Sunday, August 1

Melancholy, a collider and the first photo on the internet | Digital Trends Spanish

Four smiling women, dressed in evening gowns, pose for a photograph. If the image is looked at carefully, it is seen that they were cut out of a photograph to paste them on a basic background decorated with the legend Les Horribles Cernettes. It is not the work of an expert, but it shows care. And, references aside, the composition is reminiscent of the female pop music groups of the eighties such as the Bangles, in the United States, or the Flans, in Mexico (where he is the one who signed this text). It could be one of the many millions of images that circulate on the internet, but it is not just any postcard, but the first photograph uploaded to the net.

The names of the women who could well be the pioneers of Instagram are, from left to right, Angela Higney, Michele de Gennaro, Colette Marx-Neilsen and Lynn Veronneau, today ladies dedicated to activities as varied as teaching Pilates on the paradise island of Mauricio or travel the world with a jazz band, according to the BBC. But in 1992, the path of all of them crossed at the European Organization for Nuclear Research, commonly known as CERN (French acronym for Conseil Européen pour la Recherche Nucléaire).

CERN is one of the most important research centers in the world. It is located near the border between France and Switzerland, and it was in that place where, at the end of June 2012, the existence of the Higgs boson was validated, the particle that completes the theoretical puzzle that explains the formation of the universe and that deserved the Nobel Prize in Physics the following year.

But not everything that is investigated at CERN has to do with physics. In fact, on that site an invention so earthly was developed that today it connects billions of people and that had its pictorial debut with Les Horribles Cernettes. We talk about the World Wide Web or www, the system that today we commonly call the internet (although the internet and the web are not synonymous) and developed by Tim Berners-Lee as an employee of CERN in the late eighties.

You only love your collider

Les Horribles Cernettes was an amateur musical group that parodied the aesthetics of the fifties and formed CERN employees to participate in a music festival organized by Silvano de Gennaro in 1989, a computer employee at the research center and a colleague of Berners-Lee. At the request of a friend, Michele, one of the cernettesShe asked Silvano (then her partner and who would eventually become her husband) to compose a melancholic song. The piece, called “Collider” in reference to the colliders used at CERN, talks about the spite of a woman in love with a scientist whom she never sees due to his long days as a researcher. The stanzas satirize spite by saying that the scientist is not interested in her or other women, but only has eyes (or rather head) for his collider.

I gave you a golden ring to show you my love
You went to stick it in a printed circuit
To fix a voltage leak in your collector
You plug my feelings into your detector
You never spend your nights with me
You don’t go out with other girls either
You only love your collider
Your collider

The band performed the song at the CERN Hadronic Festival (sort of like the CERN Hadronic Festival) in 1989 and it became something of a sensation not only among the research center staff, but also in the 1990s scientific community. with appearances at other physicist conventions such as the World 92 Expo in Seville or the party with which Georges Charpak celebrated his Nobel Prize in Physics in 1992. Although always in the field of cult bands, they even made a record and even have a music video for their debut track.

Faced with fame, Berners-Lee asked his colleague Silvano de Gennaro to scan a photograph of Les Horribles Cernettes to upload them to the web (by the way, still online). De Gennaro uploaded the famous image to the web from a Mac computer on July 18, 1992 and thus opened the door to one of the most common uses of the internet: posting images. The CernettesMeanwhile, they became history, even when the aforementioned of that historic 1989 presentation was not even presented. He was probably very busy with his collider.

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