Why is it people who are supposed to know what they're talking about, at some point, give us bad information.
Scientists have told us that the asteroid that was going to hit earth in 2036, is going to miss us after all. In case you didn't know, an asteroid dubbed Apophis, was originally calculated to 'claat' the Earth good and proper 23 years from now. According to an Associated Press story, when scientists first saw it they thought (my words) "watch ya now!" And then after further calculation, it was more like "It might nuh come." Finally now it's "nuh badda, it a miss."
In fairness to the nerds, from the beginning they had said Apophis, fittingly named after a mythical Egyptian serpent, wasn't going to end all life on the planet. He might have caused a tsunami and I suppose would definitely wreck a few cities, but I suppose the necessary evacuations would have taken place. I mean they had 20 years to move, know what I mean? But now we don't have to worry about that. By the way, in 'space' numbers, this fellow will not pass by much, 'only' 19,400 miles. Considering it's more than 1,000 feet wide, I guess that's a close shave.
No storm ...
Now this kind of 'upon-further-review' type of pronouncement reminds me of every time the hurricane season comes around. We hear for days that Hurricane X and Tropical Storm Y are coming for a direct hit. So the supermarket shelves empty faster than a party with underage drinkers when the police show up. And of course, no storm. Perhaps a drizzle or two with a light breeze. Still better to be overprepared than unprepared. Truth is, predicting storms and other such things is not the precise science you think. Don't know if it's possible to calculate a weather phenomenon (or an asteroid hitting the planet) down to the most minuscule detail.
So I suggest we don't take the first pronouncements of any science group, no matter how learned they are. So if you hear this meat or that vegetable is bad for you, nyam it same way. If further tests seem to support the initial theory, then quit. In the case of a hurricane or storm, obviously you can't wait that long, but to avoid rush, keep stuff in a kit, like the disaster preparation folks say.
But something just dawned on me. If the science geeks got it wrong the first time, who says these latest calculations are right. By 2015, they might tell us that Apophis is A) bigger than they thought, and B) actually going to hit us worse than a million recessions. What would they tell us next? Oops?
Well, here's to hoping they're right ... this time. Later.
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