How to destroy the Earth: A DIY guide

Ever wanted to indulge your inner evil genius — and destroy the Earth? Sam Hughes, a 21-year-old math student in England, has assembled a list of the currently most-feasible methods for ending life as we know it. Though he cautions that “Destroying the Earth is harder than you may have been led to believe,” he nonetheless boils it down to two dozen techniques, and presents them with a how-to thoroughness that reads sort of like a Martha Stewart feature on cooking a turkey. My favorite method:

Gobbled up by strangelets

You will need: a stable strangelet

Method: Hijack control of the Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider in Brookhaven National Laboratory, Long Island, New York. Use the RHIC to create and maintain a stable strangelet. Keep it stable for as long as it takes to absorb the entire Earth into a mass of strange quarks. Keeping the strangelet stable is incredibly difficult once it has absorbed the stabilising machinery, but creative solutions may be possible.

Earth’s final resting place: a huge glob of strange matter.

(Thanks to Erik for this one!)

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I'm Clive Thompson, the author of Smarter Than You Think: How Technology is Changing Our Minds for the Better (Penguin Press). You can order the book now at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Powells, Indiebound, or through your local bookstore! I'm also a contributing writer for the New York Times Magazine and a columnist for Wired magazine. Email is here or ping me via the antiquated form of AOL IM (pomeranian99).

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