Open data from the Large Hadron Collider sparks new discovery

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Back in 2014, CERN released the data from its Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments onto an online portal called the Open Data portal. It was an unprecedented move, making data from the LHC’s experiments available to those who don’t have access to a particle accelerator. It’s not completely up-to-date; there’s a three-year embargo on results, so, generally speaking, the most recent data being uploaded is from the year 2014. This was the first time results of any particle collider experiment have been released to the public, and now it’s produced results.

Last week, a team from MIT released an article in Physical Review Letters that used data from the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS), one of the LHC’s main detectors, to explain a feature within high-energy particle collisions. When protons collide at very high speeds, they release jets of quarks and gluons. The MIT team was able to show, using CMS data, that the same equation can predict both the pattern of these jets and the energy of the particles produced from a proton collision. Scientists suspected this was indeed the case, and now that hypothesis has been verified.

This is revolutionary because there’s been a reluctance in particle physics to make information available publicly. Jesse Thaler, one of the scientists on the project, told Phys.org, "The worry was, if you made the data public, then you would have people claiming evidence for new physics when actually it was just a glitch in how the detector was operating." He continues to say that there was a certain arrogance that may have played into it as well: the belief that, if in-house scientists couldn’t make a discovery based on this data, then there was no way others could.

That’s why this discovery is so encouraging. The equation in and of itself isn’t revolutionary; it confirms something most scientists already agreed with. But the fact that the LHC’s public data led to a discovery outside the organization is a big step. Perhaps it will encourage other particle colliders to make their data available as well. Thaler said, "Our work here shows that we can understand in general how to use this open data, that it has scientific value, and that this can be a stepping stone to future analysis of more exotic possibilities."

Source: Phys.org, Physical Review Letters

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IMF Head Foresees The End Of Banking As Bitcoin Surges Above $4400

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Authored by Jeffrey Tucker via The Foundation for Economic Education,

In a remarkably frank talk at a Bank of England conference, the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund has speculated that Bitcoin and cryptocurrency have as much of a future as the Internet itself.

It could displace central banks, conventional banking, and challenge the monopoly of national monies.  

Christine Lagarde–a Paris native who has held her position at the IMF since 2011–says the only substantial problems with existing cryptocurrency are fixable over time.

In the long run, the technology itself can replace national monies, conventional financial intermediation, and even "puts a question mark on the fractional banking model we know today."

In a lecture that chastised her colleagues for failing to embrace the future, she warned that "Not so long ago, some experts argued that personal computers would never be adopted, and that tablets would only be used as expensive coffee trays. So I think it may not be wise to dismiss virtual currencies."

Here are the relevant parts of her paper:

Let us start with virtual currencies. To be clear, this is not about digital payments in existing currencies—through Paypal and other “e-money” providers such as Alipay in China, or M-Pesa in Kenya.

 

Virtual currencies are in a different category, because they provide their own unit of account and payment systems. These systems allow for peer-to-peer transactions without central clearinghouses, without central banks.

 

For now, virtual currencies such as Bitcoin pose little or no challenge to the existing order of fiat currencies and central banks. Why? Because they are too volatile, too risky, too energy intensive, and because the underlying technologies are not yet scalable. Many are too opaque for regulators; and some have been hacked.

 

But many of these are technological challenges that could be addressed over time. Not so long ago, some experts argued that personal computers would never be adopted, and that tablets would only be used as expensive coffee trays. So I think it may not be wise to dismiss virtual currencies.

 

Better value for money?

For instance, think of countries with weak institutions and unstable national currencies. Instead of adopting the currency of another country—such as the U.S. dollar—some of these economies might see a growing use of virtual currencies. Call it dollarization 2.0.

 

IMF experience shows that there is a tipping point beyond which coordination around a new currency is exponential. In the Seychelles, for example, dollarization jumped from 20 percent in 2006 to 60 percent in 2008.

 

And yet, why might citizens hold virtual currencies rather than physical dollars, euros, or sterling? Because it may one day be easier and safer than obtaining paper bills, especially in remote regions. And because virtual currencies could actually become more stable.

 

For instance, they could be issued one-for-one for dollars, or a stable basket of currencies. Issuance could be fully transparent, governed by a credible, pre-defined rule, an algorithm that can be monitored…or even a “smart rule” that might reflect changing macroeconomic circumstances.

