This year, we at Gadling have made a pledge to ban a certain phrase from our posts, one that refers to a particular activity that happens (often in New England) around October, when tourists drive around to photograph trees. Still, it’s hard to resist a good autumnal photo of flora. Today’s Photo of the Day does a great job of capturing the mood of the season without a single bit of foliage in sight. Taken by Flickr user Jason Rodman (his second POTD this week, nice!) in Basel, Switzerland, the image depicts a much-loved activity of the yearly fall fair. The people flying above him along with the flags even remind us of the annual shedding of organic material. Who’s ready for a hot gluhwein? This year’s Herbstmesse takes place October 27-November 12.
Without a doubt, Switzerland has some of the most scenic railways in the world. Not only do trains send travelers past the snow-covered Swiss Alps and vast valleys covered in green, but these systems are also a modern engineering marvel. The video above shows the variety of rail traffic passing through the country. Filmed throughout the Canton of Ticino, it is so artfully done is almost looks like a model railway.
If the name Gotthard sounds familiar, it might be because of current construction projects in the country. Currently, Gotthard Base Tunnel, which will be the world’s longest rail tunnel upon its completion in 2016, is being built beneath the Swiss Alps. The ambitious endeavor runs 35 miles through the mountains, and will have taken 22 years to complete. It will cut off more than a third of the travel time between Zürich and Milan, shortening the trip from 3.5 to 2.5 hours.
For now, take our advice and hop on a train in Switzerland. It truly is an unrivaled way to get around the country.
Whoever said humans couldn’t fly has never seen GoPro HD Athlete Alexander Polli wingsuit dive. Polli is one of the top wingsuit divers in the world, spending a majority of his time trying to find the planet’s best base jumping spots and exploring treacherous terrain. This video shows the adventurous traveler peacefully gliding high in the sky above New Zealand, Switzerland and Norway.
On his YouTube page, Polli explains, “This is proximity flying with a wingsuit and proximity flying in tracking gear (tracksuit) without a wingsuit; tracking gear consists of a jacket and pants that inflate with air, which then increases push force when you move your body through the air.”
Proximity flying with a wingsuit is one of the world’s most dangerous sports, and doing the excursion without the wings is even more risky. However, watching the video above, Polli sure makes it look easy. That being said, this stunt should only be done by trained athletes.
Once thought a dead issue, the idea of time travel was given new life this week as scientists interpret new data.
In March of 2011, Gadling reported time travel was to be tested at Vanderbilt University. Using the Large Hadron Collider, the world’s largest particle accelerator, scientists hoped to find the mysterious Higgs Boson particle, the particle that physicists invoke to explain why particles like protons, neutrons and electrons have mass.
“One of the major goals of the collider is to find the elusive Higgs boson. If the collider succeeds in producing the Higgs boson, some scientists predict that it will create a second particle, called the Higgs singlet, at the same time,” reported Vanderbilt’s research news.
Professor Tom Weiler and graduate fellow Chui Man Ho thought these singlets should have the ability to jump into an extra, fifth dimension where they can move either forward or backward in time and reappear in the future or past.
“One of the attractive things about this approach to time travel is that it avoids all the big paradoxes,” Weiler said at the time. “Because time travel is limited to these special particles, it is not possible for a man to travel back in time and murder one of his parents before he himself is born, for example.”This week, researchers from the CERN particle physics laboratory in Geneva, Switzerland, analyzed data from the Large Hadron Collider and are “almost certain that they had proven the existence of the Higgs boson, the most sought-after particle in all of physics,” says a CNN report.
The new information comes after Illinois researchers said earlier in the week that scientists had come closer to proving that the particle exists but had been unable to reach a definitive conclusion.
No information yet on the Higgs singlet. But proving the existence of the Higgs boson would most likely give new life to the idea of time travel. Not much new life, but some. Professor Weller noted, “if scientists could control the production of Higgs singlets, they might be able to send messages to the past or future.”
[Flickr photo by katerha]
It appears as though crazy bike stunts and dangerous urban bike courses just aren’t enough of an adrenaline rush anymore. In Saas-Fee, Switzerland, bikers push riding to the extreme as they pedal down a glacier in a death-defying race. A handful of the 142 riders mounted cameras to their bikes and helmets so us less adventurous (and perhaps more sane) types can get a feel for the crazy race. Riders reached speeds over the 80 mph mark as they dashed over ice and snow from a starting height of 3,500 meters to 1,700 meters. This year’s winner, Charlie Di Pasquale, completed the race in 7:31. Anyone out there up for giving it a try next year?