Now, I don't want to be accused of scaremongering, so treat this as less in the way of factual news and more in the way of extremely awesome news. (It's also quite old news but let's not let that get in the way of me writing about it.)
In only a couple of hours they are turning on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC). The LHC is a device 27 kilometres long installed in a series of tunnels one hundred metres below the Franco-Swiss border.
What can the LHC do? Hopefully, say scientists, it will produce the previously theoretical Higgs boson, also known as the "God particle". Also, says British Astronomer Royal Martin Rees (aka Baron Rees of Ludlow), it has a one in 50 million chance of destroying the world. Them's good odds.
Possible candidates for an LHC apocalypse include a micro black hole, a magnetic monopole, the incredibly cool vacuum metastability event, or the creation of a strangelet, which could in turn result in an "ice-nine" disaster scenario.
Now, I've had a bit of a hunt around about the LHC and as far as I can tell no one involved in the project is an obvious super-villain. That's a bit disappointing, really. You'd think a giant doomsday machine located in secret tunnels beneath the French border would draw megalomaniacs like mice to cheese. Joystiq does have an excellent photo demonstrating that Gordon Freeman is attached to the research, though.
The infinitessimally small chance of the world ending is a bit of a worry, I'll grant you, but it's totally balanced out by the massively jaw-dropping science-faction involved. Thumbs up, LHC. Thumbs up.