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Neutrinos faster than the speed of light – who cares?

The scientific community is at odds with itself over the question of whether neutrinos are in fact faster than the speed of light. Some annoyed scientists are even suggesting that the recent experiment between a particle accelerator at the European Organisation for Nuclear Research (Cern) in Switzerland and the Gran Sasso underground laboratory in Italy, which seemed to promote this theory, could be down to bad wiring.

The speed of light is of course 186,282 miles per second or 1080 million kilometres per hour which is faster than most Lamborghinis.

A neutrino, on the other hand, is an electrically neutral, weakly interacting elementary subatomic particle with a half-integer spin, chirality. All evidence suggests that neutrinos have mass and that their mass is tiny even by the standards of subatomic particles, but the amount of mass has never been measured accurately, but you knew all that. (Wiki)

According to some however, they are in fact faster than the speed of light and as a result all sorts of testing is taking place.

Of course while the scientific fraternity is frothing at the mouth – supporting one side of the argument or the other – I would suggest that the outcome is in fact irrelevant. Yes, as they will point out, there is merit in finding out all about the scientific properties that these objects possess but if you are a Top Gear fan like me the only thing that you really want to know about is which car is fastest and who do I have to shoot to get one for myself?

The same principle surely applies to the fastest thing in the universe – if it’s not the quickest spare me the details.

Of course this begs the question: what is faster than both neutrinos and the speed of light?

(If you don’t understand science I wouldn’t bother with the rest of the article.)

Scientists in South Africa – in this case bored diners at the Butcher’s Grill in Sandton – have worked out that the speed of a tenderpreneur, which is calculated from the time that the budget is first approved by federal government, handed down to the provinces, submitted for tender, approved without a formal tender or procedure, accounts submitted + job botched, payment and overpayment received, the kickbacks finding their way into the pockets of corrupt officials and spent, to the time that the balance is half-inched for being the middle man, is approximately 586,282 miles per second, give or take a second.

In scientific terms :

Pie – bits of pie to the right parties
_____________________________________ = EW – SM
Total tender allocation

Where EW = enormous wealth and SM = seething masses.

Of course this is easy to prove.

All we have to do is put a lucrative tender inside a bank vault surrounded by armed guards. The geniuses from OPERA, who conducted the neutrino experiment, are then required to demonstrate the speed of their “horse” in the same vault.

As every South African knows, by the time the bank manager switches on the light of the vault not only will the tender be gone but corrupt officials will be turning up to the unique experiment wearing the R10 000 suits they bought out of kickbacks from that tender.

Tenderpreneurs are easily and demonstrably faster than the speed of light.


Don’t scientists tell us not to believe anything that we can’t see with our own eyes or work out in a scientific formula?

Unless they have some way of showing us these neutrinos beating the speed of light after the manager hits the switch or any of you lot are capable of working out the formulas for the speed of a neutrino then their claim is a non-starter.

NEXT WEEK: South Africa’s Home Affairs Staff The Slowest Moving Objects On Earth?


  • Mike Trapido is a criminal attorney and publicist having also worked as an editor and journalist. He was born in Johannesburg and attended HA Jack and Highlands North High Schools. He married Robyn in 1984 (Mrs Traps, aka "the government") and has three sons (who all look suspiciously like her ex-boss). He was a counsellor on the JCCI for a year around 1992. His passions include Derby County, Blue Bulls, Orlando Pirates, Proteas and Springboks. He takes Valium in order to cope with Bafana Bafana's results. Practice Michael Trapido Attorney (civil and criminal) 011 022 7332 Facebook


  1. André André 28 February 2012

    Thank you Michael, this was an enjoyable distraction.

    Another idea for a science experiment:
    “Reported and actual salaries — disproving the conservation of mass theory”

  2. Kwame Kwame 28 February 2012

    @ Micheal, If I were you I wud’nt dismiss this ‘neutrinos’ stuff so easily as you may know this is the kind of stuff that can change world economies, industries, political landscape etc. I’ve always maintained that policy makers, proffessionals and practitioners don’t create jobs, scientists and engineers do. As we speak our social thinking is decades behind what our sciences already have as solutions to the social ills that we experience.

