On Friday I traveled to Belluno, a town just south of the north-eastern Italian alps, to give a lecture on particle physics to high-school students for the "International Masterclasses". This was the umpteenth time that I gave more or less the same talk in the last decade or so; but it's not my fault, as particle physics has changed very little in the meantime. Yes, we discovered the Higgs boson, and yes, we excluded many possible extensions of the standard model. But the one-line summary remains the same: we continue to seek, but are not quite sure we'll find, a hint of what lies beyond.
Belluno is a 2.5 hours ride by train from where I live, and I was almost going to cancel the lecture on Friday morning as my throat was badly aching. In the end I decided that a almost voiceless speaker was better than none at all, and I did go. It was not totally painless, however, as upon coming back my temperature already started to rise. Nothing serious, however, and in fact today I'm already mostly past it.

I do believe these lectures can be useful to the students - maybe some of them in the audience feel that is what they really want to do in their life: study physics and become researchers. Indeed, a survey once demonstrated that 16-17 years is the age when students decide they will become physicists...

For the students who followed the lecture and wish to have a second look at the slides, or for anybody else who wants to have a peek, they are here. In Italian, sorry.