Pluto’s Cosmic Impact

Abstract: There is a real, serious impact threat, from small asteroids, and, much worse, long period comets. Yet our great leaders are not too interested, because they prefer the world population as they will it to be: ignorant, despondent and impotent. Cutting science budgets in the guise of austerity helps. So they are busy cutting: austerity for humanity, and anything that makes the honor of mankind, wealth for those who lead us towards oblivion.

A world unwilling of solving problems to the point of being incapable to do so, is perfect for those who profit from the established order, and yearn for divinizing celebrities and more exploitative stagnation rather than real progress and empowerment of the commons.

Far Away Meteor’s Fireball: 27 Kilometers High (90,000 ft)


The comet problem is a case in point. It’s perfectly solvable. But it is left unsolved as a paradigm that unemployment is better than all and any alternative, including cosmic catastrophes. The ways of Pluto are subtle, and vicious.

Don’t ask for whom austerity tolls, it tolls for thee, and any science, wisdom or knowledge you may want to acquire. Admire the celebrities: they are the best lives you will ever get.
***

In less than four years, two nuclear explosion sized asteroid impacts were observed over continental plates. One was more than four times the power of the Hiroshima bomb (Sulawesi in Indonesia, 2009), the other was 33 times Hiroshima (Urals, 2013). So much for the notion that these things are rare and innocuous events. Just above land, I know of four explosions of city killers in 105 years.

(There have been eyewitnesses of major explosions at sea, too; a scientific debate is ongoing about whether there was a truly giant, country killer impact south of New Zealand, 5 centuries ago.)

Only 1,500 people were hospitalized by the shock waves of the Ural meteor, because as luck had it, the meteor was on a grazing trajectory when it collided with the atmospheric wall. It streaked through the wall sideways for 32.5 seconds before experiencing three explosions. The first one, and strongest, happened 27 kilometers above the Urals, 60 kilometers south of the center of a city habitated by one million people.

If the asteroid had been a minute late, on the same trajectory, Tokyo may have been hit. If the meteor had been 30 seconds ahead, on the same trajectory Moscow, moving at 30 kilometers per second, would have caught up with the meteor. In either case, the damage on the ground would have been considerable, and massively lethal.

Why? Because the angles of entry would have been much sharper in either case than they were above the Urals. So the asteroid would have delivered its 500 kilotons, 33 times Hiroshima, much lower. Low enough for either capital to have been partly disintegrated.

For those who want to have a good laugh, zombie style, let them be appraised of the following fascinating twist. The deliriously clever Soviets had installed an automatic nuclear retaliation system (“Dead Hand”) in case Moscow had been destroyed by surprise by the vile capitalists. (Western Strategic Submarines could have hit Moscow in three minutes, hence the hair trigger paranoia.)

“Dead Hand”, also known as “Perimeter” , worked by detecting flashes and seismic waves, and then firing nuclear tipped rockets automatically. The Russians have been coy about whether the system is still in use. May be that is why Putin was so ashen faced when speaking about the Ural meteor. Putin may have been told of my little computation above: 30 seconds or so later, and the meteor may have released 500 kilotons above the Kremlin.

When the folly of men insults the might of heavens, fireworks are guaranteed…

The debate about space impactors has been deflected towards the wrong problem, the obviously silly red herring, the problem one should not worry about, the non dangerous problem. That’s indeed the case when an asteroid CAN be deflected.

Deflection, per se, means one has decades to do it. Thus it is not an emergency, by definition. Why to assume celestial mechanics and happenstance will be that accommodating? Is the Solar System a restaurant where one makes reservations when one feels like it? Of course not. Thus asteroid deflection is the wrong problem. Asteroid deflection is a bit like worrying about being eaten by a shark while skiing out of bounds. What needs to be addressed is a different problem, impactor interception & destruction.

Why so much talk about deflection, when annihilation of the offender should be the focus? Why so much denial? Why change the conversation from a clear and present danger, to talk about a red herring?

