Geek trifecta! Hidden Legos, CERN, and Google Street View

Oh, it's on: a geek trifecta for the ages. Legos. CERN. And Google Street View.

Earlier this week, Switzerland's CERN, home of the Large Hadron Collider, launched a global treasure hunt. Hidden all around the famous lab's computer center are more than 20 Lego minifigures -- "Hawaiian dancers, space aliens, gorillas," and more. Find three of them on the Google Street View version of CERN, and you earn a chance at some prizes. More importantly, huge greek cred. How to validate your finds? As Gizmodo put it, "screengrabs or it didn't happen." … Read more

Higgs boson theory nets Nobel for pair of physicists

After nearly five decades of research to confirm their theory, Francois Englert and Peter Higgs were awarded the Nobel Prize for physics on Tuesday for work that led to last year's discovery of the Higgs boson.

The Nobel Prize committee named the winners "for the theoretical discovery of a mechanism that contributed to the understanding of the origin of mass of subatomic particles," said Staffan Normark, permanent secretary of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, at a news conference.

The Higgs boson is considered evidence of a pervasive field called the Higgs field that endows other particles … Read more

Google Street View in the Large Hadron Collider is a smash

Perhaps Google Street View should be renamed "Google Anything View." Google's wandering cameras have now made their way into CERN's Large Hadron Collider, the atom-smashing wonder located under the Franco-Swiss border.

Since it wasn't feasible to send a Google Street View car into the Large Hadron Collider facility, a specially equipped trike was employed instead. The Street View explorations are now available online for the public to peruse. You can follow along through the tunnels of the particle collider and pretend you're on the staff at CERN.… Read more

Search is on for lost first draft of first Web page

The first draft of the World Wide Web has gone missing, with perhaps one of the only copies of the very first Web site floating around the world's drawers or attics on a floppy disk somewhere.

Tim Berners-Lee wrote the first version of the very first Web page back in 1990 as a way for scientists to share information at CERN -- the European nuclear physics lab and particle accelerator site on the border of Switzerland and France. But it wasn't until 1992 that he actually saved a copy of that early CERN page.… Read more

First-ever Web site is brought back to life

A quick history lesson for readers.

In 1989, British physicist Tim Berners-Lee invented what would be called the "World Wide Web." The first trials were held in December 1990 at the laboratories of CERN, the major research laboratory in Geneva that's better known today as the home of the Large Hadron Collider.

On April 30, 1993, CERN published a statement -- on the Web, no less! -- that made the technology behind the World Wide Web available on a royalty-free basis. (Specifically, this was the software required to run a Web server, a basic browser, and a library of code.)

And thus the modern public Web was born, at … Read more

Twenty years on, the Web faces new openness challenges

Two decades ago today, the European particle accelerator called CERN gave birth to what's known as the open Web -- a technology that anyone can build without paying licensing or royalty fees.

But as the Web has grown ever more popular and sophisticated, proprietary technology poses a challenge to that philosophy of openness. The challenge is most clear in the area of video, where patents and copy protection are at odds with the Web's openness.

Tim Berners-Lee, a physicist at CERN, started developing what he called the World Wide Web in 1989. After CERN released the software for … Read more

CERN'S Tom Whyntie explains the universe, for beginners

If you thought the Big Bang theory was boring and particle physics was hard to understand, you've never seen those things explained by a cartoon version of CERN physicist Tom Whyntie.

He's able to put the information from a three-month science course into an easy-to-understand three-minute TEDEd video with the help of animation team at Hornet. The British-voiced blob bounces around and explains how scientists study the Big Bang by replacing the heat, energy, and activity of the first few seconds of the universe. … Read more

CERN physicists now pretty sure they've found Higgs boson

It's looking more likely that a particle CERN physicists discovered last year is the Higgs boson, researchers said today.

They cautioned it's not yet certain the particle is in fact the so-called "God particle" that can help explain how masses in the universe were formed. But this morning the leaders of the experiments running through the giant Large Hadron Collider said the analysis of more data -- two and a half times more, to be precise -- shows that the "new particle is looking more and more like a Higgs boson."

They also noted … Read more

Discover the Higgs boson particle -- on your wrist

Much like the epic quests of yore, the hunt for the Higgs boson particle has inspired stirring music, Stephen Hawking wagers, and now a timepiece for your wrist.

The Higgs Boson Watch is the God Particle taken the form of a personal accessory. The face of the watch depicts the Higgs decaying into other bosons during a collision. The hands move in a hypnotic spiral. If you stare at it long enough, you may gain an understanding of the very fabric of our universe.… Read more

At last! Angry Birds and CERN to create board game

I think I have found a solution for Zynga.

The company needs to get together with the United Nations peacekeeping forces around the world and create a board game in which people get killed, but not really.

How is it that I have had this quite brilliant notion?

Well, I have been stimulated by the news that Rovio, they who have enriched so many lives with Angry Birds, have got together with CERN (the European Organization for Nuclear Research, landlord for the Large Hadron Collider) to create new and amusing experiences to exercise young minds.

These will be under a … Read more