Well I woke up this morning,
Which is a pretty good sign.
Given the total media saturation today, with CERN this and LHC that, comedian Adam Hart-Davis touring the tunnels and astrophysicist Dara Ó Briain wheeled in on Radio 4 to comment, you might think I’d blog about something else. But no, it is exciting, if a little over the top.
So hearty congratulations to the legions of physicists, engineers and science PRs involved in the LHC project. You’re only four times over budget and two years late in flipping the switch. Maybe you could recoup some money in consultancy fees, advising the governments of Europe on how to manage their economies.
Regarding the title of this post, why is a nice, middle-class white girl from Grand Rapids, Michigan, proclaiming with youthful glee on BBC radio that “…the LHC is pretty bad ass!”? Kate McAlpine (aka “Alpinekat”), a 23-year-old intern in the CERN press office, is responsible for a pop song of the “rap” sub-genre currently doing the rounds of the Interwebs.
I know from personal experience that the practice of modern physics, which mostly involves perching on cheap chairs in front of computer workstations in poorly-lit university offices, can lead to the development of some spectacularly bad arses, together with numerous other physical and mental ailments. But I’m not sure the same could be said of a 27 km long particle accelerator on the Swiss-French border.
Maybe I’ve misunderstood the sentiment expressed by Ms McAlpine with her groovy beats. The journalist who interviewed her had to ask for a translation for the benefit of both himself and his crusty listeners, and seemed none the wiser for the explanation given. I know how he feels.
The arts and humanities mafia who run Radio 4 will at 14:15 BST this afternoon broadcast an afternoon play that features the souls of the dead stalking the LHC tunnel, and Torchwood‘s very own Captain Jack Harkness saving the world from being sucked into a galactic borehole.