Physics

As many of you know, I expressed here my strong doubts that the rumoured Higgs signal found by members of the ATLAS collaboration in the two-photon final state was due to a real particle, and went as far as to bet 2:1 against it (you can take the bet by just writing in the comments thread, but you must be a well-known individual who has a reputation in physics if you want to be taken seriously).
Thanks to all that read my previous post, “Sexy Standard Model Symmetries”. Most probably did not notice quite a few technical exchanges between David Halliday and myself. I was pretty darn sure I had a way to represent electroweak symmetry using quaternions. David was pretty darn sure I did not. Such exchanges can go on for some time, unless one party finally sees that they were in fact wrong on the facts. That doesn’t happen often. It did happen here, and I was the one who was wrong. This blog will go into my mistakes, and generate a few more animations which may open up new views.
"There are 10^11 stars in the galaxy. That used to be a huge number. But it's only a hundred billion. It's less than the national deficit! We used to call them astronomical numbers. Now we should call them economical numbers."

R. Feynman

Schrödinger’s cat is in a quantum superposition of two states, namely |Dead> and |Alive>. If we open the box and find the cat dead, where is the living one? You all know the answer: In the ‘parallel universe’ where I pull the cat out alive. Let me add a twist that only a true cat hater can come up with.

The big bang was given it's name by Fred Hoyle, in order to make the theory sound absurd.  He metaphorically called it an explosion.   In the mist of time most people even some scientist lost the metaphor part of that and thought of it as an explosion.  Others then stopped using the metaphor because it confused people.   
This is more of an entry about the use of language than physics.  That said here is the shortest possible argument for why the big bang was not an explosion for anyone who needs convincing:

Explosions are the free expansion of material from higher, pressure, temperature and density to lower pressure, temperature and density in a short amount of time. 
In his article “The World Is Not Woven From Real Stuff” Sascha Vongehr raised the important matter of quantum physics and our perception of the natural world.

He argued that “the feeling that facts are just out there in a really existing world, is strictly wrong” and asked “However, how can a layperson best grasp that direct realism is wrong?”

The reader was then taken through the mental exercise of considering how familiar objects such as billiard balls behave, that is, they lose motion. This was used to demonstrate that “real things” cannot be made of smaller things inside smaller things because eventually “real stuff out of smaller real stuff slows down and collapses into a motionless heap over time.”
In his recent blog post "The World Is Not Woven From Real Stuff", Sascha Vongehr wrote:
Some merely claim that we need quantum mechanics so that the electron does not fall into the atom’s nucleus. Any classical electric charge would spiral into the atom's nucleus. The material that they make up would collapse.... Well, how convincing is this argument? Does it convince you? It would not convince me without a severe dose of already knowing at least a bunch of electromagnetism. Why could there not be some other, more intuitive explanation of why atoms do not collapse?
The interest for the tentative new signal of a Higgs decay to photon pairs does not seem to cease. Yesterday I gave a short interview to Fabio De Sicot, on the latest Higgs rumour. Fabio works for an Italian radio station, Radio Città Fujiko.

The interview is available as a podcast here, but be aware that it is in Italian...
Another comment on the ATLAS rumour is worth mentioning today, even if it comes a bit late, because it is written by Jon Butterworth, who is a ATLAS collaborator who also writes for the Guardian. You can find it here.

In particular here's a notable quote:

The thing is, CERN is an exciting place right now. New data are coming in as I write. There are lots of levels of collaboration and competition. Retaining a
Worth mentioning because of its irrelevance: that's my other choice for a post which points out a new preprint by H.Nielsen, the Danish physicist who became famous by hypothesizing that the future was influencing the past in order to prevent us from discovering the Higgs boson.