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An Aerogramme From Professor Higgs, Nobel Winner

Well, it's happened. British scientist Peter Higgs has won a Nobel Prize for proposing the Higgs boson particle as part of a mechanism that explains how things in the universe came to have mass.

Higgs seems to be lying low today so far — a colleague told The New York Times that Higgs had "gone off by himself for a few days without saying where" and that a reporter seeking an interview recently had been "sent away with a flea in his ear."

As it happens, when I was just starting out in journalism 16 years ago, I wrote an email to Higgs at the University of Edinburgh asking him how the particle everyone was looking for had come to bear his name. (The Higgs is also known as the "God Particle" — a name that started out as a joke and stuck.)

I had just finished grad school in physics and was nervous to be emailing the guy whose name had figured so prominently in my classes. (Is this what journalists do? Just email famous people asking questions?)

I didn't hear anything for a month. But then this lovely aerogramme appeared in the mail. I've kept it in my desk ever since.

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NPR

'They May Not Mean To, But They Do' Is A Sparkling, Sad Family Affair

Cathleen Schine's new novel explores how one character's physical and mental decline ripples out to affect his whole family. Critic Maureen Corrigan calls it a mix of "fun and bad behavior."
WAMU 88.5

How History Influences Diets In D.C. And Around The World

Kojo and chef Pati Jinich look at how history -- and famous names like El Chico, Azteca and even Fritos -- shaped modern Mexican-American cooking in the Washington region and beyond.

NPR

NPR Politics Lunchbox: Concerns in Cleveland, 'Funny-Looking People'

Our favorite 2016 news and stories curated from NPR and around the web.
NPR

Facebook Shakes Up News Feed, But We Still Don't Know Exactly How It Works

It will now prioritize posts from friends and family — potentially bad news for media companies relying on Facebook for traffic. The company has been under pressure to defend its political neutrality.

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