STOCKHOLM, Sweden—Last week, researchers from MIT, Cambridge, The Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and other renowned institutions met at the World Astrophysics Conference in Stockholm, where many of the greatest minds in astrophysics debated the properties of dark matter, the existence of multiple universes, and what happens to matter as it passes a black hole’s event horizon.
RIGHT: This is the Hubble telescope’s famous “Ultra-Deep Field Photograph”. Taken over many months from the dimmest pinky-nail sized patch of the sky, it reveals over 10,000 previously unseen and unimagined galaxies, each containing as many as 100 billion stars. Civilizations may have risen and fallen. Life in untold forms may have well lived and died in this dim patch of our sky… and yet for all these amazing 13 billion years of history, I’m still stuck here in this God damned cubicle staring at a monitor.
By the end of the week-long conference, the distinguished attendees reached consensus on one point: The universe is straight-up nuts, both man and otherwise.
“Have you ever thought about it?” asked Dr. Ignatius Waldgrave of CERN during his presentation on the recent discovery of what researchers believe to be the long-sought Higgs boson. “I mean, shiz,” he added.
Throughout the conference, astrophysicists could be seen sitting in the hallways with their heads between their legs, muttering obscenities and trying to make sense of it all. Dr. Susana Petkova of JPL was found shaking her head and gazing at the sunset over Riddarfjärden Bay.
“In the beginning, the universe was an impossibly hot and dense mass of gluon-quark plasma,” she said. “Then, it expanded and coalesced into the bullshart we see today.”
The highlight of the conference came when Dr. Richard Harbarth of Cambridge presented his recent essay titled, “Are You Shiftarting Me?: Applying Quantum Information Theory to Black Holes.”
While explaining the black hole information paradox—which suggests that physical information could simply “disappear” inside a black hole, thus challenging the notion that all information in the universe is conserved—Dr. Harbarth assumed a sweaty pallor and vomited into a 3D model of a black hole.
The science community’s awe, incredulity, and anger at the scope and mystery of the universe goes back centuries.
After observing the moons of Jupiter for the first time, it is said that Galileo Galilei transported all his clothes to the Euganaean Hills outside Padua. A contemporary account describes a naked Galileo standing next to a burning pile of clothes while beating his chest and screaming at the night.
Outtakes from Carl Sagan’s landmark PBS series Cosmos show many instances of Mr. Sagan “losing his shizzle” while explaining various natural phenomena.
Astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson, who hosts the latest rendition of Cosmos, claims he “couldn’t get through a day of filming without downing a bottle of Pepe Lopez [tequila].” When asked why, Dr. Tyson pulled a flask from his jacket pocket, took a pull, and said “You try saying shiite like ‘We are a way for the cosmos to know itself’ while sober.”
This week, the world’s greatest astrophysicists return to their places of study with childlike reluctance. “I guess I’ll just look through my stupid telescope some more,” said Dr. Umberto Montevideo of the National Autonomous University of Mexico, “See if that uncovers more shi`znizzle. Probably won’t, though.”
“Don’t even get me started on dark matter and dark energy,” said Dr. Petkova before hocking a loogie into Riddarfjärden Bay. “The idea that we can in no way detect 95% of the matter and energy in the universe really pisses me off. I want answers and I want them now.”
God, the Almighty creator of all that is and was and ever will be, declined to comment.