As you have probably already read several times on these pages, this is The Student’s final issue of the decade. Technology has certainly come a long way in the past ten years. The modern human now looks lost and confused without a mobile phone in his hand, and you can download porn fifty times faster than you could in the primeval, barbarous nineties.
Yet alongside these notable achievements there have been major technological hiccups. On November 20, after fourteen months of inactivity, extensive repairs costing £14 million, and a truly bizarre incident involving a rogue chunk of baguette, everybody’s favourite black hole machine the Large Hadron Collider was finally restarted, and the search for the elusive Higgs-Boson particle (hyperbolised by the media as the ‘God’ particle as if it was some sort of plot device in a Dan Brown novel) is up and running again.
If we’re being honest, it wasn’t the most impressive of starts for the £6 billion particle accelerator. After disappointing apocalypse-mongerers around the world by not destroying the universe, the LHC then went and (with an irony that can only be described as delicious) blew itself up, running for a pathetic nine days before an electrical fault caused a leak of six tonnes of liquid helium and destroyed several enormously expensive magnets.
This led to the wonderfully absurd theory that the Higg’s Boson was travelling backwards through time to sabotage itself in order to prevent itself from destroying the universe. The fact that the LHC had been running perfectly well for just over a week without so much as a glimpse of existential obliteration was curiously omitted from the paper.
At the time of writing, the LHC is still up and running, and should it continue functioning without annihilating either itself or everything around it, there should be enough collected data to know whether the Higg-Boson particle exists or not in around twelve months, potentially the first great scientific discovery (or embarrasment) of 2010.
Of course, I couldn’t do a nostalgic Tech column without positing a favourite game of the decade. For me, it’s got to be Half Life 2. It was simply so well crafted, seamlessly melding so many varied scenarios from skulking through zombie-infested Ravenholm with the beautifully insane Father Grigori to battling alongside Alyx in the depths of the political prison Nova Prospekt; I’ve replayed it more than any other game, and I will definitely continue to do so.