FEVERED excitement was sparked by rumours that physicists had finally found the so-called "God particle".
A series of “intriguing fluctuations” were detected in data gathered by the European Centre for Nuclear Research’s (CERN) Large Hadron Collider, which is searching for elusive Higgs boson -- a sub-atomic particle believed to hold the key to the creation of the universe.
The collider, housed 300ft below the Franco-Swiss border, aims to recreate conditions just after the Big Bang 13.7 billion years ago, allowing scientists to study the origin of matter.
It seems, though, that the celebrations were somewhat premature, with CERN’s director general Professor Rolf Heuer revealing the data fluctuations may, in fact, be random statistical “noise” generated within the collider. Younger scientists, and journalists, he suggested, “might learn a bit about patience”. A bad day at the office for some, then.
Still, if anyone knows how they feel it’s the person who spectacularly mucked up the stationery order at HM Revenue & Customs. As a result, the taxman ran out of paper just as millions of reminder letters were due to be sent out. Although as one wag mused: “It’s probably because they are using most of it to print money ...”
Michael Phelps, meanwhile, got off to a ropey start at the swimming World Championships when the 14-times Olympic gold medallist realised he had forgotten a crucial piece of equipment -- his trunks -- and had to borrow a pair from Australia’s Eamon Sullivan.
Spare a thought, too, for the South African morgue employees on duty when a “corpse” woke up demanding to be let out of “the cold place”. The “deceased” man, meanwhile, had to be treated for exposure after spending nearly 24 hours in the mortuary.
There is a positive side to the workplace mess-up: it makes the rest of us look good. At least for a little while ...
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