Space is trying to kill us (as usual)

deathstar3.jpg

GateHouse – I should probably lead here with the bad news: We’re all going to die.

I know it seems like I’m saying that an awful lot these days. The thing is, I have a Google alert on the phrase “We’re All Going To Die,” and the wretched thing goes off several hundred times a day. It went off when they found the pharmaceuticals in the drinking water, it went off when the anthrax was being mailed everywhere, it went off when the White Sox won the World Series, it went off on Election Day 2004, and it still goes off every time someone older than 11 years old says “BFF.”

But at the risk of seeming redundant — and, it should be noted, wrong, since if you’re reading this there’s a better-than-average chance you are not dead — this time we really, really are going to all die. Really. No, really. I mean it. Stop looking at me like that. Start, I don’t know, flailing your arms and rioting in the streets or something.

The danger this week comes from Space, which, as you might recall, has been trying to kill us for years. First, Space sent us the asteroid that killed all the dinosaurs, which was a pretty good shot, though it tragically left intact the DNA that would eventually be used to form Nancy Grace. Then it sent us harmful sunrays, then it ate our ozone layer, then it sent us Nicole Richie, and now it’s sending us a monster blast of high-energy gamma rays. As any science fiction fan can tell you, these will either toast the entire planet whole like a Twinkie in a microwave or turn us all into Hulks. Frankly, given the choice, I’m pulling for the former.

Researchers at the University of Sydney in Australia report that the dangerous gamma rays are roaring at us right now from an otherwise nondescript area of the constellation Sagittarius. Loosely translated from the Latin, Sagittarius means, “the one that’s going to fry you with the searing death gamma rays.” We should have probably seen it coming.

A star in the constellation called Wolf-Rayet is believed to be very near what the Web site Cosmos Online calls a “cataclysmic supernova explosion.” It sounds bad, but you know how Cosmos Online likes to totally exaggerate.

“When it finally explodes as a supernova, it could emit an intense beam of gamma rays coming our way,” Peter Tuthill told the Web site; Tuthill is the lead researcher of the team that report their findings in the current Astrophysical Journal (it’s the one with Lebron James on the cover).

Now, if this rings a bell to any of you, congratulations, and thanks for stepping out of Second Life long enough to read this column. A high-energy laser blast coming at a defenseless verdant planet from a sinister orb in the far reaches of the universe? Researchers in Sydney haven’t found a cataclysmic supernova explosion — they’ve found the Death Star. This Wolf-Rayet is apparently the ultimate power in the universe. I suggest we use it.

But the really good news about our collective forthcoming extinction is 1. Everyone can stop whining about global warming, and 2. We have some time to plan for it. The danger from Wolf-Rayet, thankfully, is not terribly imminent, and indeed we probably have a good few hundreds of thousands of years to think of a solution, although you know how things go when the Democrats control Congress. This will give us plenty of time to enjoy our last few good years here on planet Earth. I suggest we start enjoying them now, by immediately getting rid of Nancy Grace.

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About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official BruceSpringsteen.net, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel

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