BBC R4 had an interview this morning with two prof-types, prior to the LHC startup, and in a nod to the science they were asked for an analogy about how the Higgs particle (wot I don’t believe in) produces mass. So they said (apparently this is a familiar idea): its like a cocktail party; if someone famous, for example Thatcher, moves through the guests, they get slowed down – given mass, effectively – as the guests, the Higgs, congregate around them. “Ah thank you”, said the science reporter. “And good luck in your search for Margaret Thatcher”. “”The guests, actually” said an aggrieved prof. Demonstrating that the science reporter hadn’t understood a word of what they were saying. All he had understood is that Thatcher is famous, so is the Higgs, so they must the analogous bits.