science

scientists find spider in india that looks like harry potter sorting hat
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A weird little spider that looks like a floppy hat has been named after an infamous floppy hat: The Sorting Hat from Harry Potter. Meet your new favorite spider, Eriovixia gryffindori — which is somehow a spider and not a spell.

via MTV

Introduced in a paper published in the Indian Journal of Arachnology, this “new species of cryptic, dry-foliage mimicking araneid” looks a lot like the Sorting Hat from the side and was found in “unique ‘Kans’ forestlands of central Western Ghats, Karnataka, India,” writes Nerdist. At least they didn’t name it Hufflepuffi or else we’d dismiss this spider as totally useless. Like, why does that house even exist?

The paper explains in detail why it was named after the beloved hat:

This uniquely shaped spider derives its name from the fabulous, sentient magical artifact, the sorting hat, owned by the (fictitious) medieval wizard Godric Gryffindor, one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and stemming from the powerful imagination of Ms. J. K. Rowling, wordsmith extraordinaire, as presented in her beloved series of books, featuring everyone’s favorite boy-wizard, Harry Potter. An ode from the authors, for magic lost, and found, in an effort to draw attention to the fascinating, but oft overlooked world of invertebrates, and their secret lives.

Everyone’s favorite scene in Harry Potter is where Harry is chosen to join house Gryffindor, and we also wonder why Hogwarts doesn't revamp the Slytherin program, since it keeps producing bad guys. Seriously, there’s something up with how those kids are taught. Well, now you can ask the Sorting Hat yourself, if you are ever look in the forestlands of central Western Ghats and speak spider. 

geek news homer simpson predicted higgs boson
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In a 1998 episode of “The Simpsons” called “The Wizard of Evergreen Terrace,” Homer knew about the Higgs boson (aka “God Particle”) many years before it was even discovered.

He is shown writing an equation on a chalkboard, which actually turns out to be a lot more than just a bunch of gibberish.

“That equation predicts the mass of the Higgs boson,” Simon Singh, author of The Simpsons and their Mathematical Secrets, told “The Independent”. “If you work it out, you get the mass of a Higgs boson that’s only a bit larger than the nano-mass of a Higgs boson actually is. It’s kind of amazing as Homer makes this prediction 14 years before it was discovered.”

Peter Higgs theorized about the particle in the ’60s, and it was finally discovered in 2012.

The writers on the show are all a bunch of math geeks, who have hidden easter eggs throughout the series since it premiered. Another of the equations Homer is working on in the same scene references Fermat’s Last Theorem, which Singh also has written about.

You can read more about the chalkboard scene and the math involved in this chapter from Singh’s book published at Boing Boing.

Here’s a more detailed explanation about the Higgs portion:

The first equation on the board is largely Schiminovich’s work, and it predicts the mass of the Higgs boson, M(H0), an elementary particle that that was first proposed in 1964. The equation is a playful combination of various fundamental parameters, namely the Planck constant, the gravitational constant, and the speed of light. If you look up these numbers and plug them into the equation,1 it predicts a mass of 775 giga-electron-volts (GeV), which is substantially higher than the 125 GeV estimate that emerged when the Higgs boson was discovered in 2012. Nevertheless, 775 GeV was not a bad guess, particularly bearing in mind that Homer is an amateur inventor and he performed this calculation fourteen years before the physicists at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research, tracked down the elusive particle.



The Simpsons have also made headlines for “predicting” a number of other future events, including the Syrian civil war, the ebola outbreak, the Siegfried & Roy tiger attack, smartwatches andmalfunctioning voting booths.

But you would think as longest-running animated series in U.S. TV history that they would eventually get a few things right.

adipose doctor who science - 7606740992
By Anonymous
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That moment when watching Doctor Who just helped you on your Biology test...