CRAP THIS WAS ACTUALLY AN APRIL FOOLS JOKE† OOPS!
Some news stories you really can’t make up.†† Perhaps it’s a little bit off color to chuckle at a story about someone who is very likely mentally ill, but in some cases it’s hard not to.
For that matter, I suppose we could also at least consider that this might be true.
Apparently, a man from the future has come back to the present day (or so he says) to stop the LHC from discovering the Higgs boson, which would lead to some as yet unknown source of limitless energy for humanity.† While this sounds like a good thing, he explained that this ultimately was the undoing of society and therefore he was there to stop it.†† Tragically, he made the mistake of forgetting to fill the tanks on his time machine with whatever fuel it uses, and it now seems he might be trapped in the present, which to him, is the past.
Man arrested at Large Hadron Collider claims he’s from the future
A would-be saboteur arrested today at the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland made the bizarre claim that he was from the future. Eloi Cole, a strangely dressed young man, said that he had travelled back in time to prevent the LHC from destroying the world.
The LHC successfully collided particles at record force earlier this week, a milestone Mr Cole was attempting to disrupt by stopping supplies of Mountain Dew to the experiment’s vending machines. He also claimed responsibility for the infamous baguette sabotage in November last year.
Mr Cole was seized by Swiss police after CERN security guards spotted him rooting around in bins. He explained that he was looking for fuel for his ‘time machine power unit’, a device that resembled a kitchen blender.
Police said Mr Cole, who was wearing a bow tie and rather too much tweed for his age, would not reveal his country of origin. “Countries do not exist where I am from. The discovery of the Higgs boson led to limitless power, the elimination of poverty and Kit-Kats for everyone. It is a communist chocolate hellhole and I’m here to stop it ever happening.”
This isn’t the first time time-travel has been blamed for mishaps at the LHC. Last year, the Japanese physicist Masao Ninomiya and Danish string-theory pioneer Holger Bech Nielsen put forward the hypothesis that the Higgs boson was so “abhorrent” that it somehow caused a ripple in time that prevented its own discovery.
Professor Brian Cox, a CERN physicist and full-time rock’n'roll TV scientist, was sympathetic to Mr Cole. “Bless him, he sounds harmless enough. At least he didn’t mention bloody black holes.”
Mr Cole was taken to a secure mental health facility in Geneva but later disappeared from his cell. Police are baffled, but not that bothered.
Unfortunately Mr. Cole apparently did not take into consideration some important factors that really all time travelers should consider.
1. Always bring enough fuel. (Although I thought he was from a future of limitless energy.. oh well). In fact, you should bring more fuel than you think you’ll need, because you never know when you’ll make a wrong turn or you’ll have to go back to the past yet again, because for all you know, Biff Tannen might have stolen the sports almanac and stopped your parents from falling in love at the dance, and then what are you to do? You can’t just rely on an opportune bolt of lightning, because lightning doesn’t even provide a huge amount of energy, contrary to popular belief.
Remember to bring both kinds of fuel that you will need. Sure, the time circuits may be electric, but what about the internal combustion engine? That runs on regular unleaded and always has. You can’t always find that.
Also keep in mind that 1.21 gigawatts is not actually an amount of energy at all.† It’s an amount of power, which means a reasonably large capacitor bank can provide it, but only for a brief period of time.†† If you need it for longer, it’s still not impossibly high.† Any large power plant should be able to output it.††† I never really figured out the whole “1.21 gigawatt” thing, but the best I can think of is it might be the amount of power continuously needed to travel a given amount of time.†† For example, time traveling a year means you need 1.21 gigawatts times one year for the total energy.†† That would seem to work, but then again, a lightning bolt would still never be enough.
So in any case, choose your fuel well and bring plenty of it.†† You don’t want to rely on lightning or hijacked locomotives.
2. To be perfectly honest, don’t expect to return to the future you left and have it look anything like you expected or have a place for you. If you change anything, even slightly, those changes will propagate. If that happens your great great grandparents may not meet or may not marry and procreate. And just having your parents meet is not good enough. You can’t just set them back up if you mess up their meeting. Everything has to be identical, which it never will be. If they mate at a slightly different time or if the temperature is different by a fraction of a degree or anything like that, a different sperm will fertilize the egg and the resulting offspring won’t be you. This goes for all generations all the way back to where you have traveled.
