Tuesday, December 14, 2010

CERN people comes out of the closet!!!

Something unexpected happened at CERN. Something that could have been a total revolution 20 years ago. And it is not the discovery of Higgs boson, super-symmetry or extra-dimensions!!!

The LGBT CERN social group has sent facebook messages, emails and even flyers and posters with publicity about their community at CERN. They even announced a public meeting at R1 where they will see each other's faces and will chat. And yes, for the ones who doesn't know the acronym, like Maikel, and who didn't get any tip from the group's logo colors, like Maikel, it does not stand for some strange and nerd physicists / mathematicians words that you'll need years of study to understand (or maybe not). It stands simply for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender.

And, for the ones who didn't know, this courageous fact of not being ashamed of oneself and declare the orientation to everyone is called in French and Spanish: "to come out of the closet" :) Till today, everyone suspected that the closets at CERN were quite full, but nobody dared to say anything about that. Finally it seems that the time has come! We are not anymore in the Middle Age, you know. And, apart from working at CERN, we are not so stupid either. Well, actually everyone sees these announcements so normal that nobody gives much importance to this meeting (and you know you should apply a correction factor of at least 1/10 to everything Maikel says).

Friday, December 3, 2010

The Duck Conspiracy...

Today at the CMS control room, Maikel did a funny discovery: they have one little cute rubber duck in the DAQ (Data Acquisition system) shifter desktop console. After some very hard thinking and the heavy use of his only neuron, he realized that it is some kind of words joke with DAQ and 'duck' :)

When he asked about the history of that duck, someone told him that they have it there "just because ATLAS also has ducks in their DAQ shifter console". Actually, Maikel found out that in ATLAS they have not one little duck but a whole big family of them, with different kinds and sizes!! I guess someone got jealous and, as he/she could not steal one of ATLAS because he could not get permission to enter into the control room, he/she just bought a little one for CMS.

When talking about that, Maikel heard horrible rumors about The Duck Conspiracy. People in CMS is planning a secret sneak intrusion in the ATLAS control room. The target would be to kidnap one of their little ducks. Then, they would bring it to CMS control room and would chain it somewhere where the webcams can see it. Finally, they will try to blackmail ATLAS showing them the little prisoner duck from the cams, asking to stop recording luminosity or other horrible things like that. ATLAS people!! Be aware of that!! I'm telling this information risking my life!!!

Apart from that, I heard that this fact of having ducks in the DAQ consoles is actually a long standing tradition. They also have them at Fermilab DØ experiment control room since many years before ATLAS existed. I would have to make a deepest research to find out the origins of this yellow rubber tradition. Maybe the ancient Greeks also had rubber ducks in their accelerator control rooms??? Only a expensive research with a worldwide collaboration will be able to discover that...