The troubled Large Hadron Collider is scheduled to start up again in December, nearly a year after a series of malfunctions shut it down. The LHC restart may again be plagued with malfunctions according to (as this NY Times article puts it) “a pair of otherwise distinguished physicists.” They hypothesize that the Higgs boson, which researchers are hoping to produce with the collider, might be so abhorrent to nature that its creation would ripple backward through time and stop the collider before it could make one.
I’m potentially okay with that notion so far, but then they start imbuing the particles with some sort of intelligence.
This malign influence from the future, they argue, could explain why the United States Superconducting Supercollider, also designed to find the Higgs, was canceled in 1993 after billions of dollars had already been spent, an event so unlikely that Dr. Nielsen calls it an “anti-miracle.”
I can maybe see some sort of physical ripple from the future to the past. I’m not so much down with Higgs bosons popping into existence and then retroactively influencing budget appropriations.
I do sort of like using it as an excuse for failure, though. “The massively-expensive LHC doesn’t work as expected because it’s being sabotaged from the future,” sounds kind of awesome. I may start blaming Higgs bosons for anything that goes wrong (right now I blame the elves).
Posted in Science October 16th, 2009 by Chip Comments Off
Nerdcore does a pinup calendar every year with scantily-clad models dressed as science fiction characters or superheroines or whatever makes the geeky heart go pit-a-pat. Their theme for 2010 is horror movies, featuring scenes from Carrie, The Shining, Psycho, and other genre classics.
Destructoid has the first nine images and Shock Till You Drop has the last three. Even with Nerdcore “modesty glasses” covering up the especially nekkid bits the images are pretty NSFW, so be warned.
The calendars are available for pre-order at the Nerdcore site. This would certainly be an…arresting gift for the horror movie aficionado.
Over at SciFi Scanner, John Scalzi is holding an impromptu writer’s workshop. He’s provided ten writing assignments; write one or more and leave your answer in the comments over there. The assignments are just wonderful.
2. Whilst visiting an alien world to collect plant samples, one of your crew ran afoul of the local sentient life, forcing you to cut short the mission and then subsequently mount a rescue attempt to retrieve said crew member. Write the discipline report for the crew member, whom the local sentients labeled as E.T.
On November 19, the dynamic duo of whackjobbery Kirk “if evolution is real why aren’t there crocoducks?” Cameron and Ray “the existence of god is proved by bananas” Comfort* will be distributing 50,000 free copies of Darwin’s Origin of Species to universities across the U.S. The catch, of course, is that a 50-page introduction (Warning: The stupid at the other end of that link burns) has been added which talks about how evolution has never been proved and how Darwin inspired the Holocaust.
Richard Dawkins suggests that as many copies as possible be collected, the introduction be removed, and the cleansed books be donated to schools and libraries.
Tree Lobsters has another good idea: He’s resized this comic to print out neatly as bookmarks. Print out a few and offer them as a companion to the book. I like it. In much the same way that silver is painful for werewolves, fundies are brought to a standstill by irony.
If there’s one thing humankind is known for it’s tolerance. Except for how the exact opposite is true. A sure fire way to get a bug in someone’s ass, other than with a speculum and generous amounts of lubricant is to present to them something they find unnatural. While Star Trek would have us believe Captain Kirk was getting his dick wet in anything that looked like it had a free hole across the universe, the truth is he’d be ostracized from the word go and would most likely have to warn people if he moved into their neighborhoods. There are portions of the world still uncomfortable with interracial couples, let alone interspecies couples. Maybe in time banging your Venusian girlfriend will be as cool as breastfeeding in public but at first, let’s be reasonable, you’d be giving everyone the creeps. Should the day ever come when we make contact with another species and you get friendly, make sure you drive him, her or it out to a secluded spot to see if it has any friendly orifices.