Monthly Archives: February 2011

Why something versus nothing?

Most physicists believe that during the Big Bang matter and antimatter were created in equal parts. However, when matter and antimatter meet, they destroy each other instantly and violently. And yet our world is made of matter, and all the antimatter seems to have disappeared. Why the universe didn’t just cancel itself out at the beginning has been an enduring mystery in physics ever since antimatter was first predicted in 1931. Scientists may now be able to study antimatter more closely, having captured antimatter atoms for the first time at CERN. This is a major breakthrough. As one CERN scientist stated, “This will help us understand the structure of space and time. For reasons that no one yet understands, nature ruled out antimatter… this inspires us to work that much harder to see if antimatter holds some secret.”

QR code note taking

I can’t decide if this is lazy, or the exactly opposite: Instead of writing down a long URL on a sticky note so that I could carry it with me, I dropped it into bity.ly, added .qr to the end of the shortened URL, which handily generates a QR code, and then printed out the QR code so that I could simply scan it to retrieve the URL instead of having to type it in on my iPhone.

Google Art Project

The Google Art Project combines the collections of over 150 art institutions, across 40 countries, into one massive online exhibit, powered by Google of course. As they state in the description:

Few people will ever be lucky enough to be able to visit every museum or see every work of art they’re interested in but now many more can enjoy over 30 000 works of art from sculpture to architecture and drawings and explore over 150 collections from 40 countries, all in one place. We’re also lucky at Google to have the technology to make this kind of project a reality.

Unlike many virtual counterparts to real-world exhibits, the level of detail is amazing. One can zoom in to see brush strokes created by masters hundreds of years ago.