Large Hadron Collider

This $6 billion, 16-mile-long particle accelerator might help us understand the fabric of reality. Plus other Literally Big Ideas.

Do the words "Higgs boson," "grand unified theory," or "strong force" mean anything to you? Probably not. Here's what you need to know: Buried underneath parts of Switzerland and France is 16-mile-long circular tunnel called the Large Hadron Collider, which cost nearly $6 billion to build. When the LHC opens this spring, protons inside it will be accelerated to nearly the speed of light before crashing into each other in a subatomic head-on collision. The studies of the resulting explosions may help physicists dramatically increase their understanding of the most basic levels of the universe, including the possible observation of "the God particle," the thing that gives all other particles mass, and which physicists theoretically know exists but have never seen. The findings at the LHC probably wont result in a new line of computers or change your life (at least not right away). But that's missing the point-this is discovery for discovery's sake.

Literally Big Ideas

These ideas aren't just big, they're huge-literally.Breeze Avenue, by Richard GrossmanThe experimental novelist Richard Grossman's new book is 3 million pages long. That's 4,000 750-page volumes, loosely based on Dante's Divine Comedy, translated back and forth between multiple languages, including Yiddish and Latin. Get ready for the world's longest CliffsNotes.New Safe ConfinementThe Ukrainian government has commissioned a $505-million, 500-foot-tall, 350-foot-wide steel hangar on wheels, called the New Safe Confinement, to encase the site of the Chernobyl power plant. It will be built a safe distance from the decaying reactor, and rolled into place once complete. Inside, automated cranes will disassemble the contaminated Reactor Four, restricting human contact to almost nil.Glacier WrappingSince the Swiss can't stop global warming by themselves, the government has decided to do what it can in the meantime to stop its Gurschen glacier from melting any more than it already has. To ward off the sun they've covered Gurschen in 43,000 square feet of reflective foil. Christo it ain't, but it seems to be getting the job done.Earth SandwichAccording to video blogger Ze Frank, what the Earth really needs is to be made into a sandwich. His logic? If two people put slices of bread on the ground on opposite sides of the Earth, the resulting sandwich will remind us that we're all in this together. His site facilitates this geo-culinary endeavor, with a user gallery of uploaded pictures of slices and their corresponding global completion points. So far the planet has only been served open-faced, and those of us in the lower 48 are out of luck: Our sandwiches would have to be closed somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

Julian Meehan

Young leaders from around the world are gathering at the United Nations Headquarters in New York Saturday to address arguably the most urgent issue of our time. The Youth Climate Summit comes on the heels of an international strike spearheaded by Greta Thunberg, the 16-year-old climate activist from Sweden, who arrived in New York via emissions-free sailboat earlier this month.

Translated from Swedish, "berg" means "mountain," so it may feel fated that a young woman with Viking blood in her veins and summit in her name would be at the helm. But let's go out on a limb and presume Thunberg, in keeping with most activists, would chafe at the notion of pre-ordained "destiny," and rightly so. Destiny is passive — it happens to you. It's also egomaniacal. Change, on the other hand, is active; you have to fight. And it is humble. "We need to get angry and understand what is at stake," Thunberg declared. "And then we need to transform that anger into action."

This new generation of activists' most pernicious enemy is denial. The people in charge — complacent politicians and corporation heads who grossly benefit from maintaining the status quo — are buffered from real-life consequences of climate change. But millions of people don't share that privilege. For them, climate change isn't an abstract concept, but a daily state of emergency, whether it comes in the form of "prolonged drought in sub-Saharan Africa…devastating tropical storms sweeping across Southeast Asia, the Caribbean and the Pacific…[or] heatwaves and wildfires," as Amnesty International reportsare all too real problems people are facing on a regular basis.

RELATED: Greta Thunberg urges people to turn to nature to combat climate change

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The Planet

Millions of people in over 150 countries across the globe marched for lawmakers and corporations to take action to help stop climate change on Friday, September 20.

The Climate Strikes were organized by children around the world as an extension of the of the "Fridays for Future" campaign. Students have been walking out of classrooms on Fridays to speak out about political inaction surrounding the climate crisis.

"We need to act right now to stop burning fossil fuels and ensure a rapid energy revolution with equity, reparations and climate justice at its heart," organizers say.

There's no doubt the visual images from the marches send a powerful message to those on the ground but especially those watching from around the world. GOOD's own Gabriel Reilich was on the scene for the largest of the Climate Strikes. Here are 18 of the best signs from the Climate Strike march in New York City.

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September 20th marks the beginning of a pivotal push for the future of our planet. The Global Climate Strike will set the stage for the United Nations Climate Action Summit, where more than 60 nations are expected to build upon their commitment to 2015's Paris Agreement for combating climate change.

Millions of people are expected to take part in an estimated 4,000 events across 130 countries.

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The Planet
via Apple

When the iPhone 11 debuted on September 10, it was met with less enthusiasm than the usual iPhone release. A lot of techies are holding off purchasing the latest gadget until Apple releases a phone with 5G technology.

Major US phone carriers have yet to build out the infrastructure necessary to provide a consistent 5G experience, so Apple didn't feel it necessary to integrate the technology into its latest iPhone.

A dramatic new feature on the iPhone 11 Pro is its three camera lenses. The three lenses give users the the original wide, plus ultrawide and telephoto options.

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via I love butter / Flickr

We often dismiss our dreams as nonsensical dispatches from the mind while we're deep asleep. But recent research proves that our dreams can definitely affect our waking lives.

People often dream about their significant others and studies show it actually affects how we behave towads them the next day.

"A lot of people don't pay attention to their dreams and are unaware of the impact they have on their state of mind," said Dylan Selterman, psychology lecturer at the University of Maryland, says according to The Huffington Post. "Now we have evidence that there is this association."

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