September 9, 2008

Just in case

Look, it's been grand, fabulous, moments of true brilliance, hilarity even, bonding, love, levity and laughter, and it might all end tomorrow, so I thought I'd best say my goodbyes now, in case we're all wiped out by the hoozy-whatsit.

On Wednesday, the biggest, most expensive scientific experiment in history, the gigantic $8.6 billion-plus atom-smasher - the Large Hadron Collider - will be switched on, and that might, claim a few deeply consternated scientists, be the end of the Earth, the Moon and the Sun, either in an instant, or over a period of a few months, during which time we could enjoy a long goodbye with the whole of humanity.

"In the first scenario, there is little warning.

For maybe a month, there would be no sign that life was about to come to an abrupt and nasty end for us all.

Then, earthquakes would start unexpectedly, alerting geologists to something terribly and unimaginably amiss.

After a few days, the seismic disturbances would reach catastrophic proportions.

Cities would be leveled and swollen oceans, in a series of mega-tsunamis, would slam into the continents' coasts.

The fact that the earthquakes were striking randomly, instead of along well-known geological fault lines, would be proof something devastating was afoot.

Finally, the end would come, in a disaster of Biblical proportions.

Earth would start to crack up; molten lava would wash over the land and the seas would start to boil; mega-hurricanes and cyclones would level buildings and forests; eventually, mountains would crumble as Earth's crust continued to disintegrate.

The fabric of the planet would start to disappear, trillions of tonnes of rock, water, air and life sucked into a whirlpool of unimaginable force.

From space, our blue-and-white home would appear to vanish down a plughole in a flash.

At least in that scenario we would have a little time, perhaps, to come to terms with the end.

But a second doomsday scenario is even more terrifying, with no warning.

In an instant - about 1/20th of a second - Earth would simply vanish from space.

Less than two seconds later, the moon would follow.

Eight minutes later, the sun would be ripped apart, followed by the rest of the planets in the solar system and onwards, a wave of destruction caused by a rent in the fabric of space itself, spreading out from our world at the speed of light."

A lawsuit lodged at the European Court For Human Rights by the small group of extremely alert and alarmed scientists argues that if the LHC destroys the universe, it would "violate the right to life and right to private family life".

Err, indeedy, it would.

And winning said lawsuit would be a tad pyrrhic if the universe is all sucked asunder, or whatnot.

Anyhoo: good luck to you all! Love you heaps! You've been absolute treasures!

Are we all going to die on Wednesday?


  1. "Are we all going to die on Wednesday?"

    I certainly bloody hope not Caz!

    Hubby is taking me out to lunch at a nice restaurant overlooking the ocean.

    Now, that only happens once in a blue moon.

    I shall be mightily pissed off, if some scientists fuck it all up for me!

  2. If the end of the world happens tomorrow, does this mean I can exceed my personal carbon emissions quota for the day?

    It kinda puts worrying about global warming into perspective...

  3. Timmy - yes, emit, emit, for gawd's sake emit! Extra carbon's might save us, anything is worth a shot - you can do it!

    Kath - err, what can I say: men so often get their timing exactly wrong.

  4. Anonymous7:06 PM

    So long and thanks for all the fish.

  5. I think we'd be taking the fish with us, Jo. And the dolphins.

    This is much more fun than the usual Domesday predictions, isn't it?

  6. JO's an albatross, Nails.
    Though I must say, he is ONE albatross I'd love to have around my neck!
    He also had a potomac once...too.
    With a fully stocked bar.

  7. They worried about the same sort of scenario with the first man-made atomic reaction.

    But we can still hope.

  8. I'm not worried about it.

  9. Fish?




    Guess the hitchhikers in the galaxy are still safe.

    Oh, what was tharr .....

  10. Anonymous10:11 PM

    "Oh baby, did the earth disintegrate for you too...?"

    Actually, according to what I've seen, the fun won't start for a month or two yet.

  11. Jacob's right, but I still seem to be flickering between dimensions here. Oh, wait. Forgot to take my meds this morning.

  12. Struck me as I was reading over that Herald Sun article today: everytime the physicists charge up another of these particle-accelerator thingies, we seem to get articles warning that maybe - just possibly - the world could disappear.

    This possibility that the world could disappear is always so slight that you wonder why people even bother with it. The website Cosmic Variance gives the possibility that the LHC could create earth-destroying black holes pretty low odds. In fact, the odds are so low that they're statistically negligible, I'd imagine.

    The odds that I give birth to a pink elephant in the next day or so would probably be about the same - ie, at a low, statistically negligible level. But no-one worries about that. So why do we persistently worry about cosmic destruction caused by experiments by quantum physicists?

    Is it just the machinery involved looks big and scary?

    Is it some subconscious perception we have that it is dangerous to delve into the laws of nature, and that we will be punished for trying to find out (a kind of 20th century innocence/knowledge myth, like the 'Garden of Eden' story in the Bible?)

    Is it just a popular media myth, starting up where the mad-scientist stories of early/mid-20th century set off?

    Or is it just a coincidence that every time another one of these reactors is charged up, another set of 'sky is falling in!' speculations are set off?

  13. I'm still not worried.

  14. Cube - wrong date, as it turns out.

    They shot the atoms off on Sept 10, they don't collide until Tuesday next week - Sept 24.

    Sheesh ... do I have to do my emergency goodbyes all over again? Twice in one month seems excessive. People will stop believing me.