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Thing 1, Thing 2, and Thing 3

1. It's August! August has always treated me pretty well. For some reason (and I don't know why, but I'd like to work on finding out) I always seem to pull myself together and start being healthy and sane in August. Of course, sometime around the holidays, it kind of falls apart again until late March or early April. It seems like spring and fall are my seasons.

2. Next week is a four day week for me, and then I get to participate in the wedding of a dear friend. What a privilege! Plus, I get to wear a really pretty dress.

3. It is less than a week until they throw the switch on the Large Hadron Collider! Here's the countdown. I'm really excited about it. Recreating the conditions right after the Big Bang! Maybe finding the Higgs Boson! This is like religion for atheists. It just thrills me, even though I only understand it in the most basic terms.

Here's the Metafilter thread. Check out this excerpt that literally made me LOL:

(slightly edited for length)
The earth is hit, fairly frequently, by cosmic rays with vastly more energy than the LHC protons. The current estimate rate is 1 per km2 per century, for particles above 1020eV. Doesn't sound like much? Surface area of the earth is 510,065,600 km2. Do the math.

Heeeee! "Do the math." I love Metafilter! In fact, I love the whole world. Today is much better. Thanks to everyone who offered encouraging words yesterday.


( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 1st, 2008 01:44 pm (UTC)
Hooray for Large Hadrons!

Wait, what?

Also: so has Metafilter become readable again? My membership lapsed.

Edited at 2008-08-01 02:12 pm (UTC)
Aug. 1st, 2008 02:51 pm (UTC)

Well, I dunno. It's a matter of opinion. I've always found it worth reading, even if you have to slog through a lot of noise.
Aug. 1st, 2008 01:58 pm (UTC)
strangelets, here we come!
Physicists, take Leonard Cohen's advice and don't go home with your hadron.

BWAAH! I, too, love Metafilter now.
Aug. 1st, 2008 02:51 pm (UTC)
Re: strangelets, here we come!
I think it's grand! Gets me through a lot of days.
Aug. 1st, 2008 02:39 pm (UTC)
Yay for pretty dresses!

Glad you're feeling more together.
Aug. 1st, 2008 02:52 pm (UTC)
Thank you, sweetie.
Aug. 1st, 2008 05:06 pm (UTC)
I' still hoping it's going to open up a wormhole and destroy the earth. A guy can dream.
Aug. 1st, 2008 06:14 pm (UTC)
Im betting on a singularity. Nothing large, just big enough to sustain itself, fall to the center of the planets gravity well, and then start to eat the planet form the inside out.
Aug. 1st, 2008 06:21 pm (UTC)
Tsk. Didn't you guys read what that guy from Metafilter said? Do the math!

SRSLY, it's depressingly unlikely that a singularity or wormhole or anything like that is gonna happen. But it should would be a great way to go out, and it would end a tremendous amount of suffering!
Aug. 1st, 2008 06:34 pm (UTC)
I've been tracking this thing since it first appeared in SciAm.
Even with current accelerators there is the possibility that a small singularity is formed. They are rare and brief (0.00000000000000001sec) type stuff.

This is larger masses at bigger speeds. One can hope.

Plus it would validate certain school of nihilism instantly. Cause then we really would be 'circling the drain'.

IDK about wanting a wormhole. I'd prefer the slow panic of a smell devouring singularity than the instant global meltdown after we instatnly jump to dead, frozen, black space.
Aug. 1st, 2008 07:14 pm (UTC)
Nope. I can't get behind the instigating panic option. I'm not opposed to death, or even mass oblivion, but I am opposed to suffering.
Aug. 1st, 2008 08:32 pm (UTC)
Well the 'black hole in the middle' scenario would be like global warming. Not so much severe panic. People would ignore it and dis-info it,etc. Until something catastrophic happened. Like the oceans draining or the planet starting to wobble due to the gravity/density changes.

Aug. 2nd, 2008 02:00 am (UTC)
Which, as you aptly point out, would sort of be more of the same of what we've got, with pressing catastrophes that the public hardly takes notice of.

Polar ice caps melting? Feh, what's on TV? Mayhem and death in Iraq? Can't be buggered to notice. A small black hole contained under 100 meters of rock in Switzerland? Wake me when it effects my bottom line.

Doesn't sound like much fun. I'll take either a sudden, shrieking eschaton that's over in seconds, or a huge revelation about the nature of matter and all existence. I am confident I'll get neither, but dreaming is free :)

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )



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