“Run LHC, run!”
CERN have announced that actor Tom Hanks has been chosen to reboot the Large Hadron Collider once repairs are complete. The massive machine was damaged soon after being switched on last September, when a helium leak caused an estimated £20 million damage.
Hanks is currently filming Angels and Demons, in which he reprises the role of Robert Langdon from The Da Vinci Code. The films plot involves an attempt to destroy the Vatican with 0.25 grams of antimatter stolen from CERN. No, really.
Must CERN resort to these kinds of PR games? Isn’t the LHC enough of an accomplishment without a Hollywood star attached? Apparently not.
Bad Science in the bathroom
Ben Goldacre has truly made it big, with this interview in the toilets of Conway Hall. He talks about the usual schtick: what’s wrong with science reporting, and what should be done to fix it. I do so admire his collection of stripy shirts.
Some very weird experiments
I’m cheating a bit with the title of this post, but two out of three ain’t bad. My odd one out for your this week is extremely odd – a countdown of the twenty most bizarre experiments of all time.
Some are merely quirky, such as in 1978, when psychologist Russell Clark got his students to proposition others with the line “I have been noticing you around campus. I find you to be attractive. Would you go to bed with me tonight?” in order to study gender differences.
Others are ethically questionable, like monkey head transplants and electrocuting puppies. Sometimes scientists don’t do themselves any favours when it comes to public opinion!