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Last Chance for Catastrophe
2000-05-01 17:09:13


Weird Science
 
"Let's roll" was the last thing heard over a air-to-ground phone connection, said by one passenger to another, before the passengers attempted to retake the fourth hijacked aircraft on 9-11. Instead of gaining control of the aircraft and thwarting the hijackers, they succeeded in crashing the plane into the ground and killing everyone aboard, including themselves. A fitting motto if there ever was one.
-- Baron Earl (referring to George W. Bush's new national motto)

 

Well, SURE, Y2K came and went like a gentle lamb. Everything is running along just hunky-dory, civilization didn't collapse, and no one is rioting in the streets, more or less. But don't despair! Survivalist leaders say there's ONE MORE CHANCE for total destruction!

This Friday, May 5 2000, will be the occasion for an interesting (if unglamorous) astronomical event: the Great Conjunction. This is when 5 planets plus the Sun and the Moon will line up together in the sky. OK, the alignment's pretty haphazard -- they'll be spread out about 26 degrees of arc -- but that's pretty darn good in astronomical terms.

Unfortunately, it's not going to be some monumentous "2001" coolio space picture that you can see from your Junior G-Man binoculars or anything like that. Whenever you get the Sun involved in these kind of events, it kind of takes center stage and drowns everything else out.

So what's the big whoop? Why would the Great Conjunction be of interest to anyone besides Jeanne Dixon and a handful of other newspaper astrologers, as well as the various Leos who are going to have really great sex that day, since Saturn, Jupiter, Mars and Mercury will all be packed together into their Love house?

Well, some crazy people -- myself among them -- believe that the awesome gravitational energies exerted by these heavenly bodies (the planets, not the Leos) are going to rip apart the Earth in a blaze of lava and steam like a red-hot orange. OK, well, that's pretty much the most dramatic prediction -- a lot of people just think that the gravity will have an effect on the tides that will destroy all major port cities. Sort of a let-down, since it doesn't involve the peeling of the Earth's crust, but still lots of fun destruction.

Of course, the downer Old Farmer's Almanac says none of this is going to happen. But who cares!? It's an opportunity for panic and terror. Go enjoy the Great Conjunction today!

Over.  End of Story.  Go home now.

mustard@pigdog.org


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