing three papers to whip this little thing up.
We start off in Geneva Switzerland. What is in Geneva, Switzerland? Why, the Large Hadron Collider, of course. The massive scientific machine, which was first turned on on 10 September, 2008, has already allow us a much deeper understanding of particle physics. In 2013, the machine was shut down for upgrades, and it is scheduled to be turned back on this week. However, an intermittent short circuit to ground in one of the machine’s magnet circuits was discovered last week, so it will not be turning on this week. The magnets in question use enormous energy, and have to be kept at a temperature of around 1.8K, which is colder than deep space. According to CERN’s press web page, the short could cause a delay of anywhere from days to weeks before the collider is brought back online.
Coming back to the states, NASA has announced it’s selection for its planned Asteroid Redirect Mission, or ARM. The option they selected, creatively named option B, involves a robot going to space and bringing a boulder from an asteroid into a lunar orbit around the Earth, where some astronauts will go look at it, and take samples and things. The other option they were considering, was called option A. The mission is planned to launch around the year 2020.
From space, to something that is, without a doubt, space age. There’s really no better way to say this. Scientists at MIT have solved the problem of that ketchup that just won’t come out of the bottle. They have developed a new non-stick material, to be used for things like ketchup and glue bottles. I’m just glad someone is spending time and money to solve this problem. Seriously though, it is kind of cool.
And the ever faithful BBC. While I know you’re devastated that Jeremy Clarkson has been removed from Top Gear (which means bye bye Top Gear), this is bound to cheer you up. Keeping with their habit of breaking fascinating news about prehistoric creatures, this. Giant salamanders used to roam the Earth, and at least one lake..that dried up and left them all to die.
For you science fiction fans out there, Ernest Cline’s novel Ready Player One is being made into a movie. Before you throw up your hands and cry out that this could be just another Ender’s Game fiasco (just read the book, and then, don’t see the movie), click the next link. Steven Spielberg is going to direct it. Ok, now you can throw up your hands and cry out. Hollywood is no match for the power of your imagination, hollywood is no match for the power of your imagination…ahhhhh…just read the fucking book! (Link nswf.) Whoa, what happened there? I blacked out for a second. Something about dragons? Anyways….
BISON! My brethren. For those of you who don’t know, I spend some time as a bison during the summer of 2013, so this story hits close to my heart. In an emotional way, not like, a stake or something. Discover Magazine reports that wood bison now roam American forests for the first time in a century. This is just fantastic. A group of around 30 bison were released into the Alaskan wilderness on Sunday as part of a reintegration of the species into the wild. So, that settles where I’ll be going for summer break. Just kidding.
And we close with more news about comet 67P C/G. The comet’s rotation is slowing at an ever increasing rate as it moves closer and closer to the sun. In the meanwhile, european space officials have not been able to raise a response from the Philae lander captured our hearts in November with it’s heroic efforts to, you know, not crash and whatnot. And for that, we will never forget it.
So, those are this weeks science things that I thought were worth mentioning. Remember to always check the nets for your own interesting science headlines, and we’ll see you next week. Thanks for reading!