Grand Unification may be occurring near your vital organs.
April 13, 2009 4:49 PM   Subscribe

In the event that you have accidentally swallowed the Higgs boson...
posted by Zero Gravitas (50 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
That's what the funny taste was....
posted by sh0ganai at 4:50 PM on April 13, 2009


I'm not quite sure I understand this. According to Wikipedia "If the Higgs boson exists, it is an integral and pervasive component of the material world." so swallowing one wouldn't be a very big deal.
posted by delmoi at 4:57 PM on April 13, 2009


This worries me much less than reading the ingredients on the side of this Baskin-Robbins Rainbow Sherbet carton. WTF ARE ORANGE CELLS????
posted by WolfDaddy at 5:03 PM on April 13, 2009 [5 favorites]


I really wish I could make sense of that article, in fact I once watched an entire documentary on the Higgs boson so that I could become more pretentious.
posted by pwally at 5:05 PM on April 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


I am a Certified Science Moron, but since I serendipitously watched this documentary two weeks ago, I am now able to say with confidence, "Higgs boson! Ha! Swallowing one! That's funny!"
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:07 PM on April 13, 2009


so swallowing one wouldn't be a very big deal.

*dons tuxedo*

Your beans, mr. delmoi.

*steamy bean reveal*
posted by cavalier at 5:07 PM on April 13, 2009 [10 favorites]


pwally, you're freakin' me out.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:08 PM on April 13, 2009


sh0ganai: "That's what the funny taste was...."
posted by Science! at 5:10 PM on April 13, 2009


The American team says the odds of its Tevatron accelerator detecting the famed particle first are now 50-50 at worst, and up to 96% at best.

Oh, for Pete's sake. You're highly skilled particle physicists, and yet you can't calculate odds between "ehh, 50-50" and "oh yeah, 96!" Someone ought to take your diploma, roll it up and smack you with it.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:14 PM on April 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


This worries me much less than reading the ingredients on the side of this Baskin-Robbins Rainbow Sherbet carton. WTF ARE ORANGE CELLS????

Uh, Cells from an orange? (I have no idea why they would list them that way, though). I don't think they are culturing orange cells in vitro.
posted by delmoi at 5:16 PM on April 13, 2009


Oh, for Pete's sake. You're highly skilled particle physicists, and yet you can't calculate odds between "ehh, 50-50" and "oh yeah, 96!" Someone ought to take your diploma, roll it up and smack you with it.

I assume there are different possible models, with different probabilities of detecting the boson depending on which one is true. If they knew which model was 'correct' they probably wouldn't even need to run the experiment.

It's kind of like chastising a scientist for saying he doesn't know if his experiment will find evidence of life on mars before his probe gets there.
posted by delmoi at 5:20 PM on April 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


Not sure I care about the Higgs boson, but this (from the linked site) is tremendous:

Driving While Standing Still.
posted by william_boot at 5:21 PM on April 13, 2009 [4 favorites]


I've got a GUT feeling.
posted by Eideteker at 5:26 PM on April 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


It's kind of like chastising a scientist for saying he doesn't know if his experiment will find evidence of life on mars before his probe gets there.

I was ... you know ... kidding. Maybe I forgot my smiley. :-)
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 5:28 PM on April 13, 2009


Boo on the buzzkill, delmoi! I've thought there ought to be A LOT more God Particle and Strangeling jokes whirling about out there. Clips like this aren't really Geek-worthy. Here's a compilation of tame particle jokes, and one of my fave xkcd episodes. Come on, geek wits of the world! There's a frikkin' accelerator 17 miles wide buried under the streets of Geneva (or thereabouts). It has sparked a Cold (271 degrees Celsius colder than space, to be exact) War-style race to the Higgs between the Swiss and Chicagoans . How is that not making late night banter???
posted by njbradburn at 5:37 PM on April 13, 2009


I've got a GUT feeling.

