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September 15, 2008

Comments

Jonathan

For those who are worried there's a place to check on the current status of the collider's destructive possibilities:

http://hasthelargehadroncolliderdestroyedtheworldyet.com/

Mike L

http://perennis.wordpress.com/2008/09/13/looking-for-god-in-all-the-wrong-places/

BillyHW

Well, even if it does create a black hole, it'll take out France first.

And I'm perfectly willing to live with that, even if it's only for five minutes until it gets me.

SDG

On-site webcams!

Kevin

Take out France first!? Never...just think of Lourdes....the Grand Chartreuse...and countless other Catholic sites! Via la France

Kevin

Viva! opps

skyhawk

Well, even if it does create a black hole, it'll take out France first.

Nice... I love the attitude of some Catholics on these boards.

Sure France is deserving of all criticisms (or at least most of them) but the fact that most "conservative" blogs can't have comments on France without mentioning some kind of stupid joke about it gets really tiring in the end.

Not a very Christian attitude really...

Tzard

"Nice" - that's in France too! :)

I always scratch my heads when "scientists" evaluate the risks and say "it's worth it" based on what they "could" learn.

It may or may not be a wise move, but comparing a finite risk vs an unknown is a bit of a non-sequiteur. It's like trying to divide by zero. This is not true scientific risk management, it's just a guess. It would be fine enough to just judge there's a miniscule risk and act accordingly, But it's truly unmeasurable, comparing it to what we "might" know. The analysis sounds more like an advertisement for a diet pill than a reasoned decision.

As for what we could learn, many sceintists believe the best outcome is that we could learn our current theories are bunk and this experiment will do nothing more than prove that. (A useful fact in and of itself, but is it 'worth it'?. I can't answer that either for the same reasons).

Tim J.

Now, now... I'm sure the scientists are fairly certain this won't destroy the planet.

Perhaps we could have them sign some kind of document promising not to end life as we all know it.

You know... just so we'll have some basis for a lawsuit afterward. That ought to make them think twice.

JoAnna

skyhawk -

I see one thing the particle collector has destroyed -- your sense of humor. :D

Leo

I loved the John Cleese clip about "scientific" reductionism. It should be compulsory viewing for all Dawkinists.

Peter K

I wish a tenth of LHC effort was working on water powered automobiles. sigh.
I know, I know... priorities.

Rotten Orange

Dear Leo

Thanks for the great video. I remembered this one, from the Monty Python. Not as funny as yours, but smart.

Leo

The majority opinion among physicists ... given our current understanding ... low ... risk worth taking

But despite not being qualified, some people think they know better ...

Sadly, one girl seems to have killed herself, in part, because of irresponsible science reporting BBC.

Madly, death threats were sent threatening to kill the scientists if they destroyed the world. They obviously did not take TimJ's advice :)

Mary

Consider the possibility that the earth will one day be hit by a microscopic black hole.

Consider that the scientists may learn something that will let them do something about it.

There are risks both ways.

0:)

Chris St. Jean

You know, when I was a physics major in college and had to take a course on "Oral Presentation Methods in Physics," my professor specifically (if not jokingly) called out "rap" as an inappropriate medium for a physics presentation. How wrong he was.

bklyn catholic

The Large Hadron Collider in Europe is an unfortunate sign of America's failure to fund the sciences at home. Europe chose to fund CERN only after the U.S. stopped funding on the proposed super collider in Texas in 1993 (assuming that since the Cold War was over, we no longer needed to concern ourselves with investments in science.)

CERN, if it reaches its potential, will render Fermie Lab in Illinois largely obsolete. By eliminating the funding of the super collider in Texas, we missed an opportunity for the U.S. to lead the world again in expanding the frontiers of knowledge.

I find the lack of respect of many Americans towards the scientific community chilling. Credible calls for large government investments in scientific enterprise have come from national figures like Newt Gingrich (who recently argued for a doubling of the National Science Foundation (NSF) budget and tripling of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) budgets). Americans need to spend less time poking fun at science and scientists and realize the implications for our country if we fail to support the scientific community in earnest.

Tim J.

"Americans need to spend less time poking fun at science and scientists"

You want to give an example, bklyn catholic?

I'm all for increased funding for the hard sciences, but, what does that have to do with making fun of scientists? I mean, everyone else gets made fun of, why not scientists?

Is it okay to disagree with scientists? Like those who insist they really must experiment on embryos?

pseudomodo

I am always meeting Quebeckers who recount for me how mean and ornery the wicked French nuns and priests were when they were growing up...

But I always tell them that the nuns and priests were'nt mean and ornery because they were Catholic but because they were FRENCH!!!

;)

pseudomodo

We'e been though this all before in 1940's when 'scientists' said that an atomic bomb would ignite the atmosphere and burn up the earth. That did'nt happen either. Not even when they tested the big H bombs...

