Archive for the ‘current news’ Category

Higgs bosons are made in high-energy collisions between pairs of particles that have been accelerated to nearly the speed of light. These bosons don’t live for very long — only about 10^minus 22 seconds. A particle with that lifetime, traveling at the speed of light, will decay long before it travels a distance the size of an atom. Thus, it is impossible to directly observe Higgs bosons. It is only possible to observe their decay products and use them to infer the properties of the parent boson.
Physicists have made the first unambiguous observation of Higgs bosons decaying into a matter-antimatter pair of bottom quarks. Surprisingly, the Higgs bosons decay most often in this way.
The new announcement shows a strong agreement between the theoretical predictions and the experimental data, which could in turn set strict constraints on ideas of more fundamental physics that strive to explain why the Higgs boson even exists.
In the 1960s, researchers were investigating linkages between the force of electromagnetism and the weak nuclear force, which is responsible for some types of radioactive decays. Although the two forces seemed distinct, it turned out that they both arose from a common and more fundamental force, now called the electroweak force.
However, there was a problem. The simplest manifestation of the theory predicted that all particles had zero mass. Even in the 1960s, physicists knew that subatomic particles had mass, so that was potentially a fatal flaw.
Several groups of scientists proposed a solution to this problem: A field permeates the universe, and it’s called the Higgs field. Fundamental subatomic particles interacted with this field, and this interaction gave them their mass. [6 Implications of Finding the Higgs Boson]
The existence of the field also implied the existence of a subatomic particle, called the Higgs boson, which was finally discovered in 2012 by researchers working at the European Organization for Nuclear Research(CERN) laboratory in Switzerland. ( For their predictions of the Higgs field, British physicist Peter Higgs and Belgian physicist François Englert shared the 2013 Nobel Prize in physics.
(Ack :Live Science/First-Ever Observation of Higgs Boson Decay Opens New Doors for Particle Physics-Don Lincoln/ August 28, 2018)


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“For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be (Matt.24:21)”.
Jesus knowing his time on the earth was drawing nearer explained what must occur on the earth before he comes second time.In the Bible often we are given future events telescoping into one other. This discourse began with the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem. It was fulfilled in 70 AD. Also significant is the fact many events have since taken place. “For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places. All these are the beginning of sorrows(Matt.24:7-8)”.
But are such events as Vesuvius eruption destroying Pompeii or a giant tsunami hitting Santorini island unique? These events causing rise and fall of world empires, and natural calamities leading to drought floods volcanic eruptions are part and parcel of the history of mankind. The prophecy of Jesus as to end times is also echoed,- we have several passages from the scriptures, notably from the Books of Daniel and of Apocalypse.
In the Book of Revelation we read of Satan personified by a red dragon and two beasts one rising out of the sea and the other from the earth. With them erupt the times of sorrows. Firstly the dragon is against God and his saints. He shall check the salvation plan of God with whatever means at his disposal. So he shall deceive in the same manner he deceived man through Eve. Do we not see even now nations employing spin doctors and PR men to deceive the people? Lately I hear ‘Truth is not truth’ so one may imagine how deep we are in the sea of mendacity riding ever high.

The sea in parlance of the Spirit signifies people, nations. Prophet Isaiah compares them to waters ever throwing up mire and dirt. Always there are things to do and cause division as we see these days on racial lines, migrants and locals. The beast with composite animal parts is a man of the people. He could be a populist catering to stir up passions using choicest epithets. He resembled a leopard but had the feet of a bear. What made him come to prominence but the bear and a mouth like that of a lion? Bear and lion are often emblems designating nations. Bear for Russia and lion for Great Britain is too familiar for further explanation. So what shall we makes of the beast having feet of a bear? What facilitates his rise to prominence could be his base or money that the bear made available for his rise. His words are for tearing up his perceived enemies so lion is in the sense of braggadocio. Where did his power come from but from the red dragon.’The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast’ could mean the ideology he espouses shall find many nations taking up.
Compare this beast with the beast in the vision of Daniel “The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a human being, and the mind of a human was given to it(Dan.7:4-NIV). The eagle with wings plucked of signifies obviously its grandeur on the wane. The bear the eagle are symbols currently representing nations.What we need consider the events facing us is part of the thrust to which human history must pay heed.
In an unspecified date such a beast a populist and a braggart who demands overwhelming adulation and loyalty shall appear. What we see now are merely dry runs of populism and when this man of perdition does appear the reality shall bite all the more with vengeance.

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Ghosting is a word you cannot do without. Have you ever had the feeling of a Christmas dinner with all the festivities going about you, all you can do is feel but absent? You are staring at your smartphone wondering why no one has bothered to reply your DM? ‘Am I deleted from memory of my buddies?’ The stark truth is that you have been ‘ghosted.’ Only when the Christmas Spirit has come and gone and your siblings think you are a stranger, you know what it is to be trapped in digital limbo. Ghosting happens to the best. In the world of apps a emoji takes precedence over you. It is a protocol for which Facebook, Twitter and so on reserve all that razzmatazz to hook you in. Ghosting comes after you have entered the world of Socialmedia.