The real danger is long period comets: they are huge, unpredictable, undetected, and the warning would come only with months to spare.

So why don’t we talk about them?

Is this blatant denial related to other difficulties we are experiencing, such as the Greater Depression, the Asphyxiation of the Biosphere with man-made greenhouse gases, the Waning of democracy, the Blossoming of Plutocracy? Yes to all.

The refusal to solve the space impactor problem is a baby example of the mood that enables the rule of plutocracy rather than the rule of reason for all.

One avoids to talk about the cosmic difficulty at hand to avoid a mood that plutocracy finds politically dangerous: solving problems and one can, you know, before we know it, solve the problem of rogue finance, corrupting fossil fuel industry, etc …. As NASA put it in 2012:
“For non-technical reasons, nuclear explosions would likely be a last resort, but IT IS ALSO THE MOST POWERFUL TECHNIQUE…
The nuclear option would be usable for objects up to a few kilometers in diameter.”

Nobody Can Resist Me

Nobody Can Resist Me


So what are we waiting for? Well we are waiting for plutocracy to keep on impacting our world ever more deeply. That’s what the plutocrats want. They want to deeply impact civilization with the sheer glory of their rule.

As I write this the threats of austerity cuts are already affecting the science budgets in the USA by more than 5% (from the looming “sequester”, which has already forced scientific agencies to implement thousands of cuts). In the European Union, scientific cuts are turning into a massacre.

Indeed, in the European Union, the cuts to the scientific budgets are in excess of an unbelievable 13%. Another victory for Kanzler Merkel and the very wealthy heir, David Cameron! Instead of cutting science, why don’t the politicians put a 93% tax on multi-millionaires, to finance science and education?

Putting a 93% tax on the wealthiest is what Republican president Eisenhower did to reimburse the World war Two debt. So why not? Why to throw the baby, but not the dirty bath? Answer: because the politicians would lose the friends that will make them so incredibly rich tomorrow. Politics would not be a lucrative career anymore.

This is a point Beppe Grillo is making in Italy, and now he has 18% of the Italian Parliament to show for it.
OK, Eisenhower taxed the wealthy when Lincoln’s party was really republican, instead of being thoroughly plutocratic, as it is now. In Eisenhower’s time, millions of citizens of the USA could go to the most advanced schools, for free. Including Medical School. Somebody will a normal job could feed a family and provides it with a roof without excessive debt (now a couple can barely do that with 2 jobs and excessive debt, as long as oil is not too expensive).

The mood the careerists such as Cameron, Merkel and the so called Republicans in the USA, want to avoid absolutely, is the mood of solving the problems at hand, with the technology at hand.

Indeed such a mood could impact hard plutocracy itself. Plutocracy is an even mightier threat for civilization than any comet. Any comet could be dispatched with a 200 Megatons thermonuclear bomb, should be act swiftly. In other words, disposing of a comet would be a technological project much easier to implement than getting rid of plutocracy. Why? Common people would understand that something four kilometers across at 40 kilometers per second would affect them adversely.

Yet, common people have been hypnotized into believing that plutocracy is their best friend. It’s their new religion. They salivate when beautiful people show up on the screen. they live through them. They don’t feel like the lobsters they are, slowly cooked for dinner.

Solving problems is a very bad habit for a society to have, when it wants plutocracy to rule. Because plutocracy itself is a problem. The worst chronic problem. So one may fear that plutocracy itself would be solved, by problem solvers… As it was under the Roman republic, for five centuries.

Roman emperors, the “Princeps”, those “First men in Rome” who stole power from the republic, were fully aware of this. So they avoided solving problems scrupulously. One could make a curve of problems solved by the Roman state, and see that it goes down to basically zero once the fascist empire started to rule in full.

A society that makes a habit of solving problems will solve excessive plutocracy first. because only the intelligence of the People is freed from celebrity cult, and starts to contemplate the universe at large. That is why one observes that highly innovative societies were also highly revolutionary socially, and cut down to size their own plutocracy. First.