In any event, the LHC hasn't done anything 'dangerous' yet... just ran a few protons around in one direction. It won't be running them around in opposite directions and smashing them together for quite some time.

J.M.J. West

Dang, I was going to post the LHC camera (http://www.cyriak.co.uk/lhc/lhc-webcams.html) but somebody beat me to it.

But this is still a handy reference site:
http://www.hasthelhcdestroyedtheearth.com/

Randolph Carter

I'll leave this link in case you're all wondering if the LHC has destroyed the Earth yet: www.hasthelhcdestroyedtheearth.com.

Leo

I have no objection to poking fun at scientists - the rap video above shows they can cheerfully poke fun at themselves.

What is troubling in the US, more than any other economically developed country, is that a large and influential minority (including a possible vice-president!) holds mainstream scientific opinion regarding facts with such conspiratorial disdain eg evolution, teaching 'intelligent design' in school science class, legislation in Louisana.

Many US citizens believe that most scientists are quite simply fabricating the evidence for evolution etc.. Maybe it is more difficult to get such taxpayers to fund research into what happened just after the 'Big Bang' when they know the earth is less than 10,000 years old.

This is different from scientists, like other citizens, having diverse values regarding eg embryonic or nuclear weapons research. These questions of value are not scientific/empirical eg two people can agree the facts regarding embryonic stem cells or the effects of nuclear weapons but disagree about their licitness.

JohnD

//The Large Hadron Collider in Europe is an unfortunate sign of America's failure to fund the sciences at home//

Those who bemoan how "we" (taxpayers) don't spend enough on any given Project X, never seem to lift a finger to send their own money to Project X.

bill912

There are reasons to believe, i.e. evidence, in evolution. Whether or not evolution is a proven "fact", as opposed to a theory, is another matter. Intelligent design is also a theory. That one does not subscribe to a theory does not disprove that particular theory. Christians believe that an Intellegence created and designed the universe. This theory is not incompatible with the theory of evolution. Those who insist that a particular theory must not be taught have the burden of proof to explain, logically, why said theory should not be taught. Otherwise, they are not engaging is science, but prejudice.

bklyn catholic

"Christians believe that an Intellegence [sic] created and designed the universe."

As do I. But that is an article of faith more so than a legitimate scientific theory. If one were to teach that "an Intelligence" created the Earth, one would need to provide evidence for it. No evidence, to my knowledge, supports a tested definition of that Intelligence. It could be defined in Christian terms, or perhaps even non-religious terms, but at that point it is no longer supported by evidence.

Evolution is fully supported by evidence from the lab and in natural observation that is testable and replicable.

Does it provide for answers to the origins of life? No. It makes loose arguments for a "common ancestor." So, pre-Big Bang is rather off-limits to scientific conclusions at this point. We don't know the answer and we have scant evidence to even strongly support a possible conclusion. But evolution is a proven theory for what has occurred with life on Earth after the wheels were set in motion.

bill912

Actually, Intelligent Design and Random Chance are the only 2 possible explanations for the existence of the universe. The evidence supporting Intelligent Design is the order in the universe.

"...evolution is a proven theory..." An oxymoron.

The theory of evolution has plenty of holes in it. One of them is the absence of intermediate forms between species in the fossil record.

brendon

But evolution is a proven theory for what has occurred with life on Earth after the wheels were set in motion.

No, it's not, not in the strict sense of the word.

The scientific method of hypothesis testing through empirical observation is an inductive method. It takes commonly observed facts, forms some hypothesis based upon these facts, and then tests this hypothesis against further observations. Hypotheses are believed to be true when there are no known and observable phenomena that contradict them. But, since our ability to do empirical observation is limited, it cannot be said that a non-falsified hypothesis is necessarily true, only that it is probably true. Given a large amount of empirical and verifiable data, a theory may be extremely probable, but it is still only probable. That is how induction works.

Now, something is only proved to be true in the strict sense of the word when it is necessarily true. But nothing held to be true solely by inductive reasoning is necessarily true. Thus nothing held true by inductive reasoning is proved to be true in the strict sense of the word.

mllevaleur

skyhawk -

I see one thing the particle collector has destroyed -- your sense of humor. :D

I would bet that if you lived in another country and often heard rude and uncharitable jokes about your homeland, especially from people who are supposedly Christian and called to love all peoples of the earth, you probably wouldn't be laughing all that much either.

It just gets really tiring is all.

Doorholder

Hey I know the creator of this video (she went to the same university as I attend). Wonderful to see it here too. Thanks for sharing it!

Boy do we need strong science communicators these days too. For many people, news outlets are their only source for learning about scientific advances. When the media follows only sensationalized leads or fails to properly explain scientific terminology misunderstanding results. This is a big problem with the word 'theory' for example-scientifically and colloquially they have different meanings. Of course science isn't the only with which this happens-religion gets quite distorted in the news too. Giving the media 'some slack', what is needed most is people prepared to do this and a willingness on news sources to put out clear information.

