With all the right wing/left win back and forth going on in the blogosphere and the media, and the vitriol being spewed over the airwaves, one might be forgiven for believing we've lost a political morale standard. That may be (or not), but they are missing the real story. Indeed, we may have lost a standard as we know it: the standard model of particle physics!
Recent results from the Collider Detector at Fermilab (CDF) have revealed an unseemly production of muons from b-bbar interactions (also known as BaBar by slackers). These particles have uncharacteristically leapt on the scene (pause for geek pun realization)...showing off their 1/2 spin and strutting their massive bodies, displaying penetrability that would make any electron feel impotent. I ask you, do we really need this kind of physical behavior in times like these? Yet it is nonetheless titillating because these muon-muon pairs (no relation to Prop. 8) are not predicted by the vaunted standard model. They represent new physics. And that's exciting.
You can find the lay story here, a little more critical take at Cosmic Variance (is it really new physics or bad measurements), and more technically oriented discussions for those who speak high energy here and here. If it is indeed new physics, then it should herald the arrival of a new particle. But whether it is or isn't, statistics will ultimately figure it out.
Who needs viagra when something like this comes along?