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Mark Hannam

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How I saved the world with gravitational waves
Are you filled with hopeless dread, now that the forces of bigotry and fear have been unleashed on humanity at unprecedented levels via individuals of incomprehensible incompetence and stupidity? Is it no consolation whatsoever that moronic despots are alre...

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Fake News Flash!
Oh, the humiliation! The guilt! The shame! It is all weighing on me too much, and I have to confess. Last weekend I spread a piece of fake news. Can I ask for a little clemency? After all, I did not compose the item of fake news. All I did was retweet a fak...

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Lest We Forget: 2016
What an instructive year 2016 turned out to be! We learned nothing new, of course — I am hard-pressed to name any year when that happened. But it was a great year for reminders.  What was the most important? You could almost be forgiven for thinking it was ...

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A privileged Western white male reports on his summer
India, Gravitational Waves, Doctor Who, and other random updates. Last summer I embarked on a whirlwind global tour, and in the process ensured the downfall of one of the most disreputable scientists of our time. This summer was uneventful by comparison. Th...

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In praise of immigrants
Immigrants in Britain have been suffering abuse and harassment in the days following the notorious Brexit vote. By immigrants I mean anyone who the psychotic xenophobic shit-heads have decided does not belong in the UK. Which means: unless you have pasty wh...

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Rumours, secrets, and other sounds of gravitational waves
Last Wednesday LIGO announced another detection of a binary-black-hole merger . Four months passed between the first announcement (in February, of a detection the previous September) and the second (a detection from late December). Which begs the question: ...

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Black holes rule!
Finally, the news is out. LIGO conclusively observed a second pair of black holes spiralling into each other. For the record, that's a total of six black holes observed with LIGO in its first four months of operation: for every binary merger, two black hole...

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A spacetime operetta
Review of Janna Levin's " Black Hole Blues and Other Songs from Outer Space ," published in the June 2016 issue of  Physics World . In February, gravitational waves flooded the global public consciousness, thanks to the announcement that the Advanced LIGO d...

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Irrational men, women, and everyone in between
Revisiting climate change and Clive James, with guest appearances from Woody Allen and Galileo's Middle Finger. I take a dim view of most faiths, but faith in human nature is the worst of all, because I can’t seem to shake it off. My only consolation is tha...

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Is spacetime really curved?
(Spoiler: probably) In the interests of my relativist’s street cred, I want to expand on my one-line explanation of distortions in spacetime. It is possible that the result will be quite the reverse — I will only reveal my ignorance and attract the scorn of...
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