MySci Daily Round-Up, July 16: Atomic Cafe


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On this day in 1945, the 
Trinity test, the first-ever atomic bomb explosion, was staged on the Alamogordo Bombing and Gunnery Range, about 230 miles south of the Manhattan Project’s headquarters at Los Alamos, NM. Manhattan Project technical director J. Robert Oppenheimer gave the test its code name, Trinity, which was inspired by a line from a John Donne sonnet: “Batter my heart, three-personed God.” After being delayed by a thunderstorm, the device was detonated at 5:45 a.m., creating a flash that could be seen across New Mexico and in three other states, and sending a mushroom cloud rising to a height of 38,000 feet within minutes. The blast, the equivalent of 20,000 tons of TNT, raised the temperature at ground zero to about 10,000 times that of the Sun’s surface. Seeing his handiwork, the well-read Oppenheimer reportedly quoted a line from a Hindu sacred text, the Bhagavad-Gita:  “I am become death, the shatterer of worlds.” And with that cheery thought, here are the stories of the day.


Will BP cap on leak hold?  The oil company said on Thursday that it had finally managed to stop the flow of oil, but questions remain about a possible pressure buildup.


Six-inch long bearded fish saves Namibian ecosystems from jellyfish. The Goby isn’t much to look at, but a mysterious adaptation enables it to goggle up jellyfish and help restore the balance of nature in virtually dead waters.

Mystery of the moving Dutch tombstone.  Police puzzle over who has been moving a 400-kilo headstone around.

Were the Americas settled twice? A new comparative study of 11,000-year-old Paleo-American skulls with 1,000-year-old remains of native Americans suggests that there actually were two waves of migration, not counting Leif Erikson and space aliens.

Why some people cry so easily.  A new study links it to serotonin levels. Now there’s an explanation for the “Leave Britney Alone!” guy on YouTube.

Apple to hold big news conference today on iPhone 4’s call-dropping glitches.  So pause from bending that coat-hanger into an auxiliary antenna and listen in.