Shadowbanking: Shadow banking consists of any financial transactions carried out by institutions that don’t have a formal banking license, in other words institutions that are not directly regulated or overseen by government bodies. Examples of these are credit card companies, insurance companies, PayPal, the institutions within banking that lend money back and forth between banks. Nobody knows how large this sector is, but current estimates put shadow banking at $160 trillion (£124 trillion) and OTC(Over the counter) transactions at $532 trillion (£412 trillion), or roughly twice and six-and-a-half times the GDP of the entire Earth, respectively. Both sectors were of course heavily involved in creating the 2008 crash, and both have remained almost unaltered since then. We need to understand the jargon-filled language of the economic elites, because otherwise they will write their own rules. If political parties drag their feet in cleaning up their act right you may draw your own conclusion.
Digital design ethics

Referring to the ‘attention crisis’ – the fact that no one can take their eyes off their smartphones – James Williams writes that “the liberation of human attention may be the defining moral and political struggle of our time”. He observes that widely-used platforms such as Google, Facebook, and Twitter are basically advertising companies, and they are developing a science of attentional capture whose main aim is to exploit vulnerabilities in our willpower and manipulate us into buying things. Our smartphones give these companies an easy conduit into our heads. Williams is currently a researcher in design ethics at the Oxford Internet Institute; he is part of a pushback against ‘Big Tech’ that is asking difficult questions about how our minds are being rewired for commercial purposes. His argument that the social contract, the idea of human rights, should be extended to cyberspace is gaining traction. Was the creation of the internet not supposed to be the dawn of a technological and informational utopia? Even its father, Tim Berners-Lee, the inventor of the world wide web, is convinced it is failing us.

Catfishing refers to people who construct false identities online and, whether out of boredom, loneliness or malice, lure other people into continued messaging correspondence, thereby building false relationships with them (the apparent source of the term ‘catfish’ is a 2010 documentary called Catfish.

Woke: African Americans in the US came to the realisation that racism never really went away, it just camouflaged its fundamental failure of empathy as tolerance – this is a contention of the US Black Lives Matter movement that gathered strength after the shooting in 2013 of the 17-year-old African-American boy Trayvon Martin. From there the term has been making the short jump to other second- (eg LGBT) and third- (eg feminism) phase civil rights movements equally lulled by the illusion of tolerance. The goal is to go beyond feeling tolerated to being fully accepted and welcomed.

Deletion: as social media users realize that the websites they are on are not merely neutral ‘platforms’ for ‘social interaction’ but more like a kind of flypaper to which people and all of their personal data stick. Moreover, these websites are specifically designed to be addictive – there is a vast literature on the infernal psychology being deployed by Silicon Valley companies against social media users. No less a luminary than Jaron Lanier, one of the pioneers of digital innovation in the world and a granddaddy of Silicon Valley (he was born in 1960), points out many serious problems with social media, but the most straightforward one is that there is plenty of research that suggests social media fundamentally makes people unhappy. His solution is simple: delete your accounts.
Autofiction Writing that merges autobiography and fiction, and freely the author creates an alternate history.
gaslighting: In George Cukor’s 1944 film Gaslight, a man attempts to convince his wife (Ingrid Bergman won the Academy Award for best actress) that she’s mad in order to get her committed to an insane asylum and swindle her. Inherent in this story is a struggle over the empirical nature of reality: are there solid truths, or is reality only a matter of perception? Gaslighting has become a byword for psychological manipulation, with experts offering tips on how to know if you’re a victim of the behavior. In the present era, where potent advertising and PR forces are doing everything in their power to make truth irrelevant and directly hack our minds, and where politicians no longer seem to acknowledge the existence of facts, the word has sinister new applications.

(Ack:BBC culture-Cameron Laux
8 August 2018/


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On 2017 California wildfires were in the news. In the month of December powerful winds spread Southern California fires to destroy at least 175 structures and forced more than 27,000 evacuations. These high winds even have a name. Called the Santa Anas, the dry winds typically hit in late fall and are infamous in the Golden State.

California’s biggest and deadliest fires have been propelled by Santa Ana winds, which can gust to 100 mph (161 km/h). That wind speed makes smothering fires nearly impossible, said Chief Daniel Berlant, assistant deputy director the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, which is best known as Cal Fire. “In many cases, it’s all we can do just to try to control the path of the fire, trying to keep it away from people and homes,” Berlant said. “Stopping a fire when wind is 50, 60, 70 miles per hour is almost not possible.”

