Sandra and Woo causes black hole at the LHC

Our reader Frank posted this shocking news article in the comment section of today’s strip and I believe everyone should read it:

By Frank Hightower, Fanfic News

The Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire (CERN) has long been feared for its ability to create microscopic black holes. This morning (Central European Standard Time), they have succeeded in doing so. Except that it was done by accident.

Karl Pierrot, Junior Researcher at CERN, was starting a typical day, checking the news and the comics on his computer while sipping coffee. Something he saw made him laugh so hard, he spewed coffee over his keyboard. Before he knew it, the LHC was starting a non-programmed experiment! “The LHC is a complicated piece of machinery,” explained Pierrot to the press; “you can’t just shut it off it starts up by mistake.”

Pierrot managed to disconnect his computer from the network before further uncontrolled orders were sent to the LHC, but the particles were already accelerating to near-light speed.

Pierrot’s supervisors, Doctors Jason Hawkings and Steve Bekenstein (unrelated to the world-famous physicists), hurried to the scene when they heard what was happening. Before their eyes, the computer’s data showed the few sub-atomic particles that were being accelerated by the collider, being turned into something with apparently infinite gravity: a microscopic black hole.

“I wouldn’t say the black hole just appeared,” declared Dr. Bekenstein to the press. “It was more a matter of a transition from a tiny star into something that could no longer support its own gravity… despite being smaller than a grain of sand.”

The Black Hole managed to “eat” a detector from the Compact Muon Solenoid (CMS), whereupon it “grew” to what the Doctors call “macroscopic proportions”: about one ten-thousandth of a grain of sand.

When asked about what he was reading that made him spill the coffee beans, Pierrot replied. “Sandra and Woo; it was a pretty good joke… though I don’t think my maman [French for “mother”] would appreciate it.” Sandra and Woo is a webcomic. Like the famous Calvin and Hobbes, it’s about a young child who has a pet, which only that child knows can talk. Unlike Calvin and Hobbes, Sandra’s pet is not a stuffed toy, but a real-live raccoon.

When asked if they were going to take legal action against “Sandra and Woo’s” creators, Doctor Hawkings responded, “Now, now. I think they actually did us a favor: we never thought we’d get micro- black holes this early on.” There is, however, the potential false advertising. “Sandra and Woo” claims to be safe for the workplace… ANY workplace.

If nothing else happens, the Black Hole is expected to disappear via Hawking Radiation by Thursday; when the next “Sandra and Woo” strip is scheduled to go up. However, fears that it may grow again rise everytime the Black Hole nears one of the four detectors in its journey through the collider. The Government of France is pressing Switzerland to admit the blackhole was created on the part of the collider on their side of the border. Apparently, the French Ministère de la Science et Technologie fears it may become a bigger threat.

“Threat?” asked Berkenstein when confronted with this possibility. “Well, the Black Hole HAS caused… er… considerable damage to the CMS, and that HAS delayed further experiments by another couple of years. However, black holes are inherently unstable, so the Black Hole will literally be short-lived. And the discoveries to be made from it far outbalance the near-impossible threat of it… er… getting out of the collider.”

The Government of Switzerland, on the other hand, is considering the evacuation of the area around the collider. It is also pressing “Sandra and Woo’s“ IRC chat to reveal the identity of Pokefan Frank and Birone, who on October 17 encouraged Oliver Knörzer (writer for “Sandra and Woo”) to publish “the strip after halloween” despite considering this possibility.


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