The doomsday site was created by Mike Kania (right), a 28 year old web developer who works for Six Apart in Philadelphia. I tracked him down from a comment he left in the source code and asked him a few questions.
[Ed] Where'd you get the idea for the site?
[Mike] The idea for the website came to me.. well, I don't really know where it came from. I know of a bunch of other similar "single serving sites" that perform similarly useless functions (isitchristmas.com, barackobamaisyournewbicycle.com, stuff like that -- there's a good post listing a bunch of them at kottke.org). I guess I just thought that, with the ridiculousness surrounding the possible "end of the world," it would be funny to create a site that lets you know if the world is ending, in case you missed it somehow. So, $10 for the domain registration and 10 minutes of writing HTML later, there it was. And apparently the new bicycle guy got a book deal out of it, so one never knows what to expect.
[Ed] How long you think we'll have, when the end comes? [Mike] I figure if the Large Hadron Collider does defy everyone's expectations & black hole-ifies us all, it'd probably happen pretty quick. I don't think I'd necessarily have much time to think about much besides maybe "Hey, what's th-
[Ed] Do you think they would tell us?
[Mike] Would they NEED to tell us? One would expect the world's end to be relatively noticeable. Then again, I suppose people aren't particularly observant, so who knows.
[Ed] So how does the site detect the end of the world?
[Ed] Are you sure it will work?
[Mike] I've done some pretty extensive QA on the site but was unable to duplicate the exact conditions under which the Earth is destroyed. I did think I was pretty close at one point, but it turned out I was just kinda drunk.
[Ed] Do you know who did the site at hasthelhcdestroyedtheearth.com ?
[Mike] Yup, we exchanged a few emails actually -- his name is Daniel Drucker. Unfortunately (and weirdly), he's also in Philadelphia, so the websites aren't going to do a great job of providing independent verification of the world's existence -- if he's gone, I'm probably toast too.
[Ed] If the world was ending how would you spend your last few minutes?
[Mike] Probably lamenting the things I didn't do, like have a second helping of pie [or another milkshake] -- who needs to worry about looks when the world's ending?
[Ed] Are you really worried the LHC will destroy the world?
[Mike] Nah, I think we're pretty safe. Then again, nothing's actually been collided yet (I believe they only fired it up so far with a single beam), so check back with me in October... if we're still around.