Ask El Borak

There seems to be a bit of confusion out there over the real and potential effects of the [Large Hadron Collider][1]. On the one hand, a [CNN Science Editor][2]* assures us that, as he understands it, the Earth is in no danger. On the other hand, the respected [International Earth Destruction Advisory Board][3] regrets to inform us that the earth has already been destroyed.I'm not the only one confused, therefore I feel an obligation take up the role once played by Kevin Bacon in Animal House and stand in front of the rampaging crowd screaming "All is well!" Remember, the most important thing is that people remain ignorant calm. Since I have no knowledge that might get in the way of straightforward answers, it's a service I am perhaps uniquely qualified to provide.Erik wonders: "I am not a physicist myself, though I consider myself well-informed as a lay-physicist. I teach in the public high school of my hometown and try to incorporate certain principles and ideas of Newtonian and the New Physics into my English and Social Studies curricula... I am not sure how to respond to those Chicken-Littles out there with little or no understanding of particle physics."_Dear Erik: You're a high-school English teacher. Stick to Shakespeare.Sam Bandak makes a discovery: "Do you notice the laser exponential progress of technology? Here is a summary:_5 Billion : Age of Life on Earth 4 Thousand : Civilization 3 Hundred : Real Civilization 2 Ten :Technology Explosion It is obvious that the next line is "1-One".__Is it The Large Hardon Collider?"_Dear Sam: I congratulate you on discovering that John Holmes will soon destroy the earth. Keep up the good work.Anonymous asks: "what if they accidentaly the whole thing?"Dear Anonymous: That would realy the whole thing.Grace has never heard of subprime: "When an experiment puts the whole world and everyone in it in danger I think we need to rethink a bit."Dear Grace: Housing prices always go up.Jacqueline is trying to outfox God: "I am totally against this 'project' or 'game' as they call it. God does tell us in His Living Word that man shall destroy himself."Dear Jaqueline: Who knows better, you or God? No, it's God. Trust me on this one.Elizabeth is no Republican: "I am horrified at the amount of money spent on this project which has NO practical applications. There is a whole lot of suffering in this world that could be alleviated with 8 billion dollars."Dear Elizabeth: Yes, it's called Lehman Brothers.Vicky is no longer eating for two: "im a 17 year old girl and im 5 months pregnant. im getting really ticked off about all this fuss as ive stopped eating because im so scared that the world is going to end !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"Dear Vicky: There are worse things than dying fat. At least I'm pretty sure there are.Julio urges: "just pray and have hope that this experiment will no cause major damages or any minors."Dear Julio: You should ask Vicky what causes minors.Timothy has a practical question: "If the world ends, do I have to go to work that day?"Dear Timothy: Not if you're salaried.There. I hope that helps. Sleep well, and don't bother calling the boss if you're not going to show up. He won't be there, either. At least not if he's salaried.* who admits that "particle physics is not my strong suit." He and I have much in common. Well, this anyway._ Well, maybe just "impressively titled." [1]: http://www.cnn.com/2008/TECH/09/08/lhc.collider/index.html [2]: http://scitech.blogs.cnn.com/2008/09/09/the-world-will-not-end-this-week [3]: http://qntm.org/?board

Comments

Keith 13 years, 8 months ago

DOTDOT"I heard that the hardon collider will cause a magnetic field that will fry every electron device in the hemispheres.So, you know, back up your data."If your hardon collider stays running for more than 4 hours, see your doctor.

Terry Bush 13 years, 8 months ago

Time to trot out my very true end-of-the-world story. (For those who have heard it, skip to MORAL OF STORY)When I was 7, walking home after 2nd grade ended for the day, I looked up and saw a giant silver shiney object hovering over-head. Having been recently reminded of what a scarey world we lived in (Head down under desk waiting to be nuked) I concluded it was the end of the world. I persuaded all the other children walking with me of this fact. Some joined me in prayer kneeling on the side walk. Others ran crying home to their parents. Eventually, some of said parents came for the rest of us. And informed us that it was the Good Year Blimp.MORAL OF STORY: What looks like the end of the world to some may only in reality be a blimp.

DOTDOT 13 years, 8 months ago

I heard that the hardon collider will cause a magnetic field that will fry every electron device in the hemispheres.So, you know, back up your data.

Jill Ensley 13 years, 8 months ago

Wow, mental image of a bunch of scientists having "sword fights".So THAT'S what government money is for.

13 years, 8 months ago

"So THAT'S what government money is for."Well, unless they are overcompensating. Some people drive SUVs, others build mechanical devices...

13 years, 8 months ago

Alm: Sleep tight!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BXzugu39pKMBTW everyone, Bethie is officially 21 today. Woohoo!

alm77 13 years, 8 months ago

Sometimes the only way I can sleep at night is by reminding myself we might not make it to election day.

Bethany Jones 13 years, 8 months ago

Too bad you didn't give me a birthday present and now I'm lonely and sad.And I want some pie.

Terry Bush 13 years, 8 months ago

Wow Bethie - you are exactly one day older then Law's youngest. How weird is that?Sorry to have missed it. Hope you enjoy being an adult! I know I sure don't many times! LOL.

alm77 13 years, 8 months ago

Apparently CERN invented the internet (http), so, as far as I'm concerned, they can blow us up if they want to. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cJFllPVIcpg&feature=related

Commenting has been disabled for this item.