Posts Tagged ‘Hawaii’
The CERN lab near Geneva, like many other research facilities, offers tours of the premises
They may be at work pursuing the greatest mysteries of the physical world—yet the men and women who operate the world’s most prestigious physics and astronomy laboratories aren’t necessarily too busy to host guests. Throughout the world, physics and astronomy labs—many of them shimmering like stars in the wake of tremendous discoveries and achievements, some on mountaintops, others underground—welcome visitors to tour the premises, see the equipment, look through the telescopes and ponder just why they almost always make you wear a hardhat.
CERN. It’s the little things in life that really matter to the researchers at CERN, or the European Organization for Nuclear Research. This facility—located near Geneva, Switzerland—has gained superstardom over the last year, after announcing the discovery of what had been a holy grail of physics for decades—sometimes called the “God particle.” First predicted by physicist Peter Higgs in 1964, the then-theoretical particle, which pops from a field that is believed to give other particles their mass—became known as the Higgs boson before more recently assuming its grandiose nickname.
CERN’s $10 billion atom smasher, called the Large Hadron Collider, had been at work for several years in its subterranean home in the Alps, beneath the French-Swiss border, colliding protons at high speeds before rendering what seemed to be evidence for the God particle in 2012.
Should you be in the charming Swiss countryside this summer, consider taking a guided tour of this most distinguished of the world’s great physics laboratories.
RTFA and consider many other tours around the world’s leading science labs. Leave more suggestions if you’re so inclined.
Pearl Harbor survivor Stan Swartz bows his head after the national anthem at the 71st anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor at the WW II Valor in the Pacific National Monument in Honolulu, Hawaii December 7, 2012.
Let us remember absent friends.
Subaru’s SHARC (Subaru Highway Automated Response Concept) has been named the winner of the 2012 LA Design Challenge. The futuristic concept car was chosen by the judges as the best embodiment of the “Highway Patrol Vehicle 2025.”
Subaru’s SHARC beat six other automotive design studios, each of which presented its own concept of “the ultimate 2025 law enforcement patrol vehicle that supports the needs of dynamic urban environments.”
Subaru’s design for an unmanned 24-hour highway monitoring vehicle is intended for use by Hawaii’s highway patrol to police the state’s hypothetical “Paradise Highway” spanning the waters between the islands in 2025. The design is meant to be not only cutting edge, but also to conform to Hawaii’s UltraGreen carbon-neutral environmental regulations and eliminate the need for a large patrol staff in a time of shrinking budgets.
The SHARC is basically a big kevlar balloon with a framework made out of memory material that changes when you run a charge through it. Launched out of a tube, it expands to full size revealing wheels that are shockingly multipurpose. Each one has a 96 bhp electric wheel hub motor and the band-like tires have two tread surfaces set at an angle so the SHARC can make high-speed runs or navigate rough terrain. In between the treads is a slot for the headlamps and tail lights to shine through and the blade-like wheel spokes are actually propellers for when the SHARC takes to the air.
At the end of the day, SHARC deflates itself, rolls itself up again and goes back in its tube.
Um, imaginative comes to mind.
Astronomers have made the largest map yet of dark matter in the universe. This invisible stuff gives off no light, but it does exert gravity on its surroundings. It probably consists of unknown elementary particles, and it’s much more prevalent than the normal matter from which stars, planets, and people are made. The new map shows that dark matter is concentrated in huge clumps and filaments, with giant, empty regions in between—just as computer simulations had predicted…
Mapping the invisible may sound impossible, but in fact it’s rather simple. Just as an invisible man sleeping in your bed will leave wrinkles in the sheets, the gravity of invisible dark matter produces minute distortions in the observed shapes of background galaxies. Using this “weak lensing” effect to map dark matter is “a first important step to understand the dark Universe,” says…Catherine Heymans of the University of Edinburgh…
Working with the 340-megapixel MegaCam camera on the 3.6-meter Canada-France-Hawaii Telescope (CFHT) on Mauna Kea, Hawaii, the team spent 5 years imaging 10 million galaxies at distances of about 6 billion light-years. “Our map is about a hundred times larger than the largest dark matter map to date,” Van Waerbeke says. A statistical analysis of the shapes of the galaxies revealed the spatial distribution of the intervening dark matter.
The results…look very much like supercomputer simulations of the evolution of the universe, with dark matter clumped into a “cosmic web” of filaments and knots. The clumpy knots, where most of the dark matter is concentrated, neatly coincide with huge clusters of galaxies, just as cosmological theories suggest.
In fact, says astrophysicist Rachel Mandelbaum of Princeton University, “projects like the CFHT Lensing Survey can be used to test theories of dark matter and general relativity.” So far, Ludovic Van Waerbeke says, “everything looks okay. The maps show exactly what we expected.” In other words, the results confirm current popular ideas about the physics, makeup, and evolution of the universe.
Still no sightings of angels, demons, gods and other critters from popular superstitions.
Four robots have set out on an epic 66,000km journey across the Pacific Ocean. Created by US firm Liquid Robotics, the four are aiming to set the record for the longest distance at sea travelled by an unmanned craft.
Throughout their journey the robots will gather lots of data about the composition and quality of sea water. The journey is expected to take about 300 days, and is designed to inspire researchers to study ocean health.
The robots were launched from the St Francis Yacht Club on the edge of San Francisco harbour on 17 November.
Initially the four will travel as a flotilla to Hawaii and then will split into two pairs. One will go on to Australia and the other will head to Japan to support a dive on the Mariana Trench – the deepest part of the ocean.
The robots manage to move thanks to interaction between the two halves of the autonomous vehicle. The upper half of the wave-riding robot is shaped like a stunted surfboard and it is attached by a cable to a lower part that sports a series of fins and a keel.
