back to article Botanist sues to stop CERN hurling Earth into parallel universe

A lawsuit has been filed in Hawaii in an attempt to hold up the start of operations by the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) atom-smasher on the French-Swiss border. A colourful American botanist, teacher, former biologist and sometime physicist says (in outline) that the LHC may rip a hole in the fabric of the space-time continuum …


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  1. Steve

    This guy's a genius.

    He managed to be both the plaintiff and the defendant and no-one noticed until the garden received the bill.

    He may be a loon, but he's a loon with some serious balls!

  2. jon

    it's articles like this that keep me coming back to El Reg, everyday...

    keep up the great work!

  3. Dennis O'Neill

    Tut tut (pedant alert)

    You have a little giggle at Mr Wagner's description of "Generva, Switzerland" and then drop a clanger of your own by saying "unescapable" instead of "inescapable."

    And yes, that is the most dangerous thing in that article. Mr Wagner seems the type to suggest that we would all be wiped away by the enormous gravitational forces of all the planets being aligned with the sun at a single moment. Last time it happened, a couple of years back, Patrick Moore very snottily explained that the gravitational effects would be about the same as a bus passing your front door.

    Which isn't far from what the boffins at CERN appear to have said.

  4. Geoff Spick

    Toblerone production ruined?

    So the Swiss get sucked into the vortex with their mountains plugging the hole to save the rest of us. With Switzerland annihilated there will be nowhere for aviators to march too when shot down in the ensuing land grab of Euro-War XXVVXII, what with the existing border countries having been stretched by a few hundred miles to carpet over what will be known as the Swiss Gap.

    Go as in gone, bye, tata, etc to the Swiss

  5. ratfox Silver badge

    This guy's in the wrong business

    He'd do extremely well at the Microsoft law department.

    Didn't he study law for three years? And he's got the FUD

    tactics down pat

  6. Nick Pettefar

    Ah well.

    Soon be time to go home.

    Speaking of nuclear particles, the sun is shining!

  7. Anonymous Coward

    Pooh-poohing the pooh-poohers.

    We need a Winnie the Pooh icon.

  8. Anonymous Coward


    When they build a LHC under Pearl Harbour he can cry all he wants, till then fuck him.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Shut up and hit the button!

    Like a parallel universe wouldn't be an improvement? Perhaps we might wake up in a universe without any Republicans? Hell, we might even wake up in a universe without an IT angle...

    My weekend is sounding better already!

  10. Ferry Boat

    Total distruction, brimstone, fire, it's like Sodom and Gomorrah

    I think my daughter did some of that cosmic-ray pooh-pooh yesterday. I'm sure it could have been detected from space.

    A shiny pound coin to anyone who can identify the lyrics in the title.

  11. David Harper

    A load of old pooh-pooh

    Nature creates conditions far more extreme than anything that a CERN atom-smasher will ever manage, every time a supernova goes bang, and yet here we all still are ...

  12. TeeCee Gold badge


    I don't know about balls, but there's certainly some serious bollocks in there.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Valhalla we are coming!

    Surely a more Wagnarian scenarios would be that the strangelet-custard conversion and monopole transmutation threats causes the manifestation of large breasted women on flying horses who drag us through the black hole into a giant hall where we spend the rest of eternity feasting!

    Bring it on!

  14. David H

    A new slogan for Nestlé's Polo mints

    "The mint with a black hole". Which will also be the description of a Swiss bank account.

    Aliens, because our overlords from a parallel universe are just waiting to invade us.

  15. Chris

    Grey goo

    "could be turned into a fearful strangelet soup"

    It wouldn't be grey perchance?

  16. !!11oneeleven

    I don't know if I mentioned it already...

    ...But, I love you guys.


    (No leg-humping though)

  17. David Adams

    Need to be careful with the Pooh Poohs!!

    "I Hope so Blackadder.

    You know, if there's one thing I've learned from being in the army, it's never ignore a pooh-pooh.

    I knew a major: got pooh-poohed; made the mistake of ignoring the pooh-pooh -- he pooh-poohed it.

    Fatal error, because it turned out all along that the soldier who pooh-poohed him had been pooh-poohing a lot of other officers, who pooh-poohed their pooh-poohs.

    In the end, we had to disband the regiment -- morale totally destroyed ...

    by pooh-pooh!"

    Absolute class!

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Someone kick the quote machine...

    US citizen sues in US court to stop something happening elsewhere in the world.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    Save the gold!

    Just make sure all the gold is moved out of the country before they run their tests.

  20. Paul Naylor

    We all know...

