18 March 2004

See how it all ties in

Looks like Earth's airspace is going to be violated tonight.  I realize 26,500 miles is a long way away, but it's also only one-tenth the distance from Earth to moon.  In astronomical terms, this is about as close a miss as you can get.

Upon reading the quote from the astronomer who says that the news isn't that this is happening (he says it happens all the time), it's that it was discovered before the pass occured, I can't help but think that if I was an astronomer and discovered an asteroid the size of Manitoba bearing down on Earth for a direct hit in 24 hours, I'd be tempted to keep my mouth shut.  What would be the point of going public?  There'd be no chance of avoiding it in such a short period of time.  It'd be complete mayhem if the public knew they were going to be smacked; personally, if such a thing occurs, I don't want to know.  But if it's my secret, I'm keeping my mouth shut, mixing a pitcher of mai tais, and sitting in the lounge chair on the front lawn until I'm picking gravel out of my teeth.

There were some really dumb asteroid-hits-Earth movies in the 90's.  I think I prefer "Deep Impact" only because it had Morgan Freeman as President and Tea Leoni gets washed away by the ocean.  And I'm segueing here; Robert Duvall was in that movie as well, and until I saw him in one of those DirecTV commercials where actors read letters from satisfied subscribers, I thought that was his finest "I need beer money" moment. 

There's gotta be a leader of the free world rule there somewhere.

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