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Re: Things That Made You Happy Today

Talvieno wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 10:04 am
Flatfingers wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 5:51 pm
1. Long Gamma Ray Burst (GRB) from a supernova within ~500 light-years
2. Short GRB from a neutron star merger "kilonova" within ~50 light-years
3. Rogue star or black hole nears the solar system and alters planetary orbits
4. Rogue black hole "eats" material within solar system, emitting system-wide lethal radiation
5. Potentially Hazardous Asteroid, or a comet, strikes the Earth
6. Magnetic pole reversal (resulting in several years with no planetary shield against cosmic radiation)
7. Super-volcano (Yellowstone eruption similar in scale to the Toba eruption 70K years ago)
8. Major Coronal Mass Ejection (CME) event, which would destroy most of Earth's power grid
9. Mega-tsunami (e.g., the supposed Canary Island collapse)
10. Major climate change (-60 degrees F, versus today's 60 degrees F average, versus 90 degrees F) [both lower and upper have occurred naturally]

This post definitely belongs in the topic "Things That Made You Happy Today" because none of the things listed above have happened lately....
That's a neat list. :D Most of these are highly unlikely, and those that are probable or guaranteed aren't showstoppers. Magnetic pole reversal, for instance, has happened a number of times. Only real difference is we didn't have electronics back then, and as I understand it, the reversal would probably wreak some havoc there. As to the rogue black hole, if something gets close enough to emit harmful radiation, we have bigger problems... such as Neptune leaving orbit for an intimate visit with us. :lol:

Risk is a function of both likelihood and severity. Events 1 - 5 are pretty much instant extinction, so I'd still call those somewhat risky.

Magnetic pole reversal is interesting; the main problem there -- as noted -- isn't a quick toasting of global electronics (that's more a CME effect), but rather the diminution for several years of the Earth's magnetic field: the thing that keeps most nasty cosmic radiation from hitting us. Without that, and short of global-scale engineering efforts, cancer rates go up, as well as the risk of pre-natal mortality. We might also be looking at a measurably higher rate of mutations in all living things until the poles settle down in their new areas and the planetary magnetic field returns.

So 6-10 aren't immediate annihilation for every living thing. But they'd be pretty darn nasty -- enough to do serious, possibly fatal, damage to some civilizations.

And again, my main takeaway is: we're living on borrowed time and need to get some humans living off this one rock as soon as possible.

Cody wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 2:36 pm
My money's on an asteroid strike!

OK, I've got you down for that one. You can rest assured I'll pay up just as soon as I've personally confirmed your choice was the winner.


Re: Things That Made You Happy Today

Cody wrote:
Sat Aug 25, 2018 4:15 pm
What about trains? They don't work on trains? You don't like trains?
I actually like trains and prefer them to other means of transportation. The pillow thingy works there, too, obviously, but I generally don't get migraine from trains, even in the Goddamn awful Spanish trains (really nice suspension, really big coaches, really smooth ride....and it costs much more than a bus for comparable ride time, so why would I ever spend the entire day in the train when I can ride an overnight bus? :ghost: ). In my native Russia you get proper beds for any long-distance train anyway, so sleeping in a very uncomfortable position is not a thing.

My other favourite transportation method - a long-distance ferry - doesn't need it, either; I simply sleep on the deck there.
Survivor of the Josh Parnell Blackout of 2015.

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