So Sad: LHC Scientists are Unable to Create (Mini) Black Holes on Earth

At least not yet

CMS Black Hole The Compact Muon Solenoid seen under construction in late 2008. Wikimedia Commons

Physicists working at the Large Hadron Collider report that after a series of tests, they have not seen any mini black holes, to the chagrin of string theorists and the relief of disaster theorists.

[Ars Technica]

It seems a bit cynical to label people (such as myself) who are concerned about the consequences of theoretical physicists trying to mess with powerful forces they don't understand as 'disaster theorists'. It is one of the hallmarks of western science to seek to confuse the line between productive scientific discovery and hubris (in the Greek tragedy sense). I often wonder what the difference between religion and theoretical physics is (no offense to either) given how much each relies on faith and very minimal experiential evidence to so vehemently demonstrate the answer to the Jeopardy question 42.

But seriously, this LHC business reminds me of the words of the character Victor Frankenstein:

You seek for knowledge and wisdom, as I once did; and I ardently hope that the gratification of your wishes may not be a serpent to sting you, as mine has been.

Wu-tang Flashback via Dave Chappelle

I was watching what I believe (so far - only having seen a handful of episodes) to be the funniest Dave Chappelle skit ever, 'Racial Draft', when the Chinese representative gets up to pick his representative and he paraphrases the original Wutang introduction:

From the slums of Shaolin, Wu-Tang Clan strikes again
The RZA, the GZA, Ol Dirty Bastard, Inspectah Deck, Raekwon the Chef
U-God, Ghost Face Killer and the Method Man

It Gave me chills and flashbacks to a much better time in music. I remember that track (Method Man) was the only song I ever heard from Enter the Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) at the time. I bought the tape (yes, back then I was rocking a tape walkman) not knowing exactly what to expect. The yellow, odd looking symbol and inset made me thing twice at the store. It ended up being one of my favorite purchases. My favorite of the clan has always been and always will be the GZA (aptly named the Genius). My favorite verse snippet (from Amplified Sample):

Guide this, strenuous as an arm wrestle
Move swift as light, a thousand years in one night
Inflight with insight
Everything i thought of, I saw it happen
Then I rose from the soil, the sun blackened
Then came rap czars, left tracks in scars
A pair of brightness of exploding stars
Give you goods to taste
No ingredients to trace
You'll remain stuck trying to figure the shape of space

(I had to make some corrections to the entry on The Original Hip-Hop Lyrics Archive)

Dave Chappelle's musical selection for guest appearances and Hip-hop skits (anyone seen the Turn my headphones up skit? Funny!) is perhaps the most obvious indication of how grounded he is, but when the Chinese delegation picked the Wutang in Racial Draft, I almost lost it. Yeah, perhaps border-line tasteless, but very well-written comedy.

[Chimezie Ogbuji]

via Copia

How do you solve a problem like Rah Digga?

So I was putting on The Sound of Music for the kids. After all, they're getting to about the age when all good children are to be indoctrinated into the mysteries of Rodgers and Hammerstein. About half way through the opening montage, Osita said

"Hmm. The Sound of Music. So will they have any Hip-Hop in it?"

I guess I've taught him rather too well. When I informed him the movie predated Hip-Hop, he proceeded to run over to his computer to play Hot Wheels Velocity X. He was lured back, though, when he overheard so many of the songs he's heard at bedtime over the years, in their original form.

[Uche Ogbuji]

via Copia

EULA this!

<DmncAtrny> And then hurl it through the window of a Sony officer
<DmncAtrny> and run like hell

via Quote Database

Disclaimer: I sure as hell don't condone cinder-block hurling (except perhaps as part of kinematics experiments performed in abandoned parking lots), EULA or no.

But isn't Sony's stupidity a marvel to behold?

[Uche Ogbuji]

via Copia

Tintin en Irak

via Herve Dufraux of La Table Francophone de Boulder

OK, folks, sit back with a dish of Freedom Fries and listen to a tale (it helps a lot if you read French).