He added, “These fires burn into anything that’s in their path. A wind-driven fire is like a freight train, and stopping a freight train on a dime doesn’t happen.”

Helicopters can’t drop water or flame retardants in high winds, he said, because the gusts blow the liquids away.

Santa Anas also dry out trees, shrubs and grasses, turning them into tinder and spreading the blaze, he said.

“It’s the winds that spread the embers and fan the fire,” Berlant said. “That makes the fire burn fast and jump ahead, as embers fly in the high wind.”Santa Anas occur when high pressure over the Great Basin — a vast swath of Nevada, Utah and California — compresses air, cooking it, Cal Fire Captain Mike Mohler said.

That hot air then pushes southwest toward the coast.

“Our temperatures skyrocket,” Mohler said. “Humidity decreases down to single digits.”Climate change factors also play a role. What we see now is the same old story. ((Ack:By Anne C. Mulkern, E&E News/dec.6,2017)

Right now, on the outskirts of Redding, a rampaging wildfire is doing something that was once unusual: It’s burning fast…downhill.

“Fires are burning almost as fast downhill as they burn uphill,” said Cal Fire spokesman Scott McLean, from the scene of the Carr Fire, which by midday Friday had torched more than 44,000 acres and was only 3 percent contained.

That’s not typical. One of the first things wildland firefighters learn is that fires burn much faster uphill.

It’s simple physics: heat rises, so the heat from the fire warms and dries out the upslope fuels fastest. It’s also a case of proximity: if you draw a picture of a flame on a slope, you’ll see that there’s a much shorter distance between flame and ground on the uphill side than downhill, so the fire can jump directly from one blade of grass to another.Rapidly spreading downhill fires also played a major role in last winter’s Thomas Fire. It coincided with the longest Santa Ana wind event on record, according to Nauslar of the Wine Country fires. (Ack: Allie Weill, KQED science /PBS.org of July 28,2018)
compiled by Benny

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A child growing in an environment of domestic violence becomes a victim as well as the perpetrator.”This adage applies to individuals as well as nations. We read stories of caravan of migrant families seeking refuge in the US. They are escaping failed states whose failure begins with the US itself.

“I spent 33 years and four months in active military service,” an American veteran named Smedley Butler once wrote, “and during that period, I spent most of my time as a high-class muscle man for Big Business, for Wall Street and the bankers.”

Butler had fought in the so-called Banana Wars of the early 20th century, when the American military sent their troops south into Central America to keep their business interests there intact.

It was a time when mistreated workers across Central America were getting fed up with working long hours in harsh conditions for less than a living wage. Workers started grumbling. Some went on strike. Some threw together militias and waged full-on rebellions to fight for better conditions.

But for the American government, all this fighting for freedom was bad for business. Companies like the United Fruit Company had a vested interest in keeping their Central American plantations stable and so they called in the American Army to crack down on those who were disrupting the system.
Butler and other soldiers like him were thus sent to Central America to fight the Banana Wars. When a rebellion in the Dominican Republic, for example, damaged an American-owned sugar cane plantation, American troops were sent in, starting in 1916. They took over a small castle called Fort Ozama, killed the men inside and set up a military presence to protect their business interests.

Troops also moved into Haiti to quell the Cacao Rebellion in 1915, partly to protect the interests of the Haitian-American Sugar Company. The U.S. Army stayed behind even after the war was over, patrolling the streets of Haiti and making sure that no one got out of line.

And in Honduras, where the United Fruit Company and the Standard Fruit Company were worried about their banana sales, the American Army marched in on seven separate occasions throughout the early 20th century. Sometimes the army was called in to crush strikes, other times to stop revolutions — but every time, it was to keep business booming.

Hundreds of American soldiers and thousands of locals died in the Banana Wars. Strikes and revolutions were crushed and put to an end – all while the profits of a handful of companies were maintained.
“I might have given Al Capone a few hints,” Butler said. “The best he could do was to operate his racket in three districts. I operated on three continents.”(All-thats-interesting/The Banana Wars- Mark Oliver.Septt.14,17)

Bananas and politics collude and as Melania Trump’s coat says it succinctly ‘I really dont care, do U?’The US collected their profits but moral culpability shall pursue them even if they fly to the space to found a colony there.


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A team of Swiss scientists has performed a massive test of one of the strangest paradoxes in quantum mechanics, a huge example of the sort of behavior Albert Einstein skeptically called “spooky action at a distance.”

The story begins more than 80 years ago. Way back in 1935, Einstein and physicists Boris Podolsky and Nathan Rosen found something strange. They entangled two particles- let’s call them Alice and Bob — so that their physical properties were linked even across wide distances, and anything you did to one particle would impact the other. Intuitively, you’d think that if you had access to Alice, you’d know way more about her than you would about Bob, who’s a distance away. This is also what you’d expect given Einstein’s relativistic laws of physics at large scales. But the physicist trio discovered something odd, now called the Einstein-Podolsky-Rosen (EPR) paradox: By studying Alice, you actually learn much more about Bob than you do about Alice.

