Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The 13 Stages of Large Hadron Collider Experience

World existence status: Still here. We did it!

1. Indifference: "What the hell? Please stop talking to me, your face is in the way of the TV."

2. Sudden interest: "Holy shit! They might discover the Higgs boson? Totally rad!" or, more likely... "Holy shit!!! They might destroy the world? Totally not rad!"

3. Panic: "Ohmigod ohmigod ohmigod... they're turning it on tomorrow. I better call my girlfriend! I better call my parents! There's so much I haven't done, there's so much I haven't experienced! Well... I guess there's a whole bunch of people who came before me who never got to experience the end of the world... but that doesn't matter! I don't want to die! Maybe there's a spaceship?"

4. Indignation: "DAMMIT! I was totally planning on going a sweet party on Thursday. It's going to be a 9/11-themed party celebrating seven years free of a major domestic terrorist act, and I was planning on going as a black site. Dammit! Stupid physicists, stupid large hadron collider... always ruining my social life."

5. Informed panic: "Wait, wait... you guys... it says on the Wikipedia article that the chance of the LHC creating a black hole is 1 in 50 million. I am statistically reassured but still somehow terrified?! What do you think it will be like to be converted into anti-matter? Will I die before I become anti-matter? Will it hurt? Will it even matter? Why don't you act it out with those spent beer bottles..."

6. Jubliant panic: "Let us drink many beers, y'all, as we sneer and bellow in the face of oblivion! Let us drink, get drunk, and never pause for rest! Let's be so passed out that we sleep through the end of the world! I want to make love right now. I want to compose a symphony to the dawn of time. You guys, what will the headstone of existence read? I think it will say 'The Beginning - The End' for the dates and the epigram will be 'The rest is silence'. RIGHT? RIGHT? And God will come by once a day to water it... OH MAN, let's write a play!"

7. Creative panic: "Okay, so we open with two physicists about to kiss before they turn it on, because they've been secretly in love during the whole construction of the thing and maybe they don't believe the safety reports either. Or... NO! Wait. I got it. So, this is a little weird, but work with me... what if it doesn't END the world--what if it starts it all over? Or or or... haha, this is funny--what if results in this guy being stuck in a vast, white space. Or better yet: he is stuck in a vast, white space with all of his ex-girlfriends. What's that? You want to see if we can sing all of "We Didn't Start the Fire"? ME TOO! Let us continue to drink many beers!"

8. Early onset nostalgia for a world that has yet to be demolished: (while walking through the still-existent night) "Yo... you see that bar over there? That's a good-ass bar. I met this girl there one night, this was... I dunno, 'bout, three or four years ago. We made out for like... hours, in the back of that bar. Then we went up to the roof of my apartment and bottle of scotch and declared ourselves married for exactly one night. That was a good night... that was fun. I wonder where she is now. Y'know, I don't even remember her name! Man, there's so many things I'm forgetting nowadays. That's a funny word: nowadays. Oh, well. I guess it won't matter tomorrow."

9. Hangover: (to self) "Ah... shit. My friggin' head is bumpin'! What time is it... oh shit shit shit shit it's past 10! I'm so late I'm so late! WAIT. Whoa... it's... past 10. And... I'm still here! I made it! I survived! (jumps up and dances for joy, then falls back down in pain) Ow, my fucking head..."

10. Smugness: "Oh. Hey... what's up. You're still here, too, huh? Hah... yup. Crisis averted. Beautiful day outside. NICE. Well, well, well... doesn't it feel good to still be alive."

11. Realization: "The world did not blow up or implode and as such, all my problems still exist. But so do good things?" OR "The world did not blow up or implode and as such, all the good things still exist. But so do my problems?" The order in which you realize these things likely says a great deal about you as a person.

12. Fear for the future: "OH SHIT! They don't start doing the serious particle collision tests until October 21st! THAT'S WHEN WE'RE REALLY SCREWED!"

13. Acceptance/Joy: "BUT... that means that we have more than a month to spend running through the night, doing ridiculous bullshit with the excuse that the world is going to come to an end soon! On with the chicanery! 'We didn't start the fire! It was always burnin' since the world's been turnin'..."

1 comment:

El Gigante said...

Frankly I think the Large Hadron Coil is maybe my favorite super-collider ever. I was able to talk to a student of mine for about 10 minutes who has no interest in science whatsoever. So I say thee YEA to 17 mile long European super-machine.