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...


  1. "One is never alone with a rubber duck."
    - Douglas Adams