10.20.2008

Particle rap

Tomorrow is the official inauguration of CERN's breakthrough particle accelerator, the Large Hadron Collider, or LHC. It actually went online weeks ago. I missed it — while the fate of the world hung in the balance (not really), I was off in Alaska, peacefully enjoying the continued existence of the planet Earth. While that was cause for celebration (and if you want to celebrate, io9 has got you covered), just over a week later the LHC was shut down again due to mechanical issues, and will stay down for winterization. Still, it'll be expanding the boundaries of human knowledge and imperiling the Earth again next spring.

So, the point of this post: in order to explain the mysterious, sometimes feared, and much-misunderstood workings of the LHC, a bunch of clever folks bravely stepped up to demystify the project and give the world the reassurances it needed in the form of the brilliant, beautiful Large Hadron Rap. Because science is best popularized through rap, as MC Hawking well knows. If you want to memorize every word and sing along, check here for lyrics and other info.





Don't forget that on the day the LHC went live, Torchwood was there, to make sure the Earth was safe. On "Big Bang Day", BBC's Radio 4 broadcast "Lost Souls", a Torchwood radio play commemorating the activation of the LHC. It's no longer available freely (again, sorry for the lateness — Alaska), but it can be purchased for download, and there's also an audio cd.





And just because the song made me think of it: They Might Be Giants - Particle Man. As dramatized by Tiny Toon Adventures. That was my first introduction to the song, and it's good enough for you, too.

I actually screened several different Particle Man music videos on YouTube, until some peculiar live-action renditions (is that the real TMBG video?) and what appeared to be a slew of similarly-executed entries from some beginning animation class project began to turn my brain to mush, and I simply fell back on what was oldest and most familiar. So enjoy this musical and animation classic on, roughly speaking, the subject of particles. Sort of.






I think what this post needs to finish it off is some MC Hawking. MC Hawking - Entropy.





And now I promise I'm all geeked out. It'll be something classy next time.

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3 Comments:

Blogger Alan R Jones:

Great post! I think the LHC is a sweet thing for planet Earth, because it initiates a lot of really fun and interesting discussion AND especially, fissions off (huh?) some sweet youTube rap videos! woohoo!

Oh, and I'm sure there's probably some good science that comes out of all this at some point as well...

23:05  
Blogger Princess Haiku:

Hi Blue,
I stopped by to leave my ghostly salutations and see how you are. I can't pretend to understand this discussion but it does look very intelligent.

I like your new blog design and hope all is well in your part of the world. -Although, I can't imagine things are very dandy anywhere in the USA just now.

Loyal Reader /princess haiku
:) (you were the one who labeled me such)

01:58  
Blogger bluewyvern:

Alan: Yeah. Yeah, the science. good stuff, science.

It's nice to see popular culture taking an active interest in groundbreaking scientific endeavors again, though. It's been kind of off the public radar for a while. Sorry, NASA. :(

Haiku: it's always a pleasure to have you stop by for your greetings. Things are actually going ok for me at the moment...let's hope it lasts!

This is just a temporary look for Halloween, when I usually like to shake things up (my annual Halloween post is coming in just a few days, btw!). I think I will change it to something new afterward, though.

And as far as this post goes -- hey, don't be scared away! It's all about making opaque science fun. If the LHC mystifies you, give the rap at the top of this post a listen. It explains it all with some cool beats, if nothing else. :)

Thanks for stopping by, and I hope all is well with you, too.

04:19  

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