New levels of hysteria are being reached in the Joe Zone Bureau of Science (JZ-BS). Just when we thought the world of science could get no nuttier, like a bolt from the blue, along comes Friday, February 15, 2013: the day the Earth was attacked by an asteroid and a meteor on the same day. Actually, it was a bolt from the blue.
As has been reported all over the world (supposedly, even members of Congress heard about it), a bus-sized meteor exploded over western Siberia with the force of 20 atomic bombs, on the same day an asteroid passed within 17,000 miles of the Earth. To put these events in perspective, the JZ-BS has abducted, I mean cornered, a leading authority on astronomy, physics, and ginsu knives, and peppered and filleted him in the following interview – which we will present right after lunch, as I am now strangely hungry.
JZ-BS: Welcome, Dr. Miso Kooku. The world is abuzz with the weird events of last Friday. Tell us, when was the last time the Earth saw such a meteor strike?
Dr. Kooku: Fred, it was over a century ago, in 1908, in Tunguska, Siberia. Do you mind if I call you Fred?
JZ-BS: Actually, my name is Joe.
Dr. Kooku: I know that! I have 17 PhD’s and am smarter than dirt! You just look like a “Fred” to me.
JZ-BS: Really? ‘Cause most people think I look like Brad Pitt.
Dr. Kooku: Now who’s delusional?
JZ-BS: OK, “Fred” it is. So, how do we know it was bus-sized, and had the force of 20 atomic bombs?
Dr. Kooku: We just made that up. Who’s going to argue? As if you have a clue!
JZ-BS: Fifteen-love, Kooku. Apparently over 1200 people were injured.
Dr. Kooku: Yes, mostly from glass from shattered windows. It’s not clear why so many people were standing next to their windows – perhaps to catch a glimpse of the passing asteroid.
JZ-BS: How ironic! Now, as for the asteroid, have we seen such a near encounter before?
Dr. Kooku: Never! Unless you count the asteroids that smashed into Earth.
JZ-BS: Shouldn’t we count them? They seem important.
Dr. Kooku: But near misses are more fun. The whole adrenaline rush thing. Wheeee!!! It’s why I became a scientist. That, and the chicks.
JZ-BS: Moving along – how close, really, is 17,000 miles? Can you put it in perspective?
Dr. Kooku: Yes. Our communication satellites orbit about 22,300 miles above the Earth – well, a little closer to Mt. Everest, the Empire State Building, and Shaquille O’Neal, if you know what I mean. So this asteroid came inside the orbit of those satellites, and could have destroyed one, or given Shaq a buzz cut.
JZ-BS: That’s really close. And frightening. What would you say are the odds of these two events – the asteroid pass and the meteor strike – happening on the same day?
Dr. Kooku: I’d say about the same odds as Congress doing two concrete, meaningful things on the same day.
JZ-BS: Wow. The blood just drained from me. Surely malevolent forces are at work.
Dr. Kooku: No, just Mother Nature and Father Time.
JZ-BS: I’m more into Sister Sledge.
Dr. Kooku: How about the Allman Brothers?
JZ-BS: Now you’re talking! So, getting back to asteroids and such, what is the takeaway for mankind from all these celestial shenanigans?
Dr. Kooku: I’ve condensed its essence into a haiku:
Meteor smashes glasses
Yoi, what a winter!
JZ-BS: I don’t think I can possibly add anything to that.
Dr. Kooku: You betcha.
That’s all we have time for in today’s installment of the Joe Zone Bureau of Science, where startling science news is always delivered hot and fresh to your door, with your choice of toppings. Remember, in the JZ-BS, accuracy is king, facts are trump, and jacks or better to open. Join us next time as we proudly live up to our BS motto: a half-truth is twice as good as a quarter-truth.