Mrs Flashbang's grandfather didn't do things by halves. On the outbreak of war he decided to dig up the garden and build a proper shelter. Nothing make do about this stalwart of the Home Front; he even put a concrete floor in. It was so grand that most of the street joined him when the sirens went off. Unfortunately, due to ever such a small planning hiccup, (that would be the total absence of drainage), the shelter flooded when it rained which, as you can imagine, was fairly frequently.
These sort of wee, small planning and design hiccups are what make me a tad nervous about the spooky, scary Large Hydron Collider in Cern, (check the webcam here), which will now shut for a year according to a report in the Telegraph. This thing definitely gives me the heebie jeebies, as we've previously discussed.
The report says "the collider is expected to reach world record power later this month at 7 trillion electron volts (TeV) in its bid to replicate the big bang that started the universe." I'm sorry but that simply doesn't sound right - they'll probably start the experiment on a Thursday and find themselves back in last Tuesday.
It goes on, "The standard phrase is that the LHC is its own prototype. We are pushing technologies towards their limits. You don't hear about the thousands or hundreds of thousands of other areas that have gone incredibly well. With a machine like the LHC, you only build one and you only build it once."
That's right, you only build it once because when there's a cock up we all go up in a galactic puff of smoke. "Oopsie, accidents happen," just isn't going to cover it if there's a cock up with this thing. Am I alone in thinking this thing is terrifying and unpredictable? Nor do stories like this one give me any comfort.
Call me a flat earth non believer if you like but I'd fill the thing with concrete and run far, far away from it. Even some scientists are sceptical. As one observer put it, "Imagine you have a huge tanker truck parked outside a children's hospital. You don't know what's inside it, but you're fairly confident that it's either a cure for cancer, or 20,000 gallons of explosive nitroglycerin. To find out which, you have to shoot at it with an AK-47".
Dr. Egon Spengler: There's something very important I forgot to tell you.
Dr. Peter Venkman: What?
Dr. Egon Spengler: Don't cross the streams.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Why?
Dr. Egon Spengler: It would be bad.
Dr. Peter Venkman: I'm fuzzy on the whole good/bad thing. What do you mean, "bad"?
Dr. Egon Spengler: Try to imagine all life as you know it stopping instantaneously and every molecule in your body exploding at the speed of light.
Dr Ray Stantz: Total protonic reversal.
Dr. Peter Venkman: Right. That's bad. Okay. All right. Important safety tip. Thanks, Egon.