So in all likelihood, just stepping into the past will result in a different time stream that you will return to in which you never existed.†† You could go back to 1890, for example, and just by swatting a fly, you end up stopping World War I and World War II from happening.† That might seem like a good idea, until you realize that it prevents a guy from dying who then goes on to marry your grandmother, thus avoiding the marriage of her and your grandfather and now you don’t exist.
Or even if you did exist, you will find that you had not traveled back in time because you had no reason to, thus when you return, you will find yourself and have a real identity crisis.
You might be better off not going back but sending some kind of terminator unit.†† The terminator could be made of living tissue around a metallic framework or out of some kind of shape-shifting metal.† It’s up to you.†† The only problem is it probably won’t change your present because it gets inserted into an alternate reality.†† Really, you just can’t win at this.
3.†† You have all the time in the world.†† Plan well.†† Don’t just show up at the LHC with no idea how to stop it.† Bring weapons or something.† Flesh out a response plan and run it by a couple of your friends for input.† Consider what could go wrong.† Take the tools you might need.† Brush up on your period lingo and customs in case you had to blend in.†† Just be sure not to mess up.
You only get one shot at this… well, actually, I suppose you can do it as many times as you want, but then you really start to make things messy and complicated.† You can encounter yourself on one of your aborted missions, for example.†† It’s just best to avoid such problems.
4.† Consider *when* you want to go back to.†† Is this really the best time?† Why wait until the LHC is constructed and operational?†† You can go back a little further and it might be easier to stop it during construction.† Perhaps you could somehow disrupt the funding for it or sabotage the construction.† OR, you could try to stop an earlier accelerator from being built, which would stop the discoveries that would lead to the creation of the LHC.
5.† Remember there are alternate possibilities.† Don’t focus too much on one issue when it will likely spawn others.† Sure, you could shut down the LHC, but what will that do?† Some other accelerator will eventually be built and make the horrible discovery.† You need to think big and stop all particle physics.
6.† If you are going to resort to telling people not to do it, make sure you are believable.†† It’s not a terribly bad plan to just be honest and tell the world that you are from the future and stopping a horrible mistake.†† If you can get the governments of the world to listen, that might be the best way of actually stopping the project, but you really need to make it clear you are from the future, so bring some future stuff to show everyone.†† Since you will be coming from the future, you’ll be able to choose the most opportune time to make a big splash.† You might want to pick a time when the news cycle is slow and when you can grab some media attention to warn the world before the government tries to stop you.
Of course, as long as you’re well prepared, the government shouldn’t be a problem.†† They’ll have no way of stopping you with the crazy ray guns and telliportation devices you’ll have on you, so be sure to be well equipped to prove you’re from the future and that you are serious.
7.†† Why not mix business with personal time travel?†† We don’t get many visitors from the future, so it’s obviously fairly expensive or difficult to do, so use the trip wisely.†† Once you’ve stopped the LHC, why not invest some money in a stock that you know is going through the roof or at least put it in an interest-bearing account.†† Stop by some of the scenes of the past before they’re gone and enjoy the quaintness of 21st century culture.†† Maybe grab a few interesting photos, like giving the future president of the world a wedgie while he’s still eight years old.†† Now that’d be something cool to show your friends!
8.† Consider doing something nice.†† After all, you’re messing up the time stream as is, so you may as well stop 9/11 or warn the Japanese about the 2011 earthquake or the Indian Ocean region about the 2004 tsunami.†† At the very least look up some people who died of cancer and tell them they have it while it’s still treatable.
You don’t have to do this, but since you’re messing up the time stream, it just seems like you’d be a dick not to.
It could also help with your image, which might be hurt pretty badly if you happen to do something like destroy the LHC.†† If you destroy the LHC, you’ll go down in history as the guy who destroyed the LHC, and when you return to your day and age they might not think you’re a hero, because they won’t be aware of the problems the LHC caused.
On the other hand, if you evacuate the Indian coast before the Tsunami and then destroy the LHC, there’s a pretty good chance you’ll be remembered well just the same.