For example the golden age of Greece was preceded by massive, well, drastic, revolutions, starting with the draconian Draco himself in Athens (around 622 BCE) Sparta would later free Athens from tyranny). And of course Solon in Athens, probably inspired by Draco.

During the French revolution, in 1792, as plutocratic armies invaded the country from all direction, the Polytechnique and other engineering schools were founded. The idea was to defend the homeland of human rights supreme with smarts. Immediately new explosives were invented at Polytechnique, and put to good use at Valmy, a few miles from Paris, to stop the Prussian Duke of Brunswick, who had promised to do to the Parisians what Hitler would do to the Jews, nearly two centuries later (tradition, tradition…)

Thus the Beatles were wrong when they sang hypocritically against revolution… (While racking the cash, and rubbing against the plutocratic order; Mc Carney married the Kodak heiress…) The revolutionary spirit infects all dimensions, once it’s allowed to grow in one of them.

During World War Two, the USA functioned pretty much as an equalitarian republic. Old French revolutionaries, ancient republican Romans, 22 centuries ago, Athenians 25 centuries ago, would have recognized the spirit immediately: out of the many, one, liberty, equality, fraternity… And plenty of ideas. The US navy in the Pacific, or the scientists involved in the atomic bomb project were pretty much self governing bodies, guided by truth.

Solving problems leads to an obsession with truth. Thus, if one wants to avoid the truth, one better stick to avoiding problems, and the solutions they bring. Thus the Roman emperors discouraged paradigm changing technology. As the mood of changing what could be changed could prove contagious, and thus threaten the order they ruled over, they astutely felt.

In the case of the threat of a space impactor, the solution is obvious. It calls for maximal, but existing, technology. The interception of the offensive object with a thermonuclear bomb is only rocket science, not Quantum science. It’s nothing off the shelf.

But to decide to do what can be done, and could do it efficiently, would recognize the preponderance of the metaprinciple that establishing an order of more or less vital priorities and taking care of high ranking priorities ought to rule over economic considerations.

It is this (meta)psychological subtlety that holds back Spaceguard.

After the Ural meteor’s strike, the Russian Prime Minister called for constructing Spaceguard. This would be intolerable to the world financiers and profiteers: if one used economic power for something useful, would not the world of finance supreme look irrelevant? Where would the spirit of enterprise stop? With finance’s heads on spikes?

Better to stick to the usefully childish, such as the muscle bound Princess of the USA (see the note about the meaning of the word “Princess”) giving a “best movie” award to still another motion picture glorifying wars of the USA in the Middle of Eurasia.

Such movies are much useful, to the plutocratic order. Hollywood seems to have a factory churning them out, and the Main Stream Media (“60 Minutes”, say) re-iterate the message.

Such movies, with their partial view of history, insure that We The People of the USA learn what a continual pain the Middle Easterners have been directing towards the USA, ever since they have oil, and have to be continually encourage to fork it all over to Wall Street.

Iran is particularly insensitive that way, as the USA worked hard changing the government there after the Iranian People voted for the wrong guy (Mossadegh) in the early 1950s. Then the USA installed by a real Shahanshah (“King of Kings”) with the help of its friend of the CIA, Khomeini. It’s good to be reminded of all this, and celebrate the “greatest country on Earth” (Shall we give it the title of Country of Countries?).

So never mind comets, asteroids, H bombs and heady stuff. Celebrities is where it’s at. Muscle and glitter. Now Sandberg, the Facebook woman, before that the Google woman, and before that, for more than a decade, the Larry Summers/Financial derivatives woman, since he got to meet her as an undergraduate when he was president of plutocratic Harvard, is coming out with a book to teach women how to succeed. I guess, that’s done the old fashion way, by meeting the right guys and accumulating that way a “stellar resume“.

They sleep, thus they rule, and they are even sleeping at the wheel.

Those who rule know how to take care of what’s important in the universe: the awe that become them. Let the universe take heed.
***
Patrice Ayme
***
Note: Ms Obama is given the title of ‘First Lady’. Yet, as anybody who knows Latin will testify, this is exactly what “Princess” means! It’s wonderful to discover that aristocracy is as American as motherhood.

