With mere hours left until CERN's brand new shiny Large Hadron Collider "activates", I want to take a moment to clear up some confusion about what this actually means.
See, according to some people I know, LHC activation is the exact moment that the 17-mile ring hits a chilly 1.9K and gets filled with exotic particles and crazy supernatural phenomena. It's really more drawn out that that, though; the Collider has been cooling down for months and this event will merely be the injection of the first particle beams into the system.
The exact time of it all? Well, it's hard to tell. At time of writing the official countdown is reading at 6 hours, and when expanded that implies midnight on the morning of Friday 8th August. But friends in other countries report different readings that also evaluate to midnight: in their own timezones. Clearly there's a bit of a calculation glitch in the Flash script. However, it's probably reasonably safe to assume that Swiss midnight is the correct time, since it's the only apparent constant.
The last link I followed in research for this article was to a "LHC activation petition", which I figured would be yet another group of hippies bemoaning the possibility that Switzerland and France will be a black hole by lunchtime tomorrow. Oh, how wrong was I.
Typically such momentous scientific achievements are inaugurated with profound words, such as Neil Armstrong's "One small step for man, one giant leap for all mankind", or when Oppenheimer famously quoted from the Bhagavad Gita upon the first test of a nuclear weapon. No doubt the Directorate of CERN will have prepared something similar to match this historic event.
However, we the undersigned feel something simple will suffice. Upon activating the LHC for the test, we advocate the opening words be "Commence Primary Ignition!", a call back to the 1977 movie "Star Wars" when the villains destroyed the planet Alderaan with their Death Star.
Some would charge that this does not convey a sufficient level of respect for the process at hand. However, given that particle physicists gave up on seriousness years ago ("strange" quarks? Honestly people) we feels it reflects the current standard quite well.
Further, in the event that the sum total of human knowledge painstakingly amassed over course of history is wrong and the scientific illiterates are correct and this experiment does result in "opening a gate to hell", "blowing up the planet", "creating a stargate to another dimension", or "granting the antichrist newfound powers" etc etc etc then this deliberate link to the destruction of a planet will allow the scientists to claim they knew this would happen and they meant to kill us all the entire time. The ability to still proclaim the experiment a success regardless of the outcome will prove helpful when procuring the necessary funds for the next mega-experiment.
I've signed the petition, and you should too!
In one version, Nostradamus predicted:
The year of the great seventh number accomplished,
It will appear at the time of the games of slaughter,
Not far from the great millennial age,
When the buried will go out from their tombs.
With the Beijing Olympic Games also kicking off tomorrow that's kind of creepy, and certainly not the first connection between the LHC and our favourite prophet, but as everyone should know by now Nostradamus's opinions are open to wild various interpretation… and this one was posted online just the other week, so take it with a pinch of salt.
See you all tomorrow. Hopefully.