Editor Pick

Search for the God Particle
12:01 am
Wed July 4, 2012

CERN finds Higgs-like (God) particle; UW scientists, up late, celebrate discovery

Gordon Watts, a physics professor at UW, shared the news of the likely discovery of the Higgs boson announced in the evidence presented by CERN tonight.
Jake Ellison KPLU

A University of Washington physics professor with connection to the experiments at the CERN Large Hadron Collider said a Higgs-like particle has been discovered.

"We have discovered something ... and quite frankly I can't see how it can be anything other than the Higgs but  we need scientific proof to close that door," said Gordon Watts, a physics professor at UW, at a tavern-based seminar tonight in lower Queen Anne with nearly 150 colleagues and science aficionados. "We just do not have the data yet to determine what the flavor of Higgs it is that we see.

"I am positive. My gut tells me that is what this is."

Read more
Diversions
8:03 am
Tue July 3, 2012

Bald Eagle: A Mighty Symbol, With A Not-So-Mighty Voice

The Bald Eagle's majestic call is ... not so majestic. Photo by USFWS

Originally published on Tue July 3, 2012 7:11 am

Few sounds symbolize American patriotism like the piercing shrill of a bald eagle. But just like George Washington and his cherry tree, that majestic call … is a myth. The screech associated with the bald eagle, in fact, belongs to a different bird.

Bird expert Connie Stanger blames Hollywood. You know the scene:

Stanger describes it: “You’ve got John Wayne riding through the sunset and you hear the jingle of spurs and often that piercing, loud cry.”

Read more
Science press release
10:52 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

'Strong indication of Higgs (God) particle' found, scientists report

The Tevatron typically produced about 10 million proton-antiproton collisions per second. Each collision produced hundreds of particles. The CDF and DZero experiments recorded about 200 collisions per second for further analysis.
Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory

(Press release from Fermilab)

After more than 10 years of gathering and analyzing data produced by the U.S. Department of Energy’s Tevatron collider, scientists from the CDF and DZero collaborations have found their strongest indication to date for the long-sought Higgs particle. Squeezing the last bit of information out of 500 trillion collisions produced by the Tevatron for each experiment since March 2001, the final analysis of the data does not settle the question of whether the Higgs particle exists, but gets closer to an answer.

The Tevatron scientists unveiled their latest results on July 2, two days before the highly anticipated announcement of the latest Higgs-search results from the Large Hadron Collider in Europe.

Read more
Seattle police department
5:18 pm
Mon July 2, 2012

'Catch a Killer' - Seattle PD launches newsy site to fight crime

The front page of the Seattle Police Department's revamped blog.

The latest version of the Seattle Police Department’s blog shows a department striving to build an online audience with catchy headlines and timely posts.

“We’re looking to do even more,” said department spokesman Detective Mark Jamieson. “The blotter was good. If people were interested that was a place they could go, but ... now we need to go to the next level (be) more like a news site.”

Read more
NPR Science
5:54 am
Mon July 2, 2012

Is the hunt for the 'God Particle' finally over?

This image, from a sensor at the particle accelerator at CERN, is an example of the data signature a Higgs particle might generate.
CERN

Originally published on Mon July 2, 2012 6:17 am

Before we get to the fireworks on the Fourth of July, we might see some pyrotechnics from a giant physics experiment near Geneva, Switzerland.

Scientists there are planning to gather that morning to hear the latest about the decades-long search for a subatomic particle that could help explain why objects in our universe actually weigh anything.

The buzz is that they're closing in on the elusive Higgs particle. That would be a major milestone in the quest to understand the most basic nature of the universe.

Read more
NPR diversions
1:18 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Supreme Court Health Care Ruling Prompts Foot Race In Press Corps

Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 3:37 pm

There were winners and losers in the journalistic race to get out the news of the Supreme Court's momentous ruling upholding the administration's health care law Thursday.

Read more
Missing dinosaurs
1:09 pm
Fri June 29, 2012

Truck stop dino stolen in Montana

Re-enactment: One of the mysteries is how the thieves got the large dinosaur (not necessarily like this one) was carried off since it was too big to fit in the back of a pickup, a gas station spokesman said.
niznoz Flickr

MISSOULA, Mont. — The folks at Hi-Noon Petroleum in Montana have a new way to turn a dinosaur into gasoline.

They're offering a $250 gas card for information leading to the safe return of Dino, a 12-foot-long fiberglass Sinclair dinosaur that disappeared June 21 from the Crossroads Travel Center west of Missoula.

Read more
health care reform
7:02 am
Fri June 29, 2012

Roberts' Ruling Recalls Other Moments When High Court Shocked The Nation

The U.S. Supreme Court on the eve of a hearing about the Florida presidential election recount, Nov. 30, 2000. The justices later ruled 5-4 in the case of Bush v. Gore, effectively deciding the outcome of the presidential race.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Fri June 29, 2012 7:41 am

You may already have made a mental note as to where you were when you heard the Supreme Court had upheld the health care law known as Obamacare. It's one of those moments that become touchstones of our memory, personal connections to the history we have witnessed in our lifetimes.

