black holes

I just arrived in Geneva after the red eye flight from New York. The passenger next to me, bespectacled, with a laptop and a serious attitude, started talking to me. Where are you from? Where do you live? How long were you in New York? Then he told me what he did, and my curiosity peaked. Ah, so you are one of the people who will suck us out in a black hole? I asked jokingly. He replied somberly that it was not a joke and people were suing them because of the black hole rumor. Allow me to explain, despite being so jet-lagged. The man in question works as a nuclear physicist in CERN (the European Center for Nuclear Research) where the infamous CERN accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) lies in a 27 km tunnel underground. The LHC sort of got off to a bad start for when it was attempting to re-create the big bang, it sort of blew up. My neighbor on the plane explained that outside companies had connected the magnets without soldering them properly, which is why the experiment failed. The papers carried stories at the time of the risk that the accelerator might cause a black hole to suck in, well, Geneva. I asked our physicist friend about that, and he said, yes, while there was a theory that this experiment they are working on would create a black hole, it will be short-lived. Hmmm, I am thinking we should not be anywhere near Geneva at the time of the experiment that may create a black hole, the sound of it is not too reassuring. Well, then, the best is to get inside information on when the test will happen. Friday, he said. Which Friday? I asked, with a worried look. This coming one. Oh, great. That is the Friday that we are organizing a huge event at the Palais des Nations in Geneva, so we are definitely going to be there. Now, what is left to do is pray and hope that the physicists know what they’re doing, sort of like you hope the pilot and Co-pilot of a plane during a harrowing flight know what they’re doing, and are not on a suicide mission of some sort.
Life is complicated, especially when billions are spent to experiment with something a few excited physicists think is terribly important- to simplify theories of energy, as my fellow passenger said. Not my first priority, had I been in charge of spending many billions.
Let’s hope our black hole is short-lived then, so we can enjoy the upcoming skiing season. No, wait, there might not be one as we are in the middle of an unnatural heat wave in the middle of November. Ahh, this is what I would have spent money on, correcting the global warming and climate change problem, rather than proving a theory. But what do I know. I’m not a nuclear physicist.The CERN accelerator

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5 Responses to black holes

  1. THE Shouly says:

    One Tuesday morning during the summer of 2004, I innocently board the plane with you from Beirut to Geneva. I ask one simple question, ‘Are you going to eat that cheese knafeh’? Did I deserve to be scarred for the next 4 years of my life? It’s alright. I’m fine now. I actually enjoy flying. The next time we fly together I will have prepared a few theories about global disasters and genocide. Just so your “curiosity peaks”.

    Love,
    THE Shouly

  2. mimo says:

    what??? And you waited to let me read it?

  3. brigittekm1 says:

    Have some sleep, Christopher. I suggest oolong tea, then chatting with some grumpy people, it knocks you right out.

  4. AspiringArtists says:

    This Friday uh..? Hmm very numb in my reactions here..

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