Later experiments using individual particles proved the physicists correct on this point. But this new experiment, published today (April 26) in the journal Science, shows that the effect still occurs using even a clump of nearly 600 supercooled particles.

It isn’t surprising exactly that a paradox originally framed in terms of two particles also occurs for clumps of hundreds of particles. The same physics at work in a very small system should also work in much larger systems. But scientists perform these ever-more-complex tests because they help confirm old theories and narrow down the ways in which those theories might be wrong. And they also demonstrate the capability of modern technology to put into action ideas that Einstein and his colleagues could think about only in abstract terms. To pull off this experiment, the researchers cooled about590 rubidium atoms (give or take 30 atoms) to the bleeding edge of absolute zero.

At that temperature, the atoms formed a state of matter called a Bose-Einstein condensate, which,  as Live Science has previously reported is a state of matter in which a large group of atoms become so entangled that they start to blur and overlap with one another; they begin to behave more like one large particle than lots of separate ones. Quantum physicists love to experiment with Bose-Einstein condensates because this kind of matter tends to demonstrate the weird physics of the quantum world at a large enough scale for the scientists to observe it directly.

In this experiment, they used high-resolution imaging to measure the spins of different chunks within the soup of rubidium atoms. The atoms in the condensate were so entangled that the physicists were able to predict the behavior of the second chunk by studying only the first. Both chunks of atoms, they showed, were so entangled that the behavior of the second chunk was in fact more knowable when only the first was observed, and vice versa.

The EPR paradox had come to life, on a relatively massive scale for the quantum world.

(originally published on LiveScience)

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Robotics is the wave of future.

In a world of hi-tech if cyborgs are seriously pursued as higher state of human ingenuity why not teach robots certain human values? It is cost effective that government shall have an excuse to throw tax-payer’s money into something of value.  Would it not be worthwhile if  our expertise with AI can show us how to live with all in harmony?

I merely inverted the normal usage of man to give robots a pride of place. Instead of Cold War we make them initiators of peace so man is spared from the awful truth as the destroyer. It means for us pressing the nuclear button is not an option. May be robots shall do it for us.  Robots are our handiwork so is money, If we can make money our be-all, why not give value we so long attached to our humanity to AI? Such inversion makes us look at ourselves how much we have undervalued our humanity. It has therefore a shock value is it not?

Our curiosity is boundless that however prevents our body to follow since we as human species are to make the earth our home. It speaks of certain intelligence that we can send workable spacecrafts with the intent of colonizing exoplanets. In fact NASA is about to launch the Tessa mission to explore the new planets. Why should we teleport us if we can send our microbiome to do it for us instead?AI has its value so have cyborg programmed in some lab to perform certain tasks where humans may not do. Into a corrosive vat of acid we can send a cyborg and if it be melted we shall not be unduly cut up for the loss; for we can always go back to our drawing board and come up with a better model. Or send a robot into the centre of the earth where it can be our eyes and hands. Man is not intended for such death defying acts but to live and learn of his kind. AI in shorts cleans up the mess we make.

Microbiome is our solution: having found the earth our home not conducive to peace and harmony let them reconstitute it for us. Do we change our prejudices and everything non essential, to create a peaceable coexistence? No. Since what is in our own hand shall not bend to our will why not we resort to alternative: deconstruct man so we send the worlds that have colonized us instead to speak for ourselves? Our microbiome for example is likely candidate. You’re more microbe than human – if you count all the cells in your body, only 43% are human. The rest is our microbiome and includes bacteria, viruses, fungi and single-celled archaea.The human genome – the full set of genetic instructions for a human being – is made up of 20,000 instructions called genes. But add all the genes in our microbiome together and the figure comes out at between two million and 20 million microbial genes.It’s known as the second genome and is linked to diseases including allergy, obesity, inflammatory bowel disease, Parkinson’s, whether cancer drugs work and even depression and autism.

Man is by force of habit no longer a single entity anymore. Us and Them are what man invented with two good eyes his Maker gave him. Man set about himself as homo sapiens  and what did he come up with? Two Tribes. Mankind is deconstructed into many pigeon holes so we shall know how to deal with each when necessary. (‘Just a dog whistle shall do for Jim Crow to feel top of the Ozark mountains. I mean mood wise, while another needs bourbon’.) If man can be divided it means either he belongs to us or them. It is a kind of logic used by fellows who cannot differentiate left from his right foot. So he adds Alt right as though his gut fora is any wiser than mine. Thus we shuffle and deal marked cards and the Haves and Have-nots, carnivores, herbivores, the believers and kaffirs are all cards we carry around.

The second genome is proven more clever than our first. What shall the third wave be, I wonder.




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