    ... that this geezer is as mad as a wardrobe but if this ever gets out then the GMTV watching plebs, who get their science from Heat magazine will be panicking about being sucked into Black Hole.

    I only have a layman's knowledge of particle physics but isn't it true that the LHC *might* create only atom sized black holes? And, according to Prof. Hawking, don't black holes ultimately go "pop" because of quantum leakage just outside the the event horizon? I would imagine that it won't take an atom-sized black hole long to wink out of existence...

    And assuming that there is other sentiant intelligence out there and assuming that they're more intelligent than us, can't we assume they've been knocking about with the same things that the LHC is doing? And, oops, the Universe is still here!

  21. Brian Miller

    This case will be thrown out


    Its called prior restraint. Even if he could prove that these things will happen they can't be stopped until they actually make an attempt, by which time its too late anyway.

    Its the way of law. he should be aware as well that nuclear blasts that have already taken place have probably unleashed similar levels of energy in the proton collisions associated with them, and the earth still exists (for now).

  22. Sacha TF Padovani

    The Hawaiian flower-attorney must have

    been watching too much Futurama. There's an episode where Frey thinks of what would have happened if he hadn't fallen in the time capsule, and the whole Yooooniverse gets sucked up inside itself into white nothingness. Cool, but boring.

  23. gizmo23

    Oh yes it's Friday at El Reg

    "the boffinry community"

    That alone makes it worth reading.

    And pray tell, who is the official spokesperson (speaker?) for the boffinry community?

    That's a nice job title to have on one's CV, eh?

  24. dermot

    And the most amusing bit?

    ...Is that he feels a US court has sufficient clout to stop an EU-based project dead in its tracks...

  25. John Savard Silver badge


    This concern has already been addressed, based on the strength of cosmic ray particles, but in any case, since when does a Hawaiian court have jurisdiction over Switzerland? It seems that this case is headed for the treatment it deserves.

  26. Adam
    IT Angle


    This guy is quite amusing, I think he should be put in a cage and then whenever we poke him with a stick he should spout stupid stories about physics (like he appears to be doing already).

    I bet it wouldn't be long before he was claiming to be The Doctor.

  27. Lloyd

    Deja Vu?

    I had that same CERN/Wormhole dream once after 15 pints and a very hefty Phall, you shoulda seen the state of my sheets in the morning..

    Incidentally, if CERN can produce the sort of power to produce even a tiny wormhole I think our energy crisis may be over.

  28. Sacha TF Padovani
    Thumb Up

    @Geoff Spick

    Switzerland gone!? WOW! From an Italian POV, no more silly year-long highway toll stickers, way quicker travel times to the OktoberFest in Munich, and -lots- more parking space around Milan and Lake Garda. Quick, let the atom-shashers rip!

  29. Diggingest Dog

    Andy - is this a side mirror or a bumper that's come off?

    using the worldwide approved many pints of cider car crash example.

  30. Jonathan

    Poor guy....

    He apparently complained about the RHIC too. Funny that we are still alive.

    How is it people become such cranks?

  31. Jamie

    Thats it

    He is the Doctor that is why he is stating all this information.

    And he does not want to go to the alternate universe as the Daleks have survived the time war, and Gordon Brown is supreme ruler.


    Thank-god my alarm went off, was having a horrible nightmare.

  32. Elmer Phud Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Not fair!

    I just hope they don't end it all soon.

    I was hoping to escape the end of the world and leave it for my kids to enjoy. (Well, I've got bugger all else left since that email from Nigeria)

    --Paris for fairly obvious 'fnar fnar' references

  33. Mike Richards Silver badge

    Credit where credit's due

    An American has noticed what can be colloquially called 'the rest of the World'.

    And it's thrilling to see commaed geography back in action 'Generva, Switzerland' - bless. The latest in a veritable Whicker of glamorous destinations, 'Paris, France', 'Venice, Italy' and everyone's favourite 'London, England'. Though it really needs a bit of stock footage for full effect - possibly a cuckoo clock or a vault filled with Nazi gold*.

    *That's for Generva, Switzerland obviously; not Paris, France or London, England**.

    ** which can only be summed up by a consumptive Julie Andrews in a bowler hat.

  34. DM
    Paris Hilton

    So it's cheese or custard?

    I think we can conclude that if you're lactose intolerant, you're screwed...

    /Paris 'cus she knows about getting...ah it's too obvious.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward



    That is all.

  36. Evil Graham

    Evil Nazi space cruisers - not entirely a bad thing?

    "There could be a parallel Earth ruled by an evil victorious Nazi empire with space battlecruisers and so forth."

