Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Well ... can he?


20 comments:

Debby said...

Yees, he can!

Debby said...

Er. Yes, he can?

Stevyn Colgan said...

Ha! I did wonder whether this little montage of images I put together was a bit too subtle ... but evidently not! As you're doubtless aware, this is a view inside CERN's Large Hadron Collider; the particle accelerator that was switched on a fortnight ago prompting insane, irresponsible media headlines about 'the end of the world' and 'spontaneous black hole generation'. They switched it on. The world didn't end. But the LHC did break down just a couple of days later. This vast 17 mile (27km) circular tunnel full of advanced science gizmos and gadgets - that cost somewhere around $5 billion - fell over in just 36 hours because of a liquid helium leak.

Who better than Bob the Builder to fix it?

chris hale said...

I discovered today that the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory near Chicago has a herd of American buffalo on a farm attached to it. Could it be that one of these is the Higgs Bison?

Janet said...

Stevyn: VERY clever!

Chris: HA HA HA. But your puns are as bad as mine are!

Janet

Stevyn Colgan said...

Chris - I must have misread the same article as I thought it was a pig farm. Pig's Boson? Or Hog's Boson? Take your punny pick!

Janet - Yes, Chris is a dreadful punster. I once had to share an office with him for five years ... sob

chris hale said...

Stevyn, with your permission, an English joke for Janet.

Q: What's the difference between a buffalo and a bison?

A: You can't wash your hands in a buffalo.

(it only really works if you say "bison" using Dick van Dyke's cockney chimney sweep voice).

Stevyn Colgan said...

Please do! Mi Blog es Su Blog.

Janet said...

Good one, Chris. Must remember that.

I'd love to tell my fellow Okies that joke. But they wouldn't get it, would they?

Even MY crude attempts at copying a cockney accent pale in comparison to Dick's. I'm not sure I realized how truly dreadful his accent was until I actually began living here (rather than simply visiting).

Janet

chris hale said...

American films seem to suggest that we're either cockney sparrers or city gents. Heaven knows what they'd make of a Geordie or a denizen of Suffolk!

Stevyn Colgan said...

About 5 years ago, I went to North Carolina on business with a colleague from Birmingham who has a pronounced Brummie accent. To our utter surprise, most people we met couldn't tell our accents apart. It was so odd. I can tell the difference easily between Canadians and Americans, between Australians and New Zealanders and even between Lancastrians and Yorkshire folks. Is accent recognition a particular skill of the Brits because we have so many diverse accents on such a small island? Discuss.

Persephone said...

Sorry, Steve, you're the first Briton I've encountered with the ability to distinguish between Canadians and Americans. Most British people I've met (including, alas, several of my relatives) mistake me for an American, then insist there isn't any difference. I suggest they try telling a Scotsman that he's the same as an Englishman. They usually don't get it. (For Americans reading this, I'm not anti-American, just not American...)

Stevyn Colgan said...

Persephone - Hmmm ... maybe I'm not the norm then. But there are distinct differences between Canadian English and standard American. The most easily spotted is the pronunciation of the 'ou' sound which is unique to Canada. It means that words like 'out' sound closer to 'oot' - something that the creators of 'South Park: The movie' picked up on. And didn't they rip the Mickey out of you guys!

Debby said...

Good gravy. Even I can usually tell the difference between Canadians and Americans. I'd imagine that your inflections and tone are so unfamiliar to our ear that they all sound alike. I think it is after you become familiar with an accent, you start to notice subtle differences. For instance, there are different Spanish accents...Mexicans speak differently from Puerto Ricans, who speak differently from Spaniards. My rudimentary Spanish renders me incapable of detecting these because I'm too busy trying to understand and be understood. Just my theory...

Stevyn Colgan said...

Debby - It's a good theory. I doubt many visitors to my native cornwall could tell people apart but I can tell North Cornwall from South and I can even sometimes identify which town a person comes from. But it's getting more difficult by the day as there is a creeping homogenisation that is destroying the uniqueness of certain accents. When I first moved to this part of Buckinghamshire, the local kids had a distinct Westcountry twang to their accent. Now, within just a single generation, they all sound like they've been iving in South London their whole lives. Sigh.

Stevyn Colgan said...

And how did we get here from Large Hadron Colliders and Bob the Builder?!

Debby said...

Well, I don't know, but it's surely your fault.

Stevyn Colgan said...

Of course it is. I'm a man.

Janet said...

Stevyn,

Perhaps we strayed into "accent" territory because we all pronounce the term Large Hadron Colliders so differently? Or perhaps I'm thinking of Higgs Boson instead.

Janet

Stevyn Colgan said...

Janet - Doesn't everyone pronounce it lar-ghee hay-drone coe-lid-der?