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February 16, 2013

Your Turn: Meteoric

I trolled through quite a lot of the photos from Russia yesterday. (In the process, I’m sure I saw more dashboard camera shots in one sitting than I’ve ever seen in my life.) This is the picture that most stood out for me. I’m just glad I wasn’t there. Your thoughts?

(photo via caption: A meteorite flashes across the sky over Chelyabinsk, Russia, taken from a dashboard camera.)

  • Minor Heretic

    Hi, the Universe here. I know that each of you has this beyond-grandiose idea that you have your hands on the steering wheel of your life. I realize that it is comforting to you to think that you have some kind of ultimate control over your fate. Well, frankly, to say that I don’t give one iota of a fraction of a trillionth of a damn about your fate is to understate the case. Note the recent hurricanes, earthquakes, and other disasters my tiny little associate Earth has dropped on you. This meteorite is just a gentle reminder that I could pop your entire planet like bubble wrap. I mean, it happens every day somewhere in me. Not that I actually care whether that happens to you or not.

    Oh, you looked up for a moment from your absurdly blinkered, self-obsessed lives. I’ll call that a victory.

    • bks3bks

      Just a reminder that having to eat cheese sandwiches on your cruise ship is not the worst thing that can happen.


    • Michael Shaw

      Absolutely. What you remind me of most vividly and uncomfortably is the feeling of sheer terror I felt for the instant it took to process and scale the NYT headline before I packed my insignificance away. That’s when I started googling the missile photos and alien invasion movie posters.

    • black_dog_barking

      Sign at a hiking trail head: “Nature is indifferent to your survival.”

  • Michael Shaw

    I am interested, though, in where the photo takes you, beyond sheer terror.

    • Dutch boy

      It takes me to the Spielberg “War of the Worlds”.

  • Shirley

    “Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.

    “Orbiting this at a distance of roughly ninety-eight million miles is an utterly insignificant little blue-green planet whose ape-descended life forms are so amazingly primitive that they still think digital watches are a pretty neat idea.”

    The only part Douglas Adams — rest in peace — was off on when he wrote this in the 1970s was the bit about the digital watches. The perspective remains 100-percent right on.

  • black_dog_barking

    I was reminded of Scud and Patriot missiles from our first Iraq adventure in 1990. Interesting too, looking out from those dash-cams it wasn’t obvious exactly where in the world you were. Could just as easily been central US of A as central Russia. Bad as we’ve been at winning wars in my lifetime (Vietnam, drugs, terror, Afghanistan), we sure kicked ass in the Cold War. You’d think someone would have noticed.

  • lq

    There was a tweeted video taken from a window in someone’s home that was the first and best I saw. The contrail (for lack of a better word), the sonic boom, the dogs barking and running home – in such a small area brought it home to me.

  • BooksAlive

    What gave me chills was reading that the eerie light drew people to their windows. Who would have known the danger of that?

    • black_dog_barking

      The chemical explosion in Halifax harbor, 1917, blinded upwards of a thousand of the townspeople watching a ship burning in the harbor. They were safe in their homes looking out from behind window glass when the shock wave rolled through. The blast shattered windows as much as 50 miles away.

  • Minor Heretic

    The thing that occurs to me after seeing a video of the trail and the sonic booms: For some people this experience is common. In the Middle Eastern or Central Asian war zones a streak of light across the sky and a boom is to be expected. As are casualties.

  • franrizzo

    “My thoughts” are in turn related to the high number of dashboard cameras…. Is this because of crime rates or rather to enhance road security?

    • black_dog_barking

      For legal defense in traffic accidents and police stops, according one report I read. To protect oneself from cops, not criminals.

  • franrizzo

    Thanks. I’d be even more grateful if you could give me the source(s).

  • black_dog_barking

    Would if I could but don’t remember. Sorry. All you have to go on now is “something I heard on the internet”. Don’t think that holds up in a court of law. Not yet.

  • Dutch Boy
  • franrizzo


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