Interaction between the two parts brought about by the motion of the waves enables the robot to propel itself.
Electrical power for sensors is provided by solar panels on the upper surface of the robot…
The wave-riding robots are veterans of ocean-going science and helped monitor the spread of oil during the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico. Before now the longest single journey they have undertaken was over a distance of 2,500 miles.
Bravo. Does anyone know if we will be able to trace them along their travels?
Here’s a link from Ursarodina to sign up for periodic updates: http://tinyurl.com/86op5n5
The teaching profession catches a lot of political flak these days [mostly from dunderheads], so it’s nice to see a story like this, where a deserving educator gets what we would consider a pretty cool prize.
Chad Miller, a high school teacher in Kailua, Hawaii, will be rolling around in a Mitsubishi i MIEV for a year, provided by his local Mitsu dealer. Miller will also get two charging stations – one for home and another for his school – courtesy of AeroVironment. The EV was awarded to Miller for being named State Teacher of the Year.
We’ve written before about how Hawaii represents a perfect environment for electric cars, and this prize seems like a good grassroots marketing effort for both Mitsubishi and EVs in general. No doubt Miller will be the focus of some amount of attention from Kailua High’s thousand-plus students, especially since a charging station will be installed at the school.
Although he is a language arts teacher, we hope Miller will be generous in letting some of the science teachers at the school develop some curriculum around the car, as well.
I certainly hope so, as well. None of the teachers in my family ever got such a snazzy prize – even when they won comparable awards.
Zophia and Nicole
A pregnant woman and her husband were arrested for allegedly stealing two sandwiches at a supermarket in Honolulu, resulting in their 3-year-old daughter being put into state care for 18 hours, officials said on Saturday.
The supermarket that called the police was a Safeway in Makiki, a neighborhood in Honolulu. “From our preliminary investigation, it appears we may not have handled this matter in the best possible way. We are taking this situation seriously, and giving it our full attention,” Safeway said in a statement.
Do you think?
Famished mother Nicole Leczcyzynski, 30-weeks pregnant, was feeling faint and noshed on a chicken salad sandwich while shopping at the store on Wednesday, Leczcyzynski said in an interview with local television station KHON.
She paid for roughly $50 dollars worth of groceries but forgot about the two sandwiches, valued at $5 each, according to Safeway.
The family was stopped by security staff while leaving the store. Leczcyzynski offered to pay for the sandwiches, she said, but the security guard called the police, the couple were arrested, and their daughter was taken into custody by Child Protective Services…
Both Leczcyzynski, and her husband, Marcin, were charged with theft, Honolulu police said. Bail was set at $50 apiece.
When did Hawaii become one of the Confederate states?
Daylife/AP Photo used by permission
Hawaii’s Senate has given final passage to a measure legalizing same-sex unions in the state, and Gov. Neil Abercrombie has said he will sign it.
The state House had already passed the bill, which “extends the same rights, benefits, protections and responsibilities of spouses in a marriage to partners in a civil union,” according to the Legislature’s website. It will take effect January 1, 2012…
“I have always believed that civil unions respect our diversity, protect people’s privacy and reinforce our core values of equality and aloha,” Abercrombie said in a statement. “For me, this bill represents equal rights for all the people of Hawaii…”
Five states and the District of Columbia issue marriage licenses to same-sex couples, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Hawaii will join New Jersey in allowing civil unions.
Voters in Hawaii appear to have elected someone capable of bringing their personal politics into the 21st Century. Here in New Mexico we’ve been relegated to a “same old solution” resolution to our last election. Being Hispanic, Catholic, much beloved by police departments was an edge unable overcome by an exceptionally lackluster Democrat.
Here we have Susana Martinez who makes it clear that her bible told her so and therefore it must be obeyed. I shan’t waste your time on what 14th Century guidebooks to success don’t have on offer to modern society. Suffice it to say we all still live in a nation that refuses to accede to questions of civil rights with any more grace than did the bigots of the 1950′s.
History tends to resolve the stupidity and inequity of human behavior grounded in superstition and hatred. But, it seems to take an inordinate length of time. Extending equal civil rights to all citizens seems to be a no-brainer; but, we often have an excess of fools without brains. They also get one vote apiece.
Five Hawaii Democratic state legislators have introduced a bill that would allow anyone seeking an original, certified copy of Barack Obama’s birth record to obtain one — for $110.
The measure, introduced in the state legislature last week, would change a state law that currently limits the release of vital documents to persons with a “direct and tangible interest,” such as family members.
“I’m hoping that it will also reduce the number of calls that we get and calm the birthers down,” said the bill’s sponsor, Rep. Rida Cabanilla, in an interview. “It may to a certain extent reduce the conspiracy theories, but at least the fee might reduce the number of frivolous calls asking for explanations about why a copy cannot be released.”
The Obama campaign released an electronic copy of his “certification of live birth” in 2008. But it didn’t quiet skeptics who insist, without evidence, that Obama was born in Kenya. They have flooded phone lines at Hawaii’s health department with hundreds of requests for access to original documents.
The certified copy lists the date, hour and location of Obama’s birth, as well as the names and races of his parents. It includes an embossed seal of authenticity from the Department of Health, according to images posted online.
“Those records are very fragile and are kept in a state vault. They shouldn’t be released or exposed to the elements,” said Cabanilla. “We’re hoping providing people access to the certified copy will quiet them down.”
Which is as absurd as explaining the world is round to some of the same crowd in the KoolAid Party.
Nutballs convinced of one or another conspiracy theory are perfectly religious, no different from any other apocalyptic sect, in that they see no science, reason or material fact able to dissuade their True Belief. All the rest of reality must be wrong.