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Tech by VICE

This Really Has Been the Hottest Year Ever of All Time (for Peppers and iPads Too)

Ever since CERN found the Higgs boson, they seem to just be showing off their giant science brains just for fun. A few weeks ago, the European megalab hosted American "Congress folk and Astronauts":http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-202_162-57479585/gabrielle...

by BEN MAJOY
Aug 26 2012, 5:51pm

Ever since CERN found the Higgs boson, they seem to just be showing off their giant science brains just for fun. A few weeks ago, the European megalab hosted American Congress folk and Astronauts, and are planning on taking their bragging rights to Frankfurt for a book fair in October, they're apparently breaking records with almost as much nonchalance as Ryan Lochte has for his post-race interviews about breaking records. Last week, CERN engineered the hottest man-made temperature ever, at nearly 5.5 trillion degrees. That's about 38 percent more than the previous record of around 4 trillion degrees, which is impressive science even if makes it seem like they're just being cocky.

The record number comes as a result of the ALICE heavy-ion experiment, one of the six lesser known experiments that’s been dwarfed by the ATLAS experiment, where the Higgs boson was spotted. Apart from shattering a ridiculous world record and further engineering a proverbial tower of Babel, the point of this experiment was to better approximate the exact conditions that existed nanoseconds after the Big Bang. Which was just before the world divided into atoms. Which, was probably about just a hair, give or take a whole beard, before Jesus was born. Regardless of the actual scientific value behind the experiment, CERN created the hottest manmade thing ever. Which, perhaps by dint of a hard-working press office, was smack-dab in the middle of a year practically made of hottest things. To wit:

The Hottest Month in the U.S. Ever

Let's start off with an obvious one, which you've imaginably heard in passing from a radio set to NPR. A few weeks ago, the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration reported that the average temperature in the United States was 77.6 degrees Fahrenheit, surpassing a record set in 1936 for the warmest month in US history. This should come as no surprise though, considering March was also the warmest March since record-keeping began in 1895. That helped make the past seven months the warmest seven-month stretch in recorded American history, which helped make the past twelve months the warmest twelve-month stretch this nation has ever seen. This accounts for the 2,000 all-time heat records across the states during the month of June.

It's totally cool though because June was only the 14th hottest June in recorded US history, not even close to joint record holders 2010 and 2005. Still, science keeps repeating itself: global warming is probably most definitely a thing.

The Hottest iPad Ever

The latest iPad not only has four times the number of pixels as its predecessor, a new fancy camera, 4G LTE, dictation, books probably, a fancy case of magnets, and a whole bunch of other things that Apple includes in every product, making it the hottest iPad ever. See, that sentence is funny because those are all what you might colloquially call 'hot,' but they also contribute to bringing the iPad, at times, up to a palm-melting 116 degrees Fahrenheit. That would make it, arguably, the most difficult to hold handheld device ever made. To give you an idea of how hot 116 degrees actually is, technically an egg can fry at 130 degrees Fahrenheit. And if an underdeveloped cocktail of chicken flesh can fry at 130 degrees, I'd venture to say that bad things will happen to your crotch when you're playing Angry Birds, talking to your grandmother, and surfing breadedcats.com all at once.

The Hottest Rain Ever

So with that small dose of perspective, Needles, California set the record for the hottest rain ever recorded in the world last Monday, with 115 degree water falling on the faces of Needles' residents. It's also probably safe to assume that a few drops fells on some Mojave dudes' crotchety crotches, where sperm deaths were at a Needles, California all-time high, since sperm technically die at around 99F. Fortunately, the rain quickly turned to steam and evaporated, but not before lightning from the storm set surviving vegetation ablaze, creating just the most absolutely perfect opening scene for a new entry in the Hellraiser franchise. Paired with the horrifying death rain, there was 11 percent humidity, also a record. The previous record for hottest rain was set about two months earlier in Saudi Arabia. Which reminds me, global warming is real.

Hottest Pepper Ever

This seems like it could still be up for debate, and may actually just be a college science program's attempts at peddling hot sauce to raise funds for the university marching band or something, but in February, New Mexico State University claimed to have identified a new 'Hottest Pepper on the Planet.' The scientific study was allegedly conducted by the New Mexico university's Chile Pepper Institute, and compared different chile peppers that were reputed to be some of the hottest in the world, including the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, the 7-pot, the Chocolate 7-pot, and the newly dethroned once-champ, the Bhut Jolokia. The peppers' hotness is measured using SHUs, which indicate the quantity of capsaicin. It's alleged that the new champ, the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion pepper, registered twice as much SHU than the Bhut Jolokia at 2 million SHU.

To put it in more relatable terms, a pretty gnarly habanero might reach around 500,000 SHU tops, and law enforcement grade pepper spray is around 1.5mil SHU. I said allegedly a few times during this paragraph because at the bottom of the press release, it reminds me that I can buy the 'hottest pepper ever' hot sauce in Gerald Thomas Hal, Room 265 or at www.chilepepperinstitute.org.

The Hottest Place on Earth

For a while now, the hottest place on Earth trophy has been on the dusty oak mantle of El Azizia, Libya, where it hit a brutal 136F in 1922. However in April, a team of geniuses at the University of Montana used data from the US Geological Survey's Landsat satellites to reveal that the Lut Desert in Iran is actually far and away the hottest place on earth.

Until they decided to gather the data via satellite, no scientist would bother with the grueling fisticuffs with death that they inevitably would need to routinely undertake to gather such data. Now with technologically refined satellites, researchers can measure the 'land skin temperature' in places like the Lut desert, or in the Gobi. So, with this new data in hand, we know that the Lut Desert recorded an utterly miserable 159.3F in 2005. Which, if you’re keeping score, is about 40F hotter than the new iPad.

In June, God made a hilarious joke and rounded out the completely overwhelming global warming hyperbole by crowning the Miami Heat 2012’s NBA champions. If fears about coastal flooding come to fruition sooner rather than later, the joke will be on Miami, which sits on a low-lying coastline. In any case, expect an uncharacteristic collapse this year from American Hockey League powerhouses the St. Johns IceCaps.

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