GOOD

Canada’s Prime Minister Justin Trudeau Nails Question On Quantum Computing

Canada’s prime minister couldn’t wait to geek out.

Nice try, Canadian press. During a recent question and answer session at a media event, a reporter found out that Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau was ready for just about any question, including the future of often hard to translate computing technology. “I was going to ask you a question about quantum computing…” the reporter began in a snarky precursor to his “serious” question about Canada’s involvement in the fight against ISIS. However, Trudeau momentarily sidestepped the terrorism question and went head first into a brief and surprisingly accessible explanation of what quantum computing is.

Trudeau began by saying, “Very simply, normal computers work by — ” before being cut off by audience laughter and cheers at his seemingly cheeky response. But it wasn’t just a wink and a nod. “No, no, don’t interrupt me,” Trudeau insisted with a smile, before continuing.


“What quantum states allow for is for much more complex information to be encoded into a single bit. A regular computer bit is either a 1 or a 0. A quantum state can be much more complex than that because as we know, things can be both particle and wave at the same time. And uncertainty around quantum states allows us to encode more information into a much smaller computer. So, that’s what is exciting about quantum computing.”

And at that point the crowd, including a panel of scientists, broke into cheers and applause. The video quickly went viral, already having been watched more than 7 million times.

No one, including Trudeau, is trying to argue that he’s a scientist. And there’s a cynical take floating around that because Tradeau encouraged reporters to ask him about quantum computing that the whole thing was little more than propaganda to gin up publicity for the event. But when held in contrast with other world leaders who struggle to convey even a basic understanding of the science behind policies they support or oppose, “staged” for not, it was refreshing to see a politician who at least took the time to understand the basic fundamentals of what they were talking about.

There was also some muscle behind the otherwise funny and informative exchange: Trudeau was using the moment to announce $50 million in funding for a new physics think tank.

Articles
via David Leavitt / Twitter

Anyone who has ever worked in retail knows that the worst thing about the job, right after the pay, are the unreasonable cheapskates who "want to talk to your manager" to get some money off an item.

They think that throwing a tantrum will save them a few bucks and don't care if they completely embarrass themselves in the process. Sometimes that involves belittling the poor employee who's just trying to get through their day with an ounce of dignity.

Twitter is rallying around a gal named Tori who works at a Target in Massachusetts after she was tweet-shamed by irate chapekate, journalist, and Twitter troll, David Leavitt.

Keep Reading
Business

Childbirth is the number one reason American women visit the hospital, and it ain't cheap. In fact, it's getting more and more expensive. A new study published in Health Affairs found that the cost of having a baby with employer-sponsored health insurance increased by almost 50% in the past seven years.

The study evaluated "trends in cost-sharing for maternity care for women with employer-based health insurance plans, before and after the Affordable Care Act," which was signed into law in 2010. The study looked at over 657,061 women enrolled in large employer-sponsored health insurance plans who delivered babies between 2008 and 2015, as these plans tend to cover more than plans purchased by small businesses or individuals.

Keep Reading
Health

A meteorite crashed into Earth nearly 800,000 years ago. The meteor was 1.2 miles wide, and the impact was so big, it covered 10% of the planet with debris. However, scientists haven't been able to find the impact site for over a century. That is, until now. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences journal believes the crash site has been located.

Tektites, which are essentially rocks that have been liquefied from the heat of the impact and then cooled to form glass, help scientists spot the original impact site of a meteor. Upon impact, melted material is thrown into the atmosphere, then falls back to the ground. Even if the original crater has disappeared due to erosion or is hidden by a shift in tectonic plates, tektites give the spot away. Tektites between 750,000 to 35.5 million years old have been found in every continent except Antarctica.

Keep Reading
The Planet