The Higgs Boson: A Celebration of Human Reason & Creativity

Beyond the esoteric physical findings of the Large Hadron Collider, discovering evidence of the Higgs boson represents a milestone for human reason and is, more generally, a celebration of life. 

What's the Latest Development?


Scientists at Europe's CERN laboratories, who operate the world's most powerful machine—a particle accelerator called the Large Hadron Colliderhave announced the discovery of what is likely the Higgs boson, a fundamental particle that unites our understanding of the subatomic world. Physicists now have experimental data supporting their theory, first written down by the British physicist Peter Higgs, that the Universe's four fundamental forces—gravity, electromagnetism, the weak force and the strong force—interact with a field of background energy that determines their specific properties. 

What's the Big Idea?

Confirming the existence of the Higgs boson through running experiments is a major achievement for human mathematical reasoning. It supports the idea that that although our senses are limited, we are capable of reaching beyond them, with the help of scientific instruments, to understand the nature of the Universe. Theoretical physicist and popular author Lawrence Krauss shares the opinion of CERN's first director, Victor Weisskopf, who once described large particle accelerators as the Gothic cathedrals of our time: "Most significantly perhaps, cathedrals and colliders are both works of incomparable grandeur that celebrate the beauty of being alive."

Photo credit: CERN

Antimicrobial resistance is a growing threat to good health and well-being

Antimicrobial resistance is growing worldwide, rendering many "work horse" medicines ineffective. Without intervention, drug-resistant pathogens could lead to millions of deaths by 2050. Thankfully, companies like Pfizer are taking action.

Image courtesy of Pfizer.
  • Antimicrobial-resistant pathogens are one of the largest threats to global health today.
  • As we get older, our immune systems age, increasing our risk of life threatening infections. Without reliable antibiotics, life expectancy could decline for the first time in modern history.
  • If antibiotics become ineffective, common infections could result in hospitalization or even death. Life-saving interventions like cancer treatments and organ transplantation would become more difficult, more often resulting in death. Routine procedures would become hard to perform.
  • Without intervention, resistant pathogens could result in 10 million annual deaths by 2050.
  • By taking a multi-faceted approach—inclusive of adherence to good stewardship, surveillance and responsible manufacturing practices, as well as an emphasis on prevention and treatment—companies like Pfizer are fighting to help curb the spread.
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22 months of war - condensed in a 1-minute video

No, the Syrian civil war is not over. But it might be soon. Time for a recap

Strange Maps
  • The War in Syria has dropped off the radar, but it's not over (yet)
  • This 1-minute video shows how the fronts have moved – and stabilised – over the past 22 months
  • Watching this video may leave you both better informed, and slightly queasy: does war need a generic rock soundtrack?
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Bespoke suicide pods now available for death in style

Sarco assisted suicide pods come in three different styles, and allow you to die quickly and painlessly. They're even quite beautiful to look at.

The Sarco assisted suicide pod
Technology & Innovation

Death: it happens to everyone (except, apparently, Keanu Reeves). But while the impoverished and lower-class people of the world die in the same ol' ways—cancer, heart disease, and so forth—the upper classes can choose hip and cool new ways to die. Now, there's an assisted-suicide pod so chic and so stylin' that peeps (young people still say peeps, right?) are calling it the "Tesla" of death... it's called... the Sarco! 

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How to bring more confidence to your conversations

Entrepreneur and author Andrew Horn shares his rules for becoming an assured conversationalist.

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Videos
  • To avoid basing action on external validation, you need to find your "authentic voice" and use it.
  • Finding your voice requires asking the right questions of yourself.
  • There are 3-5 questions that you would generally want to ask people you are talking to.
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