September 6, 2008

Of Hadron Colliders and Oscar's Tummyache

When I've had enough of the North American press, which is often, I usually head over to the United Kingdom and trek through the British counterparts. Regardless of how large or staid the paper (I steer clear of the popular tabloids on both sides of the ocean), the Brits have a certain kind of whimsy that just busts out in their reporting.

On the Swiss/French border, scientists are about to test the Large Hardon Collider - an atom smashing device buried into the Alps. The device will send atomic particles around its 17 km long circumference "approximately 11,200 times every second, before smashing them headlong into one another." This is from the Timesonline, my favourite of all the mainstream papers.

Now, this might just be a kind of cool scientific reporting, except, it's not. Odd groups have trying to halt the project, stating that the "collider could produce a tiny black hole, which could eat the Earth." Now, picture John Cleese reporting on this. With a straight face. The headline? "Large Hadron Collider will not turn world to goo, promise scientists".

As I was pondering the end of earth (slated for Wednesday; stay tuned), I came upon this article in the Guardian. A little closer to earth, a man apparently heard an odd sound in his dog's belly; a vet found 13 golf balls in there. Take a look at the photo of the poor little pooch. His owner walked him near a golf course twice a day, and found it cute that the dog snorted out stray golf balls 'like truffles'. He somehow missed that Oscar was doing more than sniffing them out.

From atomic collisions that could disintegrate the earth, to a puppy with a belly full of golf balls. Maybe I'll hit the Independent in search of a middle ground.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

YIKES!!! Lorraine: Do you think Marsden could show up for the anvailing? Opps!!! Did I say that?


September 08, 2008 5:14 AM  

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