And of course, although the LHC is in Europe, US universities have played a role in its construction and will play a role in analyzing the data. I've had friends participate in internships over there and professors who have worked with both Fermi and CERN. These schools, more than a few of them large state universities (you know the type popular opinion associates with parties and not the scientific discoveries they produce) need as much support as we can give them.

Here's to hard science producing great discoveries, a few technological applications (precursor to the internet anyone?), and continuing to quench our desire to learn about a universe which is, be you religious or not, is truly wonderful.

Tom Simon

I would bet that if you lived in another country and often heard rude and uncharitable jokes about your homeland

You mean like the rude and uncharitable jokes Europeans have been telling about Americans for the last two hundred years?

skyhawk

You mean like the rude and uncharitable jokes Europeans have been telling about Americans for the last two hundred years?

Umm... First of all on these blogs most jokes are about the French... I don't see as many mean jokes about the German or Italians from the Catholic Answers type Catholics...

Secondly even if you were correct that French people always making mean jokes about the US, how does that make it ok for you to do so? Are you a Christian?

Lastly JoAnna I do have a sense of humor, for instance Pseudomodo's joke WAS very funny. But being happy about the destruction of another country is just mean.

I've never heard any of my European friends (even the French!) being glad with or wishing the destruction of the US.

I understand that many here don't like the French and disagree with their views and politics, think they are cowards etc... (I agree with you on most of those), but why does it sound so hateful at times?

Again, I don't hear the same statement made about Spaniards, or Italians, or Germans, at least not at the same level as it is done with the French.

Ok my rant is over and I apologize for hijacking the comment box, I would just hope most of the Christian people on this board that make fun of my country would pray for it. I pray for the US and wish you well, you guys are a great people.

Peter K

"I wish a tenth of LHC effort was working on water powered automobiles. sigh.
I know, I know... priorities."

However, maybe I should not bemoan this exorbitant physics experiment. Maybe, indeed, this is bringing us one step closer to liberation from oil dependency. Perhaps the discoveries gleaned from this research will finally bring into existence what was prophesied by Hollywood decades ago. Yes, that is correct, believe it, THE FLUX CAPACITOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

pseudomodo

"Now Philip was from Bethsaida, the town of Andrew and Peter. Philip found Nathanael and told him, "We have found the one about whom Moses wrote in the law, and also the prophets, Jesus, son of Joseph, from Nazareth." But Nathanael said to him, "Can anything good come from Nazareth?" Philip said to him, "Come and see."

John 1:44-46

Hmmmmmm.....Nazareth jokes.....

c matt

Umm... First of all on these blogs most jokes are about the French... I don't see as many mean jokes about the German or Italians from the Catholic Answers type Catholics...

That's because Italians are too cool :)

As for the LHC, more power to them!

The real payoff is not so much in the scientific discovery itself, but in the development of technology based upon it.

Doorholder

'The real payoff is not so much in the scientific discovery itself, but in the development of technology based upon it.'

I would disagree with c matt. Especially with something like particle physics, the primary goal is the discovery. Any application that results is fortuitous. LHC was built for same reason that FermiLab was built and for one of the same reasons that so many telescopes are build on Earth or sent to space: to learn more about the universe. If LHC makes one of the big discoveries those associated with it hopes it will make, that will be a payoff bigger than any technology that may arise from it.

Yes, the world is in need of technological advances on many fronts, but no discovery will save the world no matter how great it is (fusion, hydrogen cars, ect). Therefore, I see it just as dangerous to place all our chips on technological research and avoid the pure science as it would be to avoid technological research at all (not pinning all this on you c matt, simply responding to a common line of reasoning against expensive pure research).

labrialumn

There is quite a bit of difference between the scientific method and the dogmatic pronouncements of some scientists (such as the belief many of them have in spontaneous generation)

We are all for curiosity and doing science, but not at all for experimenters pretending to be philosophers and theologians, especially when they insist dogmatically upon scenarios which make their doing science impossible.

McFly

That was awesome. I think that I'd like to hear Kanye West and/or Snoop perform this, preferably live at the BET Awards.

The Masked Chicken

Uh, I hate to tell everyone, but the LHC was fired about two months ago and you guys are all stuck in a stretching time loops. You see, I'm the only one who remembers from loop to loop (chickens are immune to time reshaping). I realize that once the loop resets, my post will disappear and you guys will never read it, but there seems to have been a glitch in time today. I think this is because, unbeknownst to you guys, the Superconducting Supercollider was secretly finished two years ago as a black ops project and hidden in a vast ice cave in the antarctic so as to cut down on the amount of Helium needed to supercool the magnets (also accounting for the rise in surface temperature in the antarctic ocean - you didn't buy the cover story that this was due to global warming, did you?). The two colliders, running at the same time, appear to have created two different time loops with two different rates at which time loops. We are in a dead zone, where time is stable, for about an hour, so I thought I would reveal all.

