At Gran Sasso National Laboratory, nearly a mile beneath an Italian mountain range, scientists are trying to isolate the particles they believe hold the universe together. Dark matter is believed to permeate the universe in the form of weakly interacting massive particles – or wimps – and McKee visits the subterranean laboratory with a 1.4-kilometre-thick rock roof, designed to block out nearly all particles from cosmic rays that could hamper scientists’ readings. “With its labyrinth of tunnels, uniformed guards and glittering racks of equipment, it is one of the world's most spectacular laboratories,” says McKee. “All that was lacking from my visit was an appearance from Ernst Blofeld clutching a white Persian cat.” But the question is will this be enough to detect the elusive wimps?
The online search giant wants to improve its mobile search services by automatically delivering information you wouldn’t think to search for online. “We’ve often said the perfect search engine will provide you with exactly what you need to know at exactly the right moment, potentially without you having to ask for it,” says Jon Wiley, lead user experience designer for Google search. And carrying out what he calls “experience sampling” is the best way to do it – that is, asking people to share what they want to know right now, whether they took action on it or not.
Bonus read: The origins of Frankenstein
The Guardian republished this article from their archives, in which Mary Shelley revealed the inspiration behind her famous novel. Philosophical conversations between Lord Byron and her husband (Percy Bysshe Shelley) on the nature of the principle of life haunted her dreams. “I saw the pale student of unhallowed arts kneeling beside the thing he had put together,” she says. “I saw the hideous phantasm of a man stretched out; and then, on the working of some powerful engine, show signs of life, and stir with an uneasy, half-vital motion.”