The 2012 discovery of the Higgs boson put finishing touches on the so-called “Standard Model” of particle physics. In From the Great Wall to the Great Collider: China and the Quest to Uncover the Inner Workings of the Universe, Harvard mathematician Shing-Tung Yau and NASW member Steve Nadis describe plans to build a giant accelerator — up to 100 kilometers in circumference — and an international facility, in China, potentially transporting physics into a previously inaccessible, high-energy realm where a host of new particles, and perhaps a sweeping new symmetry, may be found.
A Scottish nurse, who seemingly had recovered nine months ago from Ebola she had contracted in 2014 while working in Sierra Leone, became gravely ill with a complication of the disorder earlier this month. Physicians at the Royal Free Hospital, London, upgraded her condition this week from “critical” to "serious but stable." Readers eager to learn more about Ebola and its West Africa outbreak will find that information in the timely publication of the second edition of Carl Zimmer’s A Planet of Viruses. Zimmer also reports on the emergence of MERS, and provides updates on the influenzas, smallpox, and HIV.
In The President’s Salmon, Catherine Schmitt uses a one-time tradition — the presentation of the first salmon caught on the fly in Maine’s Penobscot River to the President of the United States — to chart the fate of both the salmon and the river in each President’s tenure. When the tradition started in 1912, Penobscot salmon were plentiful. By the time it ended in 1992, after overharvesting, damming, and destruction of the environment, the river’s salmon population had nearly disappeared.
What's Tumblr? It's the latest social media must-have, according to this post from Jojo Malig at the Poynter Institute. More than 160 news media organizations are using the image-heavy blogging platform. So are individual journalists. But what is it good for, and how do you get started using it? This “Tumblr for journalists” slideshow from Matthew Keys has plenty of quick tips.
Zhiyong Lu reviews 28 online search tools for PubMed, the database that now contains more than 20 million citations and can overwhelm users with too many results. "Over one-third of PubMed queries result in 100 or more citations," the author says. The article has a companion web form that allows users to find tools with special features, such as relevance ranking of results.
Don't just type a bunch of search terms into Google and leave it at that. Use special operators like "site:" to zero in on exactly what you need, says this guide from 10,000 words. "Using a few carefully crafted phrases and punctuation marks can mean the difference between 10,000,000 hits that are hit-or-miss and 100 hits that are tailored to your actual need." With links to guides for Google and Bing.
Google isn't saying that its latest new feature is aimed at operations like Demand Media and Associated Content, but it certainly could be. The search giant has begun giving users a way to permanently block certain sites from appearing in their search results. It requires a Google account and is already available for the Internet Explorer, Firefox and Chrome browsers, with more planned.
Can long-form journalism be adapted to the web? The Atavist is one such effort, just reviewed in the New York Times: "All the richness of the Web — links to more information, videos, casts of characters — is right there in an app displaying an article, but with a swipe of the finger, the presentation reverts to clean text." More here, here and here.