Recent news has suggested that the Large Hadron Collider at Cern will turn the whole world to goo when it is finally switched on next week. Aside from the amusing factor that Brian Cox called such doomsayers 'twats' in the national press, I would like to point out that the world is already a large pile of goo...... The never ceasing, ever increasing rain has turned my whole world to a sucky pile of mud that the Hadron Collider can hardly worsen. So roll on with throwing those particles at each other I say. They can't make it any worse.
(Well, unless the doomsayers are right about the possibility of creating a black hole that will swallow the world.... The other possibility is that a worm hole will open up and Dr Who will pop out, or some sort of time traveller anyway. Irritating if they come from the past though - if we get a time traveller I want one from the future who can tell me if we will all wear only lycra in the future and if hover cars will ever happen, oh - and what happens on Lost.)
In all seriousness, I hope that the Hadron collider does provide the breakthrough in knowledge that everyone is looking for (everyone apart from the Creationists that is). It's very existence is fairly miraculous; it has been built as a result of the collaboration of over eight thousand physicists from over eighty-five countries and that doesn't even begin to include the hundreds of universities and laboratories all over the world. The idea was first approved 28 years ago. I'm not sure that anyone other than scientists could manage such an epicly scaled project. The only thing I can think of to compare it to is the cathedral builders of the middle ages who managed to create buildings that dwarfed anything anyone had ever seen before and which took hundreds of years to complete. Faith of a sort, it could be argued, is the only thing that ensures the completion of such grand scale projects. Faith and a complete lack of government funding or involvement......
So, confession time - having read my previous paragraph I suspect I might be a bit of a physics geek. I have watched enough therapy on daytime television to feel comfortable saying this out loud without panicking. I mean how could you not be at least mildly interested in physics? It's not really a science, it's amazing. It's all about how everyday stuff actually works; what makes the world turn around, apples fall on your head, the tides come in and out and the lights work. It applies to everything we do and everything we see which I think is sort of cool.
Mind you, I don't particularly understand it and found it impossible at school, only just scraping a qualification at GCSE by the skin of my teeth. I still don't know where a bullet lands if you fire it straight up in the air out of a moving car (apparently this was vital information that we would all need; perhaps for when we became CSIs....)
Incidentally, heard the best idea for a practical joke at Cern on radio 4 - the suggestion was that everybody within a 10 mile radius of the Large Hadron Collider dress up and behave as a zombie the moment the particle collider is turned on - It would be worth it to see the faces of the journalists and scientists when they emerge into the daylight after their experiment -- the ultimate 'oh my bunsen burner, what have we done!" moment......
One last question - if we do all turn to goo, or get swallowed by a black hole - what will you wish you had done or said before you turned to goo?
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