Danny Schneider was born in Graz, Austria, on 4 November 1976, making him 35 on Crystal Day. His father was a Bulgarian immigrant who worked in a menial position in a car factory, preferring to spend his time drinking than use his intelligence to get a better job. His mother was loving but passive and was subject to some abuse by her husband.
Danny had an extremely unstable childhood. His father was cruel and abusive, especially when drunk. He sometimes beat Danny with a stick. Danny was more intelligent than both parents and felt he did not really belong to them. He soon took on the task of making things better. He wanted to fight his father and take care of his mother, but was too weak to do either.
In a reaction against his father’s abuse, Danny became committed always to doing the ‘right thing’. Laws and rules dominated his thinking. He loved maths and science because they were logical and based on clear rules. He did well at school.
Danny went to University in Germany and studied engineering, then began to work within the physics department of the university as a technician, finally moving to CERN.
On Crystal Day he is the shift leader who restarts the ATLAS detector after the winter shut-down.
Danny is a control freak. He always wants to control or repress his anger and instinctual energy, terrified lest he act like his father, but his anger is very easily roused.
He directs all this emotional energy into his work, often working 80 hours a week. He believes he is motivated by a desire to do what is right for the world, to help to make the world a better place.
He almost always wears the same green jacket no matter what the weather. His face is usually ashen grey as it sees very little of the Sun. He sweats a great deal, his palms feel sticky when you shake his hand. When he is angry the tip of his nose turns white. His hair is mousy brown, thin and dull.
Marriage to Marianne
Danny married Marianne after she became pregnant in the late summer of 2011. She had not been working in CERN very long and her tempestuous affair with Alex Karolyi had just finished. She started going out with Danny on the rebound. They married in February 2012.