They even tried to make a disinformation film about this a few years ago, called 12:01, followed up by making fun of it with the movie, Groundhog Day. Don't be fooled, the LHC needs to be shut down. How can I ever find out what happens in the election in November, if November never comes? How many times can a chicken watch the same campaign commercials? Please, save me.

The Chicken

The Masked Chicken

On another note (no pun intended), rap is not music (at least, not technically). Just wanted to clear that up. Rap was sold as music to a public that had lost touch with good taste. Rap is third-rate poetry with a backbeat.

The Opinionated Chicken

JoAnna

skyhawk & mllevaleur -

FWIW, on a daily basis my faith -- something that is dearer to me than my homeland -- is mocked and derided. Lately, it's been mocked and derided by those I called friends (due to our conflicting opinions regarding the presidential election). And yet, my sense of humor remains intact.

Anti-Chicken

.em evas ,esaelP ?slaicremmoc ngiapmac emas eht hctaw nekcihc a nac semit ynam woH ?semoc reven rebmevoN fi ,rebmevoN ni noitcele eht ni sneppah tahw tuo dnif reve I nac woH .nwod tuhs eb ot sdeen CHL eht ,deloof eb 'tnoD .yaD gohdnuorG ,eivom eht htiw ti fo nuf gnikam yb pu dewollof ,10:21 dellac ,oga sraey wef a siht tuoba mlif noitamrofnisid a ekam ot deirt neve yehT.lla laever dluow I thguoht I os ,ruoh na tuoba rof ,elbats si emit erehw ,enoz daed a ni era eW .spool emit hcihw ta setar tnereffid owt htiw spool emit tnereffid owt detaerc evah ot raeppa ,emit emas eht ta gninnur ,sredilloc owt ehT .)?uoy did ,gnimraw labolg ot eud saw siht taht yrots revoc eht yub 'tndid uoy- naeco citcratna eht ni erutarepmet ecafrus ni esir eht rof gnitnuocca osla( stengam eht loocrepus ot dedeen muileH fo tnuoma eht no nwod tuc ot sa os citcratna eht ni evac eci tsav a ni neddih dna tcejorp spo kcalb a sa oga sraey owt dehsinif ylterces saw redillocrepuS gnitcudnocrepuS eht ,syug uoy ot tsnwonkebnu ,esuaceb si siht kniht I .yadot emit ni hctilg a neeb evah ot smees ereht tub ,ti daer reven lliw syug uoy dna raeppasid lliw tsop ym ,steser pool eht ecno taht ezilaer I .)gnipahser emit ot enummi era snekcihc( pool ot pool morf srebmemer ohw eno ylno eht 'mI ,ees uoY .spool emit gnihcterts a ni kcuts lla era syug uoy dna oga shtnom owt tuoba derif saw CHL eht tub ,enoyreve llet ot etah I ,hU

Leo

Sorry Chicken
an anti-Chicken particle must have escaped from my lab ...
No offence intended.
:)

Blarg of Titania

People of Earth!

I am Blarg, Supreme Ruler of Titania.

Your Large Hadron Collider has conveniently opened a wormhole in space that has allowed our battle cruisers to slip through as we had planned (with minimal quantum warping... only seventy ships were crushed. An acceptable loss).

Resistance is useless! All your base are belong to us, etc...

Addendum:
From the office of Undersecretary to the Supreme Ruler; This will all go a lot easier if you will just form orderly lines for the termination booths. Why spend your last few weeks stressed out, dirty and hungry?)

Rotten Orange

Is there any way to put the above comment's words in the right order, or it isn't worth the effort?

c matt

I meant "payoff" literally - as in the real money to be made does not usually go to the scientists who discover the "pure science" but the entrepenuers and captains of industry who take advantage of it.

Not "payoff" in a philosophical benefit to mankind sense.

The Masked Chicken

Dear Rotten Orange.

Reflection transformation (x ---> -x, y ---> y, assuming the axis is defined in the x direction).

In other words, read each word, backwards. It turns out to be the same as my post at 6:58:39 am), but since it is backwards, it was posted by the anti-chicken, who seems to have been spontaneously formed when an anti-chicken particle was created in Leo's lab shortly after my post (although the particle should have been created at 9:38:56 instead of 9:55:10, so I assume there was a problem with Leo's experiment).

A little known fact (not talked much among chickens) is that it was a collision between a chicken and an anti-chicken that created the original cosmic egg and the resulting big bang (involving a PAN-dimensional universe and great heat) produced the universal omlet structures we see in our galaxies, today. The Milky Way is really an omlet galaxy - it is thicker in the middle and has a black hole in the middle - a remnant of the very massive pepper particle that always splits from an omlet. Some scientist has been rumored to have discovered the rare very light salt particle, which is predicted by theory, but these would lead to not-so-black holes, which haven't been observed, yet.