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32 Responses to “Pluto’s Cosmic Impact”

  1. Chris Snuggs Says:

    Some science needs axing, CERN for a start.

  2. Patrice Ayme Says:

    Chris: By the way, CERN means “Centre Europeen de Recherche Nucleaire”. C’est du francais, c’est la France qui a lance’ le CERN. But now about 100 countries are in it and financing it, including Russia, the USA, China… A magnificent European success, now a global organization, the world’s one and only most powerful microscope! If it turns out, even the Pope is for it now… Obscurantism has been beaten back, until the great explosion of plutocracy and its mental shrapnel flying all over…
    PA

  3. Lenny, Australia Says:

    Hi Patrice

    Thankns for another great post! Technological advances can be driven by plutocracy, if and only if, they assist some personal enrichment. It’s not inconceivable that plutocracy might fund a thermonuclear option for eradication of potential existential threats – if it was put to them in such a way as a means of personal enrichment – think “Star Wars” and Military Industries. Nothing like a Space Military Race to get the economy wizzing again, right? The existential threat to humanity is plutocracy itself, IMO. Fix that first, we can then (have air to breathe) and also to look for altruistic solutions to problems – but as you have quite rightly pointed out – the further entrenched plutocracy is, the less likely they are to look for ‘solutions’.

    The local community where I live is about to be hit by a comet several hundred kilometres wide that goes by the name of Metgasco. Coal seam gas wants to destroy our little community. What though, as a community can we do? Peaceful protest is not working! No one is even willing to acknowledge jurisdiction over the legislation that gives this company the right to drill on any land they choose! Was it Buffet, who said something along the lines of that there IS a class war going on, and that it’s our class (the capitalist class) that are waging/winning. I despair that the average person does not have the comprehension to recognise that this war is even going on, let alone to get on the right side of history and fight it. Have we gone beyond any reasonable call for passive resistance? When does it become fruitless? Is it time to reach for the ammunition? These are all questions that are going on in our community as we no longer live in “democracy” (btw our local community held a local council referendum with 87% of respondents opposed to coal seam gas). State and federal Fascist parties are ignoring it. If there is a need to ‘destroy’ plutocracy, how can this be done – when the people are too dumb, too disenfranchised and disempowered, too apathetic about anything other than Vampires and Celebrity Chef? Sorry, I have many questions today that I don’t have any answer for. What’s the antithesis of plutocracy? Hmm…..

  4. aNOnym Says:

    Oh please, the German science budget is the only item in the federal budget that is set to substantially (13 billion EUR) increase in the current legislative period. In Britain, even while the current government is pushing for consolidation cuts in every sector they have decided to ringfence funding for science research and added 1.5bill GBP to the science budget since 2010. Quite the anti-science plutocrats, aren´t they.

    “Instead of cutting science, why don’t the politicians put a 93% tax on multi-millionaires, to finance science and education?” I dont know Patrice, but I guess it is because they are all in the pockets of the plutocratic world conspiracy? (hey patrice why dont you exchange the word plutocratic here with jewish and compare your essays with some of Hitlers speeches – just a fun exercise) Of course, it could also be because they have to deal with reality, with the here and also the NOW, which to my knowledge lacks any high taxation success story.

    • Hazxan Says:

      There are many articles that don’t agree with your statement that the UK science research budget has increased in real terms. e.g. “Science spending falls even faster than feared despite government pledge” :

      http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2012/nov/08/science-spending-falls-government-pledge

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Yes Hazxan, I am afraid that our new friend aNOnym takes PM Cameron’s mighty rhetoric for reality. science financing, in total contradiction with Cameron’s thin and furious lips, has dramatically shrunk:

        “Science spending falls even faster than feared despite government pledgeSpending on science through individual government departments fell 7.6% in first year of parliament, figures show.”

        Cameron barks, reality shrugs.

