October 31, 2015
If the Great Pumpkin Really Visited…

By now you’ve no doubt heard about the spooky asteroid about to make a near-earth pass.

But if we actually pause, and dare, to consider the implications for more than a brief moment as the asteroid flies by, they’re pretty scary.

Not that the asteroid, TB145 or the Great Pumpkin to its friends, will hit Earth or even threaten to, nor that it does from certain angles have a pair of depressions that mimic eye holes in a skull. Nor that it happens to pass us on Halloween. What’s scary is when it was discovered, which was October 10. Of this year. Three weeks ago. And this one’s twenty times larger than the one near Chelyabinsk in 2013 whose impact was estimated at 20-30 times the explosive power of the Hiroshima bomb. And that one hit at a shallow angle so most of the impact was on the atmosphere; had it struck more head-on, or more directly above a heavily populated area, there would undoubtedly have been more than the actual 1,500 injuries and 7,200 buildings damaged.

Chelyabinsk was undetected until it hit. TB145 we detected three weeks before it passes nearby. Chelyabinsk was 20 Hiroshimas; TB145 would therefore be looking at something like 400 Hiroshimas.

And while the toll of death and destruction created by the asteroid’s impact would be horrific, nearly unimaginable, let us speculate briefly about what life would be like on Earth should something the size of TB145 be discovered heading directly for us, impact in three weeks. Given the vagaries of impact and our lack of knowledge of the asteroid it would probably be impossible to predict the effects of impact; would it break up on contact with our atmosphere or become a bullet headed for the planetary core or what? And while we could see this immense destruction heading our way we’d likely have no idea which part of the planet would be most affected; an explosion 18 miles up like Chelyabinsk would scatter its effects differently than one that impacted more directly. Would it hit in the middle of the Pacific, the Amazon, Manhatten, Prague, Lagos, Siberia, Beijing? We wouldn’t be able to predict precisely where one should go for shelter, other than underground, which has its own fears and dangers. Where would the super-rich go? Could they put themselves in orbit long enough to ride out the physical and social upheaval? It quickly goes all science-fiction-y on us. Panic would be widespread, but no one would be certain where to run. Now that would be a scary Halloween.


Posted by Chuck Dupree at October 31, 2015 06:39 PM
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Where would the super-rich go? Why, to the safe room of course!

What's that? You don't have a safe-room? You couldn't afford a safe room even if you wanted them?

Well, that just proves you're not smart enough to be super-rich. And that asteroids are God's way of weeding you out.

Yours very crankily,
The New York Crank

Posted by: NewYork Crank on October 31, 2015 10:33 PM

Years ago I dreamed I swam across the river Styx. A bad message awaited me upon my arrival. "Get back over there. You got swim trunks on."

For years I pondered upon this dream and now I know the answer. "You can't take it with you. So quit acquiring you fool".

The great pumpkin has spoken.

Posted by: BP on November 1, 2015 2:22 PM

Incidentally, saw two of these (link at bottom) this past week. I pondered whether it was an alibino squirrel and then another appeared which I pointed out to my wife, who saw as the second one we encountered. No delusions, even though this page says biologists claim them not to exist. But two people who live in our home know better.

Not the stuff of which dreams are made of. Although a zero with a dot in the center is. But that's only theoretical.

Why I dream of infinite universes existing as a result of seeing that symbol I can't explain. You would need someone to explain to me how absolute zero can be created to make that dream come true, although you'll have to fly on any creation I might make when you show me how to lower the temperature enough to reach that center of the dot inside zero. I dare not leave this universe so flying machines or carpets or whatever leave me uninterested. As white squirrels are enough to keep it interesting enough to continue the journey on in this one.

I could have sworn I saw that symbol in the book "Man and his Gods" by Homer Smith (with introduction by A. Einstein) but it ain't there, I sent back and checked to make sure, so I forget where that symbol came to me from.


Posted by: BP on November 1, 2015 4:02 PM

Chuck you know I can't do chess, so I'm hoping you'll at least try debating that flying machine/infinite universes debate.


It makes me laugh thinking about those fellows trying to get back to this universe.

Posted by: BP on November 1, 2015 4:55 PM
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