Friday, March 28, 2008

Time For Some Perspective

First of all, I want to thank everyone who participated in the back to back monkey-poop flinging spectacles here at Casa Onassis.

I haven't hosted one of those in a while and I was afraid I was losing my chops.

Nice to know I still got skillz.

But now it's time for a little perspective. In the "things could always be worse" category, here is a fanfuckingtastic animation of what would happen if an asteroid about 500 miles across hit the earth.

Although this clip did not originate there, I first saw it over at Phil Plait's "Bad Astronomy" site. Phil is a an astronomer and he has new book coming out later this year called "Death From The Skies". It's about all of the different ways we could be wiped out by astronomical events.

Phil called this video "...the most terrifying thing I have ever seen. Ever."

He goes on to say that

" impact like this would wipe out everything. Everything. As far as I can tell, the depiction there is pretty accurate. Notice how the impact appears to be in slow motion– in reality, the speed is something like 10-20 miles per second. It’s just that the rock is so big, a [five] hundred miles across, things appear to move slowly. The expanding ring of death is moving at the speed of sound, 700 miles an hour. You can see continents lifting up as the shock wave moves through them, vaporizing water, rock, metal. The oceans boil, the crust melts, and, well. There you go.

The only real error I saw, I think, is when the shock wave encircling the Earth finally closes up when it reaches the opposite side of the planet from the impact point. The shock would eject a plume from the other side, like squeezing a watermelon seed between two fingers. We see evidence of this on other bodies; ringed features opposite giant impact craters, where the shock wave from the impact converged on the other side of the world."

So, without further adieu, I give you the total destruction of the earth and the death of every living thing.

Which is way worse than electing a white woman, a black man or a geezery old republican. Hell, it's probably even worse than waterboarding. It sure looks pretty bad.

I'm goin' downstairs to grill a ribeye and watch a zombie movie.

Enjoy, my peeps! Fo' Schizzle.


Satyavati devi dasi said...

Sometimes this passion for geology gets me in trouble.

I really, REALLY shouldn't be watching this stuff with my mood as unstable as it's been.

It was tremendous, though, unbelievable. Glaciers just evaporating...

I'm comforting myself with the thought that the Parthenon is still standing, and that after a little while, somewhere in some forgotten corner, a fern is going to grow.

But if I get nightmares, you're the one responsible for getting me a glass of warm milk and rocking me back to sleep.

Spyder said...


Nightmare said...

See I told you! much better hobby, even though you you didn't even say nuttin to me when I told you that I wanted a taco and that you should go tug root!

But I am so ready for the asteroid!

Nightmare said...


Stinkbait Boucher said...

I will have left this shell in the Rapture long before the rest of you suffer this and the demons feasting on your flesh.

After last night, the total destruction of the planet is attractive option. Is there a petition maybe?

Xavier Onassis said...

satyavati - If it helps, Phil also said "I’ll stress right here that the odds of anything this size hitting us even in the next million years are slim to none. We know of every asteroid this size in the solar system out to terrific distances, and none is slated to ruin our day (or millennium)." But if you still need a hug, I'm there for ya.

nightmare - "But I am so ready for the asteroid!" Somehow I doubt that your survivallist cache of guns and food will do you much good in this scenario. But thanks for the reminder to tug my root. I'm old. Sometimes I forget.

Xavier Onassis said...

stink - "I will have left this shell in the Rapture long before the rest of you..."

Tell God I said "Hey".

Stinkbait Boucher said...

I was practicing my God speak for my undercover work over at the dark side.

Did I seem convincing? Be honest...

Nightmare said...

Oh I don't expect to survive!

What I mean s that the Human race as a whole with the exception of the Indians in the rain forest have done a pretty bang up job of fucking this world up and I am hoping Mother Nature or the Gods themselves will take it all away from us like a spoiled brat and their favorite toy.

That is what I meant by "I'm so ready for the asteroid". And I don't think Bruce Willis or any other team of deep core drillers will be able to save us!

travel said...

What will probably kill most of us is about the size of the head of a pin.
You know, those little asteroids in our arteries. Course they don't kill all of us at once, but their aim is much better and eventually they find their mark.

Sweet dreams

Le Grand Lapin said...

xo said- "We know of every asteroid this size in the solar system out to terrific distances,..."

Well, not really. They map the known asteroids' orbits,
but new ones are discovered all the time, usually about the time they go whizzing by at 45,000 mph. Many are quite dark and virtually invisible to optical telescopes until it's way too late to worry about them.

The end won't be like the movies. I'll bet it will be a Thursday. Never could get the hang of Thursdays.

XO, you should trek out to Pasadena for one of the Skeptics Society conferences - guys like Phil Plait, Michael Shermer, James Randi, Penn & Teller, Bill Nye, Eugenie Scott and a long list of others are regulars there. It's on the CalTech campus. The Amazing Meeting is coming up in Vegas, too.

crse said...

Aw buddy. On the one hand it does give a person some perspective about the poop flinging but sadly, i take stuff like this and let it add to my own procrastination process. Of course with steak and zombies, one can cope with almost anything right?

Dan said...

That could force us to postpone the next meet-up.