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July 9, 2012

Chaplaincy Blog
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» What do you do once you have found God?

As Abraham, Moses, Paul of Tarsus, or any of the world’s great prophets might tell you, finding God is only the beginning of a long and rich relationship. Getting to know God is a challenging journey which takes a lifetime … Continue reading

January 8, 2009

Chaplaincy Blog
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» Big Bang, Big Flop or Big Questions?

On Wednesday last week, the world’s most powerful atom-smashing machine was turned on, to huge media excitement. The BBC feted it as “Big Bang Day”. Schoolchildren are rumoured to have gone to school in the fear that the world would end, and they would never see their parents again. The great day arrived. The vast machine was fired up… and nothing happened, apart from swathes of happy scientists grinning over the results as the machine behaved just as it was supposed to.

Of course, the world was never going to end on Wednesday 10th – and there weren’t going to be any Big Bangs that day, either. You can think of this machine, the Large Hadron Collider, as the world’s largest scalectrix-style car racing kit, the sort where two cars race around a circular track and risk colliding at cross-over points. But last Wednesday there was only one car on the track, and the other car won’t be running for a month or two. So pencil in the REAL Big Bang Day sometime around fireworks night. But be assured, any bangs you hear that night won’t be from the atom-smashers in Geneva. Their “Big” Bangs will be so tiny that you need huge instruments to detect them.

Meanwhile, this great experiment has got people talking. It’s meant to find the Higgs Boson, which some call the “God particle”. It will help us to recreate conditions that last existed less than a split second after the creation of the universe, at least the way scientists think the universe was created. Professor Stephen Hawking once said that if we knew the exact description of that, we’d “know the mind of God”. So this experiment raises Big Questions.

What is this LHC?

What’s it got to do with the Big Bang?

Is it in danger of destroying the earth?

Why is the Higgs called the “God particle”?

Are we playing God or prying into God’s business by doing these experiments?

To find out more, why not come to Shafts in the Student Union at 6 pm on Thursday 2nd October? Revd Dr Gareth Leyshon, an Associate Chaplain at the University of Glamorgan who also holds a PhD in Astrophysics, will explore the big physical and metaphysical questions raised by the “Big Bang” experiment, and you can come and ask questions too – if of course, the universe is still here next month!

More info: 01443 654060 / chaplaincy@glam.ac.uk

September 15, 2008

Inside Security News
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» A Hacker Cause : CERN site defacement

Let us see how the Greek defacement of a CERN website is a cry for unity in the online Greek Security scene dominated by hacker bullies, wannabes and script-kiddies .

A few days ago (i.e., 9-10 Sep. 2008) one of CERN’s websites, the Compact Muon Solenoid Experiment (CMS) monitoring site (i.e.,http://cmsmon.cern.ch), was hacked and defaced by Greek hackers going by the name Greek Security Team (GST). What is interesting is that BBC has a report on the matter[1]. After reading the original defaced webpage from a screenshot a user has left on a blog [2], I think the BBC is reporting things incorrectly. As a fluent Greek speaker I can read and understand the message the hackers are trying to pass on and interpret it accordingly.

Unfortunately the BBC [1] reports:
‘The CMS website displayed a page with a mocking message, in Greek, which included the line: "We are 2600 - don't mess with us".’

And

‘The number 2600 is often used by the hacking community. It is believed to have originated in the US in the 1960s with the discovery that a tone of 2600Hz played down the line could be used to access restricted parts of the national telephone system. ’

All this is well and correct but the message the hackers left is not that. After reading the text it is clear that the message is targeting other so called hackers/security individuals that chat all day and provide no knowledge or product to the security community. The phrase "We are 2600 - don't mess with us" is supposedly that of these so called individuals/script-kiddies that use this phrase (and ‘2600’) to discourage and intimidate others without providing any meaningful results (i.e., loosely translated πράξη ) . It is clearly an Internet social states cry for reform for the online Greek Security communities.

It is also mentioned that the defacers also patched a security bug. .. who knows.. only the site admin.

Obviously there is more in the defacement posting but I will not sit and translate the whole document as it is not the purpose of this blog posting.

Personal disappointment
Might I also add at this point that I enjoyed the freedom of looking around at the different sites provided by the CERN project. I think I was on that site (i.e.,CMS mon.) recently and I could see the live status of the CMS project. Now the site has been taken down, my curiosity has to be limited to what news sites report. Some of the disadvantages of web page defacements, public access denied!

Links Used:

[1] -BBC News - 'Big bang' experiment is hacked - http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7616622.stm
[2] - The Daily Buzzz - 'Hackers HACK Large Hadron Collider’s computer system! How Safe…' - http://www.dailybuzzz.com/science/hackers-hack-large-hadron-colliders-computer-system-how-safe