That's a banhammering.
posted by DU at 5:39 PM on April 13, 2009


Those Chicagoans are Batavians.
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:40 PM on April 13, 2009


This article is deeply stupid. Not that I know anything about it really, but it seems to me that this guy must have heard the phrase 'higgs boson' somewhere and thought it sounded outrageously mystical, but never bothered to look up what it is (or might be, I guess). Hint: it is not a black hole, or one of those other phenomena that destroys human preconceptions of what reality is or isn't. Yeah, it would be great if the standard model was right and we found a higgs particle floating around, but... they're everywhere, and benign (or rather, essential) to human existence. If I made a bunch of jokes about air making your dick explode when you breathe it, no one would laugh. They would ask me where I got the idea that air was an odd and harmful substance. Saying "it's a joke" doesn't excuse you from making some sort of coherent sense.
posted by synaesthetichaze at 5:46 PM on April 13, 2009 [3 favorites]


[from william_boot's link]

Person driving somewhere in the last decade of the previous millennium (whereabouts unknown)

Well that clears that up, thanks!
posted by Horace Rumpole at 5:48 PM on April 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Those Chicagoans are Batavians

Yes, and shame on me for assuming that the MeFi audience wouldn't get the geographical reference of Batavia. ;>
posted by njbradburn at 5:51 PM on April 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


OK, so maybe I'm a little sensitive about hailing from the Fox Valley and being called a "Chicagoan" all my life [sniffle].
posted by FelliniBlank at 5:53 PM on April 13, 2009


Not that I know anything about it really, but it seems to me that this guy must have heard the phrase 'higgs boson' somewhere and thought it sounded outrageously mystical, but never bothered to look up what it is (or might be, I guess).

I mean, what are we to believe, that this is some sort of a magic xylophoneelementary particle or something? Boy, I really hope somebody got fired for that blunder.
posted by DU at 5:57 PM on April 13, 2009


Awww, FelliniBlank. *hug*
posted by njbradburn at 6:03 PM on April 13, 2009


Synaesthetichaze, the Higgs Boson (if it exists) is the particle that gives mass to every particle that should have mass. It is one of the fundamentalist fundamental building blocks of our particle theory. What I'm saying is that in a lot of ways this does destroy human preconceptions of what reality is or isn't. Mass is not just a quirk of "some elements have more neutrons, whaddya know.", but a result of the interaction of forces we hypothetically can actually measure.

As well, considering the authour talks about the Higgs boson creating mass, and the electroweak force, they at least read the wikipedia page on the article, which is enough to make a joke about it.
posted by Lemurrhea at 6:05 PM on April 13, 2009


I've got a GUT feeling.

"That's a banhammering."


*slaps DU's mammy down*

(In case anyone was wondering, my original comment was a play on the post's title. GUT in your gut? ... Yeah, that was oblique, even for me.)
posted by Eideteker at 6:10 PM on April 13, 2009


They'll never find it. I've hidden it too well.
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 6:13 PM on April 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


The American team says the odds of its Tevatron accelerator detecting the famed particle first are now 50-50 at worst, and up to 96% at best.

It depends on what the mass of the Higgs is -- if it's aroung 135GEV, the TeV has already seen it, they just need to get the data reduced. If it's over 180GEV, the chances of the TeV seeing it are very low to nil. The TeV has excluded 160-170GEV to 95% confidence, and 155-180GEV to 90% confidence. Other methods rule out over 185GEV (95% confidence), the LEP ruled out below 114GEV, same level of confidence.

So, the TeV has a very good chance of finding the particle, but that chance depends on the actual mass.

OK, so maybe I'm a little sensitive about hailing from the Fox Valley and being called a "Chicagoan" all my life [sniffle].

What fool would call you that, downstater? ;-)
posted by eriko at 6:20 PM on April 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


hahaha FelliniBlank! I think I called you out before you even said anything, that's awesome.
posted by pwally at 6:20 PM on April 13, 2009


I don't think they are culturing orange cells in vitro.

My brother used to import banana chips, and he would spray just a whiff of this banana spray in each barrel, and that constituted the flavor of the product in its entirety. It was made in the laboratory, but since it was identical to a molecule found in bananas, it did not have to be listed as an ingredient. So if they were cultured orange cells, they probably wouldn't be listed either. We're probably talking about something much creepier there.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:43 PM on April 13, 2009


If you swallow the Higgs boson, you should immediately consult a doctor.
posted by Faint of Butt at 6:58 PM on April 13, 2009


i went to visit the LHC but i accidentally the hole
:(
posted by Potomac Avenue at 7:27 PM on April 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


Last time I tried to swallow someone's bosom, she punched my head, threw the 300 dollars in my face and walked out.
posted by qvantamon at 8:20 PM on April 13, 2009


Until such time as you are able to reach Geneva and/or a trained physicist, you may attempt the Freundlich Maneuver on yourself, as you will remember from reading Vector? You Brought ‘er! Vector? Damn Near Killed Her! Health Hazards in Quantum Physics (Jonathan Cape, 2002).

