Of all the animals of prey, man is the only sociable one.
Every one of us preys upon his neighbour, and yet we herd together.
The Beggar's Opera: John Gay

Thursday 22 September 2011

The sky is falling!

According to the latest update on the UARS - the satellite dropping out of its rapidly decaying orbit - it is expected to land sometime 'during the afternoon of September 23rd, Eastern Daylight Time'.

A bit of arithmetic places that as sometime on Friday evening for those of us in the UK. Although the exact target area cannot yet be determined, the update is certain that the satellite 'will not be passing over North America during that time period'.

One imagines the good folks of the U-S-of-A breathing a sigh of relief - as any Limey who has spent time there can tell you, there's A-murr-ica and then there's the rest of the world, which doesn't really count (except for a few Canadians, who play hockey and almost talk like real people).

We're not in the clear yet, though. It's a sobering thought that, should 1,200-odd pounds of metal start raining down on some of  Britain's city centres during the usual Friday night Bacchanalia, quite apart from potential casualties, we'll never hear the end of it from the religious fundamentalists.

NASA have calculated the chance of a person being struck by any of it - something that has never happened to date - as 1 in 3,200; worrying, perhaps, for anyone who has ever bought a National Lottery ticket expecting to win. However, according to the Daily Mail (who else!), 'the odds of any one particular person being hit are much lower, around one in 21 trillion'.

So I suppose that means I'm all right, Jack; all the same, it will be interesting to see whether there is any ongoing news coverage tomorrow night, particularly in the likely impact zone.

Health & Safety update: according to latest reports, 'NASA has warned people not to touch the debris if they come across it because it is likely to have sharp edges'.


  1. One can only hope it lands where it won't do too much damage, like Cardiff

  2. Wouldn't it be awful if it landed on Dale Farm?

  3. Right ready for the count down.

    Fingers crossed it's Pontcanna.

    C'mon God you must owe me one by now

  4. Julia, a little harsh, surely? Though you can bet they (or Vanessa Redgrave)'d be suing NASA before the dust had settled - and
    no-one would ever see the metal again.

    Cat, that sounds quite heartfelt! I once got stuck in Cardiff for an unforgettable evening after rioting football fans stoppped the trains; it was like wandering into the last days of the Roman Empire, but I'm not entirely sure they deserve half a ton of assorted airborne scrap.

  5. it is indeed, as today commemorates the day that The Ex was coughed/spat into the world by Satan and that is where she currently has her coven.

    I always get a bit angry on 22/9

  6. BTW Well done on getting salaried

  7. Thanks, Cat, and commiserations too: by coincidence, it is also the birthday of one of my family, a truly wonderful and warm human being loved by all - perhaps an example of nature striking a Newtonian balance?


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