Friday, February 15, 2013

"Don't change your weekend plans," joshed Brian Williams

Last night, on the evening news, there was much chuckling and joshing about the "near miss" that NASA assured the world would occur today, as a football-field sized asteroid was to pass within 17,000 miles of Earth.

"Don't change your weekend plans," joked Brian Williams of NBC.

These things freak me out, as I can barely watch even the most ridiculous of disaster movies without needing macaroni-and-cheese peppered with hot sauce, followed by oil-popped, well salted popcorn, all washed down with one Diet Coke after another.  Oh, and I need people, lots of people, all also eating comfort foods, and who know how to cuddle.

But I trusted Brian, and I trusted NASA.

So check this out:

Video posted on YouTube Friday appeared to catch an explosion caused by a meteor 
streaking over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk.

Video said to have been recorded on Friday in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk as a meteor passed low overhead. An explosion can be heard clearly at the 7-minute mark of the video.

Video recorded from the dashboard camera of a car in the Russian city of Chelyabinsk on Friday.

Video uploaded to YouTube on Friday was said to have been recorded over the Russian city of Chelyabinsk (although the camera’s time stamp displays an earlier date).

Video posted on YouTube on Friday showed a smoke trail and a loud explosion after a meteor passed over Siberia.

Video of a meteor from a dashboard camera in the Russian town of Nizhniy Tagil.

The news is obviously in the process of being gathered, and rumors are flying.  Many injuries are already reported, and at one news outlet, I saw a claim of 500 dead.

Keep your eyes and ears open, as this story is going to mutate, and, considering the Russian news service, morph from one thing into another.  At this point, though, I believe Russian dashboard cams more than the revered NASA and the almost equally respected Brian Williams.

I pray the calamities are not greater than what is being whispered now.

Remember the dinosaurs?  The Ice Age?

Want some Rocky Road?

Oh, now I am reading that this was totally unrelated to the "small" asteroid about which Williams joked and NASA shrugged.  I am informed that:

Russian experts believe the blast was caused by a 10-ton meteor known as a bolide, which created a powerful shock wave when it reached the Earth’s atmosphere, the Russian Academy of Sciences said in a statement. Scientists believe the bolide exploded and evaporated at a height of about 20 to 30 miles above the Earth’s surface, but that small fragments — meteorites — may have reached the ground, the statement said. 
The governor of the Chelyabinsk district reported that material from the sky had fallen into a lake on the outskirts of a city about 50 miles west of Chelyabinsk. Officials told Russian news agencies that they had sent police officers there. 
A small asteroid, known as 2012 DA14, was expected to pass close to Earth later Friday, NASA reported on its Web site. Aleksandr Y. Dudorov, a physicist at Chelyabinsk State University, said it was possible that the meteorite may have been flying alongside the asteroid. 
“What we witnessed today may have been the precursor of that asteroid,” said Mr. Dudorov in a telephone interview. 
Others, however disputed that view, saying there was almost certainly no connection. Prof. Alan Fitzsimmons, an astronomer at the Astrophysics Research Centre at Queen’s University Belfast, told the BBC that 2012 Da14 was approaching Earth from the south, while the meteor struck the Earth’s atmosphere in the northern hemisphere, indicating the objects were traveling in different directions. “This is literally a cosmic coincidence, although a spectacular one,” he said.

Until someone I really trust, and I don't know whom that's gonna be -- Mister Greenjeans is dead, as is his pal, Captain Kangaroo -- I'm making rice pudding.

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