Wednesday, August 5, 2009

The end is (not as) near! (Maybe.)

First, the good news: According to a recent report in the New York Times, the Large Hadron Collider will not be making any black holes (or anything else, apparently) any time soon.

Now the bad news: According to a recent report in the New York Times, the Large Hadron Collider will not be making any black holes (or anything else, apparently) any time soon. (Okay, the part about the Large Hadron Collider not making any black holes is not bad news, but the fact that this $9 billion hunk of particle accelerating junk -- I mean expensive metal -- is still not operational, i.e., not colliding anything, after 15 years is.)

Now the REALLY bad news (if you consider Item #1 to be, in fact, good news): Due to the failure of or delay with the Large Hadron Collider over in Europe, good ole American scientists at Fermilab have been revving up the Tevatron, located under the Chicago suburb of Batavia, to more than 2000% of its original capacity. Definitely not good. (FYI: All you science geeks -- i.e., my male readers, especially those over at Potpourri for $500 -- can read more about the Tevatron here. You can also become a fan of the Tevatron and/or a fan of the Large Hadron Collider on Facebook.)

For those of you new to this blog, a bit of background: I am somewhat obsessed with the Large Hadron Collider, located under the border between Switzerland and France near Geneva, and have written many posts on the subject, though this one neatly sums up my feelings about the Large Hadron Collider's life-destroying potential. Which is why I breathed a big sigh of relief when I read it would be offline for at least a few more months, if not years, or indefinitely. But that relief was short lived.

Maybe it's just me, but does anyone else out there think replicating the Big Bang is a bad idea, especially when it has the potential to swallow up the Midwest (and the South and the North and the West of the United States, as well as Canada and Mexico, too)? Do we really need to be spending billions of dollars searching for "the God particle"?

Personally, I think the money would be much better spent creating a device that would help people find their keys and/or glasses. Or finding a cure for baldness -- the Big Bang of hair growth.

Got an opinion? Leave me a comment...


Anonymous said...

Black holes Smack missed the biggest news story of the day (no not those girls who came back from vacation with an ex Prez) but Paula leaving American Idol. Such sadness...

J. said...

I heard about Paula -- and watched Laura Ling and Euna Lee's return (live). And you do have a point, Anonymous. Maybe I should have written at the end, "And speaking of creating black holes, Idol judge Paula Abdul has decided not to return to the show for its ninth season. You will be missed, Paula. (Despite her zaniness, she will be Forever Our Girl.)" ;-)

Dave S. said...

Isn't Tevatron the Transformer that wears sandals?

I would like to see the effects of hurling Paula Abdul around in a circle at incredibly high speed, with our without a trillion or so electron-volts. Frankly she would probably emerge more lucid.

Good to see that Parade is at the forefront of scientific publishing. ;) For fun, take the first sentence above and replace "Paula Abdul" with "Marilyn Vos Savant" or, to demonstrate that I am not being misogynist, "Howard Huge."

Security word "peeldit" which is the answer to the question "What did the Tevatron do, with extreme prejudice, to the banana?"