This is a picture of the Large Hadron Collider in Switzerland and France (it's really big). It's a particle accelerator which will begin smashing particles together on October the 21st of this year. You might want to pencil that date into your calendar since that will surely be the day we rip a hole in time/space or at least open the Hell Mouth.
Above is the CMS Detector which... detects CMS's, duh. (Actually it's a 7 story tall machine that detects the particles.) The ring the particles are shot through is 27 kilometres long or... how many miles for my American friends? Um, it's this big:
Ok, it's kinda hard to see the ring. Squint. Oh, 17 miles. To keep those particles moving it uses 1600 superconducting magnets each of which weigh over 27 tonnes. Like I said, it's really big. And all those big magnets need to be kept cool to work properly so the whole thing is flooded with 96 tonnes of liquid helium which will drop the temperature to -271 degrees Celsius (-456 F).
Why am I telling you all of this? Because I'm a geek for this shit. I don't even know what it does aside from crashing particles together at high speeds and seeing what they do. Obviously this is very important to somebody since it must of cost a bajillion dollars to build. Whatever, I'm a boy and we dig this stuff. Go to the Big Picture to see some more pics, they are impressive. And if you're not impressed with Justice League style super weapons (it's not a weapon, but totally looks like one, right?) you should check out the Big Picture anyway if you've never heard of it.