    I think this possible outcome has been dismissed too early by some of you cynical posters. After all, as we all know from films, where there are evil space cruisers there are also intrepid heroes battling them. Usually there are really fit birds on both sides in quite skimpy costumes too.

    Add some comedy aliens, wicked weapons, great uniforms for the bad guys, a happy ending, the complete lack of Earth concepts like "Gordon Brown" and "project deadlines" and I for one welcome our new particle-smashing overlords.

    In the immortal words of the Sugababes, "Push The Button".

  37. James Bassett

    Universe ending - bit of a bore

    Who cares if the Universe ends? It would be the single least exciting thing - ever. Change "A tree falls in a woods but there is no-one around to hear it" to "Universe ends but no-one survives to remember it".

    Dull dull dull.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How do we know...

    ...this hasn't already happened?

    And some theories of time postulate almost infinite creation of alternate Universes on a continuous basis as decisions and quantum events decay. So inevitably the things Wagner is concerned about will occur, but most of the Wagners in the various alternate Universes will persist and be oblivious to the fact that a strangelet soup claimed them in an alternative branch of time...

  39. Mike Moyle Silver badge


    If he served the the papers to his wife, as am officer of the corporation...

    And appeared at the trial as an officer of the corporation...

    And won a summary judgement against himself...

    Doesn't that mean that he and his wife need to pay THEMSELVES the back salary, plus interest, plus whatever damages the court assigns, plus both sides' court costs?

    Damn! They're gonna get so rich from this suit that they may have to declare bankruptcy!!

    (...and now my head hurts...)

  40. Slaine
    Paris Hilton

    push da button - sooner the better

    can't be worse than this hellhole we're already paying taxes to live in. Who knows, maybe Terminal 5 will work in the alternate dimension? Maybe I'll be a virgin?

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Black Helicopters

    Good old US of A.......

    Surprised US "Special" (Wonder if they really are special) forces soldiers have not taken over the whole of CERN and claimed they were a Terrorist group planning to blow up the world as after all we all know that if anyone is going to destroy the world it is going to be the US otherwise they will take your ass to court quicker than you can say Wormhole.

  42. Killian

    Certainly no fool

    Interestingly, his site is:


    and its pupose?

    "We are seeking donations to provide for legal intervention. We suggest a donation of $10.00, but would be delighted if your donation were larger. We expect to encounter expenses in excess of $100,000 in this action."

    Surely a qualified lawyer/nuclear physicist with his track record (the Botanical Gardens scam... i mean case... is pure genius) is going to charge more than $100,000.

    Oh, yes, "in excess"... he's got that covered

    Still, at least "You will receive a Thank You letter and a written acknowledgment of receipt of your donation."


  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    the boffs at LHC expect to create MBHs or miniature black holes as a matter of course during the running of their collision experiments, where they will be accelerating protons to within a millionth of the speed of light. quite fast. the decay of these MBHs will be due to theoretical hawking radiation which as yet is practically unproven. hopefully the math will work out. if the holes dont decay they should be able to escape earth. however this is simply expressed as a probability. there is therefore a probability they won't. we would not destroy the universe, just earth. if all the earths mass fell into a black hole it would still have the same gravitational field dur! as moylesy would say....

  44. Barry Patterson

    Type Thirteen Planet

    Next thing you know, they'll figure out the exact mass of the Higgs-Boson and there goes the planet.

    Anyone seen Xev? She knows where the moth is parked.

  45. Anonymous Coward


    I'm guessing that the guys at CERN wouldn't let this guy play with their new toy.

  46. Repo
    Thumb Up


    ...we could start a pertition to get the LHC rebuilt in Paris? After all, no one would give a f*** if France disappeared in a black hole...

  47. Rafael


    Are lawsuits free? Do I need to pay for filing this kind of lawsuits?

  48. jimvach
    Paris Hilton

    Hawking Radiation

    Paris Hilton: Thats Hot!!

    Stephen Hawking: (in robot voice for full effect) Actually, Hawking radiation has a blackbody radiation with a temperature T given by: kT = hbar g / 2 pi c = hbar c = (4 pi r s) blah blah blah...

    Paris Hilton: Thats Hot

    etc etc etc til the end of time (whatever that might be ha ha ha)

  49. J
    Dead Vulture

    Strangelets? Monopoles?

    It sounds like he might have discovered Ice-9!

    Bird because that's what my cat would like to do to it -- he is big.

  50. Anonymous Coward


    Hey, don't panic people!

    Torchwood will be on the case! Ready to beat back the hordes of evil pouring out of the new rift at the French/Swiss border! Looking cool and sophisticated whilst they're at it!


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