Recently I was told a story about The Large Hadron Collider – you know, the thing everyone claimed would create a big bang or destroy the world or something equally ridiculous. If only it were actually that interesting. Anyway, I was told that it had suffered yet another set back when a bird dropped a bit of bread or something into it and it over heated. Billions of dollars spent on the thing and they can’t seem to make it work or even do anything that is overly useful, and it can be stalled by a bird dropping bread.
Now, I wasn’t sure if this story was true or not. I mean, who builds something that big and expensive and then doesn’t protect it from things being randomly dropped in it by wildlife? So I did what any person in the 21st Century would do. I googled it. Not sure if googled needs a capital but it will be fine either way. I finally found a blog on this most recent incident (most of the articles found were from previous failures and not related to the bird incident). The article was called “Baguette Dropped From Bird’s Beak Shuts Down The Large Hadron Collider (Really)“. The really actually was part of the title.
So the story was true, and the lesson it teaches is equally true. It doesn’t matter how big something is, or how impressive, it is the small details that make or break it. True in building particle accelerators, true in writing stories. Now I don’t know that a bird has ever dropped a baguette into one of my plot outlines but maybe it could be a metaphor for all the things that do get in the works and manage to stop a story dead in its tracks. What do you think?
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