Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid |

Todd Hartley: I’m With Stupid

Todd Hartley
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

We here at “I’m with Stupid” have decided to do something a little different for a change. Instead of focusing on something idiotic, this week we’re going to discuss something so smart it just might destroy us all.

I’m referring specifically to the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the most powerful atom-smasher ever built, which is set to be switched on in August at an underground laboratory outside Geneva, Switzerland.

The purpose of the LHC, which, at a cost of $5.8 billion, is being called the largest scientific experiment in history, is to make protons collide in a search for “dark matter,” extra dimensions and heretofore undiscovered subatomic particles. That all sounds nice, but it turns out those same collisions could prove to be deadly.

Critics of the LHC, including a group that filed a lawsuit in a Hawaiian court in March seeking to block the machine’s startup, allege that there is “a significant risk that … operation of the Collider may have unintended consequences which could ultimately result in the destruction of our planet.” Among the potential risks the LHC poses to mankind, according to the plaintiffs, are hypothetical killer particles known as strangelets and micro-black holes that could conceivably swallow the Earth. Neither of those would be good.

Scientists at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, better known as CERN, scoff at the notion that the LHC could threaten our very existence, pointing out that strangelets, for one, have never been proven to exist. That statement, however, merely highlights why we can’t trust these people.

Claiming that strangelets may not even exist doesn’t really mean a whole lot when one of the goals of the LHC is to look for something called the Higgs boson, a particle which ” you guessed it ” has so far not been proven to exist.

Another goal of the LHC, searching for extra dimensions, is also fraught with peril. Allow me to explain: Many physicists adhere to a concept called superstring theory, which holds that quarks, the particles that make up atoms, are infinitesimal vibrating strings. This idea, however, requires about 10 dimensions, seven more than most of us can detect without wearing special dorky glasses.

So let’s say the LHC is able to uncover 10 dimensions. What exactly would they be? Well, there’d be length, width and depth, of course, the three dimensions we’re all used to. Presumably one of the extra dimensions would involve chocolate, and another one might be Dennis Rodman, but that still leaves five dimensions that we know nothing about. What if one of those is the Godzilla dimension and the LHC opens a portal through which millions of Godzillas could be set loose on our planet? Hopefully, they’d eat the smug CERN scientists first and be so stuffed they’d leave the rest of us alone.

Then, of course, there’s the threat of black holes, which, as we all know, have gravitational fields so strong they can devour planets and even stars ” not unlike John Goodman. No less an authority than British physicist Stephen Hawking has predicted that even if the LHC does produce black holes, they would instantly evaporate, but there’s a chance that Hawking could be wrong.

How much of a chance? Well, one scientist familiar with the project put the chance of a global catastrophe at one in 50 million. That may seem like long odds, but consider this: The odds of someone winning the Powerball lottery are about one in 80 million, and plenty of people have won Powerball.

But even this disconcerting fact isn’t enough to get CERN scientists to admit that their experiment poses a threat to Earth. One of them even had the gall to say, “If I thought that this was going to happen, I would be well away from here.”

Oh, really, smart guy? Where would you go to escape a black hole that’s going to swallow the planet? Moron.

So, clearly, you should all start preparing now to get sucked down a black hole and spit out into another dimension later this summer. How should you prepare? If you happen to have a black-hole-proof bomb shelter, be sure to stock it with plenty of canned goods and drinking water. If you don’t, then make sure you’re always wearing clean underwear, just in case.

Oh, and pray like hell that the black hole spits us out into the chocolate dimension and not Dennis Rodman.

Support Local Journalism

Support Local Journalism

Readers around Aspen and Snowmass Village make the Aspen Times’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.


Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User


Roger Marolt: Thankful for kind politicians

I am thankful for getting over myself in the realm of politics. I have accepted the right to vote for what it is: a tremendous gift in the whole that propels democracy, but of little…

See more