Saturday, 20 September 2008

Anglican Collider Breaks Down

The Anglican Collider will be out of action for months or even years, according to The European Cern (TEC).

A large magnet, located at Pittsburgh, USA, has malfunctioned. Apparently it has slipped away, and may only now be useful for attaching to a different, lesser collider. The fault seems to be in a nut, essentially characterising a bishop, and bishops are notorious for having a screw loose.

This blog recently recorded how Anglican particles are sent spinning round the collider in opposite directions, causing huge outbursts of energy that generate more heat than light.

Some hope that the experiments will lead to an understanding of how Christianity began, whilst others just replace hope with despair. Some are more limited in ambition, rather like most clergy become, just waiting to see what fundamental questions arise, like why Anglicanism exists at all.

The problems emerged on Friday. The magnets, also called bishops, have to be super cool in order that the particles stay within the collider. It seems that a number of magnets have been heating up. A critical point was passed when the Presiding Bishop particle was set off, causing ruptures in a number of places and an immediate dislodging of that one magnet at Pittsburgh. Scientists, of course, have noted which magnets stayed cool and in place.

The rupture of the magnet let out a huge amount of stinky gas, although a number of scientists have warned before about the amount of hot air being generated. The detection of helium led to a number of high pitched voices on Friday.

The actual problem can be easily fixed: it just needs a replacement magnet. However, the whole TEC needs warming up slowly and then cooling down again, and this takes considerable time. The Archbishop of Canterbury provides the model for this slow operation. He is known to be in deep freeze most of the time, is slowly warmed up, makes an ambiguous statement and then cools down again back to freezing point. His one utterance when warm is said to keep the Anglican Collider going for months. Fortunately he has said nothing recently since a pastoral letter generated some activity but less than expected due to particles nudged in all sorts of unclear directions and lacking sufficient energy.

The failure at Pittsburgh, known as a "quench", could be repeated elsewhere, and in any case is not the first failure in these systems. However, with each failure, scientists say they become more practised in making the necessary replacements.

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