The Higgs Boson, Avocado Overload, and More Conspiracy Theories—In The News 9/3/18


In a fast-moving, ever-shifting world, news is continuously breaking. The Great Courses is here to help you understand the full story behind the soundbites. Here are a handful of stories from the week of September 3, 2018, and their accompanying lectures on The Great Courses Plus

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Avocados Are Hardcore
If you’re a fan of avocados, you may be pleased to hear that researchers from four universities are paying test subjects to eat avocados every day for six months to measure the health benefits. If you think you might want to participate, or you just happen to like avocados, don’t miss this entire lecture devoted to them, complete with delicious recipes and storing tips.

What We Don’t See in the Sea
Researchers recently found a vast coral reef off the coast of South Carolina in the Atlantic Ocean. At 85 miles long, it’s almost the size of Delaware and gives scientists hope that these coral habitats may be linked to each other and more resilient to environmental changes than previously speculated. Learn more about coral reefs and the role they play in the world’s oceans.

Search Party
Recently, President Donald Trump hurled some big accusations against Google, claiming they skew search results for their own agenda. Go behind the scenes to see how Google changed their earlier, often-frustrating search results by creating a realistic model of the way web surfers use the Internet. And look at proven attempts to hijack search results and how programmers thwart these tactics.

Beyond Boson
Physicists at CERN have observed the Higgs boson decaying into bottom quarks six years after discovering the particle. Why was the discovery of the Higgs boson such a big deal? Take a fascinating dive into the world of modern particle physics and see how the Higgs is the missing piece of a scientific puzzle.

We will be diligently monitoring current events and sharing updates on a regular basis, linking the latest headlines to our courses, so you can get the context, history, background, deeper meaning, and—especially—the facts. Our goal is to help our lifelong learners apply the knowledge they gain from our courses to the real world and become better-informed citizen about the present-day issues that concern us all.