Of scientific shenanigans and slapstick courtroom capers

00:06, Jul 09 2012

What a week for news it's been! The world of science was rocked with the announcement that the so-called God particle, the Higgs Boson, had been split for the first time. Of course, the only people calling it the so-called God particle are the media, so it really should be called the "so-called so-called God particle".

But let's not dwell on details. I think it's a huge shame that the Higgs has been split at all. Let me explain. When Science was invented by L Ron Hubbard in 1952, its founder intended that "what Science has put together, let no man rend asunder". It's hard to disagree with this statement.

Certainly, Science is hardly blameless. Scientists have long performed cruel experiments, such as leaving innocent cats in boxes with vials of radioactive cyanide, but I would argue that Science does far less harm than good overall.

Science discovered the inner workings of the human mind. Science runs drug rehabilitation centres all around the world.

Science has uncovered the evils of psychology. Science has its own cruise ship. Science has the only reliable personality test in the long and chequered history of reliable personality tests.

Why, many of Hollywood's top stars are Scientists. So when Science is used in a perverted way – to split something that should have been together forever – it disappoints me. It lets the whole scientific establishment down.


Just because the Higgs was shooting a film in Iceland doesn't mean the Boson should get a quickie divorce and take Suri to a hidey-hole in New York. Hopefully, the Boson will see the error of its ways, with the help of the many concerned Scientists who are now trying to put it back together.

But seriously, what's with Science these days? I long for the good old days, when God, through his intermediaries, the ever-trusty Catholic clergy, would sit you on his knee and explain the facts of life through increasingly inappropriate tickling.

Science keeps splitting atoms, inventing the steam engine and revealing that the Earth orbits the Sun, and so on.

God's starting to look like an unpopular kid at the grubby end of the school sandpit, shooting imploring looks at fellow children for them to share his roll-ups, while the cool kids go play Bullrush with Science. It's not fair. Gods are people too, you know, except when they're so-called particles.

Before the momentous news of the Higgs came the not-guilty verdict in the fascinating and entirely unpredictable case of The Police Basing a Murder Charge on Hypothetical Objects That Can't Actually Be Found Anywhere.

I was disappointed with the not-guilty verdict, because not guilty has been done to death, hasn't it? We had it for that Bane fellow the other year, who's now become so famous he's starring in a movie opposite Batman.

Let's face it: most of us were into Not Guilty before it went mainstream. I think it's time for a change. The justice system might finally be able to draw some media attention to itself if only it could move with the times and take a lighter approach to things.

To this end, I propose a new verdict be used in certain cases: "Guilty (uncomfortably long pause) NOT!" preferably delivered by a jury foreman from Kazakhstan. The "not" joke is a timeless comedy classic, and adopting the Guilty Not verdict could finally get some of New Zealand's youth to step into a courtroom.

In other news, two girls beat the crap out of each other for some reason. The police are interviewing witnesses to the ugly bout between Jaime Lannister, (sister to Queen Cersei Ridge) and some other girl, whom we shall call Brienne, because I don't care what her name actually is. "It shouldn't be too hard to find witnesses," a police spokesperson said. "There were about 4000 people watching. Just a normal night out in Hamilton, really."

It's also come to my attention that the V8 Supercar race is returning to its spiritual home of Pukekohe. The Auckland Super Council, or whatever it's called, voted to spend $10.5 million of ratepayers' money on a race it says will "contribute $7m to Auckland's GDP in the first year and generate more than 50,000 visitor nights a year", just like it did in Hamilton.

Of course, the funding was approved before a due diligence report could be released, but when an organisation with a track record as solid as V8 Supercars Australia makes an offer you can't refuse in return for a substantial amount of public money, you don't refuse it.

Joshua Drummond is a so-called Hamilton freelance writer.

Waikato Times