The Supreme Court may not be the source of such moments very often, but when its rulings reach this level of our awareness, they alter the course of our lives.

Read more
Japanese Tsunami debris
8:05 pm
Thu June 28, 2012

Oregon Sets Out Dumpsters For Tsunami Debris Clean-up

Tsunami debris on Montague Island, Alaska. Photo courtesy of NOAA

Originally published on Thu June 28, 2012 5:22 pm

SALEM, Ore. – Oregon is putting out dumpsters at coastal parks for beachgoers to throw away tsunami debris. Governor John Kitzhaber announced Thursday he’s appointed an interagency team to coordinate efforts to dispose of materials washed up from last year’s Japanese tsunami.

A new hotline provides instruction and access to a quick response team for help with larger remains. National Guard General Mike Caldwell, heads the new taskforce.

Read more
health care reform
8:21 am
Thu June 28, 2012

Supreme Court upholds health care law; Washington leaders look smart; state programs under way

It's full steam ahead for health care programs in Washington state.
The Associated Press

Washington state is on a fast-track to providing discounted insurance for thousands of uninsured people by January 2014.

The Supreme Court has upheld the individual insurance requirement at the heart of President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

The court on Thursday handed Obama a campaign-season victory in rejecting arguments that Congress went too far in requiring most Americans to have health insurance or pay a penalty.

The court found problems with the law's expansion of Medicaid. But even there, it said the expansion could proceed as long as the federal government does not threaten to withhold the entire Medicaid allotment to states if they don't take part in the extension.

The court's four liberal justices, Stephen Bryer, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Elena Kagan and Sonia Sotomayor, joined Roberts in the outcome.

“We are in a very good position, because we have already received the federal funds to not only build our health-care exchange, or marketplace, but to operate it for the first year,” says State Sen. Karen Keiser (D), Kent, who chairs a key senate health committee.

Read more
NPR health
9:08 am
Wed June 27, 2012

Feds move to curb abusive debt collection by nonprofit hospitals

Deb Waldin testifies about her experience with a debt collector at a Minnesota hospital during a hearing led by Sen. Al Franken in St. Paul, Minn., in late May.
Minnesota Public Radio/Jeffrey Thompson

Originally published on Wed June 27, 2012 7:36 am

Deb Waldin was in agony when she arrived at the emergency room of Fairview Southdale, a nonprofit hospital in suburban Minneapolis. On a scale of 1 to 10, she says her pain was at 12.

She turned out to have kidney stones. But before she got the diagnosis, while she was still lying on a gurney waiting to see a doctor, she was approached by a debt collector from a company called Accretive Health.

Read more
Business
2:11 pm
Tue June 26, 2012

Still mad about Chase's takeover of WaMu? You should be, author says

Kerry Lammert Flickr

J.P. Morgan Chase’s recent multi-billion dollar trading loss has knocked the bank far down the list of world’s most respected companies, according to the financial magazine Barron’s.  

That just adds to the company’s already tarnished reputation in the Northwest because of the way it took over Washington Mutual in a fire sale during the darkest days of the financial crisis in 2008. And that animosity is warranted, one expert says.

Read more
healthcare controversy
12:18 pm
Fri June 22, 2012

Survey: Will politics tip the scale in high court's healthcare ruling?

The U.S. Supreme Court
The Associated Press

As potentially millions of people collectively held their breath, again, Monday morning waiting for the U.S. Supreme Court to decide the fate of Obama’s health care reform, one of the many questions lingering in the air is will the justices keep their politics out of the decision? (Update: The court did not issue its ruling Monday and will likely do so on Thursday.)

And, we must also wonder: Will Americans keep their politics out of their assessments of whatever the court decides, when it does? (Warning, this is a “Take our survey” story … see below.)

Read more
Public policy
11:30 am
Thu June 21, 2012

Seattle Parks allows breast-cancer survivor to swim without top

Jodi Jaecks is shown in this screen grab talking about the Seattle Parks and Recreation's decision with KOMO 4.

A breast-cancer survivor has won the right to swim without a top in Seattle’s public pools. 

Jodi Jaecks has been seeking permission to swim topless since February, saying swim tops irritated the scars from her double mastectomy.  The Seattle Times reports the city put off her request for months but made a decision yesterday after The Stranger reported her story

Read more
Olympic Sports
3:55 pm
Tue June 19, 2012

Divers soar to get on Olympic team at Federal Way event

Two athletes perform a 10-meter synchronized platform dive at an earlier women's double Shimi Tai championship in China.
Shizao / Wikimedia Creative Commons

You might not be able to make it to London for the summer Olympics, but this week at the Weyerhaeuser King County Aquatic Center in Federal Way, you can watch some of the nation’s top athletes vie for a spot on the U.S. Olympic Diving team.

Read more

Pages