Yesterday - Halloween - was Dark Matter Day. All across the globe there were events celebrating the unknown and I attended two of them in London, in the afternoon at the Royal Astronomical Society (RSA) and in the evening at King's College London.
Frankly I was scandalised by what I learnt. Apparently scientists discovered that we'd been underestimating the mass of the universe by a factor of 5. I don't know about you but if I'd been out by a factor of 5 in my job I'd have been out on my ear. But not scientists - oh no - not even an apology for suddenly discovering that the Universe was 5 times more massive that they'd told us previously. Imagine waking up one morning to find that your credit card balance has increased 5 fold!
I'm totally amazed by this. Why no statement in Parliament, why no Royal Commission into why the Universe is now 5 times more massive? Where's that Department for Universal Heaviness - it could be headed by one of those useless Brexit ministers. Instead it's pushed under the carpet and we've been kept in the dark about Dark Matter.
It wasn't just the RSA that blandly told us we're massively more massive than we thought we were. My alma mater King's casually informed the assembled audience that the universe was morbidly obese. That is, frankly a national, if not cosmological, scandal. Scientists, many who are even more intelligent than me, appeared not to be concerned. I'm no scientist, but if the Big Bang discovered it was 5 times more massive than it thought it was maybe it wouldn't have gone Bang. You see my point.
All this appears to me as a job creation scheme for theoretical physicists, mathematicians and computer programmers. Look, someone comes up with this idea about spinning tops (aka galaxies) and why they're spinning faster than they should be - maybe they were given an extra push early on? Then there's these great big magnifying glasses in the sky and something to do with radio waves from Radio Luxembourg a long time ago when Jimmy Saville spun the discs. All of a sudden loads of post doctorate bods, on the dole, and thinking they might have to sign up with Uber, start theorising about Dark Matter. There you have it - the Black Economy.
I won't talk about Dark Energy. It's all summed up in that great 1985 Dire Strait's hit "Money for Nothing". Great days. When Pluto was still a PLANET!!!