Right on cue, the universe invokes the Looney Tunes law: the particle accelerator suddenly starts to work, while its fail-safes and other safety measures unapologetically continue to malfunction (or, rather, not exist).
And that, friend, is how the U-70 Synchrotron particle accelerator at the Institute for High Energy Physics in Protvino comes to fire a high-energy proton beam straight at your face. Straight. At. Your face.
La Boite Verte
Such is the story of Anatoli Bugorski, the mild-mannered research scientist whose ordinary day at work was rudely interrupted by a 200,000-rad dose of death-ray therapy (lethal dose: 500 to 600 rads). With the brightness of "a thousand suns," the beam entered through the left side of his nose, punched its way through his skull at near-light speed, and exited through the back of his head, because there's no kill like overkill.
Yep -- Bugorski received a direct message from the gods of science, and that message was, "Bye."
Even so, dude refused to die. The days after the incident saw the murder-beamed half of Bugorski's head swell beyond recognition and his skin peel off. He moved to Moscow to be probed and poked by his interested peers as he slowly and inevitably perished. However, much to the surprise of everyone, Bugorski started to get better instead. An injury that should have killed him 400 times over left him with just a deaf ear and some relatively minor scarring and neural damage (partial facial paralysis, occasional seizures). Of course, the psychological burden of the experience was so heavy that he never was the same.