March 15, 2013

God Particle Confirmed By CERN – The Daily Orbit

Have scientists really found THE “god particle?”

What’s DARPA dropping now?

Tweet, tweet! Talking about Twitter tribes.

And dancing water on today’s Daily Orbit!

Hello and welcome to the Daily Orbit. I’m Emerald Robinson.

The “God particle” has been confirmed. CERN announced last summer that they may have found the Higgs boson particle, which is considered to be the final building block to the structure of matter in the universe, and they now say that it is so. After conducting extended analysis using the Large Hadron Collider or LHC, scientists say that “it is clear that we are dealing with a Higgs boson though we still have a long way to know what kind of Higgs boson it is.” The ‘god particle’ was first predicted in 1964 and discovery could validate the theories developed over the last 50 years that explain how elementary particles can have mass. Thank God we got that settled!

And there’s a new contender in the DARPA Robotics Challenge. In this corner is the world’s first robotic chimpanzee from the roboticists at Carnegie Mellon University. Tank-like treads on its arms and legs propel it through rocky terrain as well as help it scurry up trees just like its flesh-and-blood counterpart. And the name? Simply CHIMP, which is short for CMU Highly Intelligent Mobile Platform. Cute huh? Ha! CHIMP measures about 5 feet tall, is the size of a small human and can be used in highly dangerous situations to defuse bombs or rescue humans who have fallen victim to disaster. This dexterous chimp can walk bi-pedally and open valves or operate power tools. DARPA should really think about a movie deal for their robots. I think Hollywood would love DARPA!

TWEET? What Twitter Tribe do you belong to? Twitter tribe what? Yep researchers say people belong to particular tribes on Twitter. When we think tribes we often think of tribes in Africa, or Irish tribes of yore, but tribes, simply put, are a group of people connected to an idea, leader and each other. Researchers are looking at how the tribe exists in social media. They found that online communities have a common character, occupation or interests and you can look at the language someone uses to predict which tribe he or she belongs to with up to 80% accuracy. They recorded Twitter conversations, created a map of individual Twitter communities, and used cutting edge algorithms to identify individuals in the communities. One community they looked at mentioned Justin Bieber—that’s the Bieber tribe. Me I’m part of the science tribe. You can join my tribe @emeraldrobinson.

And say buh-bye Butterflies. Scientists say that we’re going to see less butterflies this spring. Fewer Monarch butterflies will make their epic journey from Mexico through the hills of Texas and as far North as Canada. High temperatures and expanding farmland in the Midwest are to blame. As more soybean and corn farms are planted, fewer milkweed plants are allowed to survive, which is where these butterflies feed and breed. Conservationist are suggesting that the US, Mexico, and Canada work together in planting milkweed so Monarchs will have a future. That is so sad. I love butterflies in the spring!

Wait until you see this watery illusion—you won’t believe your eyes. This YouTube video is making waves by appearing to nearly freeze water in mid-air. Just how did this dancing water come to be? YouTube user Brusspup claims to have simply taped a hose in front of a speaker playing a 24 hz sine wave with some tone generating software, and a 24 frames per second camera. This first effect was achieved with a 24 hz wave. The second with a 25hz wave with a forward effect. And finally a 23hz wave for a reverse effect. It’s not magic but a trippy illusion that could only be produced using the 24 fps camera as the camera captures frames at the same rate the frequency is making the water bend. It’s kind of like a strobe light effect. Talk about trippy!

Well that’s all for the Daily Orbit. Have a great weekend!

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