Archive for June, 2012

Neutrinos:The fabulous story of a particle which tried to be faster than light

September 23th, a new has mad the scientific community tremble. Researcher CERN’s researchers based in the INFN Gran Sasso laboratory in Italy have measured a beam of neutrinos which was faster than light. This observation was invalided by the ICARIUS experience on mars 16th. But this is not the end of the story…

Let me tell you the fantastic story of the neutrinos

 Once up on a time (15 billion years ago), soon after the birth of the Universe, a promising particle named Neutrinos is born. It has some quality that could help it to win the race with the light. First of all, neutrinos are so small that the scientific, F. Reines, says that a neutrino is “the most tiny quantity of reality ever imagined by a human being”. This particle don’t interact with other particle, it is free of charge, unaffected by magnetic field. It is only affected by the weakest of nature’s force, which is the gravity. This means that a neutrino can go straight away thought the universe, Stars, Galaxies, magnetic fields as if those one didn’t existed.

What’s a neutrino? You still do not understand? Don’t panic it would take only one minute and 25 seconds for you to become a neutrinos’ expert.

Now that you are more familiar with neutrinos, let’s continue the story.

September 23th 2011, Antonio Ereditato, Spoke person and Dario Autiero, coordinator of the experience OPERA announced that they have observed a neutrinos that was faster than light.

This result was like a bomb in the scientific community. It could blow up all the established physics’ laws and contradicted the Einstein’s relativity theory which claims that noting is faster than light.

This observation did not only threat to tremble the scientific edifice, but also to change our conception of the universe and of the causality. Indeed, if a neutrino could run faster than light, it means that it would be able to transport information in the past. It could change the course of event. For example, you could send to your past person the result of the lottery and become rich. This means that human would have to admit that there is no causality and no order in the universe.

This unexpected discovery make a lot of people react all around the internet. Lots of comments were posted.  Some were wondering if it was possible, other were dreaming and debating about time traveling.

By their side, scientists were sceptical about this unexpected discovery and decided to wait for the result of independent researches. They were tweeting all around the world.

Soon the OPERA’s results were infirmed. Mars 16th 2012, researchers from the ICARUS experience held in the Gran Sasso laboratory found as result that neutrinos are not able to run faster than light. According to a CERN’s press release, the error come from the optical fiber connector that routes the signal to the external GPS master clock OPERA which could have not operate properly when the measure was taken.

Hearing these result two persons where specially reassured. It is Jim Al-Khalili and the ghost of Einstein.

But this is not the end of the story, CERN’s experiences such as BOREXINO, ICARUS, LVD and OPERA are currently doing measure which will lead to a final verdict. Until then it is still allows to dream of time traveling or to do nightmare about universe’s chaos.

What do you think:

is there a chance that one of these experiences confirms that neutrinos can be faster than light?


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Roleplaying games: how to live another life in your living room

Have you ever dreamt of being another person? Maybe you would have liked to be an elf, a werewolf, a magician… With role playing games, everything is getting possible. Only the lack of imagination could be a barrier.

Does “Dungeons and Dragons” ring the bell? This medieval-fantastic role playing game was born in the 70’s. And nothing about it is old-fashioned today. In 2009, Pathfinder, embodied in Paizo Publishing, diversified its publications. It launched a modified and extended version of Dungeon and Dragons’ 3.5 rules. Players were, in fact, not convinced by the 4.0 rules that were not compatible with their own games and were looking for a better adaptation. Pathfinder offered them the opportunity to create “user generated rules”. Before this experience, Pathfinder was only publishing scenarios to be played with D&D’s rules. Therefore, now they became a real reference in this strange world and obtained the key of their success.

And to begin…

Roleplaying game’s concept is simple to understand. The game master is an important person. He is the only one knowing Pathfinder’s scenario, also named campaign. He is present to explain what happens when a player opens a door or meets a character. The players, three or four of them, incarnate a character of their choice. They imagined the background – the story of the character before the game -, behaviour and thoughts of their character. Finally, you need some dices of four to twenty faces. These dices are thrown whenever one wants to accomplish an action. Beginning a campaign is even an event : some twittos and members of facebook are proud to share the news of the creation of their characters and, sometimes, ask for some advise.

