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The Higgs Boson's Twin Could Reveal Our Universes Dark Sector


THE WORLD’S MOST powerful particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, has failed to find any of the hoped-for particles that would lead physicists beyond the Standard Model of particle physics. But it’s possible that the LHC has been producing such pivotal new particles all along, and that we’re just not seeing them.

“The core of the story,” said David Curtin, a physicist at the University of Maryland, “is that the LHC could be making particles which are totally invisible, which decay some distance away from the production point, whether it’s millimeters or many kilometers, and which are connected at the most fundamental level to some of the most important theoretical mysteries that we have.”

Such hypothetical particles are called “long-lived,” because their lifetimes would far exceed those that the LHC was designed to detect. If the LHC is indeed producing these particles, then it’s likely that some are fleeing the accelerator’s underground tunnel, shooting up through the earth, and potentially exploding like fireworks in the sky above the nearby farm fields as they decay back into ordinary matter.

To catch the flash of those fireworks, assuming they exist, Curtin and collaborators Henry Lubatti of the University of Washington and John Paul Chou of Rutgers University have proposed building an enormous new detector that would stand in those fields, looking rather like a really big barn. The three recently published their proposal in Physics Letters B, christening their detector Mathusla (which, in the grand tradition of tortured physics acronyms, stands for MAssive Timing Hodoscope for Ultra Stable neutraL pArticles). The name is a nod to the mythical figure who lived for over 900 years.


Dawn Staley says South Carolina hasnt been invited to President Trumps White House

Every women’s college basketball champion since 1983 has been invited to visit the White House and meet with the President, according to the USA Today.

Except for South Carolina and head coach Dawn Staley this year.

Speaking with the Associated Press on Friday night, Staley said that her champion Gamecocks have yet to receive an invitation from President Donald Trump’s White House despite numerous other athletic teams recently being involved in the visitation process. The past five Presidents have invited women’s college basketball champions to the White House in an event that has become a standard yearly procedure.

While President Trump famously rescinded an invitation to Steph Curry and the Golden State Warriors on Twitter last week, the Stanley Cup-champion Pittsburgh Penguins were also invited to the White House by Trump. The Chicago Cubs and New England Patriots have also visited with President Trump since he took office.


Hmmm...I wonder why that could be?

Sunday Meme n Toon roundup









Great Barrier Reef starts to recover after severe coral bleaching

Optimism is rising among scientists that parts of the Great Barrier Reef that were severely bleached over the past two years are making a recovery.

Scientists from the Australian Institute of Marine Science this month surveyed 14 coral reefs between Cairns and Townsville to see how they fared after being bleached.

The institute's Neil Cantin said they were surprised to find the coral had already started to reproduce.

"We're finding corals that are showing early signs of reproductive development, really visible eggs that we can see under the naked eye," Dr Cantin said.


Former Bank Teller Pleads Guilty To Stealing Almost $200,000 From Homeless Customer

A onetime bank teller in Washington, D.C., stole tens of thousands of dollars from a homeless customer who earned money as a street vendor, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Phelon Davis, 29, pleaded guilty Thursday in federal court to a charge of interstate transportation of stolen property, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 10 years.

Davis was working as a teller at a Wells Fargo branch in the upscale neighborhood of Georgetown, reports The Washington Post. In October 2014, a longtime bank customer, who was not named in court filings, tried to deposit thousands of dollars from a garbage bag into one of his accounts, but the accounts had gone dormant owing to inactivity.

"In reviewing the customer's accounts, Davis noticed that the customer had a surprisingly large balance," according to the U.S. attorney's release. Davis instructed the customer to get identification documents and a Social Security card to reactivate the accounts. Davis then used that information to fraudulently open a new account in the customer's name.


"The DOJ says under sentencing guidelines, Davis is likely facing 18 to 30 months in prison." But of course, if they had been caught with a gram of crack, they would be looking at a far longer sentence. Scumball should be looking at bank robbery scale sentences.

Investigation Launched Into Serious Airbus A380 Engine Failure

LONDON — One of 500 passengers aboard an Airbus A380 bound for Los Angeles described Sunday the moment the superjumbo suffered a mid-flight engine explosion and was forced to land in a remote part of eastern Canada.

Enrique Guillen said Air France flight AF66 from Paris was passing over Greenland bound for California on Saturday when it was rocked by an uncontained engine failure — a rare emergency in which machinery and other parts break away from the plane at high velocity.

Aircraft engines are designed to contain most problems, such as snapped fan blades or bird strikes.

Pictures taken from inside the Air France plane showed the front cowling and fan disc of the No. 4 engine, outermost on the right side, had completely sheared off.


What the hell is wrong at the American Legion? Some thoughts from a member

By Kyleanne Hunter
Best Defense guest columnist

As a U.S. Marine Corps combat veteran of the Post-9/11 wars, I was proud to join the American Legion. In the years since I left the Marines, I had witnessed Legion Posts come under the leadership of young veterans committed to engagement with communities. As a woman, I welcomed and cheered the election of the Legion’s first female national commander last month.

But today, I could not be more embarrassed and ashamed of Denise Rohan’s statement titled, “American Legion Blasts NFL For Disrespect,” that she assumed to make on behalf of all Legionnaires in response to the National Football League protests. (This statement has since been retitled to read, “The American Legion Calls For Unity.”)

I can attest that Rohan does not speak for all Legionnaires — especially those of my generation. Yes, as a country we need unity, and many of us have highlighted the role that veterans can play creating dialogue in a divided nation. However, Rohan’s statement in no way promotes unity.

This is no way for her to start her year as national commander. Instead of leading the veterans’ community to help unify our nation, she has further inflamed ill will and joined forces with those who seek to divide through culture war.


Sunday's Doonesbury - Resigned

Chinas New Electric Car Rules Are Amazingly Aggressive

This is how you really get an industry to change its ways. Bloomberg reports that China’s government has announced that any automaker producing or importing more than 30,000 cars in China must ensure 10 percent of them are all-electric, plug-in hybrid, or hydrogen-powered by 2019. That number will rise to 12 percent in 2020.

In fact, the new regulations are actually more lenient than drafts of the rules had suggested: they scrap a 2018 introduction to give manufacturers more time to prepare, and will also excuse failure to meet the quota in the first year. So, really, the 12 percent target in 2020 is the first enforceable number.

That still doesn’t make it very easy, as the Wall Street Journal notes (paywall). Domestic automakers already make plenty of electric cars (largely at the government's behest), which means that they should be able to meet the numbers, but Western firms will find it harder. In preparation, some have actually set up partnerships with Chinese companies to help them build electric vehicles in time.



Germany's first same-sex 'I do''s as marriage equality dawns

BERLIN (Reuters) - Same-sex couples will marry in Germany for the first time on Sunday, when some civil registry offices will open specially to celebrate the coming into force of a marriage law that parliament passed in June.

Around a dozen same-sex couples are expected to marry in Berlin on Sunday, with a similar number due in Hamburg, gay rights organizations said, taking advantage of the decision of some registries to open on a day when they are normally closed.

Among them are Karl Kreile, 59, and Bodo Mende, 60, who will at 9.30 local time (0730 GMT) become Germany’s first married gay couple when they say “yes” in the town hall of the Berlin borough of Schoeneberg after 38 years together.

“We have finally achieved legal equality,” Mende told a news conference on Friday. “It’s been 25 years’ of hard struggle to secure this.”


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