        Thanks for that recall to reality.
        PA

    • Hazxan Says:

      Das Schwarze Korps [SS Newspaper] 24 November 1938

      Reworded for Anti-Plutocrats, a fun comparison!

      “The programme is clear. It reads: total separation, total segregation! What does this mean? It does not only mean the total exclusion of the Plutocrats from the German economic system… It means much more! No German can be expected to live under the same roof as Plutocracts The Plutocrats must be chased out of our houses and our residential districts and made to live in rows or blocks of houses where they can keep to themselves and come into contact with Germans as little as possible. They must be clearly identified….

      And when we compel the rich Plutocrats to provide for the `poor’ of their race, which will certainly be necessary, they will all sink together into a pit of criminality. As this happens, we will be faced with the harsh necessity of eradicating the Plutocratic underworld, just as we root out criminals from our own orderly state: with fire and sword. The result will be the certain and absolute end of Plutocracy in Germany; its complete annihilation!”

      • Dominique Deux Says:

        Hazxan

        I do not get the purpose of this post which is completely off topic.

        I can only see it as a devious means to cast a general aspersion upon PA’s vision by drawing a rather contrived parallel with SS antisemitic insanities.

        The linkage between plutocracy and Judaism was a creation of plutocracy and its Church and Army stooges. It was a brilliant trick, as usual – having a twofold effect: first, deflecting popular resentment towards that universally present and conspicuous character, the Jew; and second, by enabling the labeling of any unfazed attackers of plutocracy as antisemites. You’re illustrating that latter prong of the rhetorical pincer.

        Hatred may more or less function in an universal way, but to produce an ethical judgment on it, one has to consider its object. For example, I never agreed with those who attacked French bashing because the language of French bashing, if directed against Jews or Blacks, would have been criminal, rather than merely offensive. That is precisely the point: French bashing does not advocate further slaughter and enslavement of mistreated minorities, but seeks to offend a nation which stands on its two feet and only gives back a Gallic shrug. French bashing is stupid but in no way criminal.

        In the same way, denouncing a group’s pivotal role in mankind’s downslide is both wrong and criminal when it targets that make-believe Golem, international jewry; it is salubrious when it targets the real McCoy, international plutocracy.

        It would be best, Sir, if you explained your post.

        • Patrice Ayme Says:

          Dear Dominique: I did not take this seriously, maybe I should have. The history of the Jews in the West is older than that of the Christians. So it is even more complex. As you say, it was often not what it looked like. The First Crusade, in 1100 CE, was all about killing anti-Christians. So Western European Jews got immediately killed.
          And the problem is not about the Jews themselves, it was about killing all non-Christians, after 381 CE. Only the Jews survived, making them all the more hated. They were also an excellent scapegoat. Although not under the Frankish empires (which extended citizenship to all, starting before 600 CE).
          PA

        • Hazxan Says:

          No conspiracy and no aspersins being cast, I was just following aNOnyms suggestion:
          “hey patrice why dont you exchange the word plutocratic here with jewish and compare your essays with some of Hitlers speeches – just a fun exercise ”

          I was trying to show how daft the original comment was. Apologies if my intent wasn’t clear!

          • Patrice Ayme Says:

            Yes Hazxan, that’s one of the problem with irony or parody: it can be taken at face value. The association between money and the Jews (false for most of them) is no coincidence as the “People of the Book” could borrow, but not to their own sub-sects. As the Jews were a minority, some of them became max creditors, and richer through interest.
            PA

      • Patrice Ayme Says:

        Gee, I am facing a conspiracy of Hazxan and aNOnym! :-)!
        Anyway I just do not want to exterminate the plutocrats, just milk them. The Dark Side is necessary, and plutocracy its prophet, as Obama will tell you. It’s all a question of measure. Right now the plutocrats have to be reined in. Austerians too.
        PA

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear aNOnym: welcome to this site’s comments! I am a mathematician by (partial) formation, and sometimes I can be precise in this enraging way mathematicians affect. The reduction of 13% was, as I think I said to the European Union scientific budget, for the next decade. That was engineered by Cameron and Merkel.

