Showing posts from March, 2020

No Cell Signal, No Wi-Fi, No Problem. Growing Up Inside America’s ‘Quiet Zone’ Source:   By Dan Levin, The New York Times; Photographs by Annie Flanagan. Excerpt: GREEN BANK, W.Va. ...when a Facebook fad had people all over the globe dumping ice water on their heads a few summers ago, Charity Warder, now a senior at Pocahontas County High School, was late to the game. Sure, Charity has an iPhone, but she uses it mostly as a clock and a calculator. She makes phone calls from a landline, and she rarely texts her friends. Texting and driving? “It’s not a thing here,” she said. When Charity wants to get online at home, she sits at her family’s desktop computer, which has a broadband connection that is so sluggish, it takes minutes to load a YouTube video. ...Welcome to Green Bank, population 143, where Wi-Fi is both unavailable and banned and where cellphone signals are nonexistent. The near radio silence is a requirement for those living close to the town’s most prominent and demandi

This Black Hole Blew a Hole in the Cosmos Source:   By Dennis Overbye, The New York Times. Excerpt: If there were ever sentient beings in the Ophiuchus cluster, a faraway conglomeration of galaxies in the southern sky, they are long gone. A few hundred million years ago, a mighty cosmic storm swept through that region of space. Hot gas suffuses the cluster, but the storm blew a crater through it more than a million light-years wide, leaving just a near-vacuum, a nattering haze of ultrahot electrical particles. The culprit, astronomers suspect, was a gigantic outburst of energy from a supermassive black hole — the biggest explosion ever documented in the universe, according to Simona Giacintucci, a radio astronomer at the Naval Research Laboratory and the leader of the research team....