Friday, September 23, 2011

Will YOU be the one-in-a-trillion who gets hit by the falling space satellite today?

            “Today is a good day to die!”

            “Oh, it is not either,” I responded to my inner Klingon. I did hazard a glance upwards, though, and shuffled a little faster from the back-of-the-parking-lot spot in which I had parked my red minivan. It was entirely possible my inner Klingon had more experience with space debris than I did. Klingons traveled through space, after all, and I was completely earth-bound.

            “Scientists don’t know where the space debris will land. The chances of it falling on little Lawrenceville, Georgia out of all the places on earth it could land, have got to be pretty slim.” I tried to pacify my inner Klingon with statistics. Unfortunately, Klingons don’t DO statistics.

            “Today is a good day to die!”

            “Stop saying that!” A student walking next to me dropped back a few paces. My guess was that I’d inadvertently yelled at my Klingon out loud. Oh dear. They’d be calling me “that crazy lady who teaches writing” if I didn’t knock it off.

            I reached the building and heaved a sigh of relief as I entered. I decided to take the stairs; I didn’t trust the elevators today. No need to take a chance. My inner Klingon rolled his eyes in disgust.

            I huffed and puffed up two flights of stairs to the writing lab where I worked. If I took the stairs every day, I’d probably lose a few pounds. I resolved to do just that, assuming that an out of control NASA satellite didn’t land on campus today.

            The lab wasn’t very busy, so I contemplated the historical implications of an object the size of a big yellow school bus smashing into the surface of the earth. I decided that it was quite possible that dinosaurs had been much more advanced than we had ever thought. What if dinosaurs had sent satellites into orbit millions of years ago, only to be destroyed when one fell back to earth? One theory about the extinction of dinosaurs was that a giant meteor hit the earth and caused a big dust cloud to form, making Earth an unsuitable place for dinosaurs to live. What if it wasn’t a meteor? Enough said, right?

            I could see that it was going to be a long day.  NASA had the technology to launch a satellite the size of a Greyhound bus, but they didn’t have the technology to figure out whether it was going to destroy a piece of Toronto, Sydney, London, or Beijing? What’s wrong with that picture? My inner Klingon rubbed his hands together in delight. As for me, I just wanted to teach writing, play with my puppy, hug my sons and my husband, and live to see tomorrow.

            I suggest you watch the sky today, and have a plan to run if you see a school bus plummeting toward you from on high. Living in modern times sure is interesting, isn’t it?    


  1. Schools really need to start falling debris drills.

  2. You are so right! I'll suggest that at the next school board meeting. lol