I was bumping around teh internets, and got a bit of a status update of the LHC.
They've been in a cooling down process, and have gotten the ring down to 1.9 degrees above absolute zero.
On September 10th they are going to start the first proton beam to get things sync'ed up.
I also found they have a live webcast with a few "channels." It's pretty boring right now, just a bunch of scientists talking about details of this and that. But they are broadcasting the first beam at 9:00 AM CEST, which would be 2:00 AM Texas time.
The video feed is here:
CERN Webcast Service
Here's another summary of the LHC, although it's not nearly as cool as the LHC rap
From what I've heard, they plan to actually begin the main experiements of colliding particles sometime in October. I'll be in Italy in October, so if there's a black hole or strangelet problem, I'll try to let you guys know ASAP. LOL.
Just to have fun, someone made a computer simulation of what would happen if the LHC made a black hole.
But over in Japan, they have made a much cooler looking machine called a Large Helical Device (LHD) which is designed to make the same conditions as the inside of a star in order to study nuclear fusion. It makes a superhot ionized plasma which is contained by magnetic fields which squeeze the particles in the plasma together to cause nuclear fusion. If nothing else, it looks a lot better than a boring ring. LOL.
More info on the Large Helical Device can be found here:
Large Helical Device Information