You Can't Make This Stuff Up

By Julianne Dalcanton | November 6, 2009 12:23 pm

Lead paragraph from the Times Online UK about the latest LHC snafu:

The rehabilitation of the beleaguered Large Hadron Collider was on hold tonight after the failure of one of its powerful cooling units caused by an errant chunk of baguette.

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Science, Science and the Media
  • Sean

    They buried the lede: the chunk of bread was dropped from the sky by a passing bird.

  • Meng Bomin

    Well, there’s that Higgs boson, stiffling our efforts to discover it again.

  • Joe

    Chalk up another for Neilson and Ninomiya. Though I’d require something a little more bizarre to confirm their theory. Its France, so maybe the LHC failing because of Mickey D’s?

  • db

    Anthropic principle at work!

  • Blake Stacey

    If we’d built that collider in Texas, we wouldn’t have problems like this.

  • Matt T

    @ Blake (#5): You’re right. If it were in Texas, BBQ sauce would have fouled up the super-conducting magnets. Or a cowboy hat would have been left in the path of the electron beam.
    Ah…I heart sterotypes

  • Julianne

    the chunk of bread was dropped from the sky by a passing bird.

    A bird sent from the future.

  • asd

    A bird sent from the future.

    by spacehitler

  • graviton383

    Talk about a random bizarre occurance! Of course this has attracted a lot of attention in the blogosphere as well as several newspapers. I will bet that the resposible bird is not a Bluefooted Booby.

  • Brian Too

    No no no. In the future where the LHC exists, the baguettes have become self-aware and realize that the universe is doomed on that path. They sent one of their own back (who else would you trust?) to stop the LHC and save us all (including the unborn baguettes)!

  • graviton383

    Only in FRANCE do the baguettes become self-aware…they’re almosy there now…

  • Brian


  • Brian Mingus

    As funny as this is it is very bad news for the LHC. We would like to believe that such large oversights do not exist after so many billions. Surely some of that money covers the cost of a tarp? If something can’t survive a piece of bread on it, what is it doing outside? As apparently small as this issue is, it is a major, expensive, failure.

  • Eyes Squared

    A crusty piece of bread seems pretty insignificant when compared to the LHC but when compared to the particles it is designed to measure a crusty piece of bread is HUGE! How did they miss it?

  • BJM

    Wasn’t the discovery of the cosmic microwave background almost thwarted by interference from pigeon droppings in the antenna? What are these birds trying to hide from us?

  • Cartesian

    I am sorry for this probably French awkwardness. Anyway I do not eat any baguette generally.

  • Sili


    Actually, it was the other way round. They cleaned out the pigeon droppings because they had no clue where the noise was coming from, so they had to check.

    Now, if Uranium suddenly stops fissioning in the reactors powering the works, Nielsen and Ninomiya may be on to something.

    The problem with the SCSC was that noöne pointed out to the Texans that the thing could double as an aid in executions. It’d almost pay itself back, too, at the rate they’re going.

    (YAY! Stereotypes!)

  • Ross Smith
  • I’d rather be fishin’

    @17 There was a short science fiction story written sometime last century about people in the future somehow preventing fission from occurring in the their past AND removing all knowledge of it from peoples’ minds, except for 2 scientists.

    Why can I remember this and not what I’m supposed to buy at the grocery store? Must be a plot by the people who run the other grocery store in town.

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