Friday, January 16, 2009

Don't worry about Global Warming

Remember a long time ago I listed all the ways humanity could be just wiped out?

Every 500,000 years on average, a one-kilometer meteor hits the Earth, causing massive damage, extinctions, climate change, etc.

“On March 23, 1989 the 300 meter (1,000-foot) diameter Apollo asteroid 4581 Asclepius (1989 FC) missed the Earth by 700,000 kilometers (400,000 miles), passing through the exact position where the Earth was only six hours before. If the asteroid had impacted it would have created the largest explosion in recorded history.”

And of course, we have those Super-Volcanoes to worry about.

“A National Geographic documentary called Earth Shocks portrayed the destructive impact of the rapid eruption of Lake Toba some 75,000 years ago and caused a phenomenon known as the Millennial Ice Age that lasted for 1000 years and wiped out more than 60% of the global population of the time. An eruption of the Yellowstone supervolcano was originally one of the scenarios depicted in the docu-drama End Day, but was excluded from all airings to date for unknown reasons and is only presently mentioned at the show's BBC website.”

To Refresh : Yellowstone National Park is the world's largest super-volcano. If it explodes, it will be a disaster on the scale humanity has never scene. We're talking so many particles in the air it will be like a nuclear winter. It explodes about once every 300,000 years. It has been 330,000 years since the last explosion.

In Time this week - "Numbers: 500 - Estimated number of earthquakes that shook Yellowstone National Park between Dec 26th and Jan 1, triggering fears of a massive hydrothermal explosion."

500 Earthquakes in a week.


In lighter news, Wendy and I watched "Love Actually" last night. We've seen it three or four times each over the years and last night's viewing was probably the best. Maybe it's because we haven't seen anything amazing for a while, but really, the film is just so well written, acted, directed. Everything about the film was perfect. Each scene just the right length. Each line masterfully crafted. Highly recommended.

In the middle of it I paused the film, took Wendy's hands in mine and turned towards her and looked deep into her eyes.

"You know, it is moments like this that just remind me how special you are. How great we have it. I just want you to know... I love you like a hamburger."

Wendy points a finger at me "That is not becoming part of your repertoire."

"Okay, that was the last time. I promise."

Sorry for the lack of really long updates. They will probably continue for a while. The books Wendy gave me for Christmas opened my eyes to a number of places I could be selling stories. And, I have come to the conclusion that getting an agent and selling a book will be much easier if I have a resume as long as my arm of places that I have been published.

I have spent this week looking at websites, writer's guidelines, appropriate markets and mining this website and my always in progress book for articles of the appropriate length and content for different places.

I have already recieved my first rejection.

I am sure it is the first of many, but as my fortune cookie told me so long ago - "Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent."


  1. What is more plausible do you think - natural disaster on that scale or a nuclear war of some sort. India/Pakistan, Israel/Iran, terrorist with dirty bomb in NYC, etc.

  2. I read an interview with one of the Yellowstone geologists where he discussed the recent earthquake swarm in the park.

    He said that while there is always an element of the unknown that Yellowstone is such a geologically active area that most likely this is a lead up to something but not a major eruption. He believes that within the next month there would be a major steam release underneath Lake Yellowstone or something similar.

    He said that when that event happens they will better be able to tell if there is something more destructive pending.

    As it is they can measure how deep the earthquakes are and can tell how far below the surface any magma is located.

    While we have never experienced an eruption on the magnitude that could happen, they believe that we have learned enough even since Mt Saint Helens that we would be much better at predicting a major eruption.

    I personally believe that if we can see an eruption coming that we are smart enough to contain or control it. We know that an eruption comes from pressure under the surface and the movement of the magma. I would imagine that given some warning we could find a way to relieve some of the pressure and perhaps call in Tommy Lee Jones to divert the magma out to sea. ;)

  3. Anon - I think a nuclear war/attack is much more likely. Yellowstone could erupt tomorrow or in another 30,000 years and by them we'll just throw a forcefield around it.

    Hans - great information - thank you. I don't know about releasing the pressure though. Nice to know we should be able predict a massive eruption with some degree of certainty but Yellowstone Volcano is such a massive scale I can't imagine what we would do to relieve the pressure in time. I mean, the pressure is building miles beneath the Earth and its a veritable sea of lava down there. Bill Brison said it was about the size of Rhode Island, five miles deep.

  4. Well I'm on a Firefly roll right now. I watched all 14 episodes in the past two days. Why is this germane? Because Jayne Cobb would make great fortune cookie quotes (akin to your persistence quote):

    If wishes were horses we'd all be eating steak.

    What'd y'all order a dead guy for?

    Mal: ...Could have been meditating on the wonders of your rock garden right now.
    Jayne: Beats just sitting.
    Wash: It is just sitting.

    Good luck with the publishing!

  5. "I have already recieved my first rejection."

    Damn it. Spellcheck, Wakefield. You are STILL better than this.