Don’t worry

They totally know what they’re doing. They’re scientists, you see. And they’re ENTIRELY SURE they’re not going to melt the planet or anything while they’re smashing atoms:

The world’s biggest atom smasher, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC), has been badly damaged and will be out of commission for at least two months, scientists in Switzerland have admitted. CERN says that problems with its particle collider, which cost £3.6 billion, are worse than previously thought and that preparations for experiments will now have to be postponed….

They had planned to crash atoms inside the vast detectors of the LHC by sending two beams in opposite directions. James Gillies, spokesman for CERN – the European Organization for Nuclear Research – said this will now have to be put on hold indefinitely as experts try to solve the problem, which has been caused by a leak of helium in its 17 mile tunnel. In what is technically known as a “quench”, up to a tonne of supercooled helium escaped because of a faulty electrical connection between two magnets in the massive machine.

I’d feel much safer if it were Italian scientists messing around with trying to miniature black holes, to be honest.

Do the math

Drudge on the Dow:

DOW UP 40 POINTS IN PAST MONTH… UP 18% PAST 5 YEARS… UP 44% PAST 10 YEARS…

In other words, stock market investors have made, on average, 3.2 percent per annum over the last five years and 4.4 percent over the last ten. That’s presumably before inflation and also ignores the fact that one-third of the stocks that made up the Dow of 1998 are no longer part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average.

Those who think that the stock market is always the safest investment should note that simply depositing one’s money in a Euro-denominated bank account since 2003 would have returned 8.5 percent per annum in currency appreciation plus interest without any of the inherent stock-related risk.

In case you’re interested, these are the companies that were part of the Dow Jones Industrial Average in 1998 that are no longer so: Chevron Corporation, Goodyear Tire & Rubber, Union Carbide, Sears Roebuck, AT&T Corporation, Eastman Kodak, International Paper Company, Altria Group (Phillip Morris) and Honeywell International. These declining companies were replaced by healthier, more growth-friendly corporations like the American International Group, which the keen-eyed reader may note has been occasionally in the news of late….