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Thursday, October 22, 2015

Giant Asteroid to Hit Earth


Asteroid 2011-AG5 is a 200-meter asteroid and it's headed straight for the earth.

Of course, it's pretty far away; it won't hit until 2040.

And actually, the phrase, "straight for the earth," is overstating matters.  In astronomical terms, nothing really heads "straight for" anything.  Scientists calculate its chances of hitting are 1 in 625.

But still.  Giant asteroid.  Earth.  Sure death.  Think of the dinosaurs.

In the interests of full disclosure, I should say that the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs, known as Chicxulub, was 10 kilometers in diameter, whereas 2011-AG5 is only 200 meters.  Also, scientifically speaking, you're much more likely to be wiped out by an asteroid named Chicxulub, than a generic set of numbers and letters like 2011-AG5.  In fact, once you give an asteroid a cool name like Chicxulub, you've pretty much signed your own death warrant, which is why scientists don't do that any more.

By this time, you're probably pretty pissed off, but think about it: would you bother with an article titled, "Asteroid Two-Percent as Large as the One That Killed the Dinosaurs Has Remote Chance of Hitting the Earth in Thirty Years"?

If you want to get someone's attention, you have to be bold.  It's like those little featured internet stories that say, "Angelina Jolie Bares All," and then you open the link, and she's wearing a calf-length dress.

For example, the other day, I came running in the house, shouting, "Fire!  Fire!" and Nancy and I run out, and she was like, "What fire?"  And I said, "There isn't a fire, but there's a double rainbow.  Look."  "Why did you say fire?" was Nancy's query, and I said, "Would you have run out of the house if I'd shouted, 'Rainbow!  Rainbow!'"  And you'd think she'd be happy that her house wasn't burning down and there was a double rainbow, but she wasn't.

I'm sorry.

Actually, the above anecdote never occurred.

I was just trying to get your attention.

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