Listen to a Physicist Explain Gravitational Waves (in a Way You'll Understand)

Earlier this month, physicists at LIGO (the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory) announced that, after many decades of searching, they had finally detected gravitational waves. Still not really sure what that means? Theoretical physicist Brian Greene recently stopped by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to make sense of the Earth-rippling news, The Week reports

Albert Einstein first predicted gravitational waves 100 years ago, and Greene tells Colbert that the confirmation of his ideas opens up “a whole new way of exploring the universe.” Using graphics, Greene explains that gravitational waves are the result of massive objects like the Sun causing ripples in the fabric of space, much like a bowling ball on a trampoline or a pebble in a pond. Those waves spread out, passing through other objects in the universe, stretching and compressing them as they do.

In the video above, you can see a model of the device scientists used to detect the waves, though Greene and Colbert use sound waves ("Science!") instead of gravitational waves to trigger the sensor. 

If you haven’t picked up on this yet, the discovery of gravitational waves is a huge deal, as we explained on February 11, when the official announcement was made. (Rumors were swirling for months before thanks to a provocative tweet by physicist Lawrence Krauss.) Greene tells Colbert that gravitational waves “herald a revolution in our understanding of the universe” because, for one thing, they can go somewhere light can't: black holes. Gravitational waves might be the key for us to get inside and map what we can't see within those massive question marks in space.

Check out the video above to hear more about the discovery and best of all, a simulation of the sound of two black holes colliding. As Greene says, “those sounds are the future of studying the cosmos.” You can also listen to a more Earthbound remix.

Images via YouTube

[h/t The Week]

Afternoon Map
The Most Searched Shows on Netflix in 2017, By State

Orange is the New Black is the new black, at least as far as Netflix viewers are concerned. The women-in-prison dramedy may have premiered in 2013, but it’s still got viewers hooked. Just as they did in 2017, took a deep dive into Netflix analytics using Google Trends to find out which shows people in each state were searching Netflix for throughout the year. While there was a little bit of crossover between 2016 and 2017, new series like American Vandal and Mindhunter gave viewers a host of new content. But that didn’t stop Orange is the New Black from dominating the map; it was the most searched show in 15 states.

Coming in at a faraway second place was American Vandal, a new true crime satire that captured the attention of five states (Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Wisconsin). Even more impressive is the fact that the series premiered in mid-September, meaning that it found a large and rabid audience in a very short amount of time.

Folks in Alaska, Colorado, and Oregon were all destined to be disappointed; Star Trek: Discovery was the most searched-for series in each of these states, but it’s not yet available on Netflix in America (you’ve got to get CBS All Access for that, folks). Fourteen states broke the mold a bit with shows that were unique to their state only; this included Big Mouth in Delaware, The Keepers in Maryland, The OA in Pennsylvania, GLOW in Rhode Island, and Black Mirror in Hawaii.

Check out the map above to see if your favorite Netflix binge-watch matches up with your neighbors'. For more detailed findings, visit

Afternoon Map
Monthly Internet Costs in Every Country

Thanks to the internet, people around the world can conduct global research, trade tips, and find faraway friends without ever leaving their couch. Not everyone pays the same price for these digital privileges, though, according to new data visualizations spotted by Thrillist.

To compare internet user prices in each country, cost information site created a series of maps. The data comes courtesy of English market research consultancy BDRC and, which teamed up to analyze 3351 broadband packages in 196 nations between August 18, 2017 and October 12, 2017.

In the U.S., for example, the average cost for internet service is $66 per month. That’s substantially more than what browsers pay in neighboring Mexico ($27) and Canada ($55). Still, we don’t have it bad compared to either Namibia or Burkina Faso, where users shell out a staggering $464 and $924, respectively, for monthly broadband access. In fact, internet in the U.S. is far cheaper than what residents in 113 countries pay, including those in Saudi Arabia ($84), Indonesia ($72), and Greenland ($84).

On average, internet costs in Asia and Russia tend to be among the lowest, while access is prohibitively expensive in sub-Saharan Africa and in certain parts of Oceania. As for the world’s cheapest internet, you’ll find it in Ukraine and Iran.

Check out the maps below for more broadband insights, or view’s full findings here.

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

Map of Internet costs in each country created by information site

[h/t Thrillist]


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