The Chicken

P. S., thank's Leo, for the anti-chicken joke. It got me to thinking about symmetry operations in neuron equations, which may be extremely important to some research I am doing.

The Masked Chicken

Dear Rotten Orange.

Reflection transformation (x ---> -x, y ---> y, assuming the axis is defined in the x direction).

In other words, read each word, backwards. It turns out to be the same as my post at 6:58:39 am), but since it is backwards, it was posted by the anti-chicken, who seems to have been spontaneously formed when an anti-chicken particle was created in Leo's lab shortly after my post (although the particle should have been created at 9:38:56 instead of 9:55:10, so I assume there was a problem with Leo's experiment).

A little known fact (not talked much among chickens) is that it was a collision between a chicken and an anti-chicken that created the original cosmic egg and the resulting big bang (involving a PAN-dimensional universe and great heat) produced the universal omlet structures we see in our galaxies, today. The Milky Way is really an omlet galaxy - it is thicker in the middle and has a black hole in the middle - a remnant of the very massive pepper particle that always splits from an omlet. Some scientist has been rumored to have discovered the rare very light salt particle, which is predicted by theory, but these would lead to not-so-black holes, which haven't been observed, yet.

The Chicken

P. S., thank's Leo, for the anti-chicken joke. It got me to thinking about symmetry operations in neuron equations, which may be extremely important to some research I am doing.

The Masked Chicken

Dear Rotten Orange.

Reflection transformation (x ---> -x, y ---> y, assuming the axis is defined in the x direction).

In other words, read each word, backwards. It turns out to be the same as my post at 6:58:39 am), but since it is backwards, it was posted by the anti-chicken, who seems to have been spontaneously formed when an anti-chicken particle was created in Leo's lab shortly after my post (although the particle should have been created at 9:38:56 instead of 9:55:10, so I assume there was a problem with Leo's experiment).

A little known fact (not talked much among chickens) is that it was a collision between a chicken and an anti-chicken that created the original cosmic egg and the resulting big bang (involving a PAN-dimensional universe and great heat) produced the universal omlet structures we see in our galaxies, today. The Milky Way is really an omlet galaxy - it is thicker in the middle and has a black hole in the middle - a remnant of the very massive pepper particle that always splits from an omlet. Some scientist has been rumored to have discovered the rare very light salt particle, which is predicted by theory, but these would lead to not-so-black holes, which haven't been observed, yet.

The Chicken

P. S., thank's Leo, for the anti-chicken joke. It got me to thinking about symmetry operations in neuron equations, which may be extremely important to some research I am doing.

The Masked Chicken

Dear Rotten Orange.

Reflection transformation (x ---> -x, y ---> y, assuming the axis is defined in the x direction).

In other words, read each word, backwards. It turns out to be the same as my post at 6:58:39 am), but since it is backwards, it was posted by the anti-chicken, who seems to have been spontaneously formed when an anti-chicken particle was created in Leo's lab shortly after my post (although the particle should have been created at 9:38:56 instead of 9:55:10, so I assume there was a problem with Leo's experiment).

A little known fact (not talked much among chickens) is that it was a collision between a chicken and an anti-chicken that created the original cosmic egg and the resulting big bang (involving a PAN-dimensional universe and great heat) produced the universal omlet structures we see in our galaxies, today. The Milky Way is really an omlet galaxy - it is thicker in the middle and has a black hole in the middle - a remnant of the very massive pepper particle that always splits from an omlet. Some scientist has been rumored to have discovered the rare very light salt particle, which is predicted by theory, but these would lead to not-so-black holes, which haven't been observed, yet.

The Chicken

P. S., thank's Leo, for the anti-chicken joke. It got me to thinking about symmetry operations in neuron equations, which may be extremely important to some research I am doing.

The Masked Chicken

Sorry, all, for the quadruplication. Typepad went bizzerk and froze when I tried to make my original post. On the other hand, maybe its the dual time loops. Maybe time is starting to loop, again.

The Chicken

(Actually, I've been without power for two days because of the remnants of hurricane IKE and my power just came back on, last night, so, I'm suffering from blog-withdrawal).

Rotten Orange
Reflection transformation (x ---> -x, y ---> y, assuming the axis is defined in the x direction).

Dear TMC

I don't see the reason for the gibberish...But I get that you are very science-oriented.

In other words, read each word, backwards.

I started doing that, but probably it would have given me a headache, so thought that perhaps someone here would know about a Word function or something that could rearrange the thing.

It turns out to be the same as my post at 6:58:39 am), but since it is backwards, it was posted by the anti-chicken, who seems to have been spontaneously formed when an anti-chicken particle was created in Leo's lab shortly after my post...