      I must confess I do not know what Merkel is doing to science inside Germany. I have seen her acting irrationally many times in the last few years, on the biggest scale, so I am not optimistic.

      I have subscription to several British publications, including Nature and New Scientist. Cameron has been clearly leading what I view as an anti-science, anti-intellectual policy. A case in point is 12,000 euros tuition to public universities. That contradicts his avowed desire to push Britain technologically.

      Speaking of Nature, the latest issue exhibits a graph showing the “decline” of Italian university system funding. It went from nearly 6 billion euros down to 4.6 or so. By comparison, at its peak Harvard’s endowement was nearly 30 billion dollars. I have met many Italian researchers in exile in the USA, in fields such as earthquake resistant construction to advanced robotics.

      Good point about Hitler, sort of. I know very well that Hitler used anti-plutocratic rhetoric, to exploit the anti-plutocratic mood, while being paid by plutocrats himself. Hitler explained all this himself extensively, because he had to justify himself to his Kameraden. Indeed, some major billionaire Jews were even forking money over to Adolf (example: Warburg)… and lobbying for him in the USA…

      Hitler did all this maneuvering conscienciously, it’s all explained in Mein Kampf (I own at least 2 copies, hahaha). That’s why he called the party he took over the National Socialist Party of the German Workers. The SPD was not too happy about that, nor the Communists. Now we have the “republicans” in the USA. They cannot call themselves by their true name.

      So Hitler was getting support, massive, from the rabidly anti-Jewish, anti-Wall Street Ford, while getting it also from total officially opposites, such as Warburg, or… Stalin. That was central to Hitler mode of operation. That, too, he explained in detail.

      Plutocracy gave (some of) the Jewish minority in Europe an arm it desperately needed, be it only to defend itself. But plutocracy is a general effect in no way restricted to the Jews. (The Samaritans, a type of Jews, once on the top of the heap, miscomputed in using brute force instead of stealth and got nearly completely annihilated, there are only like 2,000 alive today…)
      PA

  5. Dominique Deux Says:

    This whole thread is best read after enjoying Kubrick’s “Dr Strangelove”. The movies’ pictures of bomber cockpits fazed out CIA and SAC security people who never believed they were mere studio reconstructions worked out from thin air… and the Dead Hand system was in full view, to the hearty laughs of audiences worldwide.

    In the same way, two lowbrow sci-fi movies (“Dune” and “Star Troopers”) eerily predicted Jihad and 9/11 – con – Afghanistan, before they happened. I’m not saying Hollywood has a time machine – but they have an uncanny ability to capture a population’s mood, and a population’s mood has that nasty capacity to congeal into fact at some time.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Dominique: Yes, hearty laughter around the world… Little did they know. As “Dr. Strangelove”, the movie, had it, the giant bombs were exploding in Russia, and poisoning the world with radioactive fall-out. I don’t think that would have worked (animals are doing fine around Chernobyl now that man has been removed). Even radioactivity is expensive.

      The real “Dead Hand” was/is complicated and shrouded in secrecy. Communications rockets giving launch signals were fired first. Something wrong with the Soviet brain.

      Real life dr. Strangeloves are all over the USA, they just nominated one at Treasury (Jack Lew). See the “Sequester” for further enlightnment (Lew invented the idea).

      The CIA was at the origin of bin Laden, the attack on Afghanistan, and, as bin Laden on trial would have surely testified, was the one who taught Arabs and Afghans to strike civilian targets. the first spectacular Jihad involved sending Arab cavalry all over Syria to kill anyone who look as if he could be a Roman soldier. After the battle of Yarmouk, in 636 CE. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_Yarmouk

      That was a total violation of the laws of traditional war. But it was very effective.

      96 years later, after the battle of Poitiers, the Franks retaliated in kind, sort of, by refusing burial to all and any Muslim invader.

