cold antiprotons may lead to antimatter, rent a white guy, conservative intellectuals tilt at windmills

Geeks like it super cold, Frozen antiprotons bring antimatter within reach

The simplest antiatom, antihydrogen, is made of an antiproton and a positron, the electron’s antimatter counterpart. If it is a mirror image of hydrogen, it should emit an identical spectrum of light. The way to test this is to create ultra-cold antihydrogen, allowing it to be trapped and studied. The hard part is cooling the antiprotons.

The ALPHA team – one of two racing to trap antihydrogen using the Antiproton Decelerator at the CERN laboratory near Geneva, Switzerland – uses electrons to do this. The flaw in the method is that the electric fields needed to remove the electrons afterwards reheat some of the antiprotons. This meant ALPHA’s antiprotons never got below an average temperature of about 100 kelvin – not cold enough to produce antihydrogen that can be trapped.

I think 100 degrees kelvin is -173.15 degrees Celsius. In case anyone forgot, water freezes at 0 degrees Celsius and 1 atm.

Rent a White Guy

For the next few days, we sat in the office swatting flies and reading magazines, purportedly high-level employees of a U.S. company that, I later discovered, didn’t really exist. We were so important, in fact, that two of the guys were hired to stay for eight months (to be fair, they actually then received quality-control training).

I’ve seen people get paid more for doing less. In the U.S. they’re called executives.

George Will is an intellectual all-star. Everyone knows this. As such he should be able to fight and win a battle with something other than windmills of his own making – First Glenn Beck, now George Will,  The Washington Post columnist endorses Straussian falsehoods about American liberalism

Will and Voegeli imply that when Roosevelt spoke of renegotiating the social contract to acknowledge new economic rights, he was throwing out the previous American understanding of natural rights. This is a deliberate misreading of what FDR said. Roosevelt observed: “We have come to a clear realization of the fact that true individual freedom cannot exist without economic security and independence.” Far from being heretical, Roosevelt’s sentiment was taken for granted by early American statesmen like Jefferson, whose goal of “economic security and independence” was promoted by encouraging the ownership of small farms and pre-industrial shops.

William Voegeli, with who Will agrees writes in a new book, “Lacking a limiting principle, progressives cannot say how big the welfare state should be but must always say that it should be bigger than it is.” There might be some arcane science at work in which the straw man Voegeli argues with rolls down hill to the open arms of Will, who than passes it on to Beck. I might have the order wrong, but the equation still yields a few heavy hitters in conservative circles who as much as admit they do not know history, economics or the U.S. Constitution. No wonder conservatives continually misrepresent liberalism. It’s the only way they can achieve the appearance of victory. I would not be the first one to call conservatism the politics of Potemkinism.  In nice easy terms the welfare state is largely a figment of the conservative imagination. Less than 3% of the federal budget is spent on food stamps and aid to dependent children ( what everyone is referring to when they say welfare). It has been under 3% since the 1970s. Since we have a problem with hunger, shelter for everyone, medical care and employment the current social safety net is not enough. If the kind of bald tire capitalism Will, Voegeli and Beck believe in is so great, why does it appear to be a broken down beater in need of repair.

Vitamin D and Mental Agility in Elders

The participants, ages 65 to 99 years, were grouped by their vitamin D status, which was categorized as deficient, insufficient, or sufficient. Only 35 percent had sufficient vitamin D blood levels. They had better cognitive performance on the tests than those in the deficient and insufficient categories, particularly on measures of “executive performance,” such as cognitive flexibility, perceptual complexity, and reasoning. The associations persisted after taking into consideration other variables that could also affect cognitive performance.

I’m wary of exaggerated claims for vitamin supplements, but vitamin may live up to some of the hype.

blue city wallpaper


jobs first deficit second, dry cracked wallpaper, myths and falsehoods on the gulf oil spill

Do Americans Really Want to Cut the Deficit?

Andy notes this post by Ben Somberg, who is fussing at the Washington Post for this paragraph:

If Congress doesn’t provide additional stimulus spending, economists inside and outside the administration warn that the nation risks a prolonged period of high unemployment or, more frightening, a descent back into recession. But a competing threat — the exploding federal budget deficit — seems to be resonating more powerfully in Congress and among voters.

Somberg objects to “among voters,” citing numerous polls showing that the public prioritizes the economy and jobs over the deficit. He is correct. You can peruse some data here. So the first point is: Americans are concerned about the deficit, but not that concerned.

Like ants to jelly it was inevitable that post would attract an always cut taxes troll. Yea, sure it says that a simple majority of the public is fairly rational, understanding the trade offs would prefer spending for job creation over deficit reduction or cutting taxes. But when you limit peoples options on a poll of course you get people making that choice. Like rational numbers let’s just use the rational choices. Increase taxes and spending, decrease both, increase taxes and decrease spending or decrease taxes and increase spending ( the last choice is the one conservatives made from 2000 to 2008). Proper rules of golf and all you can’t throw in another variable  – say free car washes and lower taxes – just because the poll does not say what one would like. We could have an irrational choice like disbanding the United States of America, doing away with the federal government, and trade that for a loose confederation of states i.e. fifty little countries, otherwise known as a tenther’s wet dream. Red states countries would be in a predicament seeing that they receive more federal aid per capita than blue states. It’s easy to talk the talk, not so easy to pay for it.

dry and cracked wallpaper

(Video) The Whitest Kids U’Know – Clint Webb for Senate. He has a wife, a child, a dog and is a sociopathic narcissist. Pull that lever.

Fox News is BP oil spill misinformation clearinghouse – Myths and falsehoods on the Gulf oil spill

Media Matters for America has compiled a list of myths and falsehoods about the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, all of which have been pushed by Fox News.

Fox News’ staunch defense of BP

Myth: Obama waited weeks before responding to the oil spill

Myth: Moratorium is not needed because oil companies are equipped to handle spill

Myth: BP was only drilling “out there” because environmentalists and the federal government “made them” do it

Myth: Obama, unlike Bush, “was off on vacation” during crisis

Myth: “Ridiculous” and “offensive” to blame Bush for spills

Myth: Obama is the “single largest recipient of BP’s cash”

Myth: Obama admin turning away foreign aid by refusing to waive union-supported Jones Act

Myth: Obama admin defied Constitution when they “told” BP to create escrow account

Myth: Obama admin unreasonably delayed purchase of Maine company’s oil boom

Myth: Obama unnecessarily delayed berm plan

Myth: Coast Guard docked oil-collecting barges for no good reason

I thought the Jones Act myth was clever. It was a twofer, a jab at Obama and unions. As much as I appreciate MM’s research the myth believers generally suffer from Obama Derangement Syndrome. Thus any facts will face a wall of rigid mental denial able withstand the onslaught of any new information. If only we could coat our cars in that stuff. Think of the lives saved.