 

So in many ways, virtual currencies might just give existing currencies and monetary policy a run for their money. The best response by central bankers is to continue running effective monetary policy, while being open to fresh ideas and new demands, as economies evolve.

 

Better payment services?

For example, consider the growing demand for new payment services in countries where the shared, decentralized service economy is taking off.

 

This is an economy rooted in peer-to-peer transactions, in frequent, small-value payments, often across borders.

 

Four dollars for gardening tips from a lady in New Zealand, three euros for an expert translation of a Japanese poem, and 80 pence for a virtual rendering of historic Fleet Street: these payments can be made with credit cards and other forms of e-money. But the charges are relatively high for small-value transactions, especially across borders.

 

Instead, citizens may one day prefer virtual currencies, since they potentially offer the same cost and convenience as cash—no settlement risks, no clearing delays, no central registration, no intermediary to check accounts and identities. If privately issued virtual currencies remain risky and unstable, citizens may even call on central banks to provide digital forms of legal tender.

 

So, when the new service economy comes knocking on the Bank of England’s door, will you welcome it inside? Offer it tea—and financial liquidity?

 

New models of financial intermediation

This brings us to the second leg of our pod journey—new models of financial intermediation.

 

One possibility is the break-up, or unbundling, of banking services. In the future, we might keep minimal balances for payment services on electronic wallets.

 

The remaining balances may be kept in mutual funds, or invested in peer-to-peer lending platforms with an edge in big data and artificial intelligence for automatic credit scoring.

 

This is a world of six-month product development cycles and constant updates, primarily of software, with a huge premium on simple user-interfaces and trusted security. A world where data is king. A world of many new players without imposing branch offices.

 

Some would argue that this puts a question mark on the fractional banking model we know today, if there are fewer bank deposits and money flows into the economy through new channels.

 

How would monetary policy be set in this context?

Today’s central banks typically affect asset prices through primary dealers, or big banks, to which they provide liquidity at fixed prices—so-called open-market operations. But if these banks were to become less relevant in the new financial world, and demand for central bank balances were to diminish, could monetary policy transmission remain as effective?

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6 scientific tricks for falling asleep

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6 scientific tricks to fall asleep.  

If you can’t sleep, get out of bed. Experts say if you stress out in bed you’ll associate negative feelings toward where you sleep. So go read a book on the couch. 

Turn off your phone! The blue light can trick your mind into thinking it’s daytime. Give yourself 30 minutes before bed to unplug. 

Try meditation or practiced relaxation. Your body will produce stress hormones if you’re anxious. Try relaxing one part of your body at a time starting with your toes and working your way up. Lots of people fall asleep before they reach their head! 

It sounds counter-intuitive, but try to stay awake. It’s easier to sleep when you’re not obsessing over it. One study shows obsessing over staying awake has the opposite effect. 

Stick to a routine. The more consistently you set your bedtime the quicker your body recognizes it’s time to shut down. 

Do something mindless. Experts recommend counting backwards from 100 in multiples of 3. The more bored you are, the faster you’ll fall asleep. 

Sweet dreams!

Join the conversation about this story »

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Watch 4 Kids Absolutely Crush Covers Of Pearl Jam’s ‘Even Flow’ And Metallica Classics

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This band made up of four kids (My apologies to the lead singer who is 18-years-old) from Australia is absolutely incredible. Musical talent is not lacking for the Melbourne-based band MixedUpEverything, but the crazy part is that all four members of the band are brothers. The Hanson bros had better watch their back because there’s a new band of brothers.

MixedUpEverything is made up of four teenage brothers; lead singer Todd Dhima who is 18, drummer Kevin who is 16, guitarist Blake who is 15, and bassist Koby who is 13-years-old. “We’ve been playing together since we were babies,” says Todd. “I bought our first real guitar at the age of eight.”

But there is nothing childlike about their music; they completely crush covers of some modern rock classics. They take on and destroy songs from Pearl Jam, Metallica, Nirvana, Foo Fighters, Blink 182, and Alice in Chains. “We’ve been playing seriously and doing covers of The Offspring, Red Hot Chili Peppers and Metallica etc., since I was 10,” says Todd.

Their latest cover is Pearl Jam’s “Even Flow,” which is no walk in the park for musicians of any age. They performed an acoustic version of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters” on the streets of Melbourne that has nearly 500,000 views on YouTube.