      Dune was obviously very inspired by the desert. I am from the desert myself: my first memories are from Gardaia. Desert mentality and culture inspired Islam, but is much older. Actually Muslim Arabs were invaders in Africa, and even imposed their silly script, in a region that had its own alphabet for 15 centuries. That’s why I support strong Tuareg autonomy.
      PA

  6. old geezer pilot Says:

    It should be noted that 2012DA14 is so named because it was only discovered last year.

    By AMATEUR astronomers!

    And the one that hit Siberia was not seen at all. It was the size of a school bus, breaking up into smaller pieces at about 20,000 feet. The piece that hit Russia was the size of a basketball.

    There has been an ongoing international program which tracks incoming rocks, but they have to be bigger. Then, of course, comes the question of what to do – blow it up or apply external force to move it slightly so as to miss the earth.

    A lot more is going on in this department than meets the eye, let alone the mass media.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Yes OGP, the asteroid was detected only 52 weeks before. By Spaniards. So much for Spain spending too much on science. if the asteroid had been on a collision course with the New York area, the best shot would have been to rig up an Ariane rocket with an ATV loaded with a few H bombs, sized to be determined (W 53 are 9 Megaton warhead, that would be overkill; W88 are about 500 Kt).

      Of course the USA may have had at the ready an Atlas or Delta IV heavy. But the Ariane back-up would have been a must (there are always Arianes V in various stages of completion).

      The Siberian asteroid was not seen for a very good reason: it came from the Sun. Most of them will. A detecting system such as Sentinel could pick them up, after running a few years.

      Similarly, the real enormous danger, long period comets, cannot be detected early enough for deflection by anything else than a powerful H bomb. It will have to be rigged specially to explode 3 meters deep, in spite of the speeds involved (which could be up to 50 kms/second!)
      PA

  7. old geezer pilot Says:

    Yes, it did come from the sun. But I side with the “push it to a different orbit” school. Blowing it up just makes more smaller pieces.

    There is also a plan (if there is enough time available) to change the thermal characteristics on the side facing the sun. The reactive force from solar energy could change the orbit enough so as to miss us.

    We must remember that we are only here having this discussion because of the asteroid that hit 65 million years ago, thus allowing mammals to evolve into something other than food for dinosaurs.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear OGP: Those questions/observations best be adressed in an essay called: Nuke that Comet! Smaller pieces are fine. Literally and figuratively. Suppose someone fires a bullet at you, and, 10 meters away, it’s blown to sand. will it hurt?

      Those who talk about deflection, as I pointed out in the essay, are unawares that they are like alpine skiers afraid of sharks. Sharks can indeed be deflected… but they are far away.

      Blasting a NEO with an H bomb would be safe, effective, and, in the dangerous cases, necessary. Deflection is a different matter entirely, as the impact point would slowly move to other countries, and even Carl Sagan said it would be a bad, dangerous tech to develop.

      That we are here thanks to an asteroid, neglects 150 million years of evolution of mammalian reptiles into mammals, prior to 65 million years ago. I have always been skeptical of the asteroid demise of all those species, and I wrote extensively about it in the (distant) past. The impact may have been the straw that broke the camel’s back.
      PA

  8. aaron greenbird Says:

    “…..who stole the power from the republic…….avoided solving problems scrupulously….” sounds like we have not moved far. Whats next, someone like Sulla appears….seems like we be following the same ‘thread’ as the Romans……..

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Aaron: Indeed, same problems, same solution. Fascism is an instinct in savannah primates. The fascist instinct is what I believe enabled primates to conquer the savannah. So it’s here, deep inside us. And, should this pseudo-democratic circus keep on going, unavoidable.

      Sulla was from the plutocratic class. At the same time, he was a remarkable character. Sulla had a prestigious military career, for years second in command to the amazing 7 times consul imperator Marius (a “new man”). While doing special forces missions, in Africa and Gaul making James Bond look like nothing. In particular Sulla captured Jugurtha with his sbare hands.

