Au Revoir, Le Monde
It seems the nation that prides itself on doing things just a little differently has succumbed to the newspaper industry’s woes just like everyone else. The French paper of record has accepted a bid from three business tycoons in order to stay afloat. One of the paper’s new patrons made his billions in pornography, though the trio insists that journalists will maintain editorial control, says Paid Content: UK.
Le Monde has been an evening daily newspaper since 1944, when General de Gaulle ordered its establishment after the liberation of France. But now the country which most resembles European socialism, whatever that means, has shrugged off a courting gesture from the State. French President Sarkozy pulled a Berlusconi when expressing his displeasure with the trio’s private bid, instead offering Le Monde public funds to pay off its debts.
Italian President Silvio Berlusconi controls four of Italy’s five public TV channels: two privately as a media tycoon and two more under the direction of the State. Le Monde declined Sarkozy’s offer, preferring a group of men who lead liberal lives and who have ties to the opposition socialist party—besides the pornography producer, the trio who will now control the finances of Le Monde includes an former associate of the late fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent.
Le Monde has been plagued with crises both capitalist and socialist in nature, demonstrating how technological revolution respects no political ideology. The paper once attempted to raise its cover price, only to be stymied by the State, and now that circulation has dropped to the point of losing money, it was once again the State who (attempted) to step in.
Sarkozy’s bid, made officially through the state media company France Telecom-Orange, has now been withdrawn. A third official bid was made for the paper by the Spanish media group Prisa, which also owns Spain’s most popular daily, El Pais. Now Prisa is said to have withdrawn its bid as well.
Here's the science of black holes, from supermassive monsters to ones the size of ping-pong balls.
- There's more than one way to make a black hole, says NASA's Michelle Thaller. They're not always formed from dead stars. For example, there are teeny tiny black holes all around us, the result of high-energy cosmic rays slamming into our atmosphere with enough force to cram matter together so densely that no light can escape.
- CERN is trying to create artificial black holes right now, but don't worry, it's not dangerous. Scientists there are attempting to smash two particles together with such intensity that it creates a black hole that would live for just a millionth of a second.
- Thaller uses a brilliant analogy involving a rubber sheet, a marble, and an elephant to explain why different black holes have varying densities. Watch and learn!
- Bonus fact: If the Earth became a black hole, it would be crushed to the size of a ping-pong ball.
From time-traveling billiard balls to information-destroying black holes, the world's got plenty of puzzles that are hard to wrap your head around.
- While it's one of the best on Earth, the human brain has a lot of trouble accounting for certain problems.
- We've evolved to think of reality in a very specific way, but there are plenty of paradoxes out there to suggest that reality doesn't work quite the way we think it does.
- Considering these paradoxes is a great way to come to grips with how incomplete our understanding of the universe really is.
In a breakthrough for nuclear fusion research, scientists at China's Experimental Advanced Superconducting Tokamak (EAST) reactor have produced temperatures necessary for nuclear fusion on Earth.
- The EAST reactor was able to heat hydrogen to temperatures exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius.
- Nuclear fusion could someday provide the planet with a virtually limitless supply of clean energy.
- Still, scientists have many other obstacles to pass before fusion technology becomes a viable energy source.
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