Flopped back on roomie's bed to catch the local morning news yesterday, mostly to see if the weatherman could find a new way to say "Ninety-something and bone-dry"*, and the anchor started reading a wire service story off the teleprompter regarding the potential discovery of the Higg's boson (which he haltingly pronounced "buh-ZHAHN"), including the use of the term "god particle" which physicists do love so, and which led to a segue to the traffic 'n' weather.
And I realized, looking at the four people standing on that set, that not one of them up until that moment had heard of CERN** and wouldn't know a boson if a stream of them was being bounced off their body from the overhead lighting. It was one of those "same planet, different worlds" moments. And for some reason this made me very sad.
It was the same feeling I had, once, years ago when I had accidentally stumbled across some edutainment program on TeeWee about how flax is made into linen. I had kinda fallen into it and my then-roommate asked what I was watching. I said "It's about making cloth from flax. You should c'mere and watch it; it's kinda neat."
And she replied "Why would I want to know that?"
I was at a loss for words. Why wouldn't you want to know something you didn't know a moment before? I don't get it.
*A month of essentially identical meteorological conditions gets old. I can't see how people who live places where they have nothing but climate rather than proper weather can stand it.
** Although you could probably jog their memory about CERN by saying "You remember, 'way back before Michael Jackson died, that big machine in Europe that was going to destroy the world with a black hole if they turned it on? Yeah, that place."