Lasers, The 'God' Particle, And An Announcement

Most everyone in tech agrees: lasers are cool. These days a red laser pen is sort of 2003. A green laser pen is very 2007. ThinkGeek has blue laser pens for 2008 costing about $900 each. But what would you pay for a laser that when turned on -- even for a fraction of a second -- is 2,000 times more powerful than all the power plants in the U.S.? Does $7 million seem reasonable? You can read more about the work being done at Unveristy of Texas at Austin here.

The so-called (and perhaps unfortunately dubbed) "God" particle was back in the news this week as researchers at CERN discussed their optimism in discovering it. CERN is where scientists will be smashing miniscule particles together later this year at nearly the speed of light to get a better look at what's inside. The "God" particle is more mundanely known as the Higgs boson or Higgs particle, and it's described as the missing link or glue that defines mass at the smallest level. Its existence (also up for debate) would give physicists major insight into the origins of life and the true composition of everything. Sounds lofty, sure, but if it exists it could truly unlock a lot of secrets. Is it "God"-like? Well, even the researcher behind it isn't so sure. But it's fascinating to imagine what it could reveal...

Finally, a little shameless self-promotion. In addition to my duties here at CBS News, I'm also going to be co-hosting a daily, one-hour show on Discovery Channel's new Planet Green network. Called GWord, it's meant to explore the slightly edgy and practical side of "going green" with the environmental movement. For more, check out this article from TV Week or this announcement from Planet Green. The channel is set to debut on June 4. Stay connected, and I hope you'll be watching!

P.S. Programming notes: Our story on RFID-proof wallets and devices should air this weekend on the Evening News (I'll post again soon about a specific day) and on Monday we'll have the story about carbon reduction action groups or "CRAGs" on the Evening News with Katie Couric.