Some of my favorite bloggers have referred to end-of-the-world scenarios recently.
Maybe they’re trying to tell us something. Or perhaps it’s just the pop-culture ripple effect from what apparently was a fascinating 20/20
special report last week on doomsday scenarios.
Either way, this—and catching a few seconds of K-Fed’s debut video—started me thinking about how all of us could die.
When younger, before I learned to appreciate the logic of deterrence, I grew up fearing that nuclear war would end the human race.
It was the 80s. Everyone thought the Soviet Union might—just might—go toe-to-toe with the West on a nuclear battlefield rather than admit its own failure to keep up. Or spur the demise of Western civilization by inspiring increasingly dull James Bond movies.
The Soviet threat ended, of course, but the years since have brought us new potential apocalyptic dangers. Nasty contagious diseases, supervolcanoes, or terrorists with chemical weapons seem more treacherous these days.
So do white rappers looking eerily like Vanilla Ice.
But all these are child’s play compared to threats from outer space. Watching too many Discovery Channel documentaries lately has reduced me to a shadow of my former self.
I’m screaming in my sleep. Shaking in my boots. Peeing in my pants. (Yes, long-time readers—the black leather ones. A tragedy, I know.)
Life on our planet, they tell us, will suffer a heinous end from one of any number of astronomical perils that we’re powerless to prevent.
Take black holes
. If one of these monsters comes anywhere near our part of the galaxy, its gravitational powers will wreak havoc on our solar system and maybe even pull us past the point of no return.
Let’s hope K-Fed gets tugged away first.Asteroids
could also put a quick stop to this human party just as a huge asteroid some 65 millions years ago killed off the dinosaurs. And Hollywood’s hopes notwithstanding, planting a nuclear device or two on the bugger probably wouldn’t save our hides.
I hope one knocks out the satellite relaying Mr. Federline’s performances to my TV.
And watch out for gamma ray bursts
. Astronomers say that when a few rare massive stars collapse and die, they emit two opposite-ended jets of the most intense bursts of energy in the known universe.
Especially if one ever pops its caps within a few hundred light years of Earth. We’d probably lose most of our ozone layer instantly and perish from the undiluted rays of the sun.
Our only hope is that an asteroid racing toward us will get drawn into an approaching black hole—which in turn will be destroyed by a surge of gamma rays. As for living through that deadly burst, well … maybe some brave soul will step up, flying into space and acting as a gamma-ray human shield, to sacrifice himself for the sake of humanity.
Thanks for volunteering, K-Fed.