Happy 4th of July
Posted on July 4, 2012 Posted by John Scalzi 25 Comments
Here’s an educational cartoon for you all explaining the details of this whole “Declaration of Independence” thing:
For my fellow countryfolk, happy Independence Day. For everyone else (and for the US folks too, actually), happy Higgs Boson Day. We all have something to celebrate.
I prefer to think of this as “Happy Conception Day”. I think of the Declaration of Independence as the day when the idea of our nation was conceived. We still had a long way to go until we were actually born. I think of that day as June 21, since on that day in 1788, New Hampshire ratified the Constitution and it officially became the “Law of the Land”.
But I still love this day. And this country. So Happy Fourth!
As an elementary school teacher, my most valued possession is a DVD set with every “Schoolhouse Rock” episode ever produced. Got 10 minutes before lunch or at the end of the day? Pop it in and sing along to the Preamble or nouns or “I’m Just a Bill” or whatever. Absolute gold.
I have that set, you may be assured.
Happy 4th! Off to buy some beers.
Happy Fourth of July, you crazy leftist you. ;)
This Canadian is celebrating the Fourth in San Jose CA with friends. Back home next week. Happy Fourth of July to y’all!
Maybe, as a sci-fi writer, you are qualified to explain to us exactly what a Higgs Boson is? I mean, I’ve read the news articles, but I don’t have a clue.
Shy physicist whose name lives on in Higgs boson
(AFP) – 6 hours ago
PARIS — Forty-eight years ago, British scientist Peter Higgs had a eureka moment when he realised there could be a particle that confers mass, one of the greatest puzzles in physics.
“He said: ‘Oh shit, I know how to do that!'” former colleague Alan Walker told AFP of the breakthrough as recounted to him by Higgs, now 83, who today is hailed for widening our understanding of the Universe.
Higgs published a paper on his theory in 1964, becoming the flag bearer of a scientific premise to which several scientists had contributed over the years, but which, at the outset, found few backers.
Shy and unassuming, he lives quietly in the Scottish capital of Edinburgh, but was present in Geneva Wednesday when the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) said it had found a subatomic particle “consistent” with the long-sought boson that carries his name.
Higgs received a standing ovation as he arrived at the auditorium for the presentation wearing a grey suit and a white, open-collared shirt.
“It’s an incredible thing that this has happened in my lifetime,” the bald, ruddy-cheeked physicist said on his arrival, seemingly disconcerted by the media scrum that met him.
The elusive Higgs boson is believed to confer mass to some of the fundamental particles that make up matter….
What 4th of July means:
He’d been gone for 2 years by the time they made this, but that protestor carrying a sign that said NIX ON GEO III had to be deliberate. Nicely subversive. They ought to bring back Schoolhouse Rock and make a whole bunch of people watch them repeatedly until they sink in.
Also, they totally stole the tune for the refrain from Leo Sayer.
U.S.A. U.S.A. With the finding of the Higgs boson, alien marauders from space cannot be far behind. Enjoy a good steak today. KABOOM, KAPOWW! ohhh ahhh.
My favorite part of that video is watching a Founding Father (who doesn’t even look like Ben Franklin) chasing a woman every time the song mentions “the pursuit of happiness.” Some things never change. ;-)
Happy 4th! Also with the discovery of Higgs Boson, can I finally get my flying car now???
If you haven’t seen this animation from Ph.D. Comics, it’s a nice explanation of why we care about the Higgs. At the most basic level, we now understand the universe a bit better than we used to… and we have a whole new batch of questions that can be asked and answered now.
Happy July 4th from northern Alberta. We had our July 1st fireworks at midnight the other day. Only by then, was it dark enough to appreciate them.
My wife still thinks that John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, George Washington et al made a mistake in breaking from the UK. However:
By the rude bridge that arched the flood,
Their flag to April’s breeze unfurled,
Here once the embattled farmers stood,
And fired the shot heard round the world…
I just asked Charles Stross:
Do we know any examples of someone self-publishing an eBook which then gets picked up by a major market book publisher? Akin to how John Scalzi’s self-published Old Man’s War, which was then picked up and published in 2005, nominated for the Hugo Award for Best Novel in 2006, and optioned by Paramount Pictures in 2011?
@Jonathan Vos Post
East is East and West is West and never the twain shall meet
Till we say that some dude sticking an ebook on’t net
Is the same as some pro meeting peeps
But there is neither east nor west nor pro nor loser nor fool
Till we make ebooks subject to some Google-friendly rule
A very thoughtful annotated version of the Declaration of Independence:
Fireworks were more exciting when I was younger, even though they’re much fancier now. Some of the things they can do now…like the ones that go up white, then turn red, then turn blue…are amazing. But they just don’t excite me like they did when I was 12.
Also the drunken…frat boys? Republicans? …on the next rooftop over singing “God Bless America” would have been fine, had they been able to agree on a key. Apparently “Republicans fall in line” doesn’t apply to music, alas. As it was, they each had their own unique and special vision of what key to sing in, and the resulting sonic miasma was impressive, but not in a good way.
Fireworks were much more exciting when I lived in a wet state. Here, they’re banned because we have a red-flag fire warning most of the summer, not that my idiot neighbors have figured that out.
Happy Fourth, nonetheless!
Happy 4th/Higgs Day!
Blow shit up responsibly; we’re in wildfire season.
@hugh57 wish the comments had a “like” button :) – that was always my favorite part of this SR. Of course I didn’t get the innuendo when I first saw it and thought it was just funny. Eventually I got the whole man-chasing-woman-while-singer-tries-to-sound-like-Barry-White thing and that added a whole ‘nother layer to it. Like the other commenter said – wonderfully subversive :).
Love this video! Hope your 4th was great!
This inspired me to put in the Schoolhouse Rock DVD so our eleven month old could experience it for the first time. Thanks, John!