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Botanist sues to stop CERN hurling Earth into parallel universe

Hawaiian in lawsuit against particle billiards rig

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Wagner is, in fact, an expert in many fields. In his first degree at Berkeley he majored in biology and minored in physics. He then attended law school for three years, and later worked in nuclear medicine and health physics before becoming a grade-school teacher. He also founded the World Botanical Gardens in Umauma, Hawaii, and is now embroiled in a bitter legal battle with the Gardens board. According to the Hawaii Tribune-Herald (free registration required), he and his wife were indicted last month by a grand jury on counts of identity theft and attempted theft relating to an alleged attempt to obtain $340,000 from the gardens company.

Wagner contends that the couple were owed the cash, having worked for free at the gardens for years. Having been let go, they then sued the company for back pay.

But the company says the pair failed to notify the directors of the action, with Wagner instead serving the papers on his wife as company treasurer - even though she no longer was. The board says that Wagner then appeared in court as a company officer. He was thus able to gain a default judgement in his own lawsuit's favour, all without the knowledge of the Gardens board. It is also alleged that phony promissory notes were drawn up in an attempt to obtain cash from the company.

Wagner told the Tribune-Herald: "The records show we were in fact owed this money. That case is still in civil court. I also have four sworn affidavits that the promissory notes were not phony."

As for his worries regarding the LHC, it all seems fair enough to us. The LHC is to be run by CERN, the Euro nuclear-physics outfit famous for letting its boffins meddle with things best left alone. Tim Berners-Lee, for instance, invented the web while he was supposed to be playing particle pool at CERN. God knows what other horrors could be unleashed now that those crazy boffins have an even more powerful proton-bothering rig at their disposal.

The boffinry community, however, pooh-pooh Wagner's fears. They say that teeny black holes might be created but would vanish right away. They also say that the strangelet-custard conversion and monopole transmutation threats, if they were viable, should have occurred already due to cosmic-ray impacts in the upper atmosphere.

Wagner pooh-poohs the cosmic-ray pooh-pooh, though. On his site, he says "the existing 'cosmic ray argument' has been proven falacious... no existing proof of safety is currently available".

You simply can't argue with that. ®

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