PS: Best video ever about the end of the world, courtesy of Mitchell & Webb:


  1. On the off chance we all die sometime in the next day or week as they fire up the accelerator, I just want to say that I will miss this blog. I didn’t always agree with the commentary, but the knowledge it provided was invaluable.

  2. According to what I read, this morning was a test fire… the actual experiments where they could possibly produce a black hole haven’t happened yet. And even if this morning’s acceleration was real, some scientists have estimated that the black holes produced will not be strong enough to be detected at the onset… they would need some time to grow before they could actually swallow us whole (which is a scary predicament… I’d rather just “poof” and be gone versus knowing the black hole will eat me alive after it has three weeks to “grow”).

    So in either case, while I don’t think we have anything to worry about, you never know… hence my proclaimation about this blog. So let it be written, so let it be done.

    Oh, and do not doubt my scientific knowledge. I have my degree in theoretical physics after and in depth and comprehensive study of the last 42 years of Star Trek.

  3. Rolando — thanks. It’s been wonderful. In case we all suddenly go poof, I want to say I love each and every reader of this here blog and that you guys and gals being here every day for me has meant more to me than anything.

    Of course I can’t go out without thanking Future Mr. Beat for all his love and support. And my mom. And Inky.

    Quietly going to the mountains now to watch one last sunset. I shall take a package of Mint Milanos as my last meal, along with a few packets of Vietnamese coffee. It’s all so peaceful now.

  4. Okay, so a black hole is a collapsed star, yes? And the reason it’s dangerous is because it has all the mass of a star compressed into a singularity, yes?

    What I don’t get is how a particle accelerator can possibly produce something with that much mass. I don’t see how it can create mass at all.

    Maybe it can produce certain subatomic particles that display certain black hole-like properties, but you’re not gonna whip up something exponentially more massive than Planet Earth just by shooting some particles round a track, right?

  5. Sadly we probably aren’t going to go poof.

    A few years ago a bunch of Scientists from Brookhaven (yes, 50 miles from Times Square) started the same experiments after a thorough grilling from a Congressional Committee. There were concerns, but the “poof scenario” turns on some pretty flaky science.

    A couple of years ago I used it for the start of a GN that I am currently showing to publishers. Now I may no longer need to keep explaining what a particle accelerator is, or what can happen if it all goes wrong. It’s a big part of the GN.

    So my life may be a little simpler.

    Unless we all go poof.

  6. Mr. Bedard,

    It’s not the mass, it’s the density. Or as you say, “collapsed into a singularity”. After all the uncollapsed star has the mass of the black hole, and yet it is not a black hole, right?

    The theory goes that the particles can be flung together so hard that they squeeze below a critical volume/above a critical density, and they they become a micro-black hole. Which would then start to absorb nearby matter – us – gaining mass and gaining size, thus accelerating the process.

    Not all that different from the “ignite the atmosphere” fears about the atom bomb and uncontrolled nuclear fission. Or the “tipping point” of Global Warming. Saddly we will have to go past that point to be absolutely sure that it won’t be Apocalypse. Thus is Science!

  7. Tom:

    Are there any links or scans to this comic book about the end of the world that you worked on?

    Perhaps if the information was put in a format our primitive unfrozen caveman message board commenter brains could understand, we would be the better for it.

    Aside: this morning as I lay in bed, some fellow on NPR was trying to explain in layman’s terms what the super collider was doing. And I honestly thought I understand it, since it had something to do with the strong force, and I know science has yet to explain the strong force and all that.

    Where is Grant Morrison when you need him!

  8. Not with a bang but a whimper? Man… what if you could weaponize it, create an unstable black hole which exists for a microsecond? what if the european union had the ultimate weapon and created a cold peace?
    if there’s a black hole where earth used to be, how does that affect the sun? would the black hole still have some orbital momentum? could this be a cosmic test, created to weed out civilizations who might be too eager?
    my last supper would be a sweet lettuce salad with mandarin oranges, a thick crusty juicy steak, rotkraut, shared with an intelligent beautiful woman. desert would consist of chocolate fondue and champagne, while we gaze at the Milky Way and contemplate existence.

  9. ABC News made my 7 year old cry when they hyped the whole “will the world end?” angle. I know some people think it’s cute to speculate but that crap seems based on a less than shaky understanding of the science.

    Truthfully, I think some people just really fear science knowing too much about “God’s business” and possibly even fear some divine retribution (not to mention they just fear science and the fact that it’s gotten very hard for lay people to understand what the hell they are talking about). We now live in a culture where science is reaching back to the beginning of time as we know it yet too many Americans (and our potential VP) think dinosaurs roamed the Earth 4,000 years ago.

  10. David Oakes,

    Thank you! I get it now. I think. I guess the super-density leads to super-gravity, whereas I always thought gravity was solely a function of mass. Obviously, need to brush up on my Hawking or something, but seriously, thanks for explaining that so succinctly. :-)

  11. Listening to the coverage on NPR this morning, I couldn’t help thinking of the Gravity Well story from Mike Baron and Steve Rude’s NEXUS (Vol2. #25 & 27). Who’s with me?