People actually read CERN Love, even when we get busy and don’t update for months, hurray!
Caterina e-mailed with two snapshots from deep in CERN’s crevasses, where no signage can be left unmolested. Of the photos (one above, one below) she writes,
The first one dates back from the summer of ICHEP-hysteria. You are working until 4 am, and you finally get out of B40 to go home, thinking that your 3 hours of sleep are just a bike ride away if you can make it home awake. Then you notice this in the printer in the D corridor. At that point, you think you are already asleep and dreaming, or you are having a mental breakdown.
The second one comes from the LHCb pit. Hold me closer, tiny stick figure on a warning sign.
Congrats for the site, I really like it!
(I like the song reference mainly because I’m a sucker for the “Tiny Dancer” scene from Almost Famous. If, in the wee hours of the morning, a control room breaks out in song I hope you hear it here first.)
In the 21st century, it can sometimes be difficult to tell men and women apart. Of course, if you spend enough time with a person, you can discern their gender based on a variety of social cues. However, when it comes to toilets, it seems to me that the role of a sign maker should be to accentuate, celebrate, and make abundantly clear the differences between the male and female body, so that the reader knows exactly what is going on at first glance. The last thing any of us wants is an unwelcome intrusion of the opposite gender while we are doing our business.
The highly stylized man and woman icons shown above are apparently not clear enough for the occupants of building 40. In their typical can-do mindset, these physicists have taken matters into their own hands and added some explanatory signage.
This home-brew solution of adding signs and annotating existing ones, while effective, seems a bit overwrought. Where can we look for better answers? One shining example is to be found just outside the Main Auditorium, where the men’s room door demonstrates in no uncertain terms just which kind of human may enter, while simultaneously discouraging riff-raff from degrading the premises with anything less than a suit, bowtie and dress shoes.
Stick figures can also be identified by a more direct method of course: by drawing the genitalia. While we have not yet found it at CERN, this method is being used nearby in western Switzerland.
I would like to thank lovehurts for providing the last photograph. He took it while urinating … standing up.
Car explosions (of 30 tons or more) are strictly forbidden in this area of CERN. What a relief!
Just to be safe you should also not carry a 30 ton orange peacock on the roof of your sedan; because–come on people!–a 30 ton peacock deserves better.
This is near the hump on Route Rutherford passing between the PS and ISR.
(In all seriousness, I have seen versions of this sign posted by people as far away as China. I’m pretty certain it forbids vehicles of 30 tons or more from carrying (in)flammable loads. The official French version is a little different, a bit more like a jeep firing a canon at you.)
It’s true; scientists need a few gentle reminders every once in a while in order to maintain order and cleanliness. Just take a walk through CERN’s Restaurant 1 in the middle of the lunch hour, and you’ll be swarmed with a multitude of all-too-unpleasant smells resulting from lack of hygiene. In many cases, a not-so-subtle scolding from a significant other will have an effect. But, when it comes to more mundane habits like keeping one’s hands clean, we physicists really need more active guidance. Therefore, CERN has implemented a 12 Step Program designed to educate its community in the ways of hand hygiene. Nowadays, posted in several of the public lavatories around the lab, you’ll be lucky enough to find detailed instructions:
From now on, you’ll never have to remember this intricate process yourself! An especially useful tool for physicsists, this should also ensure prevention of a massive H1N1 pandemic here at CERN. By following these steps (Wet, Soap, Wrists, Palms, Back of hands, Between fingers, Fingertips, Swirl fingertips, Thumbs, Rinse, Dry, and Turn off taps), you should have no problem keeping your hands squeaky clean. Finally, if you have questions or feedback, feel free to jot your thoughts down on the poster in green ink.