I was very relived the other day to read that scientists from Brisbane were working on a way to stop a massive asteroid that’s headed straight for the planet. “We’re totally on this,” the scientists say. “We’ll wrap it in tin foil and the solar radiation will push it off the collision course it’s currently on. With Earth.”
And then I reread the article to see if there was some mistake, but no, there it was, printed in black and white pixels. AN ENORMOUS FUCKING ASTEROID IS HEADED STRAIGHT FOR EARTH. It’s due to hit in 2036. Well, maybe. There is the possibility that it might just pass us by. Scientists have to wait till 2011 to find out for sure.
If I do my sums right, I’ll be about 56. Which is much, much earlier than I planned on checking out. I mean, you can live a full life in that period of time, but I always wanted to reach 112. I don’t know why. It just seemed like a good, round, and especially faraway number.
2036 seems very very soon in comparison. Fatally soon. I mean, there’s a massive rock that is very likely to hit earth and we’re planning on wrapping it in tinfoil? BUST OUT THE NUKES, GENTLEMEN. Get some salt of the earth types to fly a rocket at this thing and give it the old one-two welcome to earth combo. This is not a fucking baked potato.
What makes it even worse is that we know about this one, and are planning for it. What about the ones we don’t know about? Space is infinite, and it’s not all on a level plane like most diagrams or science fiction shows would have you believe. There’s a full spherical 360 degrees of space out there and rocks are hurtling through it at speeds which would make you shit a goat.
So you can understand why one of my many ulcers is caused by news reports like this recent one which gleefully informs an increasingly damp-panted populace that a medium sized asteroid hit Earth and broke up, and that scientists didn’t know anything about it until it was streaking through out upper atmosphere.
That was a small one. We’re very, very lucky. What if it had been a hundred times that size? Like the one which nearly hit the Earth back in 2002? Oh sure, you say, that one was six hundred thousand kilometres away. A near-miss in cosmic terms but still a fairly comfortable margin. So what about this one back in 2004 which passed so close it was closer to the earth than some communications satellites?
If your pants aren’t filled to bursting at this point, you’ve got serious mental problems (or you can’t read English). The sheer fact of the matter is, if one of these bastards hits us, we’re done for. Gone. Life as we know it ceases right then, and one of them could be headed for us right now. And there wouldn’t be a damn thing any of us could do to stop it.
And the buggerance of it all is that this has never, ever worked for me as a pick up line.