Mass Murder Relies on People Like Us


English: Nyamata Memorial Site, skulls. Nyamat...

An Interview With Thierry Cruvellier: You’re the only journalist who has attended all the post-Cold War international tribunals. You’ve spent years watching these trials. What drew you to them? What kept you going back? How has your view of them evolved?

‘I was drawn to war-crimes justice because of Rwanda. The 1994 genocide was a defining event for our generation. I began working in Rwanda in the immediate aftermath, so covering the trials seemed like a logical way to keep working on this event. And I quickly realized how fascinating these trials could be, at so many different levels: historical, political, diplomatic, legal, psychological, philosophical. My great interest in the trials was as a window, on the one hand, into our human condition in extreme circumstances, and the choices individuals make (or lack) in such situations; and, on the other hand, into the historical complexity of the dynamic of genocide at the central level.’ (The New Yorker).

Neutron death mystery has physicists stymied


‘Despite decades of taking measurements, scientists cannot agree on how long neutrons live. Neutrons are stable inside atoms, but on their own they decay in about 15 minutes, more or less, into a few other particles. Exactly how much more or less is the sticking point. Each experiment seems to yield a different answer.

The lack of resolution is frustrating. Understanding the lifetime of the neutron is important not only for knowledge’s sake but also to answer other more fundamental questions about new physics beyond the known particles and processes in the universe… “We can’t leave this disagreement just hanging out there.” ‘ (Nature News & Comment).