18 June 2011

Reader's Digest

Welcome to another of my readers’ digests.

This has been under composition for a little while, so I apologise if some of the stories linked to seem a little out of date. This one is quite short and sweet.

I am always fascinated by how the mind works, and this story from the Independent shows what can happen when things go wrong. I can barely imagine what it would be like to wake up one day and suddenly find I had aged nearly 20 years. It certainly made me have a quiet think about what I’d like to do with my life.

In the world of particle physics, some scientists in Japan have claimed that neutrinos may vary from one form to another. The full paper is here. I remember when I went to the cinema to be subjected to the awfulness that was 2012, that I nearly fell off my seat laughing at the prospect of neutrinos “mutating” to heat the earth. While that still seems far more in the realm of fantasy, this research, if true, may go 0.1% of the way towards seeing that as a possibility.

There’s an interesting piece in the New York Times about a new book by someone called Simon Baron-Cohen (I wonder if he’s related to Sacha) on the science of evil. It looks like it could be a thought-provoking read, though it won’t be jumping to the top of my reading list. The NY Times article also has a link to an extract from the book, if you’re interested.

More science, here. This time a black hole may have been observed destroying a nearby star. The paper can be found here

Has a new particle been detected? Can’t find the paper reference for this one. If anyone has it, let me know and I’ll add the link.

Finally, there’s a lovely article here in the Indy about books, which you may have worked out are of particular interest to me.

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