Saturday, 25 February 2017

18 photos of weird and wonderful London pubs

pub18.jpgFew things are as comforting in the winter as sheltering from the bleak weather in the dark wood and creaking floorboards of a pub with a beer and some good company. 
You can’t really find this atmosphere anywhere else, whether in a dive bar in New York or a bistro in Paris. That's what father-daughter duo publican and writer George Dailey and photographer Charlie Dailey - who was born above her dad's pub - have captured in their book Great Pubs of London. The book celebrates some of the capital’s most historic pubs, many of which have been trading for over 400 years and are “intrinsically woven into our history and culture,” Charlie Dailey tells The Independent. -read more

Saturday, 18 February 2017

Sunday, 12 February 2017

Starlight test shows quantum world has been weird for 600 years

Our universe has been ruled by weirdness for at least six centuries. If the quantum effects in a new experiment aren’t genuine, but are somehow caused by past meddling, then that is how long ago it must have happened – a finding that makes would-be alternatives to quantum theory even more unlikely.
Two qualities seem to describe our everyday world: realism, the idea that things have properties which don’t vanish when we’re not looking; and locality, which means no influence can travel faster than the speed of light.
But the quantum effects we see on tiny scales defy these descriptions. The properties of particles aren’t set in stone until we measure them, and their states can be entangled – such that altering one affects the other much faster than light can travel between the two.
There are loopholes in quantum theory, though. David Kaiser at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and his colleagues are trying to close them down – aided by starlight.
Their experiment exploits a standard test for locality: Bell’s inequality. It sets a limit on how often two entangled particles can end up in the same state just by chance – without quantum mechanics or some unknown “hidden variables” to guide them.
The first step is to create a pair of entangled particles – often photons of light – then fire them off in different directions. Usually, a random number generator determines at the very last moment which property of each particle to measure. The detectors used are far enough apart that the arriving particles can’t “cheat” and coordinate their states – unless they can signal each other faster than light.
If the measurements tally more often than allowed by Bell’s rule, then the particles aren’t governed by locality. Previous experiments have shown this consistently, and so backed quantum mechanics.READ MORE

Saturday, 4 February 2017

Weird and Fascinating Ways Animals Use Poop

None of it smells like roses.
That’s conventional poop wisdom, but otter dung, called spraint, can sometimes smell like violets, according to entomologist Richard Jones, author of the new book Call of Nature: The Secret Life of Dung.
Such flowery feces made Weird Animal Question of the Week curious: "How do various animals use poop?"


Badgers, which range throughout Europe, live in groups of about a dozen animals. This scrappy team “digs a series of small rectangular pits, which together … form the latrine,” says Jones.-read more