Thank God for Game of Thrones

As the news just gets harder and harder to watch, a little escapism once a week can be a wonderful thing.

Sadly, there are only two episodes left in this season, including tonight’s episode.  So GoT’s ability to blot out the awfulness of reality is going to be temporary.  You might even say limited to a brief… eclipse. [rim shot]

Thank you, thank you, remember to tip your server.

-Geoff

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Don’t call up Bruce Willis yet, but…

a fairly sizable asteroid has been spotted on a trajectory that gives it a fairly decent chance (about 1 in 4,000)  of striking the Earth.   That is actually better odds than the chance you will get killed in a traffic accident any time you get in a car (1 in 6,700).  At one point the odds were actually being calculated at 1 in 300.  So this particular object has raised a few eyebrows, to put it mildly.    Enough that some people think it would be time to call the drilling crew together.   Or something.

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Speaking of rocks…

Yes, I guess you could say that geology is a hobby of ours.  There are certainly some aspects of geology that interest me more than others, just as there are some that interest Kelly more.   And one of the things about geology that really really interests me is studying impact craters, and there have been some interesting developments in recent weeks.

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Objects in Space

I have had an interest in astronomy for much of my life, and for much of the past 15 years or so that interest has focused on comets and asteroids.  I even own a fragment of a meteorite that I keep on a shelf with my science books (along with my jar of ash from Mt. St. Helens – that’s another story).  Years ago I wrote a paper on the Impact Theory as the cause of the dinosaur extinction and have been fascinated by the subject ever since, even going as far as to visit several impact crater sites in the Southeastern United States: Wetumpka; Flynn Creek; and Wells Creek.  And I even managed to have an e-mail discussion with the Dr. Walter Alvarez that I was able to incorporate into my paper.  I dare say that was one of the most memorable and meaningful experiences of my life.

This week, two distinctive events have brought the subject of cosmic impacts on the Earth back to the forefront of my mind: the spectacularly close passing of Asteroid 2012 DA14 tonight; and the equally spectacular destruction of a slightly smaller meteorite (about 1/3 the size of 2012 DA14) over the Ural Mountains that actually caused damage to buildings and injuries to bystanders.

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