Death smiles at us, all a man can do is smile back

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Happy Birthday, Large Hadron Collider!

May 7th celebrates the anniversary of the first full powering-up of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, mankind’s greatest scientific experiment. Just what does it take to study particle acceleration on such a massive scale?  TS Artist Tornado Studio has modeled the LHC, in an attempt to better convey all its working parts.

While the LHC will only be operating for part of 2013, we wish it a happy 5th birthday, and look forward to its next experiment in 2015.

What secrets of the universe will this eventually unlock

(via science-in-a-jar)

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H.P. Lovecraft

Lovecraft was responding to the photos that were coming out of the great observatories at his time, and to the theory of Relativity. It had just been discovered that those swirly, pinwheel-things in the sky were not dust clouds, but galaxies, containing billions of stars. This suddenly made the universe a whole lot larger. He would have been deeply impressed by that recent deep field photo of infant galaxies something like 9 billion years ago, that the Hubble produced recently. Azathoth, Yog Sothoth, and the lot are all symbolic of a universe in what mankind plays an infinitesimal part. We have existed on one planet for a tiny percentage of its history. It has been said that if the history of the Earth were written in 150 volumes, that of mankind would occupy half of the last page of the last volume. Then consider that in photos like the recent one from the Hubble, we see tens of thousands of galaxies, each containing billions of stars. Lately it has been confirmed by observation that planets are very common. Many, if no most stars have them. So the universe contains uncountable billions of planets, on any number of which may have existed civilizations and whole cycles of life which ran their course and then winked out, making no impact whatsoever on the universe at large. This is what Lovecraft meant by “cosmic” perspective. It is why his mythos resonates today. It goes beyond Existentialism, and is confirmed by science. The answer, says Lovecraft, such as there is one, is that we exist for ourselves, for the comforting illusions we can create to amuse ourselves, for all we know, in our heart of hearts, that all is meaningless. THAT is what Azathoth “really” is.

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