Thursday, September 22, 2011


I've never been crazy about having anything whizzing around in the dark - starting with june bugs, progressing to bats and then taking a big jump to little asteroids, big meteorites and junk the size of a bus.

Now I admit I started out my life as a somewhat fearful child...and lots of things scared me, but I can't say I've become either a worry-wort or a hysteric personality in my dotage. But yesterday Jer and I were watching the mid-day news on Channel 4, and when the female talking head announced that the chances of being hit tomorrow by a piece of space junk from the bus-sized satellite due to enter our atmosphere were 1 in 3,200 I truly was taken aback! I waited for her to correct what she said -- that just couldn't be possible, I thought . But it didn't happen. I supposed she'd eventually announce that she meant something like "1 in 32,000," or "1 in 32,000,000." Jer and I looked at each other and said, "Someone made a mistake."

I told Jerry that those kind of odds are better than the odds of winning the BIG BANG lottery. If I could get odds like that I'd be willing to fork over some of my retirement savings to take a chance.

Since yesterday I've waited to see what kind of odds the scientists were really going to give. Nothing more was said on any of the newscasts we've been listening to, so a little researching online today produced the following:

The 1-in-3,200 odds of being hit pertain to any of the nearly 7 billion people on Earth. But any one individual's odds of being struck are about 1 in 21 trillion.

The quote goes on to say that the debris will only effect a 500 mile wide area - so perhaps that is why the odds differ. There was no further information given.

Now in addition to not being a particular fearful person, I also am not a very scientifically or mathematically oriented person, and I just have to admit that I don't understand what all this means.

If I am in this 500 mile wide window, I may react just as Chicken Little did -- THE SKY IS FALLING! THE SKY IS FALLING! But I think NASA is pretty sure that Mira Loma/Jurupa Valley is not in that window and I will be spared having to see a bus-sized satellite hurtling at me.

So I'll go to bed tonight expecting full well to get up hale and hearty tomorrow morning and spend the day having my usual Friday fun without worry. I'm counting on the 21 trillion to 1 odds to be operational for me.

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