I have been commissioned by a correspondent – a Reverend Trellis of North Norfolk – to comment on some disturbing news from Switzerland. I should say at this point that even someone with my vast resources cannot comment on all of the disturbing news from Switzerland; indeed some of it is better neither explained nor mentioned.
My friend alludes to the bizarre story that a ridiculously expensive physics lab has been shut down by a weasel. We should be careful about this, as it is not uncommon for all members of the genus to be called weasel, so the saboteur in this case could be a stoat, polecat or similar. I know that some of you will be concerned about the identity and condition of the mammal in question, but I can only tell you that it was not Roy “the Weasel” James, one of the Great Train robbers, as he died some time ago, but now shares the same condition vis-à-vis mortality with the creature under discussion.
Another example of the lack of concern for living creatures that these physicists flaunt, in much the same way that Messrs Sutton and Smith buggered up my Monday mornings by flinging about iron filings and magnets and discussing alternating current or some such piffle which I refused to acknowledge. There is a somewhat pointless, in my view, debate between those of a religious disposition and those who think that all may be explained by a combination of empirical evidence and logic. They are both equally barmy, but in the interests of balance I should point out that a compassionate creator would not have buggered up so many of my adolescent Sundays by the prospect of double physics first thing of a Monday.
If you look carefully there are disturbing clues as to the issues surrounding this whole project. The BBC report an official as saying:
“He added that while it was, fortunately, not every day that an animal affected the equipment, it was not that surprising as the research facility is in the countryside.”
I am aware that Geneva is not the natural habitat of herds of rhinoceros nor are there many reported sightings of large apes with a penchant for vandalism, but if you are going to spend a lot of money on a facility you might want to take more care of it than leaving it lying around in a bastard field. I have no connections to the banking institutions of the Helvetic Republic and find their famous cheese (those of the country, not the banks, do keep up) barely palatable. In other words, if I were ever to do something as offbeat as to build a Large Hadron Collider, I wouldn’t put it there.
I wonder whether those in charge at Cern are aware that the New Scientist, while covering this story published this picture:
Is that it? I think that even I, with my CSE grade 3, could operate that. The only puzzling feature is the “ASB” which, I am told, stands for Asiantaeth Safonau Bwyd – the Welsh Food Standards Agency. Again, not wishing to be too critical of a foreign culture, any visitor to the principality will probably report that “food standards” is somewhat of an oxymoron in the hills and vales. Do you have a surfeit of Welsh restaurants near you? Have you been accosted by a tourist desirous of locating a fresh supply of laverbread? Quite.
Anyway, if they are not spending their vast budgets on sophisticated operating equipment, nor are they able to fork out for a mouse trap, where is all the money going? I suspect we are more likely to find that there is such a thing as Dark Flow before we get the answer to that.
I should have chosen to do Latin instead of Physics at O level, I tell you.