The universe is trying to kill us

22Sep09

Every now and then, I stumble across something truly wonderful on The Internets.

Today it was a calculation of the odds of being mushed by a meteor. Wheee!

The good news is that we’re more likely to perish from the resulting shock wave or tsunami than we are from a direct hit. The bad news? Astronomically speaking, it’s just a matter of time.

I found this cheerful little tidbit at Phil Plait’s Bad Astronomy blog.

As someone who finds endless wonder in nature—and equal delight in bad science—I’m an instant fan. Especially since Phil is very witty, yet also endearingly grim.

Phil concludes his Death by Meteor post by wondering why we’re ignoring one of the few calamities we may actually be able to prevent.

I, meanwhile, am shopping for a new helmet.

But maybe I should spring for an underground bunker instead.

As it turns out, meteors may be the least of our problems. We could also be done in by gamma ray bursts, cannibal galaxies, aliens, comets, supernovae, and a host of other astronomical catastrophes—all of which are lovingly detailed in Phil’s book.

I’m off to buy a copy. I’ll be back soon with a full report—assuming today isn’t my lucky “1 in 700,000” day.



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