Archive for March 16th, 2012

Nobody Does it Better

Sixteen Things Calvin and Hobbes Said Better Than Anyone Else

Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes ran between 1985 and 1995. His comic strip managed to infuse wondering (and wandering) on a cosmic scale into an ageless world of lazy Sunday afternoons, snow goons, and harassed babysitters. I’m not saying that you should take moral and philosophical guidance from the inventor of Calvinball (a game that runs on chaos theory), but you could do much worse.

So here, in no particular order, is a selection of quotes that nail everything from the meaning of life to special underwear. Enjoy.

Watson, Come Here. Neutrino.

First Digital Message Sent Using Neutrinos

MINERvA is one of world’s most sensitive neutrino detectors and yet, out of 10^13 neutrinos in each pulse, it detects only about 0.8 of them on average.

Nevertheless, that’s enough to send a message. The FermiLab team used a simple on-off protocol to represent the 0s and 1s of digital code and transmitted the word “neutrino”.

Not particularly practical, though the story notes there are potential applications, such as submarine communication. You would use neutrinos to reach regions inaccessible with EM radiation — you need a situation where you are leveraging the one advantage you have: penetrability.