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    The Plot Of The Week - How SUSY Got Scr***d By The LHC
    By Tommaso Dorigo | August 30th 2013 08:01 AM | 33 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
    About Tommaso

    I am an experimental particle physicist working with the CMS experiment at CERN. In my spare time I play chess, abuse the piano, and aim my dobson...

    View Tommaso's Profile
    Thanks to a friend and follower of this blog, which I will not name for once to protect him from your flaming, I can share today with you one of the best instances of involuntary humor in particle physics graphs I have ever seen in my whole life.

    The graph appears to be genuine, so this is a good candidate for the IgNobel prize IMHO.



    The figure, which was shown at the SUSY 2013 conference in Trieste by Sho Iwamoto, describes how the LHC exclusion region "penetrates" into the opening in SUSY parameter space. The talk actually contains several versions of this figure, but this one, showing some up-right pushing action as the integrated LHC luminosity grows, and highlighting sensitive spots in the parameter space (see e.g. slide 26 at above link), is just too much. No wonder that the audience started giggling as the speaker put it up.

    Thank god, physics can be entertaining also to us perverts sometimes ;-)

    ... Okay, okay - I promise that I will get back to publishing interesting new physics results. I just gave my plenary talk on CMS Overview at the ICNFP 2013 conference in Kolymbari (Crete, Greece) this morning, and as you might imagine I am trying to relax a bit. This was a wonderful occasion for a different kind of post, one I could not avoid taking.

    Comments

    Hank
    Why would he get flamed? Look, physicists have to make that joke. It would make the field look inhuman not to make that joke.
    dorigo
    Hi Hank,

    well you may be right, but counting on the rationality of flamers out there is a bit too optimistic. Anyway, he told me he would not like to be cited, that's all...

    Cheers,
    T.
    Obviously that talk should have also had excessive use of the hardon collider! If you do something, do it wholeheartedly!

    I was in the room for that session at SUSY13. I didn't hear any giggling, but I was definitely laughing inside my head. You should consider removing the speaker's name from this post (the link can stay), so that a google search for the poor guy's name doesn't turn up this post.

    Dorigo, you realize that this post is sexist, offensive, and immature, right?

    dorigo
    Hi Anon,

    this is my blog and it reflects my thinking, my sense of humor, etcetera. Those who get offended by posts such as this one do not deserve reading my blog - the one thing I can't stand in people is the lack of sense of humor.

    Cheers,
    T.
    So what you are saying is that humor is an excuse for sexism, e.g. "penetrating SUSY". No wonder so few women remain in physics.

    Hank
    A penis joke is not sexism. To claim such is vaginal hubris. The social sciences are overwhelmingly female so are you contending they have no sexism? That will require some documentation.
    Hank,

    I agree: a penis joke itself is not sexism; joking about "penetrating SUSY", on the other hand, not only is sexist but is border-lining onto something else. The comment by "Hilarious", "It's obvious that Lubos is at the receiving end..." crosses that line. Insinuating rape is offensive, I am sure even for Dorigo.

    However, will you clarify your comment? You are claiming that social sciences are overwhelmingly female (Is this even true? If so, by how much?) and implying (?) that there is sexism in the field for that reason? Your statement is unclear.

    The phrase "penetrating SUSY" does not even appear in the OP.

    "[...]describes how the LHC exclusion region "penetrates" into the opening in SUSY parameter space[...]

    the double entendre is pornographic (that's the joke), but why is it sexist? I completely agree about the below comment re Lubos, though, which is homophobic and kind of a rape joke since it alludes to non-consensual intercourse.

    upvote!

    I am not sure about the sexism. Although the sex of one of the two partners in the figure is obvious, there is no indication about the other.
    Maybe you, by assuming too much, may be accused of homophobia. Shame on you.

    Sexist? Nonsense. It would be just as funny if super symmetry happened to be abbreviated "BOB".

    Offensive? Only to stuck up puritans.

    Immature? Sure. Thats what makes it funny.

    Aaahhh !
    Thank you Tommaso, you have healed my end-of-holidays depression.

    It's obvious that Lubos is at the receiving end...

    John Duffield
    LOL, love it Tommaso, I had tears in my eyes.
    Well, if they must do SUSY, it looks like they have at least taken the appropriate precautions . . .

