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The Daily Shame | April 25, 2014

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Scientists ‘crease up laughing’ and stop work after Hadron Collider spelling mistake spotted

Work on the giant Hadron Collider ceased for two hours yesterday after an eagle-eyed researcher spotted a spelling mistake that sent fellow scientists into uncontrollable laughter.

The cost of the spelling mistake has been estimated at £100m, as scientists downed tools and stopped work while they recovered from their bout of laughter. CERN Head of Research Jean Aimarre told reporters that “while it was amusing at the time, we have to acknowledge that fifty people stopping work for two hours has set us back, well, two hours, in our quest to find the Higgs Boson particle.”

“This is unacceptable. We all had a chuckle, and that was great, but we’re not here to have fun. We’re here to work.”

The mistake was spotted early in the morning, shortly after the scientists’ coffee break had ended. Yves Remort, a researcher who has been working on the project since day 1, said “I was merely doing some routine maintenance work when I noticed that someone had written the ‘Hard-on Collider’. Well, I was in tears, I tell you.”

“I called a couple of my colleagues over and they had a look – they were in stitches. Funniest thing we’ve seen in ages. Well, I had no idea that a simple spelling mistake could result in two hours’ downtime!”

Within minutes, the entire CERN institute had downed tools and descended into fits of uncontrollable laughter. Two scientists fell of their chairs, resulting in minor injuries, while one had to leave the institute altogether, returning four hours later unsure of what was so amusing in the first place.

Jean Aimarre continued: “We like to keep things light here at CERN. Searching for the ‘God’ particle might sound like an interesting career path, but in truth, it’s hard work. So every Monday, we start off our day with a ‘how was your weekend’ meeting, and someone once sent round an e-mail that was quite titillating. So yes, we do know how to have fun.”

“Yesterday’s fun, however, got out of hand. I’ve already suspended three researchers who found it so funny, they even built upon the joke, saying they needed a ‘stiff’ drink, and asking people if they had got a ‘rise’ recently.”

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