Monday, March 31, 2008

Black Holes

Baby black holes. Strangelets. Validation for fans of What the #$*! Do We Know?!?. The Large Hadron Collider in Geneva, Switzerland could produce any or all of these unlikely apocalyptic events, unless scientists in Hawaii can succeed in their lawsuit against the European Center for Nuclear Research(CERN).

CERN recently finished the Hadron Collider, saying excitedly in a blog post on February 22, "Soon, the first protons will be smashed together and the secrets of our universe will begin to unravel." The lawsuit alleges that the planned experiments have the potential to unravel more than just secrets. It states that there is a possibility that the particle accelerator could create a tiny black hole that would expand and eventually swallow the earth. Is it likely? No. Are the secrets of the Big Bang so sought after that the experiments are worth the risk? I have no idea. I'm not Lisa Randall.

CERN's response to these concerns is short and glib: Microscopic Black Hole Will Not Eat You, the website says. I'm inclined to let these dedicated physicists smash away under the ground, but I may change my mind when things start to feel a little heavy.

Friday, March 21, 2008


Stupid Bleak House. Thank you for sucking up 80% of my Thursday with your 7.5 hours of highly plotted drama. I curse Charles Dickens and his craven adjective-slinging plot intrigue. Thank God no one pays for fiction by the word any more(at least as they did for him). I read Underworld once, and one of the many things that book doesn't need is a bunch of knitting scenes. Back to Dostoevesky.

Put me down and shake me up, as Smallweed would say.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Fun with Abaci

I woke up this morning to Brian Lehrer telling me that the chief executive of Bear Stearns had assets that went from $1 billion to $13 million overnight. I know it's the stock market isn't *real* money, but I spent all day wondering exactly what I could buy with the $987 million that disappeared in the blink of a buyout eye. I discovered, after busting out my trusty EMILY's List logo calculator, that $987 million will buy:

24,675 24-hour "dates" with a seven-diamond Emperor's Club V.I.P. prostitute, including tips

129,019,607 packs of Camel Lights from the bodega at 19th Street and 5th Avenue in Brooklyn, New York.

123,375,000 vodka tonics at any non-Meatpacking District bar(again, including tip)

290,294,117 Grande Americanos from Starbucks

21,933,333 trips to the Union Square Virgin Megastore(if you buy compulsively from the $10 bins like I do)

49,473,684 months of subscription service to some random porn site I found on Google

7,050 full 4-year tuition scholarships to an Ivy League university

21,933 full 4-year tuition scholarships to a top-tier state school

1,000,000 coach round trip tickets to Warsaw, Poland(with plenty left over to travel for at least two years in Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the -Stans)

1,410,000 trips to Chicago for the Pitchfork Music Festival, including travel, food, and accommodation

Medical care for assorted orphans and poor kids(costs vary, but I'm sure that kind of scratch would cover a couple of rounds of chemo and some lollipops)

What did I miss?

Monday, March 10, 2008

Rules are Made for Breaking

This is a real email conversation between me and a co-worker/friend/fellow sinner:

Me: Did you see this?

E: Yes, but they're sooo vague!

Me: It wouldn't be The Vatican if they told us what we're doing wrong! How will we live in a state of constant fear and guilt?

E: That's true, but I need specifics so I can judge my neighbor!

Friday, March 07, 2008

Dear Woman that CNN Allowed to Write About Gardasil,

I am glad you are not my mother. If you were my mother and I were still a teenager, I would very much enjoy rubbing my slatternly behavior in your face. I would also go to Planned Parenthood and ask someone there about getting the vaccine without telling you. It is a simple choice, it is the right choice, and you should stop whining. And probably ask yourself why you waited two years to seriously think about this. And also come to terms with the concept that your kids already know all about this because they're teenagers and they live in the world.

Thank you,

PS: Please, please stop talking about the religious freaks that probably want their daughters' reproductive organs turn into a malignant goo(it sure does make a great mental picture for the next Silver Ring Thing meeting) like they're anything less than controlling, deluded, misogynistic abusers. You know very well they'd get it for their sons.