Go Ahead, You Have Permission to Cheat.
It’s your puzzle. Do it any way you like.
Will Shortz has been the crossword editor of The New York Times since 1993 and the puzzle master for NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday since 1987. He's also the founder and director of the American Crossword Puzzle Tournament. Shortz sold his first puzzle professionally when he was 14. He is the only person in the world to hold a college degree in Enigmatology, the study of puzzles, which he earned from Indiana University in 1974.
I have some friends at Google who told me years ago when they were doing studies of what people are Googling, most of the things were obvious. It was Lady Gaga and some name in the news. But sometimes there would just be these things that came from out of the blue, like the capital of Angola. They wondered why would people suddenly be searching for this and they traced it back. It was the New York Times crossword, especially the Friday, Saturday and Sunday puzzles which are the most challenging.
I have no problem with that. It’s your puzzle. If you’re stuck and you look up an answer and that will get you off and running on the puzzle again, you can then finish it on your own. It’s your puzzle. Do it any way you like.
In Their Own Words is recorded in Big Think's studio.
Image courtesy of Shutterstock
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.
Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?
- During the Vietnam War, Robert McNamara began a program called Project 100,000.
- The program brought over 300,000 men to Vietnam who failed to meet minimum criteria for military service, both physically and mentally.
- Project 100,000 recruits were killed in disproportionate numbers and fared worse after their military service than their civilian peers, making the program one of the biggest—and possibly cruelest—mistakes of the Vietnam War.
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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