      One thing is sure: Obama is no Sulla! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucius_Cornelius_Sulla
      PA

  9. JR Says:

    Je vois avec plaisir que Madame Obama est appelée “first Lady”. Tous les deux ils forment un très beau couple!
    Bravo les USA

    Mais comment peut-on appeler l’égérie du Président français qu’il rarine partout avec lui? certainement pas la 1° dame mais au choix, sa concubine, sa maitresse sinon sa poule?
    Jacques

  10. jvictor1789 Says:

    Curious blog

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      I view “blog” as rather disparaging: initially a log was dragged behind a ship, and annotations were made of the recorded speed. Much of the Internet “blogs” are little more than that.

      Curiosity kills cats, yet, it defines humans.
      PA

  11. JR Says:

    “Pluto’s Impact”: C’est un bon titre!
    Bravo

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Cher Jacques: L’idee c’est que Pluto (sous la forme de la plutocracie) a un impact satanique sur la defense contre une autre form d’activite’ diabolique, les impacts cosmiques. Ce qui est bien sur normal: la plutocracie aime les activites diaboliques, sous toutes leurs formes, pas seulement le reigne de l’argent.

      Les citoyens Suisses ont votes contre la plutocracie aujourd’hui… Par 68%!
      PA

  12. Ron Glaser Says:

    As a recently retired mathematician at Lawrence Livermore National Lab, I would eagerly return to work on a program dedicated to nuking an asteroid. I worked on a joint project with NASA and Boeing on estimating space shuttle risk, and it was both successful and great fun. As a diversion from the mundane but necessary work of ensuring the safety and viability of our nuclear stockpile I believe many government scientists would be energized and delighted, if not honored, to work on a task of such paramount importance–the sustainability of the human race no less. Good stuff and uncontroversial as well: only politics holds us back.

    • Patrice Ayme Says:

      Dear Ron: Welcome to the comments to this site! We need more mathematicians here, especially with the imaginative, but hard, edge coming with people who work at LNL (I enjoyed conversations with LNL scientists in the distant past). The asteroid and comet situation is much more worrisome than people are led to believe. I planned to roll out two other essays on nukes, comets, and rockets.

      It’s more than a political situation, I believe it has become a philosophical situation. Luddites are strong, and getting stronger, all over the West. Especially in Europe, even in Germany (even though Germany is making tons of money from selling expensive tech worldwide!). The opponents of technological progress are in a natural alliance with the opponents of civilizational progress and the proponents of government-by-celebrities and money. In other words, fascism is rising, as happens naturally, even instinctively, when the going becomes tougher and scarier.

      It is good to celebrate today the vote, TODAY, by the SWISS, (of all people!) by 67.9% to break down the back of the CEO class! This follows the vote of the Italians, who voted against Mario Monti from Goldman Sachs and plutophile Brussels. People are starting to realize that civilization, including science and technology, has been sold to bankers and the like.

      what is needed right now are some extremely ambitious technological projects, as the Second world War and the Cold War brought (in the later case, the landings on the Moon).

      There are few ambitious science-new tech projects going on:
      1) CERN LHP (now being boosted to twice the energy)
      2) Inertial Fusion by laser (LNL! And a similar project in Bordeaux)
      3) ITER: International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor.

      Intriguingly, three of the projects above are based in France (CERN’s LHP tunnel is mostly below France and gulps down astounding quantities of French nuclear electricity, to the point that it has to be shut down when electricity is too expensive)

      So I am all behind your position. And I observe that the anti-nuclear obsession is holding us back.
      Hoping to read you again…
      PA

  13. Mom Says:

    Passionnant mais ô combien effrayant car exact. De quoi faire des cauchemars cette nuit. C’est sûr.
    Quant aux aspects politiques. Là aussi je suis pleinement d’accord. Comment ne pas l”être?
    M

  14. PHILOSOPHY Defined | Some of Patrice Ayme's Thoughts Says:

    […] use mostly certain, that means, repeatable facts; science can use one-time events; for example the crash of an asteroid in Siberia, although a one-time event, is shaking a lot of established science). Once again, too […]

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