Black Holes and Revelations

June 26, 2008 at 13:24 (News, Rants, Science, Tech) (, , , , , , , , )

Plenty to report, but it’s all a little scattershot; the day job’s been keeping me plenty busy lately, leeching at the time I put aside to keep All Things Uncertain a going concern.  To hell with it.

I’ve a couple of interesting news stories earmarked for your pleasure.  First of all, there’s been another outbreak of mad scientists and the otherwise well-to-do making science-fiction a reality.  The Earth, reports the BBC, is not at significant risk from the Large Hadron Collider.

If you’re too lazy to click the link, let me spell it out: in a facility on the French/Swiss border due to become operational this Summer, particle physicists mean to collide quarks and gluons inside protons – creating, in so doing, their very own bonzai black holes.

Exciting stuff, but we all know what black holes do: they suck.  They suck at everything around them, they consume all the particles within their grasp, growing ever-larger until they’ve devoured, well, our entire planet.  But a report from the European Organisation for Nuclear Research is reassuring: apparently, we need not fear the killer strangelets – and I kid you not, that’s what they’re called.  EONR are, of course, renowned for their vast experience with black holes; and theoretical physicists, in their turn, know exactly what to expect.  Theories, after all, are fullproof.

Right?

It’s hard to imagine how the brainiacs behind the collider could have gotten so far without learning that abiding principle, Murphy’s law: what can go wrong, will.  And there’s so much that could…

I really don’t know that we can trust even the brightest minds of our era to mess so fundamentally with our world.  It’s great that science has come so far: I love my gadgets and my tech and my flying car can’t be far off now – but there are some things even I think we shouldn’t fuck with.  Time and again, opportunity after opportunity, humanity has proven itself an irresponsible bastard child, impossible to redeem, destroying the planet and one another in the meantime.  If we take to the skies and beyond to wreak havoc beyond the reaches of even our imagination, God help us.

Still, it’s fun to read the BBC reporter desperately trying to wrap his head around things to explain them in layman’s terms: ‘weird hypothetical particles’ indeed.

In other news, a man has been found guilty of dangerous driving for having thirteen people in a Volvo.  He’s Welsh, of course.  And the beeb have kindly reconstructed the crime for our amusement.

Frankly, I think they could have tried a little harder.  Come on, BBC – earn my license fee.

Talking of which: did you know it’s illegal now to have a phone or a computer without springing the £140 for Chris Moyles’ lunch?

***

Soundtrack to this entry: Red Hot Chilli Peppers – Dani California

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3 Comments

  1. Dead_By_Dawn said,

    Now now Mr. Rough, calm down. The facility at CERN is completely safe, any particles that do get created only exist for a very very short time. And the law of the conservation of energy should keep any esoteric particles in check.

    Now bring on the flying cars! Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need…roads.

    The BBC clearly don’t understand how to illegally pack people in a car. Safety is not a consideration and people sit on each other in order from largest (at the bottom) to smallest at the top. Seatbelts for most are replaced with arms and it’s not a comfy ride.

  2. allthingsuncertain said,

    You just don’t understand the doom, Aled – we might not need roads for much longer but I’ll be damned if I’m driving anywhere near a black hole, flying car or not. Buffy could convince me but not you, sir.

  3. The End is Nigher « All Things Uncertain said,

    […] could be talking black holes here; us and the universe and everything collapsing in on itself in a mad regurgitating spiral.  […]

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