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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

How You Could Have Spent The End Of The World

The Courier Mail had this as the first sentence of an article written at the time of the activation of the Hadron Collider...
A SECOND deadline for the end of the world has passed after scientists switched on a massive machine which some experts feared could destroy the planet.
Read that. The second deadline for the end of the world. Two deadlines in rapid succession. Of the end of the world.

How could I not have heard about this device until today? I can't really be that ignorant can I?

Then again, I only just found out last week that Andrea Bocelli is blind. I'm sorry, but I always just assumed he was concentrating when he was closing his eyes.

Actually, that's not true. I heard about it once before - in the "offbeat" section of the news. You know, the section where there's a story about some crazy person in Asia or Europe who's done something wacky like set a world record for the most bras he can unhook in a minute or survived a fall from a space shuttle while nude or something. The story I'd read said some German scientist was attempting to get a court order to prevent it being turned on. A week later, the machine's being turned on.

Now, I'm not a particle physicist and I know absolutely nothing about atom smashing, so perhaps I'm missing something here, but from what I gather, if it works, this device is potentially a $9 billion dollar Genesis machine. Which in theory sounds cool.

Was this not the villains' plan in Star Trek 2: The Wrath of Khan? You can't use a Genesis device where there's already life!! It fucks it up, all doomsday like!

(NOTE: Methinks this "end of the world" thing has been spectacularly simplified for the 98% of the world who don't get particle physics nor own Particle Physics For Dummies.)

Anyways, it concerns me either way that when I turned on the TV tonight as it was being switched on, not one single news network in Australia was covering it live - a $9 billion dollar device fifteen years in the making which has a chance of destroying the earth, and nobody's on top of it. I followed along with a Twitter account News.com.au had set up to follow it.

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But I thought a couple of things when I discovered this potential doomsday device was being turned on today...
  • One - if the world is destroyed by physics nerds, I'm going to be so pissed off.

  • Two - if I had been at work when the world ended, the last words I could very well have said could have been "Did you have a Fly Buys card with you today?".

    Yup. Nothing deep and poetic like Ned Kelly ("Such is life.") or witty like Oscar Wilde ("Those drapes go, or I do."). Nope, the last words to pass my lips in this world might be "Team member to stationery please for customer assistance."
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Someone I know (a female) mentioned that if they knew that the end of the world was imminent, they'd go out and instigate a spontaneous orgy. In fact, not even an orgy - they'd go out and just get one last root. Now, in theory, this sounds like a great idea - it's the end of the world, there are no inhibitions, no consequences, but then I thought...

"Hmmm... I don't know if I handle that kind of pressure."
"What pressure?"
"Well..."
"It's just a case of go out and say what the hell, why not?"
"Well, you say that, but, look what if it goes wrong?"
"What do you mean?"
"You're going to be the last person that this woman has sex with. The last ever."
"Right..."
"So I mean, with a lot of guys, they're nervous enough as it is about their performance. To be the last ever man to have sex with her, that's pressure."
"Uh huh."
"It's crap enough to go through an apocalypse. Imagine that coupled with frustration of having not reaching orgasm moments before."
"Oh my god..."
"And worst of all, I don't want the last thing I say is "That's never happened before. Sorry. Can we try again in half an hour?" "No! No we can't try again in half an hour! There'll be no planet in half an hour, let alone another erection!""

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