Geeks everywhere entered states of catatonic shock a few weeks ago when CERN’s Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland, was temporarily shut down due to a technical issue. Particle physics was put at a standstill as a result, and atom smashing was put on hold. But what caused the temporary shutdown might surprise you.
The largest, most technically advanced machine in the world was inactivated by…a weasel. No, not a vindictive scientist whose life’s work had been proven incorrect by the LHC. A furry, little weasel (the kind that goes, “POP!”) weaseled its way into a transformer that helps power the LHC and caused enough damage to trigger an electrical outage.
As a result, the LHC was out of service for several days. And, again, this wasn’t due to a hacker or a breach in the time space continuum; it was due to a critter. I guess weasels are interested in Higgs boson particles, too.
But, even though the damage caused by the weasel invasion was easily fixed, this situation raises some serious red flags. Just how easy is it to shut down the LHC? And, more importantly, just how easy it to harness its capabilities for unethical means? Because, if a weasel can wreak havoc on LHC, a human “weasel” with the scientific knowledge of how the machine works could do a heck of a lot more than damage than merely inactivate a transformer.
Heck, who knows? He or she might be able to turn that transformer into a Transformer, and then we’d all be up a creek without a paddle. So I’m calling for a step-up in security in Geneva. I’m perfectly aware that the city is known for being the site of many a peace treaty signing, but it’s time for Geneva to go to war…against weasels of all kind. Because first it’s a pesky rodent (technically it’s a mustelid, but whatever), and then, it’s a Russian spy.
The LHC must be protected. Sure, nobody with an IQ below 160 truly knows what it does, but it has to be protected. Because if atom smashing doesn’t already sound scary enough, just imagine what the LHC could do if it’s in the wrong hands.