Here is a funny Comedy Central Daily Show “news” report starring Steve Carell discussing the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) at Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL) on Long Island. The piece aired June 28, 2000, long before Steve was a Superstar. While watching the piece, keep in mind the madcap doomsday discussion from my last post regarding the LHC. The more things change, the more they stay the same.
As an amusing side note, most of the lab facilities shown in the clip were indeed filmed at BNL, but never actually show RHIC itself. Instead, CC used lots of footage from various other labs at BNL, including that of my pal, physicist, and blogger ZapperZ.
While a postdoc at UC Davis, from about 2000 until 2004, I worked in the pion interferometry (“HBT”) working group of the STAR experiment at RHIC and had to visit the RHIC facility at BNL a number of times. Colliders like RHIC and the LHC are certainly not toys and have ordinary industrial dangers associated with them for those working directly with the machine (electrocution, irradiation, etc.), but dealing with black holes is rightfully never part of the safety training.