But cover songs are just the beginning. “We don’t want to be known as this ‘sick cover band’ on Youtube,” says Todd. “We want to bring back good old-fashioned kick-ass rock. No computers, no crap!”

The band has been putting in 11-hour days and working tirelessly on their debut album titled Ex Nihilo. It is currently being mixed and mastered.

“We will be the next biggest thing,” says Todd. “Our main goal is selling out Wembley and our own Rod Laver Arena.”

Good luck gentlemen!

[TeamRock]

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More Than 50 Dead and at Least 200 Injured in Las Vegas Concert Shooting, the Deadliest in US History [Updated]

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People scramble for shelter at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was heard on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

At least 50 people are dead and more than 200 people are injured after a man opened fire on concertgoers in Las Vegas from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay Hotel. Social media has been inundated with videos from the horrific scene.

Police now say it’s the worst mass shooting in US history. 49 people were killed in the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in June of 2016.

The shooting started around 10:08pm local time Sunday night in Vegas. A possible motive for the mass murderer has not been released. The shooter has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock of Mesquite, Nevada. CBS News is reporting that Paddock has had no prior contact with law enforcement, which is strange. Typically mass killers have had at least one prior incident with police, whether it’s domestic violence or any other number of crimes.

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Video from the Mandalay Bay Hotel shows people fleeing the concert after the shots began. Many witnesses described confusion as the shots first rang out, with some people believing it was simply fireworks.

Paddock, who lived in a retirement community, reportedly broke a window in the 32nd floor in order to carry out his attack on the people below. He was able to reload multiple times, according to witnesses, as the crowd heard a burst of 30 shots at a time. CBS News is reporting that Las Vegas Police used explosives to gain access to the hotel room before killing Paddock.

Police are searching for a woman who was allegedly traveling with him, Marilou Danley. She’s described as 4 feet 11 inches tall and 111 pounds. Police have described the dead man as the “primary aggressor” and Danley is now simply being sought as a person of interest.

Police are also interested in locating two vehicles, a Hyundai Tucson Nevada with license plate number 114B40 and a Chrysler Pacifica Nevada with license plate number 79D401.

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“There has been multiple conjecture coming through social media that there’s multiple shooters at other resorts, that has been proven to be false,” Sheriff Joe Lombardo said at a press conference. “Additionally there has been accusations or beliefs of explosives going on, that is also false.”

Country singer Jason Aldean was on stage at the Route 91 Harvest concert when the shooting began. Many people tried to shelter in place, laying on the ground as they were unsure of where to go. Others started running, despite the fact that most people had no idea where the shots were coming from, as the shooter was on the 32nd floor of the nearby hotel.

People run from the Route 91 Harvest country music festival after apparent gun fire was hear on October 1, 2017 in Las Vegas, Nevada.(Photo by David Becker/Getty Images)

Aldean posted a photo to Instagram after the attack with the words “pray for Vegas” and a message to fans.

Tonight has been beyond horrific. I still dont know what to say but wanted to let everyone know that Me and my Crew are safe. My Thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved tonight. It hurts my heart that this would happen to anyone who was just coming out to enjoy what should have been a fun night. #heartbroken #stopthehate

During the shooting, Las Vegas Police asked concertgoers not to share information about tactical positions of officers because it put the police force in danger.

As is pretty common after any mass shooting in the United States, internet sleuths believe they have identified the shooter. [Update: The shooter has been identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, not the man who internet sleuths identified.]

Snapchat videos posted to YouTube show concertgoers talking directly to their phones describing the situation as shots can still be heard.

The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police have asked for anyone with video of tonight’s shooting to bring that video to police headquarters.

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Update, 6:31am: Witnesses describe a scene where Paddock was shooting for at least 4 minutes before police were able to stop him.

Witnesses also describe the crowd staying calm for the most part in an effort to keep people from getting trampled.

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Update 6:37am: Buzzfeed has a good running tally of all the hoaxes that are emerging on social media in the wake of the shooting. As usual, people are posting random photos purporting to be the shooter as well as other photos of “missing” family members. The internet is the worst.

If you’re trying to locate family members at the scene, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police urge you to call 866-535-5654.

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Update 6:51am: Police have reportedly found, Marilou Danley, the person of interest. There are also new reports that Paddock had “numerous” firearms with him in the Mandalay Bay Hotel room before police broke in and killed him.

Update 7:12am: President Trump just tweeted his condolences to the victims of the shooting.

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