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Member since: Tue Feb 10, 2004, 01:08 PM
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Journal Archives

That’s Mitticulous!

By Matt Miller,

He goes to London. Insults the Brits. Draws a rebuke from the prime minister. Becomes tabloid fodder.

But the man doesn’t rest.

Mitt Romney goes next to the Middle East. Insults Palestinian “culture.” Palestinians call him “racist.” Says one: Even our worst enemies (i.e., the Israelis) never say such things!

Out of context, Team Mitt cries. He wasn’t singling out Palestine. Why, just the other day he made the same point about Mexicans!

Hole dug deeper.

What next in Warsaw — a Polish joke?

And this is just the past few days.

We’ve reached a rare moment. Sometimes a phenomenon is so unprecedented and altogether singular that existing language doesn’t suffice to capture it. This is how language evolves, as new realities inspire fresh coinages to do justice to human experience.



Teen starved to death in spite of state's involvement

By Craig Schneider and Katie Leslie
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Huddled overnight beneath the shopping carts at Walmart, Markea Berry confided in her journal that she would rather live at the store than at home.

The next day, after store employees found her wandering among the produce, the Smyrna teen told police she had run away because she didn't want to be a burden on her mother. She was 14, but she was so small and skinny that she looked five years younger.

Now, less than two years later, Markea is dead; at the time of her death in June she weighed 43 pounds. The mother she wanted not to burden, Ebony Berry, is charged with murder. She is accused of starving her daughter to death despite multiple investigations over nearly 10 years by child protection workers in Michigan and later in Georgia.

The last time the Georgia Division of Family and Children Services had contact with the family — a couple of months after Markea's Walmart escapade in 2010 — the caseworker and supervisor noted their concerns that Markea was undernourished. But the agency closed the case after Berry sidestepped efforts to compel her to get medical attention for Markea and her siblings.



Toon: Not a fan of Chick-fil-A

Tuesday Toon Roundup 3: The Rest





Tuesday Toon Roundup 2: Repubs and rights

Gun rights



Tuesday Toon Roundup 1: Mitten's tour de farce

Toon: Diplomacy 101

Toon: The Anaheim PD Flag

Creating Higgs-like excitations using ultracold atoms

by Matthew Francis - July 26 2012, 12:00pm EDT

Systems of cold atoms can sometimes give rise to behavior surprisingly like free particles moving close to the speed of light. However, unlike the kind of physics you see in experiments such as the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the "particles" are actually collective phenomena, arising out of strong interactions among the components of the system. By manipulating the properties of the material, researchers can produce behavior analogous to many interesting systems in high energy physics—only at very low temperatures and with a "speed of light" dictated by the material's characteristics.

A new experiment by Manuel Endres and colleagues has achieved a Higgs-like excitation in a system composed of ultracold rubidium atoms. By pushing the atoms to a quantum critical point, where they change from an insulator to a superfluid, they were able to generate a transition that was analogous to the break in symmetry that gives rise to the Higgs field.

One of the cornerstones of quantum field theory is that each particle's properties depends on its interactions. This is true whether the particle is on its own, in an atom, or part of a larger material. The Higgs field is just one of a number of these interactions.

In materials, it is possible to adjust the types of interactions—and thus the properties of the quantum excitations that are produced. These particle-like excitations are known collectively as quasiparticles. Some of these quasiparticles behave like free relativistic particles, which may move close to a "speed of light" that is also set by the interactions. This "speed of light" is much smaller than the real speed of light in vacuum, but the physical behavior of the quasiparticles is the same as in high energy situations.



Monday Toon Roundup 2- The rest







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