Leo Kouwenhoven is a professor of physics at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. He ended the 75-year hunt for the Majorana fermion—a particle that is its own antiparticle—by creating it on a chip.
In Slate’s Doctor Who TV Club, Mac Rogers discusses the Doctor’s travels via IM every week with the show’s bloggers and fans. This week he’s chatting about the season finale "The Name of the Doctor" with Phil Sandifer, who writes TARDIS Eruditorum.
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“Scandal Jujitsu: How is Obama coping with multiple scandals? By playing them off against one another,” by William Saletan. It’s been a bad week for the White House, with scandals over the 2012 Benghazi attacks, IRS targeting of conservative groups, and Justice Department monitoring of AP reporters’ phone records all making national headlines. Saletan criticizes the administration’s tactic of justifying the AP phone record surveillance by tying it to Republican’s concern about Benghazi-like security breaches. He writes that it’s a cynical move and a failure in messaging that won’t make any of these headaches go away.
Last year, a 38-year-old friend sent me a link to an article titled “My Secret Grief: Over 35, Single, and Childless” by Savvy Auntie author Melanie Notkin about her heartbreak over not having children with the email subject line “She nailed it!” I quickly replied with the answer I’d given many friends who were worried about finding a partner in time to have a baby: “Freeze your eggs!” I gushed about how taking charge of my fertility had made me feel more relaxed and helped my dating prospects. Then I preemptively knocked down my friend’s arguments: You can afford it. It’s not too late. I’ll help you with the hormone shots. Despite my best efforts at cheerleading, she remained tepid: “I’ll think about it.”
The other night, I was having dinner with some friends in a fairly decent restaurant and was at the very peak of my form as a wit and raconteur. But just as, with infinite and exquisite tantalizations, I was approaching my punch line, the most incredible thing happened. A waiter appeared from nowhere, leaned right over my shoulder and into the middle of the conversation, seized my knife and fork, and started to cut up my food for me. Not content with this bizarre behavior, and without so much as a by-your-leave, he proceeded to distribute pieces of my entree onto the plates of the other diners.
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A person’s head collides with an object. Unprepared for the impact, the head jerks in a violent whiplash motion. The person collapses, rolling on the ground and holding his head, before rising slowly and unsteadily. Eyewitnesses testify that the person was confused or disoriented.
Maybe it wasn’t the best idea for acting IRS Commissioner Steven Miller to resign before talking to Congress. He appeared before the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday as a sort of human sacrifice; the first bureaucrat to resign in the scandal, and not even the one Republicans or Tea Partiers wanted. Miller had been a deputy commissioner during the years of scandal, and the IRS inspector general’s report didn’t tie him to any bias or malfeasance.
WELLINGTON, New Zealand—A fish restaurant in New Zealand seemed an odd place to discuss a war that took place several thousand miles away and several decades ago, but there we were: Sea bream was served, sauvignon blanc was poured, the rain drummed down outside, and I listened while three septuagenarians smiled, laughed, and told me of the unimaginable tragedy they had lived through as children.
This article originally appeared in the Birdist.