So What Are the Odds?

John Howe’s Glorund vs Turin imageWell, I’ve said (and pointed to) enough on the matter, but I could not resist a quote from today’s essay by Dennis Overbye in the New York Times (do have a look at the rest of it):

Besides, the random nature of quantum physics means that there is always a minuscule, but nonzero, chance of anything occurring, including that the new collider could spit out man-eating dragons.

Excellent! Proper flying, armoured, fire-breathing, talking, treasure-hoarding, magic-wielding ones I hope. It would sharpen the focus of humanity quite nicely. (Secretly, I’m not sure that I don’t prefer that to happen over discovering the new (and of course non-apocalyptic) experimental access to studying quantum gravity we’d get if we could create black holes at the LHC*. I expect that after some morning coffee I’ll come back to my senses…)

Enlargeable image is one of John Howe’s lovely paintings. Turambar and Glorund, (Turin and Glaurung, for you populists) from a wonderful tale of a battle from Tolkien’s Book of Lost Tales (or was it the Silmarillion…no I think it was the former). (Yes, I know that Glorund/Glaurung was not a flying dragon.)


*Of course, if they were Anne McCaffrey type dragons, we’d get to study extra dimensions as well, right? (Not sure if anyone has a clue what I’m talking about… so I’ll not elaborate.)

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