Cosmologists don't give tips to newbie universe-builders, but we do ask how our universe evolved. It was quickly discovered that a simple Big Bang needed special and apparently arbitrary initial conditions in order to grow into the universe we now inhabit. But In 1980, physicist Alan Guth, then a post-doc at SLAC, realised that a mechanism he dubbed inflation made these "initial conditions problems" manageable, even if it didn't solve them completely.
When it comes to the details, the stories diverge. Some claim a (relatively) large B-mode that could be hard to square with other datasets, or would imply that the early universe is weirder than we imagine. Other rumours tell of a signal that is consistent with everything else we know, but might permit only a more tentative detection.
Statistical reasoning is a double-edged tool: it lets scientists sift useful knowledge from the noise of the world, but in other hands it becomes a device for separating the credulous from their cash.
This week a Sausagefest of a different sort has been bouncing round the science tweetosphere: a big, international quantum chemistry conference with 29 plenary speakers and session chairs, all of whom were men.
Within the Zen garden, the iconic, Fuji-esque "Moon-Viewing Platform" or Kogetsudai, is a conical mound of sand that stands as high as an adult. Ginkakuji is a World Heritage Site, so the Kogetsudai is almost certainly the world's only UNESCO-listed sandcastle. Unlike a pyramid or a stone temple a sandcastle is an inherently evanescent structure, which must present a challenge to its curators.