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Ross Murray's Border Report
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Ross Murray
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is a freelance writer living in Stanstead, Quebec. You can reach him at ross_murray@sympatico.ca
Posted 11.23.15
Stanstead, Quebec

ROSS MURRAY

Stop the sky from falling

We're sitting ducks, I tell you. Blind. We're gambling with our lives, like blind ducks -- blind ducks sitting at a roulette table where the prize is also a duck. But this isn't about ducks. It's about the lax astronomy that puts our lives at risk every single day and most nights as well.

When a dead comet streaked by the Earth on October 31, a mere 302,000 miles from Earth or exactly 1.3 times the distance to the moon, we had no idea how close we came. Scientists learned of the threat of this dead comet -- or, as I like to call it, "Death Comet" -- only three weeks prior. It could have been a catastrophic collision, one that might not have ended life on Earth as we know it but would definitely have inconvenienced life on Earth as we know it very much indeed.

Who is responsible and, more important, who can I blame? What exactly were all those scientists doing? Duck gambling?

The Death Comet is just one of potentially millions of space objects hurtling through the cosmos like toys at a daycare for hyperactive toddlers. Due to inadequate space security, one of these chunks of debris -- many of them as dense as the entire Republican Party -- could come crashing into our mostly peace-loving planet at any time. You could be reading this very column when it happens. Imagine if the last word you ever read was "sphincter."

BOOM!

No, that wasn't an actual impact. That was merely a capitalized word and emphatic punctuation. Lucky for you, because I have many other important words to say. The threat of inter-stellar space impact (ISSI) is real, and our politicians are hiding their heads in the sand. If an ISSI occurs, sand will not save them. My brother buried my head in the sand once and then whacked me repeatedly with a canoe paddle and, trust me, the sand encasing my head did nothing to soften the blows.

Did you know that every year thousands of meteors enter our Earth's atmosphere without warning or proper paperwork? Or maybe they're meteorites. Stalagmites? Facts aren't important! What's important is that they make weird streaks across the sky that frighten me a little because I'm never sure if I'm having a stroke.

But most space stalactites are harmless, you say. They simply burst into flame from the extreme pressure of penetrating our upper atmosphere at high speed and disintegrate into a brief trail of burning gas and molten material. Sure, that's exactly what a meteoractilite would want you to think!

Meteorists and other ISSI objects hate our planet, they hate our gravity, they hate our ducks. They will never be happy until we too are pulverized into space dust without an orbit or even decent video games.

We need our politicians to step up and ensure the safety of our precious Earth by refusing entry for all comets, asteroids, meteor-thingys and other space junk. Go back to where you came from, cosmic detritus, and bombard some other less important planet.

All space objects must be registered so that we know where they are at all times. Yes, even the stars. I look up at the sky one night and they're in one place, I look up a few weeks later and they're somewhere else. Stars can't be trusted.

But surely the moon is all right, you say. We landed on the moon. Or did we...?

Every space object is an ISSI threat. With proper monitoring and security, we can effectively safeguard against calamities like the Death Comet that almost happened. We can stop other things from almost happening too. Except earthquakes. Can't do a damn thing about them. Or hurricanes. Or ignorance.

You can call me a space-ist if you like. That's the price I'm willing to pay to impose my poorly researched views and protect the people and ducks I love. Maybe I'm wrong, but I'd rather be wrong than say, "If only we had stopped Death Comets from pulverizing our planet." Except I wouldn't be able to say it, because BOOM!

Nope, wasn't real that time either. That was just me making an asteroid of myself. But next time it might be real! Speak out. Post anti-stellar propaganda on social media. Forget how privileged we are to be floating through space ourselves. Let's stop ISSI threats from destroying our planet so we can get back to destroying it all by ourselves.

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