They can teleport things into outer space now

A team of scientists from China have taken another big step toward a Star Trek future by teleporting what’s been widely reported as “an object” from Earth to outer space.

Now, when I first read this news, I naturally assumed these guys had beamed a coffee table to the International Space Station. Not quite.

The scientists took advantage of something called entanglement, in which one of the sub atomic particles is invisibly connected to another one, in this case, hundreds of miles away. What you do to one affects the other, like a tiny voodoo doll. In this case, they were able to get a proton up on a satellite in space to completely take on the “identity” of a proton they were manipulating on Earth.

I like to think that the satellite proton began wearing a little top hat and mustache, just like its clone back on the surface.

So, in a sense, the exact proton which was previously in the Gobi Desert is now also in outer space. This is very different than what Scottie was doing on “Star Trek.”

In fact, the shorter term use for this breakthrough is the creation of a “quantum internet,” in which information is sort of beamed around great distances instantaneously. Which won’t matter for me, because the office wifi is 450 megabits per second regardless of how fast the information hits the router.

Here come your local headlines of the day at the speed of light:

What we’re talking about

A Democratic state representative from South Portland went on a vulgar Facebook tirade and seemed to suggest he’d harm the president if he could get close enough. Scott Hamann went on to say that although he regretted it in hindsight, the rant was meant to make a point about the “devolving political discourse in America.” By, I guess, contributing to it. The state GOP has called for House Speaker Sara Gideon of Freeport to demand Hamann’s resignation.

State transportation officials plan to give the Casco Bay Bridge a thorough checkup after a malfunction on Monday afternoon brought traffic between Portland and South Portland to a standstill, according to the Portland Press Herald. Maine Department of Transportation spokesman Ted Talbot admitted to the newspaper that “there are pieces of tech in [the 20-year-old bridge] that are rapidly becoming obsolete.” Commuters on Monday afternoon were probably using different words for it.

It’s a few weeks later than planned, but tomorrow, a direct flight to Halifax will put the “international” back into Portland International Jetport. The inaugural flight to from Portland to the Canadian city was supposed to take place on June 30, but a computer glitch in the reservations system forced a delay.

The Prides Corner Drive-In will reopen this summer after nearly two years off-line, according to The Forecaster. The Westbrook drive-in, which opened in 1951, needed a new, expensive digital projector to accommodate modern movies, and now they have it.

This Maine nonprofit has been paying workers with disabilities less than the minimum wage, while giving its executives hundreds of thousands of dollars. A BDN investigation by Corlyn Voorhees found that Skills Inc. exploited an obscure federal law to pay workers with disabilities just a couple dollars an hour at businesses run under the tax exempt umbrella of the nonprofit, then took the six-figure earnings of those businesses and handed them over to a few executives in the form of bonus checks.

Tweet of the day

From Thinkpiece Bot:

The Big Idea

Everybody talks about how climate change will cause the seas to rise, and that’s important, but is anybody thinking about which parts of the planet might become straight-up too hot for humans to inhabit? The answer is yes. Here’s an excerpt from a deep dive on the issue published this week in New York magazine: “Humans, like all mammals, are heat engines; surviving means having to continually cool off, like panting dogs. For that, the temperature needs to be low enough for the air to act as a kind of refrigerant, drawing heat off the skin so the engine can keep pumping. At seven degrees of warming, that would become impossible for large portions of the planet’s equatorial band, and especially the tropics, where humidity adds to the problem; in the jungles of Costa Rica, for instance, where humidity routinely tops 90 percent, simply moving around outside when it’s over 105 degrees Fahrenheit would be lethal. And the effect would be fast: Within a few hours, a human body would be cooked to death from both inside and out.” That’s a cheery thought. Until tomorrow…

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