We’re All Gonna Die! (but probably not today)
Posted by melancholygeek on September 10, 2008
So, today is the big day. As most probably all of you are aware of, the European Organisation for Nuclear Research CERN fired up it’s new Large Hadron Collider for real this time. But fear not, even if you are one of the fearsome few that are afraid of being eaten by a microscopic black hole, turned to a stranglet or getting anally probed by a magnetic monopole. Today just a 450 GeV beam is circulating in the 27 km long tunnel under the French-Swiss border near Geneva. No collisions, no armageddon. Still, as probably every scientist in the world, I’m rather psyched to finally see this facility entering operation status (which I would, could I get the webcast they provide to work).
And even if you’re not interested at all in what’s going on at CERN, you could still use this piece of information as a pick-up line [xkcd] (I wonder if that’s an all-inclusive holiday resort. If you get this, you’re just as pathetic as me). Or you can pass your time by letting Jorge from PhD comics explain how all that stuff works.
More science news: What troubles me way more than the hypothetical dangers presented by the LHC experiments is the fact that prions, the little buggers responsible for nasty stuff like Creutzfeld-Jakob and ‘mad cow’ disease, managed to jump the species barrier. ReGenesis anyone? (via /.)
And finally, if you really want to know a bit more about all this science stuff addressed here but can’t push yourself to pick up a book (can’t blame you, really), check out cracked.com’s 5 Scientific Theories That Will Make Your Head Explode and McSweeny’s Physical Theories, if they were women.