The hard point in this hobby is that one generally join a group of friends that is used to Pathfinder. The rule book is composed of more than 350 pages, good luck if you want to know it by heart. Fortunaly, only the game master has to work that hard. And Pathfinder found a solution to this problem: the beginner box. Lots of people found interesting to unbox it and publish it on Youtube. Here is an example:

A story game

Campaign games are too complex and long to be exposed on Twitter or Facebook. Players often prefer to create a blog or to publish videos on Youtube. The interesting thing is to discover that a scenario can have different ends. In fact, only the players’ actions do the game. And their background become very important.

Blogers become authors of their own book. And they prove, sometimes, to be very patient because some campaigns, as this one, lasted for three years. And the author did a complete summary of all their meetings. Campaign are, in fact, composed of six books and are very long to complete. It is even possible on some websites to discover good or bad reviews on some campaigns.

Last advise: if you want to launch a game, be careful it is addictive.

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A new bike, but nobody to pedal : a scandal ?

Buy new bikes for the soldiers while there isn’t biker in the Swiss army : a recent proposition, or rather an order, of Ueli Maurer. A strange idea which makes strongly react the public opinion.

After the Gripen, the famous futur fighter jet of the Swiss army, it is the turn of  the “Vélo 12″ to create the controversy. Ueli Maurer, federal councillor in charge of the Swiss Federal  Department of Defence, announced in May the impending purchase of 2800 new bikes called “Vélo 2012” for the Swiss army. An acquisition which will cost 7 millions of Swiss francs.  But, just a question: do you already have seen a soldier on a bike these last years? Probably not. Because, as reveal some media such as Le Matin, the Swiss army doesn’t have bikers troop since 2003 anymore.

A big controversy

This revelation immediately created the debate in the public opinion. Whether it is in the  street, in the media or in the social networks, lots of people wonder about the necessity of spending so much money for something which doesn’t seems useful.

In Twitter, the Internet users rapidly began to share articles about the topic and also didn’t hesitate to comment the information. Often with humor or irony :

People took also advantage of Facebook to transmit their points of view about the purchase of the “Vélo 12” :

Besides such an incomprehension on behalf of the Swiss citizens, Ueli Maurer also had to support critics from influent people, as for instance  the national councellior Eric Voruz. On an article published in Le Matin, he asserted  : «Ueli Maurer doit nous expliquer pourquoi il veut acheter autant de vélos, pourquoi aussi chers, et en plus de mauvaise qualité selon des fabricants de cycles, et quelle en est l’utilité en l’absence de troupes cyclistes dans l’armée suisse.»

Maurer tries to convince, incomprehension persists

Front of such an amount of critics, Ueli Maurer tried to justify its decision. On Forum, a broadcasting of the RTS, he assured the necessity of these new bikes for the soldiers’ travellings inside the barracks. A justification which didn’t satisfy the public opinion. Even some journalists and personalities of the media area began then to post some contents in the social networks.

On the Facebook page of its “Chronique satirique”, a RTS broadcasting, the radio presenter Pascal Bernheim published this photo :

And the next day, the “Cyclo-crosse” was published :

And Pascal Bernheim was not the only one to laugh about Ueli Maurer and its “Vélo 12”. Vincent Kucholl et Vincent Veillon, the two famous presenters of “120 secondes” on the RTS radio channel “La Première”, also took advantage of the history:

Thus, if there is one think we can be sure, it’s that a big part of the public opinion is opposed to the purchase of the “Vélo 12”. The amount of negativ reactions published on the social networks is a good proof of that. Then, front such an amount of protests, will Ueli Maurer finally change his mind? The bikes will normally be delivered in 2013. So, enemies of the “Vélo 12”, you have still a few months to change the trend !

And to end with a flourish :

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