We've unquestionably come a long way as a species. From the primorial ooze just yesterday (in geological terms) to massive electronic pleasure palaces full of men wearing synthetic fibers, drinking magical mood-altering elixirs and watching other men compete in athletic contests from far-flung locales. Verily, we're near the pinnacle.
But we're not there yet, and there are reasons to fear we'll never get there. I don't mean to be alarmist, but I've been paying attention over the last three weeks. And there are some things you need to know about, in order to prepare.
First, NASA astronaut and physicist Dr. Edward Lu tells us that there's a 30% chance that a five megaton asteroid will hit Earth this century, whether or not James Garner is still around. Dr. Lu's matter of fact tone is perhaps the most terrifying part of this entire thing:
In more terrestrial terrors, scientists in Sri Lanka recently discovered "a new type of tarantula about the size of your face" living in trees and and abandoned hospital. Poecilotheria rajaei has a legspan of up to 8 inches across. Full disclosure, I'm deeply, deeply afraid of spiders. My cat brought a good-sized one (maybe two inches across) up from our basement last week and dropped it at my feet, all proud-like. I almost jumped out of my skin. A tarantula the size of my face? Gaaaaaah.
And imagine all the places in the world we've never been. It's a near certainty that man-sized spiders exist somewhere. Can we send Ed Lu there to shoot them into space and deflect the asteroid?
Closer to home, Virginia gubernatorial candidate and all-around Renaissance Man (in the sense that he probably would be much more comfortable living in that era from the perspective of male/female roles) Ken Cuccinelli has asked the U.S. 4th Circuit of Appeals to review its decision deeming Virginia's anti-sodomy laws unconstitutional. Just another small-government conservative who wishes to dictate what consenting adults (straight and gay) do in the privacy of our bedrooms.
In the real world, the fact that the birther-dabbling, homophobic, climate skeptic Cuccinelli has a reasonably decent chance to be the Governor of my state is scarier even than man-sized spiders. Can we shoot him at the asteroid?
I will refrain from making any jokes about his nickname, which in this context would be juvenile and silly. It's 'Cooch', though.
Finally, - and I must warn you, children should only see this under very close supervision - I saw something on Monday that was so awesomely terrifying that words cannot describe it. I offer you this visual instead:
Stay safe, my friends.