Wednesday, April 4, 2007

" On Tuesday, March 27, there was a serious failure in a high pressure test at CERN of a Fermilab built " inner-triplet " series of three quadrupole magnets in the tunnel of the large Hadron Collider, the magnets focus the particle beams prior to collision at each of 4 interestion points around the accelerator. "

That's a recent entry on Mike Daisey's blog. It caught my attention for a couple of reasons. The date for one thing. March 27. The day before my birthday. And the words: " Inner-triplet. " My old journalism professor always used to tell us: " The trinity is always with us. "

Which brings me to Three Mile Island. That's where that nuclear power plant nearly melted down in 1978. That happened on March 28. The guy in charge of the plant was a young physicist by the name of Richard Dubiel. Dick was my best friend in high school.

There's this woman in the creative writing workshop I facilitate every Wednesday morning. Jane went out with a guy in high school. His name was Peabody, and he is the only person ever killed in a nuclear facility related accident in this country. That happened about five miles from where my wife and I live here in Rhode Island. It happened in 1963. When Dick and I were in high school together back in western Massachusetts.

So what does all this mean? It means nothing. It adds up to nothing. Or, maybe I should say that it does add up to something, but the total's a small, insignificant number. 3

But it occurs to me. My best friend in high school played the key role in the worst nuclear power plant accident in US history. And a woman in my class dated the only guy ever killed in a nuclear facility related accident. What are the odds of that happening? To be connected, in some way, with both those events?

Dick and Jane and me.

The trinity is always with us.


A. Disgrunteled Reader said...

and you better refresh your understanding of Ideas of Reference too.

Terrence said...

And you might want to refresh your understanding of the spelling of disgruntled. And there should be a comma after " Reference. "