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Friday 10 October 2008
Today was supposed to be the end of the world. So if you're reading this, we must all be dead.
A lot of furor was made this summer over the activation of the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) in Switzerland. The LHC is a $6 billion chemistry set designed to replicate the natural collision between sub-atomic particles at near the speed of light in order to substantiate the existence of theoretical particles of matter. Try doing that in your garage!
However, some grizzled curmudgeons have complained that the replication of the natural collision of particles could result in black holes that will rend the Earth atwain! But who ever listens to the town drunk who warns us not to go down to the lake? At least these complainers are smart enough not to make the more logical complaint that Switzerland has built something the size of a city to explore a purely academic scientific pursuit instead of throwing that $6 billion at something more practical, such as clean coal, hydrogen fuel cells, or growing hamburgers on trees. It's the more sensational fear of the apocalypse that grabs headlines, not simple whining about political boondoggles.
This morning, it turns out that sucking sound you hear is really just the implosion of the U.S. economy. Fortunately for all of mankind, the LHC sprung a leak (meaning that it could no longer contain those black-hole spawning particles) and was shut down last month, long before it could reach the tests scheduled for today that would end the world. Those Earth-destroying tests have been rescheduled for next year.
I don't know about the rest of you, but I for one am pleased that we have several more months until an artificial black hole births a rampaging energy being that threatens to destroy the Earth, as depicted in the Sci-Fi Channel documentary The Black Hole. Even though scientist Judd Nelson will no doubt arrive to save the day, I'm already constructing a rocket ship to blast my newborn son to a distant planet where, in comparison to the primitive men that populate that planet and aided by the world's white sun, he will have powers and abilities far beyond those of mortal men.