I feel fine…

…even though today was billed as possibly being the “End of the World”.

The Large Hadron Collider is intended to collide a bunch of particles at about ~99.99997% of the speed of light, thus reproducing conditions quite close to the moment of the Big Bang. Some folks are concerned that doing so will unleash tiny black holes which will interact with Earth’s gravity and grow in size until we are annihilated. Which would be a drag. More on that here.

I thought this was funny, though… one paper is cheering “Success!” because the machine got switched on and we’re still here. But the experiment that could make the little black holes won’t actually be run until October, and actually maybe not even for a year, as they slowly ramp up to full power.

Although the big switch-on took place today, the first high-energy collisions are not due until October 21.

This is nice, but not really “success” in the “see, we didn’t destroy the world” sense.

I thought this was pretty good…

The CERN team insist the project is safe.

Well, if they insist it’s safe, then they must be right, right? But aren’t they running the experiment because there are things they don’t know but want to? Ah, nevermind. Anyway, as long as it’s all worth it…

They say it could even help to bring massive benefits, such as a cure for cancer and solutions to nuclear waste and global warming.

Haaa ha ha… doesn’t that sound like a line from the Simpson’s or something? The only things missing are world peace and ED.

They added that if it does actually turn out to destroy the Earth, they will issue a formal apology and form an inquiry to examine what went wrong.

OK, I made that up.

No, I’m not really worried. I’m just impressed by the vapidity of the ‘pat-pat it’s OK, dear… now run along’ infomercial-style reporting. (Reminds me of Mark’s writing in That Hideous Strength)

Thought for the day: This machine and its experiments are costing somewhere around eight billion dollars. Eight thousand stacks of one million dollars. I know “governments” funded this, but they get their money through taxing people and their companies. Best possible “public good”?

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