Someone ("Youssouf") with a lot of time on their hands (quelle chance pour lui) put together a satire comic based on a collage of pages from the popular Tintin series. It lambastes Bush and fellow cast members for the greed, intrigue and arrogance that leads to the current situation in Iraq. It's clever, and funny in patches, but it does take a good bit of filler to make up the 63 pages.

The cover panel (above) sets the mood:

Apportons leur la liberté! - Oui...Largons les bombes!
Let's bring them liberty! - Yeah...let's drop the bombs!

Some particular gems:

Page 3, which is a neat summary of how the Kurds and Southern Shi'ites must have felt in 1991.

Asked whether Hussein had been captured, the adjutant says:

Pas du tout!... Les américains ont finalement décidé de quitter l'Irak et de laisser le régime de Saddam Hussein en place!... Ils ont peur que celui-ci ne soit remplacé par une république islamiste chiite!
Not at all. The Americans have finally decided to leave Iraq and leave Hussein's regime in place. They're scared he'll be replaced by a Shi'a Islamic republic!

Pages 4-6 dramatize the supposed intrigue of Petroleum multinationals to encourage an invasion of Iraq and Bush's eagerness to do so. They're followed by an unnecessarily cynical take on the role of September 11th in justification of war (that part really annoyed me).

Pages 10 through 12 are the hilarious center of the piece, first dramatizing the back and forth over UN inspectors and conditions for avoiding war as a chess game between Bush and Hussein, which "Bush" ends by jumping to his feet and shooting over "Hussein's" head (I expect Hergé would be rolling in his grave at the use of Tintin as the face of the odious Hussein, but that's the one flaw in that sequence).

It climaxes with "Bush"'s boast:

Je suis la première puissance du monde!... Ha! ha!... Je fais ce que je veux!... Malgré toute cette comédie, par un moyen ou un autre, tu verra: il y aura une guerre en Irak!
I'm the foremost world power!... Haha!... I do what I want!... Despite all this fooling around, one way or another, you will see: there will be a war in Iraq!

Followed by a full page panel, cutting to "Osama bin Laden", who laughs:

Tu as raison de rire, George... ha! ha!... Moi aussi, j'en ris déjà de cette de ce qui va s'ensuivre...
You're right to laugh, George... Haha! I'm also already laughing over this war...and over what will follow from it...

It gets to be a bit of a plod of increasingly extravagant schemes for pressing Hergé's images into the service of the satire, but don't miss the absurdist/slapstick ending, which includes the following sage words of advice from "Lionel Jospin":

Fumer un joint avec Romain Goupil est certainement moins dangereux que boire de l'alcool dans une mosquée de Nadjaf!
Smoking a joint with Romain Goupil is indeed less dangerous than drinking alcohol in a Najaf mosque! doubt...I'd say. What would we do without those maddening Gauls?

Peace, y'all.

[Uche Ogbuji]

via Copia

Take the piss, London

Of all the reasons that, as I mentioned, I love Londoners, the sharp, self-deprecating humor is near the top. Danny Ayers spotted a great example of this. An American LiveJournaller set up a Web bulletin board "London Hurts", not unlike those that sprang up soon after 9/11 with a lot of lugubrious lament and jingoistic sloganeering. It seems Londoners are having none of that, please. I nearly fell off my chair reading the Haiku, especially given the slyly over-the-top background image:

it's a right mess, mate.
oh bugger, it's time for tea.
back in the tube, then.

gypseymission gave voice to his London version of agape.

Now I'm sure that the people who set this up were very well intentioned but the truth is we really are fine, we always will be because we don't give a fuck about anything or even each other. We are obstinate, argumentative, bloody minded people, and this kind of thing makes us look like powder puffs which is really just going to wind us up.

Right. Right. Up yours, bredren.

Anyways, this is not just the occasional London Web slicker affectation. Among those I contacted to check up after the bombings was family friend Agnes Mkpeti. Her response:

Thanx for the check up, we are all fine. Yesterday was mad, luckily I don't work in central London. As transport resumed semi-service before home time I was able to get home with minimum difficulty. I just got to work and its like a ghost town, completely empty. It's Friday and most events and shows have been canceled around London. IT'S SO SAD!!!!

Party on, Agnes.

Yeah. London will be just fine.

[Uche Ogbuji]

via Copia