Earth Gone Wild
Last week, European astronomers revealed their discovery of a remarkable set of planets.
Only the throw of a stone away in cosmic terms (42 light-years) lies HD 40307—which we now know has at least three planets not much larger than Earth, according to this article at Astronomy.com.
The experts have not found any signs of life, of course. Nevertheless, this discovery makes me wonder about how things in history might have played out on three different Earths:
Earth #1: Like in our world, Britney marries K Fed, divorces him, and then goes all kooky.
Earth #2: Britney stays married to K Fed, popping out a baby once every year or so to compete with Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt for the title of most-children-to-a-celebrity couple.
Earth #3: Britney stays with Justin Timberlake and lives happily ever after—leaving J.T.’s Earth #1 girlfriend, Jessica Biel, available for David Amulet.
The Roman Empire
Earth #1: Like in our world, Rome collapses in the middle of the first millennium C.E., leading to the Dark Ages.
Earth #2: The Roman Empire sticks around just long enough to colonize America before crumbling, leaving the U.S. full of city names like Julius City and New Napoli.
Earth #3: The Romans maintain their empire forever, making Latin the world’s only language and keeping the world from having to experience French.
Earth #1: Like in our world, Metallica follows … And Justice For All with the radio-friendly “Black Album,” gaining millions of new fans and pissing off die-hard fans of the band’s earlier music.
Earth #2: Metallica returns to its metal best, churning out album after album of the same music, prompting fans to bitch and moan that the group just plays the same old shit time and time again.
Earth #3: Metallica follows Justice with Master of Puppets II: Electric Boogaloo, which starts a fad in heavy metal breakdancing that eventually becomes the foundation of a harmonious and peaceful world society.