    If the neutrinos could be proven to travel faster than light, then the implications are so enormous it boggles the mind. It would open the world to ‘star wars’ spacetravel, teleportation, quantum computers and a range of unforseeable consequences. The issue of tender corruption that you raise would become chicken feed!

  3. pap & wors pap & wors 28 February 2012

    Absolutely brilliant!. The scientific information on Neutrinos may be a bit difficult to digest. But the tenderpreneur stuff is certainly tangible as we see it happening everyday. Of course the tenderpreneur beneficiaries would have us believe that their corrupt activities, like the elusive neutrinos, do not exist.

  4. Charlotte Charlotte 28 February 2012

    Deep in thought after I took my 7-year old grandson to the planaterium, he said to me : “If you had to race the speed of light, you’d lose!”

    Therefore, I agree: If neutrinos are even faster than the speed of light, who cares? .

  5. John Collings John Collings 28 February 2012

    When putting the final polish on next week’s offering, Traps, remember the ‘conservation of energy’ principle.

  6. ae ae 28 February 2012

    Way to go nice one!

  7. peter peter 29 February 2012

    Only for those of us who are capable of having a sense of humour. Very entertaining and perfectly true – who really cares? By the time neutrinos become useful, we shall have completely destroyed this planet anyway. Star Wars? Who the blazes wants to live on a space ship, especially with dickheads like Kirk and Spock in charge.

  8. Policat Policat 29 February 2012

    Good “light” read although maybe it’s not about the speed of the light but the ability of those entrusted to ensure the tender processes are not dishonest are too busy trying to reach warp speed so that they can reap rich rewards for themselves .

  9. CD CD 29 February 2012

    Brilliant analogy, and thanks for the humour, again.

  10. Chris2 Chris2 29 February 2012

    Such a flippant heading can only be excused by considering from whence it came – a legal man. A bit of crime, a bit of corruption, a bit of murder – what the heck. Who cares, as long as it does not hit me perceptibly in the pocket? Not to mention a bit of human rights abuse, etc. I’m sure that sounds bad to a serious legal mind, but not half as bad as your heading to a serious scientist. You can’t just trash Einstein and a good deal of a century’s science and then remark ‘who cares’. This is abuse on a massive scale. Outrageous! I object strenuously. We urgently need a LAW to outlaw such behaviour.

  11. Frans Verloop Frans Verloop 29 February 2012

    Off course it is important whether neutrinos can travel faster than light, because if they do it means we can travel back in time and tenderpreneurs will be able to pocket the money even before the tender has been approved.
    Frans Verloop

  12. IMPEDIMENTA IMPEDIMENTA 29 February 2012

    Hahahahaha! I needed that.

  13. MLH MLH 29 February 2012

    When Trapido says it’s time to stop reading, the fun part starts.

    @Kwame: forgive us our levity; it’s the only way some of us get by.

    Delicious post! Can you make week 3 about the law of gravity, please?

  14. Sterling Ferguson Sterling Ferguson 29 February 2012

    @Mike, I love this article and you added a little humor into it about corruption in SA. However, all one has to do is visit Nigeria to see how unchecked graft and corruption can destroy a country that was one time a promising country.

  15. Peter Joffe Peter Joffe 1 March 2012

    Want to witness the speed of light? Its easy. Open the fridge door as fast as you can and see if can see into it before the light comes on. QED

  16. Dawid Dawid 1 March 2012

    There is one thing that beats all these real and theoretical entities. According to a friend of mine, who was a policeman in Hillbrow, nothing is faster than a transvestite in high heels.

  17. Vince Rautenbach Vince Rautenbach 3 March 2012

    Mr Trapido, having lurked your last few blogs, and your latest style of humour, it is quite clear that you have thrown up your hands in frustration and disgust at the latest developments in SA – But you are correct, things are so seriously wrong now, all we can do is laugh on the way down the dwanger – Who can blame you?

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