Professor Panda Builds A Large Hadron Collider
At first I thought this was a tribute video to Half-Life, but no, it's an even loftier geek panegyric to the Atlas experiments conducted in the Large Hadron Collider particle accelerator. Ryushimitsu Xingjian built it in Second Life, using textures taken from photos on this site, and an assist from friends. Not an exact replica, but a science fiction-ized version, he notes, "since I'm no engineer, which is why [in the video] it was named the Helios project instead, Helios being the god of light and the sun, which I thought seemed fitting!"
Known to SL colleagues as "Professor Panda" (you'll glimpse him in his own machinima as the bear with the clipboard), Xingjian began building his Helios in mid-September, painstakingly aligning the parts and matching the textures. When he was done, the entire complex was comprised of 1300-1500 prims, "almost to real life size of the Atlas dector, with its own little computer lab and airlock and elevator rooms and everything."
Having done that, he created the machinima you see above, and it's a surprisingly moving paen to science. Most of us have seen the "Large Hadron Rap" video, which is cute stuff to be sure, but doesn't convey the truly awesome grandeur of the CERN project, which seeks to reveal the very fundamental workings of the entire universe. Against all odds, a roly poly avatar has restored that sense of wonder, and admiration.
Xingjian made it "with a little hoping inside that the people of the real Atlas experiment would be able to see my fan-art and be reminded (apart from all the doomsayers) there are just as many people out there who are excited and in awe about their experiments and achievements."
And having done that, Professor Panda took Helios apart, and put it back in inventory. (It was too large to keep in-world.) He says he's open to the possibility of restoring it somewhere. Second Life and OpenSim landowners interested in hosting a large supercollider on their property may direct inquiries to Ryushimitsu Xingjian.