Tag Archives: exotic

International Space Station has a Large Hadron Collider – and it’s collected 18 billion cosmic rays

The largest-ever experiment in space has reported the collection of some 18 billion “cosmic ray” events that may help unravel the Universe’s mysteries.

Run from a centre at Cern, the Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS) aims to spot dark matter and exotic antimatter.

At the heart of the seven-tonne, $2bn machine is a giant, specially designed magnet which bends the paths of extraordinarily high-energy charged particles called cosmic rays onto a series of detectors, giving hints of what the particles are.

A series of ever-larger particle accelerators built here on Earth aim to drive particles to ever-higher energies, smashing them into one another to simulate the same processes that create them elsewhere in the cosmos.

But no Earth-bound experiment can match nature’s power as a particle accelerator – and Earth’s atmosphere absorbs incoming cosmic rays – so the AMS will catch some of these high-energy particles “from the source”, as a kind of complement to the likes of the Large Hadron Collider.

 

Learn more: BBC - Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer claims huge cosmic ray haul

 

 

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5 reasons to love the Kindle

This is a personal piece about my experiences owning a Kindle for 2 years. There were many early fears and unknowns but they’ve since been wiped away. I am able to do everything I want with it and more.

Here are my 5 favorite things about the Kindle:

  • Saves time
  • Lighter, easier on the hand
  • Cozying up with it
  • The classics
  • Exotic books

Saves time

Let’s talk about the entire Kindle buying experience. I lay back on my comfy pillow, browse the online store, purchase and begin reading.

Now, compare that to the bookstore experience. Hop in a car, drive in traffic, park in traffic, walk to store, hang out in a cozy cool community-friendly store, wait in line, purchase at cashier, and then reverse the walking, parking, and driving.

I’m just saying. It’s a whole lot easier on me and my stress level.

Then there is the free trial which allows you to read the first few chapters without buying. A perfect way to purchase books, after all, if you’re not ready to buy after the second chapter then it’s not worth it. Plus, I don’t have to sit on an awkward¬†couch in a crowded store to read those chapters.

Lighter, easier on the hand

Sometimes when you really get going, a real page-turner and finish 100 pages, your hand gets sore. It’s not that books or e-readers are heavy, it’s that holding them steady for a few hours is like some ancient torture session.

To compare the weight of different books, the Kindle weighs 8.5 ounces and, on average, hardcover books weighs 20 ounces and paperbacks about 12 ounces.

Add that up over the long run and you get the idea.

Cozying up with my Kindle

Believe it or not, but, on cold nights it is nice to cozy up with an e-reader. The hot cocoa, warm blanket, and my Kindle.

I don’t miss the smell nor the look of paper books. I just like to lose myself in the story.

Of course, there is one more important reason why I enjoy cozying with it. The e-reader allows me to increase the font size on any book, which saves my eyes, and allows me to read for much longer than I could with a paper book.

The Classics

Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, James Joyce, Edgar Allen Poe, Sun Tzu, Edith Wharton, William Shakespeare

All their works are free and sometimes you can get their entire life works with one click. Yes, the classics are all free. Thousands and thousands of books, it’s like a modern-day Renaissance.

I could read for years, not spend a dime, and become incredibly educated. I love this because I grew up in an era when the classics were banished from the classroom. We were asked to read maybe 1-2 books a school year and most were contemporary novels.

There is so much I don’t know about the enlightenment, greek philosophy, romantic literature, modern economics, and even early 20th century pieces.

Exotic Books

I cannot write a piece on e-books without the inevitable nostalgia for real, physical books. I have that feeling too, but with a Kindle everything changes: I actually buy the books I always wanted.

It turns out there are two kinds of books: ones you read and ones you keep. The first, you finish and put on the shelf to collect dust. The second, you pick up every few weeks when you’re bored.

With the Kindle I am able to save money (space too) on the books to read and then spend the savings on the special exotic books (which always cost more).

I call them exotic books because they are oversized or rare, often with glamorous pictures. Basically, they are coffee table books but since I don’t, and have never owned, a coffee table I don’t like that term.

My exotic collection of books is growing and I am absolutely in love with them. Here are a few:

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Tartine

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The History of Surfing

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Japanese Caligraphy


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Photos by: Tim D (coffee), Stephen (girl reading), 3Water (close-up nickel)