hutch0 (hutch0) wrote,

the end of the world is nigh. or not

It can't have escaped anyone's notice that the Large Hadron Collider at CERN goes live tomorrow. Nor can it have escaped anyone's notice that there have been dire warnings about what the thing will do, from creating `mini-black holes' which will destroy the Earth, to bizarre particles called `strangelets,' which will also destroy the Earth and probably the rest of Creation. It's been in all the papers for the past few weeks - even the tabs - and the BBC have been running a series of very informative and interesting programmes about what is the largest science experiment ever created by Man.
We were driving back from the veterinary hospital today and listening to Virgin Radio, and the DJ was talking about this, with all the scientific rigour you'd expect from a Virgin Radio DJ, and he mentioned that the bookmaker William Hill is actually offering odds that the world will end tomorrow because of the LHC.
Now then, all this end-of-the-world hysteria is getting on my tits and I became very annoyed indeed when I heard William Hill were offering odds. Because William Hill, being a venerable institution and not run by assholes, must have done their homework and they know as well as I do that the world will not end tomorrow. Tomorrow the big brains at CERN will switch on one of the proton beams in the LHC, I presume to calibrate it. This will not cause the world to end. Then, a few days later, they'll switch on the contrarotating beam, again, I presume, to calibrate it. This also will not cause the world to end. They're not going to start experiments until next month, and the damn thing won't reach full capacity until sometime in 2010. And even then I wouldn't put money on the world ending, no matter what odds William Hill are offering.
Of course, I've noticed no one mentioning that, in order to collect your winnings, the world actually has to end. Which would kind of be the ultimate pyrrhic victory, wouldn't it?

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