FTFY
posted by nebulawindphone at 8:42 PM on April 13, 2009


I'm guessing "orange cells" is a food industry term for "juice vesicles", those little sacs of juice you can tease out of an orange segment. In other words, what we used to call "pulp." Here are the specs for some frozen Valencia orange cells, in which the size distribution is 2 - 10 mm for 90% of the cells. So, these are way bigger than what we normally mean by cells (you know, those little membrane-bound doohickies with the DNA inside). I guess pulp doesn't sound very appetizing.

I loves me some geek humor, but this article was pretty weak. On the plus side, it's neat to hear that Fermilab is still in the game. My tax dollars paid for that thing, so if they find some Higgs bosons lying around I'd like one for my mantelpiece. Maybe I could have it bronzed?
posted by Quietgal at 9:03 PM on April 13, 2009 [2 favorites]


I barely passed physics. I don't think I could pass a Higgs.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 9:53 PM on April 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


In the event that you have accidentally swallowed the Higgs boson...

...take two anti-particles and call me for the mourning.
posted by abc123xyzinfinity at 10:09 PM on April 13, 2009


Tastes like cilantro.
posted by clearly at 10:14 PM on April 13, 2009 [1 favorite]


The Higgs boson will attempt to create mass in the faux-universe; when it does, phase yourself out of this dimension before the boson gets wise. You may also need to rally intermediate vector bosons to keep the Higgs occupied while you make your escape.

This reads frightfully like some of the more obscure Crowley I've read.
posted by Balisong at 11:24 PM on April 13, 2009


I miss Bill Higgs.
posted by flabdablet at 1:34 AM on April 14, 2009


they're everywhere, and benign (or rather, essential) to human existence. If I made a bunch of jokes about air making your dick explode when you breathe it, no one would laugh. They would ask me where I got the idea that air was an odd and harmful substance. Saying "it's a joke" doesn't excuse you from making some sort of coherent sense.

I agree with all of this, although I would probably still laugh at your joke about my dick exploding.
posted by Greg Nog at 5:19 AM on April 14, 2009


Just as a follow-up, please witness just how great that is:

Q: What happens when you inhale air?
A: YOUR DICK WILL EXPLODE

*rimshot*
posted by Greg Nog at 5:26 AM on April 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


OK, so maybe I'm a little sensitive about hailing from the Fox Valley and being called a "Chicagoan" all my life [sniffle].
That's because the whole of northern Illinois consists of the greater Chicago area, universities, and mixed soy/corn.

I live in Batavia, too, so I can say this. ;-)

Seriously though, whats with all the MeFi Batavians? Is it Fermilab's proximity? A disproportionate snark level? I smell meetup in the future.
posted by verb at 5:49 AM on April 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


MMMMMMMM mixed soy/corn
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 7:03 AM on April 14, 2009


CERN would like to remind you that the Higgs boson will never threaten you and in fact cannot speak. In the event that the Higgs boson does speak, CERN urges you to disregard its advice.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 7:40 AM on April 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


I came into this thinking it was the Higgs Bison. I saw the title last night just before I walked away from Mefi for the night and thought, you know, if you ate a bison, seems like you'd remember the experience. Hard to accidentally swallow a bison. Unless it's a really small bison! Tiny bisons! I can't wait to read that FPP! There will be pictures of adorable eeensy teeny tiny bisons, probably balancing on fingers!

Hmmmmph.
posted by mygothlaundry at 8:20 AM on April 14, 2009 [1 favorite]


The last time this happened to me, I tried to use electroweak force and not only didn't it work, I had diarrhea for days. So follow the steps to the letter!

This article is deeply stupid. [long missing-the-point rant follows]

Ooh, looks like someone didn't see the "Spoofs & Satire" heading!
posted by languagehat at 9:07 AM on April 14, 2009


hahaha FelliniBlank! I think I called you out before you even said anything, that's awesome.

Hah! A-causal!
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 9:10 AM on April 14, 2009


If they find a companion particle to the Higgs boson, that would be a boson's mate.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 9:12 AM on April 14, 2009 [3 favorites]


This is poorly researched and grammatically offensive, and must have been written by the telekinetic sea sponge.
posted by Night_owl at 11:57 AM on April 14, 2009


Maybe I should clarify. I know it's satire, I just think it just sucks. I also know that the higgs boson is essential to human understanding of what mass is, but I felt that the guy's humor in relation to it contained pointlessly magical thinking.

YMMV, and I should probably not make extensive comments on subjects I'm not familiar with, nor should I bother to make a long explanation when only *slightly* misunderstood, nor should I probably comment in the first place when all I have to say is "boy howdy that's awful."
posted by synaesthetichaze at 2:09 PM on April 14, 2009


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