Thursday, August 7, 2008

Let's have a little fun

This space has contained some serious stuff lately -- preaching about responsibility, the state of justice, drug companies' advertising, the Middle East. 

Maybe it's time to have a little fun.

How about the opposite of a Hobson's choice. Let's call it a Len'sLens choice. You could be wrong, but you'd never know it. In a Hobson's choice, there is no good choice. In a Len'sLens choice, there is no bad one.

What's he talking about? 

In Switzerland this weekend, the Large Hadron Collider will be turned on. This device is 17 miles long and it hurls bits of matter around a pipe and into each other. That's really simplified, but I'm a simple guy.

What its handlers want to do is, on a tiny, tiny scale, recreate the Big Bang that scientists say started the universe.

Now, there are some naysayers who worry that this device, when turned on, could develop a black hole that could swallow the earth. A black hole, for those who haven't been paying attention or who couldn't stomach the 1979 movie of the same name, is a hole in space, like a whirlpool, so powerful that it could suck in anything around it. It's so dense that even light cannot escape from it.

The movie, starring Maximillian Schell and a couple of cute robots, wasn't all that good. Black holes were done better on Star Trek.

Some scientists think there is a black hole at the center of this and every other galaxy.

In any case, this ends up being a Len'sLens choice. If the thing is safe, nothing happens except perhaps scientists get a little smarter than they were before.

If not, we are all sucked into the black hole, the Earth is destroyed, but we'll never know it because we'll be sucked into the black hole so fast, it'll never register on our minds.

So relax. It's a perfect Len'sLens choice.

I spent a bit of time today covering the press conference on veteran's voter registration by the state's attorney general and secretary of the state (it is secretary of the state, not secretary of state--one of those things you learn being a newspaper writer or editor) so I'm going to keep this short. 

It's my policy not to comment on stories I cover, especially on the same day I cover it.
Look for my story, however :

And thanks to all of you who stopped by today. Keep coming back. 

Until next time...

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