LHC in Google Earth
If you’re a hard-core scifi fan like me, you’ve probably been following the Large Hadron Collider with some interest. What’s not to like about a 27km particle accelerator smasing stuff together at nearly the speed of light? The geek slap-fest between Higgs and Hawking over the existence of the Higgs boson or “God particle”? The exciting possibility of spawning a black hole that devours the Earth or at least causes Gordon Freeman to show up?*
All of that aside, the Google Earth Blog has a good post on a model of the LHC for Google Earth, which you can get here. The models are a bit rough, but it’ll give some idea of the enormous size and complexity of the facility.
On another note, as you might imagine, CERN uses Linux. Not just on the server - they are running Scientific Linux developed primarily by CERN and Fermi Lab and apparently some KDE (3.5) on the desktop. I think the fear was that Windows could cause Earth-eating singularities to occur even while the accelerator wasn’t running, but I could be wrong there.
*I have a crowbar under my bed in case he needs it.