According to WordPress, the tag that people most often click on to reach Wheat, Not Oats, Dear–the tag that calls out to the most people, the tag with the most compelling siren song, the tag that sings, it would seem–is:
I hate Lolcats
When something like this exists in the world, who among us can be surprised?
On Friday, November 20, the Large Hadron Collider re-started operations after a 14-month delay.
A little over a year ago, when they–The Scientists–OFFICIALLY started operations, and OFFICIALLY started beaming protons around the 17-mile long underground tunnel they built, the “electrical connection between a pair of the collider’s giant superconducting electromagnets vaporized”, which is a nice way of saying “NO DOY, IT WILL GET HOT IN THERE, IF YOU ARE BEAMING PROTONS AT SEVEN TRILLION ELECTRICAL VOLTS!!!!!!!!!!”
I am a fan of scientists. I am also a big fan of pictures of scientists caught in unguarded moments of scientific joy. The CERN [European Organization for Nuclear Research–see also In My Blogroll] website has an entire page of pictures up, at the moment, of this LHC reboot. It’s a bunch of scientists, in a room–I believe the room is called the CERN Control Centre, no lie–trying to make things work. They’re such wonderful pictures, you all. They’ve made me laugh with such joyful laughter, is what.
ME: These pictures must be shared, and I shall tell it like a little story!
I’ve picked the best of the lot.
This is one of approximately 30 pictures of scientists grasping their chins, like in the movies.
[You just know that this fellow is a rockstar among physicists. The hawk nose, the leather vest, the raffishly unbuttoned shirt. “Dr. Rock”, they call him, except probably the French word for “rock”, because this is clearly not an American physicist, and if he is then I don’t know what to believe in, anymore. ]
This might be my favorite shot of the lot. Based upon where it’s placed chronologically in the “photo album”, the “main event” has not yet occured. But something special is happening here, nonetheless. It’s like whatever they’re watching, on the screen they’re watching it on, MATERIALIZED INTO THE SHAPE OF SANTA CLAUS.
They wait. Quietly, the scientists wait; they watch.
[Also, what’s going on with the woman in the bottom of the frame? Can we talk about this?]
ROOOOOAAAAAAAAR! That is the sound of that man’s happy lion laughter.
Let me assure you: If we could see what these people are looking at, we would be none the wiser.
The final pictures show the crew settling back into the business of proton collisions; they’re not going to accelerate all by themselves, you know!
On the CERN website, there is a video showing some of the above. On top of the page, in bold, black letters, it states:
LHC is back! Clockwise circulating beam established at ten o’ clock this evening.
The below fell somewhere in the middle of the photographs.
I thought we should end on a high note.