Oh, yeah. Thank you very much for explaining. I guess it's kinda cool...

...I've been without power for two days because of the remnants of hurricane IKE and my power just came back on, last night, so, I'm suffering from blog-withdrawal

I hope everything will be fine with you and your area, and I will include both in my prayers.

mllevaleur

skyhawk & mllevaleur -

FWIW, on a daily basis my faith -- something that is dearer to me than my homeland -- is mocked and derided. Lately, it's been mocked and derided by those I called friends (due to our conflicting opinions regarding the presidential election). And yet, my sense of humor remains intact.

So I suppose you laugh heartily, then, when someone "jokes" about destroying the Church, or killing the Pope, or say, desacrating the Eucharist?

I can assure you that Skyhawk's humor is perfectly intact. It's just that we don't find joking about destroying a people, country, culture, or any such thing particularly funny. (And that goes for ANY people...I'd be saying the same for any country.) It's really not about one joke as it is about a pervasive attitude.

I just find the disrespect among certain kinds of Catholics for a country that has been called a daughter of the Church and that has a rich and vibrant history of Catholicism to be saddening, that's all.

Tim J.

milevaleur -

I don't think anyone was seriously hoping France would collapse into a black hole... do you? It was a joke.

We make fun of the French, and I'm SURE they make fun of us. It doesn't hurt *my* feelings.

If we didn't make fun of the French, we'd just have to make more Canada jokes, and that would get tedious.

mllevaleur

Well honestly, I'm not always so sure it is just a joke, I guess that's the problem. Maybe I'm being overly defensive. It just hurts me to see my dear, sweet husband who LOVES America and Americans being hurt by them when he comes to their defense all the time in other places. Again, it's not just an issue of one joke, it's more of a pervasive attitude he (and I) sense among some Catholics here who seem to have a hateful attitude toward his homeland. If it were certain that it is just a joke it wouldn't be as hurtful...some of the things said by some at times, though, make that doubtful. It's just unfortunate.

*Sigh* I'll shut up now.

Nina

mllevaleur, *why* should *you* have to shut up? Since when is poking fun of ANYONE an exercise in Christian charity? I'm sure that if anyone bothered to reflect on any one of the Saints who were French, rather than make snotty comments about a country and it's inhabitants, the world would be a better place.

I'm sick of the snark too, and I don't have as vested an interest as you. I've had to deal with my fair share of idiots regarding my husband's country of origin as you well know.

JoAnna

So I suppose you laugh heartily, then, when someone "jokes" about destroying the Church, or killing the Pope, or say, desacrating the Eucharist?

It all boils down to intent. Anyone who joked about the above three things does probably intend to hurt me as opposed to making an innocent joke.

Likewise, I'm sure there are people who make malicious and cruel jokes about France with the intent to hurt French people.

However, the person who made the joke in question did not seem, to me, to have the spirit of malicious intent to harm.

Perhaps a better approach would have been to simply say, "_____, I live in France, and that joke hurt my feelings. But I'm going to give you the benefit of the doubt and assume that you truly do not wish to have France and all its people blown off the map."

The Masked Chicken

Dear Skyhawk, Mllvaleur, and Nina,

I am not your enemy; I am not an enemy of the French. I do not think that most of the posters here are enemies of the French. Perhaps, you have found this behavior on other Catholic blogs - I can't speak to that - all I know is that I see no evidence of it on this blog.

There have been, perhaps, 10,000 or more comments made in the comboxes since this blog began and I went back and did a Google search specifically for this blog for the use of the word French. I did not go through all 10,000 comments, but after going through seven Google pages for the word French and two Google pages for the word France, I found not one instance of French-bashing (in fact, all of the uses I saw were respectful). This leads me to my question: on what basis do you level the charge of French-basing against the members of this blog? Non-Catholic drive-by posters do not count.

You seem to think there is evidence, because you have posted these comments:

Skyhawk:

Nice... I love the attitude of some Catholics on these boards.

Sure France is deserving of all criticisms (or at least most of them) but the fact that most "conservative" blogs can't have comments on France without mentioning some kind of stupid joke about it gets really tiring in the end.

Not a very Christian attitude really...

Mllevaleur:

It just hurts me to see my dear, sweet husband who LOVES America and Americans being hurt by them when he comes to their defense all the time in other places. Again, it's not just an issue of one joke, it's more of a pervasive attitude he (and I) sense among some Catholics here who seem to have a hateful attitude toward his homeland. If it were certain that it is just a joke it wouldn't be as hurtful...some of the things said by some at times, though, make that doubtful. It's just unfortunate.

Nina:

Since when is poking fun of ANYONE an exercise in Christian charity? I'm sure that if anyone bothered to reflect on any one of the Saints who were French, rather than make snotty comments about a country and it's inhabitants, the world would be a better place.

