Sometime today they’re turning on the switch at the $5 billion Large Hadron Collider and doomsday scenario believers think that could mean lights out for planet Earth.
And they don’t mean we’ll all have trouble turning on things like toasters and blenders tomorrow. They mean lights out, as in the end of the world. Respectable scientists are fearful that the launch of this eensie-weensie -- and those are scientific terms -- particle collider could create an Earth-devouring black hole.
The mind boggles.
It’s fun to imagine distant and perhaps hostile life forms studying earth and be amazed that we’ve instantly turned ourselves into a black hole to exist no more.
E.T. #1: “Earthlings are smarter than we imagined.”
E.T. #2: “How so?”
E.T. #1: “They just developed the technology to create massive black holes and they did it right there on earth.”
E.T. #2: “Ha! Suckers!”
The atom-smasher is a 17-mile circle tunneled 300 feet beneath parts of Switzerland and France. It will use powerful magnets to accelerate protons head-on at 99.99 percent the speed of light in conditions that could mimic the original Big Bang. Scientists say if -- cross your fingers -- we survive the impact the results will help us unlock the secrets of our universe.
That’ll possibly help involved scientists if they’re ever on “Deal or No Deal!” Just how it’ll help the rest of us remains unclear.
Personally, I can see an upside to the end of the world right now because right now I owe absolutely everybody. I have a couple of big magazines and corporate accounts that have been for months deadbeating me on some sizable sums. It’s so bad I’ve had to tap into some retirement savings accounts for essentials like beer money and football pools.
I’ve always said I want die the instant my last check bounces and, by God, thanks to LHC I just might have a chance to do it.
Plus, I’ve always been curious about where the stuff goes when it goes into a black hole. Who knows, maybe it’ll be a fun place like Disney World, but without the long lines and ridiculously expensive admission fees.
I’ve always loved history and would enjoy an opportunity to be a part of it. And no one should underestimate how truly historic it would be to be alive on the planet the moment we -- oops! -- happen to destroy it.
It’s just a shame we’ll all be history right along with it.