    Oh, come on, this is darn hilarious! :D

    It can be so refreshing to joke about serious stuff, including physics. If anyone is having problems with this, it's just overreacting in my opinion. Tommaso and his friend are not the first comedians (and they will definitely not be the last). Google for e.g. "Molecules with Silly or Unusual Names" and you might find a very funny document with examples from chemistry (but if you can't stomach it, don't google).

    Now, seriously, about the SUSY graph;

    We're obviously seeing an example of strong interaction in the region 200-400 GeV, indicating that size does matter (I was about to say something about the future possibility of seeing evidence of micro black holes, but I don't think I'll go down that path...). Anyway, if I interpret this graph correctly, it is the first indication that M-theory will be replaced by G-string Theory.

    Test tubes looks like glass penises, but you don't need to make a joke about it every time you go in to a chemistry lab. No one needed to point out this joke because there is no joke to make... A phallic symbol does not to humor equate.

    John Duffield
    If your dick is like a test tube, no wonder you've got no sense of humour!

    Dennis: Love it! More!
    I am far from a prude. For example, when asked to do a presentation in a botany seminar, I immediately chose banned common names for plants, most graphically sexual. It was hilarious. But jokes about "penetrating" or "doing" Suzy, or about Suzy "getting screwed" especially in a room of mostly men, yeah I see the insensitivity there, and would make me uncomfortable if I was one of the women in the room. Sexist, yes. I know, it is really hard to see the world from someone else's point of view.
    Sexism and sex are different concepts, people.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Well I'm a woman and I thought this article was very funny Tommaso and I'm glad that you shared this amusing graph and information with us. 
     
    To your critics here I would like to say that I wish that more people like them would express disapproval about the real sexism in the World. The kind of sexism that forces women to wear burqas, suffer traumatic, mutilating clitoridectomies, honor killings, arranged marriages and compulsary sex and pregnancies, while often denying that these women even have souls or a right to education, let alone self-determinism and equality.

    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    Yeah I never complain about any of that stuff.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Yes, I understand, its much riskier than complaining about non-existent sexism here isn't it? 
    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    You understand nothing. At the very least please speak for yourself and stop attacking other women and dictating what is and isn't sexism for cryin' out loud.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    You understand nothing. At the very least please speak for yourself and stop attacking other women and dictating what is and isn't sexism for cryin' out loud.
    In case you hadn't noticed I was speaking for myself and I was not attacking other women or dictating what is and isn't sexism. I simply said that I wished that critics of what I personally consider to be non-existent sexism here, that means either male or female critics, would also express disapproval about global female oppression and inequality that I personally consider to be real sexism and I gave a few examples.  You and Anonymous n+1 are the ones who had already dictated what is and isn't sexism :-
     'jokes about "penetrating" or "doing" Suzy, or about Suzy "getting screwed" especially in a room of mostly men, yeah I see the insensitivity there, and would make me uncomfortable if I was one of the women in the room. Sexist, yes. I know, it is really hard to see the world from someone else's point of view. Sexism and sex are different concepts, people.'

    Anonymous n+1 also said :-

    'So what you are saying is that humor is an excuse for sexism, e.g. "penetrating SUSY". No wonder so few women remain in physics.'...'a penis joke itself is not sexism; joking about "penetrating SUSY", on the other hand, not only is sexist but is border-lining onto something else.'

    Well if you had read the article and supporting comments by people who claim to have also been at the presentation, you would have realised that this was a genuine graph not a sexist joke to make women who were present in the room feel uncomfortable and that the phrase "penetrating SUSY" does not even appear in the OP. It apparently only says :-

    "[...]describes how the LHC exclusion region "penetrates" into the opening in SUSY parameter space[...]

    Anyone that didn't find the situation that Tommaso described at all humorous and can't see that the graph is a genuine candidate for the IgNobel prize and instead insists that Tommaso is being sexist is showing themselves to be rather lacking in humour and possibly imagining sexism where there was probably non intended.