I'm sick of the snark too, and I don't have as vested an interest as you. I've had to deal with my fair share of idiots regarding my husband's country of origin as you well know.

I am very sensitive about hurting people in my blog posts. If you are a long-time reader of this blog, you would know that I almost quit posting to this blog two weeks ago because I was afraid of causing harm to others by my posts. That being said, I don't take kindly to generalizations of mine or others behavior based on the posting of one joke by one person.

I know that your feelings have been hurt, but one post should not be the basis for making generalizations about anyone other than that individual. If you have any evidence that other members of this blog have been unduly critical of the French in a consistent manner, either by direct statement or by innuendo, then, please, let us know. I ask this both in respect for your conscience and mine.

BillyHW (who made the original tactless joke) has provided his e-mail address (which can be found simply by clicking on his name up in the comments). I suggest that your complaint should be lodged with him. I would love to see the three of you reconciled to each other.

Let us all act in Christian charity as St. Paul would have us do, being patient, being kind, being humble, and rejoicing in the truth.

The Chicken

The Masked Chicken

I said:

I know that your feelings have been hurt, but one post should not be the basis for making generalizations about anyone other than that individual.

Actually, it should not be the basis for making generalizations even about that individual.

I don't know why BillyHW made the comment that he did. I can think of at least two possibilities, one slightly malicious, the other, more or less, harmless. It is the danger of the combox that sometimes intent cannot be determined unless one asks for clarification.

For all you know, BillyHW may have a dreaded former mother-in-law (not to bash mother-in-laws, take whatever other example you want) living in France and it was the mother-in-law, not France that he secretly wished to be swallowed by the black hole. See what I mean? France may have been a code word for something else. Try reading his comments with that scenario in mind. It seems different, doesn't it?

If possible, ask for clarification before condemning.

As I do not know what he meant by his comment, I do not know how to respond to it. It doesn't seem right to get so angry or sad until you know for sure what he meant. Isn't that fair? If, after talking to him, you found that he did have malice, then that may be another story and a matter for the blog community to deal with (although forgiving your enemies is still the correct thing to do).

The Chicken

BillyHW

Oh dear. It appears that a clarification of my previous comments might be necessary. In my previous comments I said:

Well, even if it does create a black hole, it'll take out France first.

And I'm perfectly willing to live with that, even if it's only for five minutes until it gets me.

What I meant was the following:

Well, even if it does create a black hole, it'll take out France first.

And I'm perfectly willing to live with that, even if it's only for five minutes until it gets me.

I hope that clears things up for everybody.

BillyHW

Paging Jimmy Akin! Paging Jimmy Akin! Alert-Alert.

URGENT apologetics question needs answering!!!

Is it okay for Catholics to have a sense of humour???

And where can I find the answer in the Bible!?

Please help us Jimmy Akinobi, you are our only hope.

Tim J.

"If it were certain that it is just a joke it wouldn't be as hurtful...some of the things said by some at times, though, make that doubtful. It's just unfortunate."

mileaveur -

I will try myself not to make these kinds of offhand remarks from now on.

I suppose there is a real resentment of the French somewhere in the modern American psyche, probably in response to the knowledge that many French people resent and disdain the U.S. (though that is no excuse for a Christian).

In truth, I think most of the derogatory comments I hear about the French are along the lines of Blonde Jokes. They just happen to be the butt of the jokes at the moment. It could be any country. Remember Polish jokes? Nobody really believes Poles (or Blondes, or the French) are that stupid...

For my part, though, for the sake of you and your countrymen, in in respect and admiration for all the Great French Saints, I will find some other foil for my throw-away jests from now on.

Vive la France!!

Nina

Tim J. -

As someone who knows plenty of people in meat life who *do* believe the [insert ethnicity/looks] jokes, I appreciate your reply.

BillyHW -

I can enjoy a *good* joke as much as the next person. But anything that plays on something you have no control over - like one's ancestry - isn't funny.

"True humor is fun-it does not put down, kid, or mock. It makes people feel wonderful, not sepate, different, and cut off. True humor has beneath it the understanding that we are all in this together."

~ Hugh Prather

Since Scripture tells us we'll be held accountable for every word, isn't it better to err on the side of caution?

Eph. 4:29 (Douay-Rheims 1899)

Let no evil speech proceed from your mouth; but that which is good, to the edification of faith, that it may administer grace to the hearers.

mllevaleur

I know that your feelings have been hurt, but one post should not be the basis for making generalizations about anyone other than that individual. If you have any evidence that other members of this blog have been unduly critical of the French in a consistent manner, either by direct statement or by innuendo, then, please, let us know. I ask this both in respect for your conscience and mine.

Chicken - I did a quick search and found, what I believe, to be consistently made uncharitable remarks about France/the French with mostly back-patting following on this blog over time. However, it's not my wish to drag this out further. I'd be willing to talk about it privately should anyone desire to, but I've taken up enough of people's time here hijacking this post.

