PLEASE NOTE:

MyNews24 is a user-generated section of News24.com. The stories here come from users.

 
James Francis
 
Comments: 18
Article views: 299
 
 
Latest Badges:


 
View all James Francis's badges.
 

Apocalypse Whenever

19 February 2013, 10:02
Mayan calendars, Raptures, Justin Bieber smoking weed... we have plenty of predictions trying to nail down the end of civilization. Yet all those crystal balls and Adventist pondering missed the near-miss of last week when a meteorite lit up part of Russia’s skies. This is serious - our doomsayers do not seem to be up to scratch.

Last week’s close shave with a meteorite caused quite a bit of excitement. Apparently a few of these rocks join our planet every year, but we rarely capture them on video. Yet look at the numbers and you’ll notice that we dodged a cosmic bullet. Not a big bullet - more like something out of an airgun. As far as Space is concerned, this meteorite was a playful wad of spit-covered paper launched from a straw. No biggie. But let’s put this in perspective: that ‘no biggie’ was a ten-ton rock moving at 44 times the speed of sound.

Now had that super-super-supersonic rock taken a more direct course downwards, it could have struck with the force of several Hiroshima-level atomic bombs - at least, that is what the Internet tells me. The scary thing - that is still a cosmic ‘no biggie’. The asteroid that sauntered past our planet last week? It apparently weighs 130,000 tons. That is massive. And yet again in space terms, if this were a school, it would be just un-scrawny enough to be chosen to the playground football team. It’s not the rock everyone picks on, but it’ll never pretend to be a jock.

We should digest this for a minute. There is no end to doomsayers and predictions of Armageddon. Many believe it will be through a divine force. And quite a few think it can be predicted, be it through a holy book or some ancient calendar. Yet last weekend we got a front-seat preview of the very least the universe can throw at us when it feels playful, spontaneous and doesn’t intend to harm... much. Even when the universe doesn’t mean business, it can still translate into death from above. That is the thickness of the tether that keeps us in this realm of existence.

This isn’t a call for more stations monitoring for big rocks out there. Those would be nice, but if you think we have anything that can stop an asteroid... well, you’re better off trusting that ancient calendar. We’re as exposed as a man mooning an avalanche. So let’s take the meteorite’s lesson to heart: when it comes to the end, you probably won’t see it coming. And if you do, at least have the class to play that Doors song. When all else fails, go out in style...
Disclaimer: All articles and letters published on MyNews24 have been independently written by members of News24's community. The views of users published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24. News24 editors also reserve the right to edit or delete any and all comments received.

 

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
18 comments
Comments have been closed for this article.

Read more from our Users

Submitted by
CraigJoseph
Ministers getting spoilt while ev...

Most people in South Africa can only dream of having a house that costs half of the wheels our ministers will be driving. Read more...

0 comments 602 views
Submitted by
Sibusiso Theledi
365 Days of Activism

“Imagine if, for 16 days, there was no rape, no child abuse” - Why only 16 days? Why not 365 days? Read more...

0 comments 55 views
Submitted by
Jazy Pollard
Unusual facts every women should ...

Before you reach out for a bottle of cellulite cream, there are 10 facts about cellulites you’ve probably never heard of before that you have to know now before taking matters into your own hands. Read more...

0 comments 1813 views
Submitted by
Werner Roets180
Dear Julius Malema

We know you and your friends are behind the fees must fall movement. I see Wits has declared an increase in fees for 2017, if you can't even get that right, how are you planning on taking over the whole country? Read more...

0 comments 2056 views
Submitted by
Pieter Carstens
Rottweiler and German Shepherd sa...

My son once unintentionally entered my space and the German Shepherd didn't like it, immediately intervening.  Read more...

0 comments 1500 views
Submitted by
New road rules for SA: 'Reducing ...

'Until road users stop bad behaviour nothing will improve', 'Lowering the speed limit is not going to stop taxis and drunk drivers from killing people'... Wheels24 readers share their views on new proposed road rules for SA! Read more...

0 comments 8642 views
 

services

E-mail Alerts The latest headlines in your inbox

RSS feeds News delivered really simply.

Mobile News24 on your mobile or PDA

E-mail Newsletters You choose what you want

News24 on Android Get the latest from News24 on your Android device.

SMS Alerts Get breaking news stories via SMS.

TV Get us in your home, on your television.

 
Interactive Advertising Bureau
 
© 2016 24.com. All rights reserved.
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.




Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.