Why we can stop worrying and love the particle accelerator | Aeon Ideas


.. despite its accomplishments and glamour, the world of particle physics is so abstract that few understand its implications, meaning or use.

Unlike a NASA probe sent to Mars, CERN’s research doesn’t produce stunning, tangible images.

Instead, the study of particle physics is best described by chalkboard equations and squiggly lines called Feynman diagrams. Aage Bohr, the Nobel laureate whose father Niels invented the Bohr model of the atom, and his colleague Ole Ulfbeck have even gone as far as to deny the physical existence of subatomic particles as anything more than mathematical models.

Which returns us to our original question: What happens when a beam of subatomic particles traveling at nearly the speed of light meets the flesh of the human body?

Source: Why we can stop worrying and love the particle accelerator | Aeon Ideas

Europe’s new “Indispensable Nations”


Upcoming parliamentary elections in France, Germany, the Netherlands, and possibly Italy will decide whether the European Union will hold together, or whether it will disintegrate under the neo-nationalist wave sweeping the West.

Meanwhile, the Brexit negotiations will begin in earnest, providing a glimpse of the future of the EU-UK relationship. And Trump’s inauguration on January 20 may someday be remembered as a watershed moment for Europe.

Judging by Trump’s past statements about Europe and its relationship with the US, the EU should be preparing for some profound shocks.

Source: Europe’s new “Indispensable Nations”

Trump’s defective industrial policy


Trump’s policy style represents a sharp break from that of his predecessors. It is highly personalized and temperamental. It relies on threats and bullying. It is prone to boasting, exaggeration, and lies about actual successes. It is a type of public spectacle, staged on Twitter.

And it is deeply corrosive of democratic norms.

Source: Trump’s defective industrial policy

Donald Trump: Pitting Russia against China, and the dangers to the European Union


The Trump election has further polarized the global landscape, re-defining and redrawing the map of power-relationships. Indeed, in this new reality, the EU and most of it’s leaders, whether heads of state and government, or indeed the leaders of its institutions, have taken a back seat, being mere observers rather than actors.

The exceptions are limited to Germany and France, and will be re-measured after their national electoral battles this year.

As it stands, there are three global superpowers with supreme nuclear capabilities. They are the United States of America, Russia and China. Though France’s arsenal is quite large, they currently lack the leadership capable of “pushing the button.”

Source: Donald Trump: Pitting Russia against China, and the dangers to the European Union

Theresa May heads for collision Brexit


The British Prime Minister Theresa May is expected to extend the prospect of safeguarding workers’ rights. But, it is unclear whether she is planning to signal leaving the Single Market and the Customs Union or not.

But, the Sunday Times has reported that the U.K is seeking a “clean and hard” Brexit, which would entail both. Last week she said Britain would not be able to keep “bits” of EU membership.

Brussels and EU member states have made clear there will be no Single Market access without freedom of movement and May has made clear there will be immigration controls.

Source: Theresa May heads for collision Brexit

Trump team considers evicting press from White House: report | TheHill


President-elect Donald Trump‘s team is reportedly considering evicting the press corps from the White House.

Instead, the press corps may work out of the White House Conference Center, near Lafayette Square, or in the Old Executive Office Building, next door to the White House, Esquire reported.

Source: Trump team considers evicting press from White House: report | TheHill

Priebus to ethics chief: ‘Be careful’ | TheHill


“The head of the government ethics ought to be careful, because that person is becoming extremely political,” incoming White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, said on ABC’s “This Week.”

.. “So I’m not so sure what this person at Government Ethics, what sort of standing he has anymore in giving these opinions.”

Source: Priebus to ethics chief: ‘Be careful’ | TheHill

Schumer puts GOP on notice over ObamaCare repeal | TheHill


Senate Democratic Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) has made it crystal clear: If Republicans repeal ObamaCare without immediately implementing a plan to replace it, Democrats will not help them out of a pickle down the road.

“That’s not a close call. They’re doing something so extraordinary reckless. You cannot reward hostage taking,” a Democratic senator said.

The Democratic senator said Republicans have refused to work with President Obama for six years to come up with fixes to improve the law because they wanted to heighten its unpopularity and score political points.

Source: Schumer puts GOP on notice over ObamaCare repeal | TheHill

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Trump eyes role of negotiator-in-chief | TheHill


Donald Trump is signaling that he will take a hands-on approach to trade policy, placing himself in the role of negotiator-in-chief.

Even before being sworn into office, Trump has sought to expand the number of White House officials working on trade policy.

He created a new office, the White House National Trade Council, to work on trade matters, elevating the importance of the issue.

Source: Trump eyes role of negotiator-in-chief | TheHill

Chinese tech giant’s Taiwan deals unravel as Powertech calls off share pact | Reuters


Powertech, a Taiwanese chip tester and packager, said the plan was being scrapped because a one-year period authorized by its shareholders to get the deal approved in Taiwan was about to lapse and local regulators had yet to give a green light.

The original deal, announced in late 2015, would have given the Chinese giant a quarter stake in Powertech for $600 million.

Source: Chinese tech giant’s Taiwan deals unravel as Powertech calls off share pact | Reuters