Tim J. - Thank you kindly.

Just FYI, I'm a good ol' Texan gal myself...I'm just a francophile married to a Frenchman, and so have been fortunate to have exposure to both sides of the fence.

God Bless y'all.

BillyHW

You're absolutely right Nina. I apologize.

I promise never to poke fun at Vichy again.

The Masked Chicken

Dear Mllvaleur,

You wrote:

Chicken - I did a quick search and found, what I believe, to be consistently made uncharitable remarks about France/the French with mostly back-patting following on this blog over time. However, it's not my wish to drag this out further. I'd be willing to talk about it privately should anyone desire to, but I've taken up enough of people's time here hijacking this post.

You were not highjacking the post. Jesus said if your brother offends you, go point it out to him, in private. One can't do that very well on blogs, too often, so your approach was the best that could be done.

I don't know what evidence you found for French-bashing (since I found little, perhaps your searching methods are better than mine), but the fact that you see a pattern should be a caution for everyone posting here.

I general, I think a person who actually lives in that country should have first dibs on poking fun at it, however. Who better? If we can't poke fun at the follies of the human condition as we experience it, life would be unbearable, sometimes.

Unfortunately, the only targets for my humor are those stupid hens at the end of the feed line and may I say that I have been the brunt of chicken jokes all of my life.

Go pick on the turkeys!

The Masked Chicken

The Masked Chicken

Let me try that paragraph, again.

In general, I think a person who actually lives in a country should have first dibs on poking fun at it, however. Who better? If we couldn't poke fun at the follies of the human condition as we experience them, life would be unbearable, sometimes.

That quote by Hugh Prather bothers me, however. It says (allow me to correct some slight spelling, please):

"True humor is fun-it does not put down, kid, or mock. It makes people feel wonderful, not separate, different, and cut off. True humor has beneath it the understanding that we are all in this together."

While this sounds good on paper, this is not how humor is always used nor necessarily used. There are various types of humor and various uses for humor and they do not always unite and make people feel good. For instance during WWII there was a type of humor called "whisper humor," that was used in the Resistance (I don't know if this were both French and German) that was extremely cutting of the Third Reich. It did unite people in the Resistance, but it also was specifically used to make people feel separate and acknowledge that they were cut off. It was fun only if one did not get caught saying it!

Also, there are corrective uses of humor. King David says (Psalm 141),

Let the righteous strike me;
It shall be a kindness.
And let him rebuke me;
It shall be as excellent oil;
Let my head not refuse it.

One use of humor is to strike in kindness, a type of gentle rebuke, and its purpose is specifically to help separate the sinner from his sin by pointing it out to him in an indirect way. Yes, it can seem mocking at the time, but as Hebrew 12:11 points out:

Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them who are exercised by it.

To know how to use humor properly, at the proper time and with the proper force is an act of what is known is Catholic theology as actual grace. Different people have different actual grace where the use of humor is concerned, so some people will use it more effectively and with greater results.

We have no control over how much actual grace we are given in any given situation, so we must approach humor with humility, since we often times do not know if we will cure or kill by its applications.

Nevertheless, humor has many different uses, some good, some bad, but Prather's definition is too restrictive, in my opinion. Humor can unite, but it can also divide and sometimes that division is necessary. It can be fun, but sometimes it can be sadly true - ask any Russian humorist during the post WWII era.

I don't want to turn this into a discussion of actual grace and how it applies to different human activities. This is a post on the Large Hadron Collider and rap, after all.

Now, a boson walks into a bar...

The Chicken

Tim J.

Chicken, that should be "TWO boson's walk into a bar..."

and it ends, "Boson? I thought you said BISON!".

EMC2

Niels Bohr was delivering a lecture but found himself in some difficulty attempting to explaining a point. Bohr stopped and turned to Prof. Satyendra Bose (the Indian physicist after whom bosons are named, not to be confused with Amar Bose, the billionaire founder of the Bose Corporation), who had all the while been sitting with his eyes shut, and said "Can Professor Bose help me?" The audience chuckled but to their great surprise, Bose opened his eyes, and in an instant he solved the lecturer's difficulty. Then Bose sat down and once again closed his eyes.

Not to ignore the French, on another occasion at the same venue, Bose was presiding over a lecture by Professor Frederic Joliot Curie. After introducing the speaker in English, Bose closed his eyes as usual. But when Professor Joliot asked for an interpreter to render his French into English and none came forward, Professor Bose opened his eyes, stood up and translated Professor Joliot's speech into chaste English, sentence by sentence.

But for those who enjoy bar jokes, a neutron walks into a bar and asks how much the drinks cost. The bartender replies, "For you, no charge."

Skyhawk

I'll pray for you BillyHW

BillyHW

Can't we all just get a long gun?

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