    My latest forum article 'Australian Researchers Discover Potential Blue Green Algae Cause & Treatment of Motor Neuron Disease (MND)&(ALS)' Parkinsons's and Alzheimer's can be found at http://www.science20.com/forums/medicine
    You appear to feel strongly about this topic, Helen. Do you work in an male-dominated industry? btw how do you even know what I usually complain about? After all, why would I complain about all those horrors you mentioned here on this thread? It doesn't even make sense. In any case, your indignation seems a little extreme.

    A little extreme? Not to me. To me, it's right on. And while Helen may indeed not know what you would or would not complain about, that bogus example of "sexism" that has made you so publicly uncomfortable - and the follow-up on "male-dominated industries" (that would be physics, no?) - makes it likely that you would abstain from speaking up on those other issues. Now, why indeed would you want to complain about those abominations? Easy: you are a woman, and if a funny chart and a few risque comments have made you uncomfortable, on behalf of other women, you should then be an order of magnitude more indignant, and in a very public way, about what happens to tens of millions of other women, selected as a group, systematically and predictably, every day of the year. Hope you will now find it in you to raise the issue at your university, and maybe call for an academic boycott of the perpetrators. On that humorous note, I remain your friend.

    " makes it likely that you would abstain from speaking up on those other issues"

    How does that work? How does speaking up on one issue indicate that I would probably not speak out on a more serious issue?

    The truth is that there was already a conversation going on about the alleged sexism, and I gave my opinion in a rather subdued way. Then I was attacked aggressively.

    "and if a funny chart and a few risque comments have made you uncomfortable,"

    "risque"? You didn't even read my original comment obviously. Another lazy commenter.

    "on behalf of other women"

    I spoke on my own behalf. I've been there.

    " Hope you will now find it in you to raise the issue at your university"

    I speak out about these issues all the time. That is not a problem. And no, the male-dominated industry I was in was not physics.

    Hmm, I am imagining a room full of women, who dominate an industry, maybe a few scattered men in the room, in junior positions of course. And the graph looks a little different, just a tiny little bump instead of a big hard on. So the women make a joke about the pathetic little thing and all the women laugh uproariously. An innocent joke, maybe, sexist? yes. Inappropriate, yes.

    Keep telling me I am a prude and that I have no sense of humor, but you are wasting your time. Those tired old arguments have been used against feminists for ages and they have no effect on me whatsoever.

    "I speak out about these issues all the time." All the time? Really? Then I have obviously been wrong in my assumptions, and I stand corrected. I also hope you have many female friends, as honest and fearless as you are (I do.)

    "An innocent joke, maybe, sexist?" Yes: sex is the subject of the joke. "Inappropriate"? It's a matter of the context and taste. Most any sexual innuendo in this context is funny - if it is (how do you make that bump funny? What meaningful aspect of the story is it pointing to? C'mon, you have come up with the idea, now be creative) - the more so that it is not there by design (although, come to think of it, if it is, it is just outstanding.)

    I have little interest in whether you are a prude (most likely, you are not, few educated women are), or in your sense of humor, or the lack thereof (correlates with academic credentials only weakly.) I perceive you as representing a certain position that I find dangerous for our freedoms, including academic freedoms, and that predominates on campuses here and in Europe. I can easily imagine what might happen to the poor guy if, after the presentation, someone complained to the Big Sister. It seems that, in your case, I am wrong. At the same time, I hope, I deserve a break, as your case is highly unusual indeed.

    "(how do you make that bump funny? What meaningful aspect of the story is it pointing to? C'mon, you have come up with the idea, now be creative) "

    Did you not get that the joke is that the little bump it looks like a tiny mini-penis of someone who is not very well endowed and will probably not succeed at "doing Susy" that's why all the women were tittering. You actually find that joke appropriate for a talk?

    I used to work in a male dominated business where in order to exchange information over the course of the day I frequently had to walk into a room of males who were listening to Howard Stern and laughing while some poor woman was being humiliated over the air.

    I was uncomfortable. It was sexist. I don't know how you can defend such behavior.

    Do you understand that just as being about sex doesn't automatically mean it's bad, being about sex doesn't automatically mean it's good either? We are adults here, sex exists, we're over it, and we can dispassionately evaluate each situation without fixating on ideas of prudery. Hopefully.

    I work at progressive public university now and it's great. And believe me no freedoms have been lost.