Tuesday, 7 February 2012

Dino's and Deep Impact

Glory Glory GLORY Hallelujah! Finally! It was getting time! What’s that? Oh, no, not the Google search for Metis Meets Mittington… That still doesn’t work (unless, funnily enough, you look for Metis Meets Mittington plus a distinctive quote, like Dedushka - then it pops up somehow in the search results… Beats me how this digital sweeping of the Twilight Zone works!)

No, what I had in mind when I burst out in undiluted jubilation, is the new initiative of the European Union to protect us from the fate of the dinosaurs! In this time of crisis, when all have to sacrifice and only the most pressing and vital expenditure should be permitted, the EU, in its unending wisdom, has fortunately decided to sink a small starting subsidy of, I believe, some 4 million €uros into a science project that will investigate how to deflect an asteroid making to bump into earth.

What asteroid is that? Well, oops, none which is known, really. There is one, the so-called “(433) Eros”, which admittedly is coming damned close to us, sometime in the next 20 years. But Close is a relative term in space jargon and if I understand it well that chunk of rock will pass by at roughly three light years from our beloved earth. Which gives all of us the shivers, right? Just imagine! The next one may come even closer! Only two light years away for instance! Yes, it may happen! And then we’d better come prepared!

Never mind that the last time this actually took place was when the dinosaurs roamed the earth, i.e. eons ago (geology was never my strong point!) Never mind, either, that the solutions I read – proposed by serious, respectable scientists, mind… scientists so respectable that they deserve a generous starting (!) subsidy from no less a respectable body than the European Commission! – remind me eerily of certain SF movies I’ve seen over the years. We have them that propose a “gravity tractor”, i.e. some sort of static satellite, which gently nudges the 20 x 20 x 10 km chunk of rock into another orbit. There are them that would rather go for a “kinetic impactor” (oh, Newspeak Newspeak, mendicant is thy name!), which means a huge rocket to hit the asteroid in such a way as to deflect it from its collision course. And finally – surprise! – yet others simply want to blast the thing to smithereens with a small horde of nuclear weapons. The originality of thought truly baffles me!

After reading this stunning, but welcome piece of news, I have two proposals to make. First of all, for reasons of Prestige and Public Relations, let us rechristen “(433) Eros” to “(4,000,000) Euros”.

Next, let us wait until it gets close, and then sent a space ship up to it, steered by Captain Barosso and co-Captain Van Rompuy, manned by the entire European Commission, with the mission of landing on the surface of this dangerous behemoth, and blowing it to pieces by sinking half a dozen nuclear warheads into its evil skin, heroically laying down their lives for the well-being of the planet earth and the rest of humanity. Just like good old Robert Duvall did so splendidly in that 1998 movie. Now there’s a Deep Impact that Alfred B. Mittington could easily live with! The world would only be a saver, but also a better place, I say!

As a wise old Greek once said on the Areopagus in a somewhat similar situation:

People who rob milk from the mouths of children in the name of Governmental Austerity, but spend freely on their own pastimes and extravagances, deserve to be ostracised.

I agree. Alfred.

PS Incidentally: Ms Sue Google has written to me from her Hotmail account, threatening legal action in a Washington State court unless I immediately remove from my blog all references to her person or her business which may harm her revenue. Great… Now how do I do that??

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