Donuts, math, and superdense teleportation of quantum information

Quantum teleportation has been achieved by a number of research teams around the globe since it was first theorized in 1993, but current experimental methods require extensive resources and/or only work successfully a fraction of the time. Now, by taking advantage of the mathematical properties intrinsic to the shape of a donut — or torus, in mathematical terminology — a physicists have made great strides by realizing ‘superdense teleportation.’ —> Read More

Exploding Fireball Video Shows Why You Shouldn’t Use Water To Extinguish A Grease Fire

What happens when you mix water and grease? Exploding fireballs, apparently. At least that’s what Gav and Dan, better known as “The Slo Mo Guys,” found out when they demonstrated why you shouldn’t use water to put out an oil fire.

Slowed down to 2,500 frames per second, the video gets REALLY hot — fast. Here’s a sped-up gif of the fire:

As The Slo Mo Guys explain in the video, the reason the fireball occurs is because “the water sinks through the oil, evaporates immediately on the surface of the pan throws all of the oil upwards in a big flaming, hot, melty mess.” Yikes!

In order to actually extinguish an oil (or grease) fire, make sure to use baking soda to put out the flames instead of water.

H/T Digg

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In the Long Run, Who Is Ultimately Affected By Climate Change?

I keep reading papers about cognitive theories and climate change that strike me as, by and large, wildly optimistic about the lessons of behavioral economics, neuro-economics, as well as evolutionary psychology to provide a basis for changing people’s behavior. “Wildly optimistic” because authors seem to me to be oversold on these approaches and seduced into thinking the problem of climate behavior is just that we have failed to see some key switch that these theories uncover. Wish that it was so easy! Of the three, behavioral economics is the only one that has delivered anything approaching a set of empirically reliable findings but they are incredibly piecemeal and constitute nothing approaching a comprehensive alternative to the “standard” model.

All of that said, I am struck again and again by two features of our constitution that make things so hard. One is this: we are much more responsive to appeals in terms of the local effects of climate as opposed to universal effects or effects on others. That is a problem if you live in an area that is comparatively unaffected by prospective climate change (and lots are especially in the developing world given its location and adaptive wealth). But the trouble goes beyond making the salient effects of climate on the “other” real for “us” when the other lives far from our environs. For the real other effected by climate change are those of future generations — and not just the next generation or the one after that.

To see the problem, imagine (if you don’t have any yet) your grandchildren. Think of providing for their well being in your will. Now do the same for their children. And their children. And so on. See how soon you become indifferent even if they are your genetic descendants. —> Read More

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