The Random Comic Strip

The Random Comic Strip

Words to live by...

"How beautiful it is to do nothing, and to rest afterward."

[Spanish Proverb]

Ius luxuriae publice datum est

(The right to looseness has been officially given)

"Everyone carries a part of society on his shoulders," wrote Ludwig von Mises, "no one is relieved of his share of responsibility by others. And no one can find a safe way for himself if society is sweeping towards destruction. Therefore everyone, in his own interest, must thrust himself vigorously into the intellectual battle."

Apparently, the crossword puzzle that disappeared from the blog, came back.

Friday, February 8, 2013

Rock Painting for Survival

We dodged a bullet, some say, when December 21, 2012 came and went uneventfully. Maybe it wasn't so uneventful in some parallel universe (if you believe in such) but in this reality, we remain in existence.

On the other hand, we exist in a sort of "shooting gallery" of space rocks and comets and the danger of a strike by some large space object is quite real. And we are about to experience a close "fly-by" in a little less than a week. [link] As Chicken Little once said "The sky is falling! The sky is falling!" But I don't want to alarm you.

When I was a young'un, I was taught that the dinosaurs died out because they could not adapt fast enough to a changing climate. That the great lizards (not really "lizards", they say, but reptilian all the same) couldn't take the cold of some normal ice age was intimated. The current theory is that they were wiped out by a catastrophic climate change that was the result of a large asteroid impacting the Earth just off the Yucatan Peninsula coast. [link] And this brought about a rapid climate change along with the destruction of most (if not all) vegetation.

In any event, it is a good thing that the dinosaurs went extinct. This eventually gave us petroleum and that literally greased the wheels of civilization  in the 19th and 20th centuries.

The lesson we were being taught back in my young'un days was that dinosaurs went extinct because they couldn't adapt and that humans would persevere because we can. The ugly reality is that we would not have survived that impact any better than the dinosaurs.  Even back then I was skeptical about our long term chances. After all, the age of the dinosaurs lasted some 185 MILLION years (dominant life form for 135 million of those years saith Wiki). We humans have only been around for a couple of million. And of little note until some 50,000 years ago and with no written history until about 5000 years ago.

While we are not yet, presumably, at the top of our game, I find it hard to believe we'll last another 183 million years. Civilization, especially, is quite fragile and could easily be wiped out by a much smaller meteor than the one that doomed the big reptiles. And so we search for ways to deflect impending doom.

Fortunately, it seems, we have managed to survive long enough to develop the technology that could enable us to avoid utter destruction by errant asteroid. One new method was reported recently in this way:

How to Deflect Killer Asteroids With Spray Paint

It could work, it seems plausible enough to me but I am no rocket scientist.

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