Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Don't look up!

Hey everybody, good news: it looks like our civilization is probably not going to be reduced to a barbarism! At least not because of an astroid impact. Well, at least not because of this specific asteroid, and at least not in the immediate future.
Don't worry, there're still plenty of reasons our society is doomed:
Pandemics, ape/robot uprisings, alien invasion...not zombies though.
You can scratch zombies off the list. They're objectively preposterous.
Good luck with that,
future generations.
The 370-meter hunk of divine wrath was discovered recently by Russian scientist Vladimir Lipunov who said that its orbit would take it into smashing range of the Earth every three years and that we should all start living in a perpetual state of fear. NASA scientists on the other hand issued a statement yesterday saying that 2014 ur116 (yeah, that's the thing's name) is not likely to hit us in the next 150 years so we can all just relax, safe in the knowledge that ur116 is someone else's problem.

So, who do we believe? The jittery Russian scientist who's constantly looking up at the sky, (or down at his dash-cam) waiting for death from above? Or the underfunded American space agency who is still, still, having to explain to idiots that the moon landing was real?
Pictured: The third of six moon landings NASA spent billions
of dollars and years of effort faking just to fuck with us.
As foretold in Mad Max:
Beyond Thunderdome
Well, both it turns out. While we probably won't be attaching Lipunov's name to the rock that finally goes dinosaur-killer on us (better luck next time!), both he and NASA agree that we should be tracking the thousands of near-Earth objects which could (but probably won't [but theoretically could]) come crashing down upon us and reduce our cities to burnt-out ruins controlled by gangs of mutants led by Tina Turner and Master Blaster. And I'm not really sure how I feel about this.

It seems reasonable to track potentially threatening asteroids, but I guess the next question is, what then? Until we have some method of landing Bruce Willis and enough explosives to divert said doom-rock, what'd be the point?
What? Sending the star of Live Free or Die Hard makes about
as much sense as sending a rag-tag team of oil-rig workers.
Above: History was full of stupid.
In some ways, the likelihood of a significant, extinction-triggering impact, has remained more or less unchanged for all of human history. People living in the middle ages were in just as much danger of getting crushed by space rocks, but they didn't have to worry about it. Of course, they also didn't have to worry about witches or werewolves either but that didn't stop them from burning people alive. Um, what was I talking about again?

Oh. Right. Look, I'm not suggesting that shouldn't track these things, I'm just wondering if maybe we should stop freaking everybody out every time a rock flies by.
See that son? That's space. Space hates us, and wants to kill us.
It's the reason you'll never grow up. Learn to fear the unknown.

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