Late Night Comedy For the Twitter Generation

The Chicago Tribute today describes Jimmy Fallon as the late night host for "a Twittering society." Will the 34 year-old Saturday Night Live veteran be able to craft winning jokes into 140 characters or less?

Tribute writer Kevin Pang says that Studio 6B at Rockefeller Center will now become a laboratory for the 21st Century talk show aimed at the Facebooking generation. Therefore, Late Night With Jimmy Fallon plans to have an Internet presence like no other previous talk show. "Even before a single episode has aired, Fallon has already taken advantage of the Webocracy," writes Pang. "Through polling on the show's Web site, the Web audience selected the new 'Late Night' logo."

A relentless Twitterer, Fallon has solicited his Twitter followers for jokes (his handle is @jimmyfallon) and it was through the micro-blogging Web site that Fallon announced his first guests: Robert De Niro, Justin Timberlake and Van Morrison performing from "Astral Weeks." In addition, he has promised his viewers that he will chat with them on Skype during tapings. And, the show's Web site will be staffed by three full-time bloggers, who will compile viral videos, post photos, etc.

Fallon told the Tribune that in addition to a genius marketing platform, Twitter is almost like therapy. Besides, he says, "You can't go past a certain amount of characters, so no one really gets boring."

How to make a black hole

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.

Project 100,000: The Vietnam War's cruel and deadly experiment

Military recruits are supposed to be assessed to see whether they're fit for service. What happens when they're not?

Flickr user Tommy Truong79
Politics & Current Affairs
  • 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.
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China’s artificial sun reaches fusion temperature: 100 million degrees

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.

Credit: EAST Team
Surprising Science
  • 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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