Searching for answers

IF you’re interested in science, you may have heard of a place in Europe called CERN.

CERN is the European Organisation for Nuclear Research, called CERN because it’s also known, in French, as the Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire, or European Council for Nuclear Research. I suppose CERN trips better off the tongue, French or otherwise.

Taking up a large part of the French/Swiss border, near Geneva, the CERN organisation was actually set up in 1952, hence the ‘nuclear’ bit in the name (we now know more about particles than just nuclei), and involves an impressive 21 European countries as members.

The aim of CERN is to seek answers to the fundamental questions of life itself, such as what is the universe made of, how did it begin, and why do so many people worship Kim Kardashian (OK, I made that last bit up, but I think they should look into it). Continue reading

Spooky parallels

DO you think our world is perfect?

Well that’s a bit of a stupid question, really, because I don’t expect anyone with even a small amount of intelligence thinks that. Your own personal world may be fine, but everyone knows there’s plenty wrong with the world we live in – famine, disease, death, crime, natural disasters, etc, etc, etc…

Ok, so imagine for a moment that you were an all-powerful god with the ability to change one thing about the world. What would it be? Continue reading

Just how big is the universe?

LET us ponder, for a moment or two, the size of the universe.

As the wonderful, much-missed Douglas Adams wrote in his first novel, The Hitch-Hiker’s Guide To The Galaxy: “Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind- bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.” Continue reading