|Tonight on TDS, Calvin Trillin, Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse; and on TCR, Sean Carroll, The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World.|
|I'm ready for SunReturn any day now...|
|How is it Thursday already? And why do I keep asking that question lately? No, I know that one -- it's the post-election twitter/newscycle hyperawareness stand-down. Along with the start of 'hide from christmas songs' season. When TV, the radio, and nearly every public venue imaginable are off-limits, it's actually quite easy to get un-moored in time...
And there's a segue in there somewhere. Calvin Trillin's latest is the self-explanatory Dogfight: The 2012 Presidential Campaign in Verse (if you don't know who Trillin is, you should). There are reviews out there, of course, but other than the NYTimes review -- which is in verse -- there's nothing surprising there.
Could be a fun interview.
I am on the"500 Most Influential Muslims in the World" list. I am probably never boarding a plane on time again. tinyurl.com/cd4qwsa— aasif mandvi (@aasif) November 29, 2012
|Stephen's got science tonight -- theoretical physicist (and blogger) Sean Carroll has a book out called The Particle at the End of the Universe: How the Hunt for the Higgs Boson Leads Us to the Edge of a New World. Library Journal (via B&N) points out:
In July, science history was made when CERN, the multinational nuclear research center headquartered in Geneva, announced that physicists had discovered what looks to be the long-sought Higgs boson, which could answer major questions about the universe. Carroll, a theoretical physicist at the California Institute of Technology, had a book about the entire project slated for a January 2013 publication. No surprise that publication has been bumped up to November.Kirkus (also via B&N) has this:
A leading particle physicist explains why the official confirmation of the existence of the elusive Higgs Boson ("the God Particle") was a world-changing scientific milestone. Carroll (Theoretical Physics/Caltech; From Eternity to Here: The Quest for the Ultimate Theory of Time, 2010, etc.) makes a convincing case for the necessity of supporting basic scientific research that may have no discernible payback. At the cost of billions of dollars and a decades-long international effort by thousands of scientists, the Large Hadron Collider at CERN in Geneva is Big Science on steroids. The LHC uses superconducting magnets to accelerate protons traveling in opposite directions, almost to the speed of light. The massive amount of energy released when they collide results in the creation of the Higgs particle, which then rapidly decays, revealing the track of more recognizable particles. In the author's view, the days are over when an individual scientist such as Carl Anderson (working with a team of students) could build a cloud chamber and be the first to reveal evidence of antimatter by identifying the track of a positron. With the help of diagrams and vivid, descriptive language, Carroll reveals the scientific background to the discovery and why it has given scientists a glimpse of how the universe works on the most fundamental, subatomic level. The Higgs particle fills in a piece of the puzzle, but the author recognizes that despite the success of this endeavor, building an even larger, next-generation collider may prove politically difficult. A fascinating chronicle of an important chapter in fundamental science.
There's the usual morass of reviews, interviews, etc. out there, should you have an afternoon to kill.
Also of note (duplicates because of the responses, of course):
(listings and occasional links via The Late Night TV Page, some links & more guest info available at thedailyshow.com/guests, colbertnewshub.com, and a judiciously-used google.com.And sometimes even maybe DuckDuckGo.
(Note: Whenever reading reviews from the NYTimes (particularly Janet Maslin), remember this.)