A huge meteor struck the Earth in Siberia Friday morning. Estimated to be the size of a school bus, weighing 14,000 pounds, traveling at 33,000 per hour, it exploded 12 miles above the Earth’s surface, releasing a blast that shattered windows in office buildings for miles around the city of Chelyabinsk before breaking into pieces, the largest of which landed in frozen Chebarkul Lake.
There will be no ice fishing this weekend.
Nameless scientists described the blast caused by the meteor as having the power of “twenty atomic bombs”. These unnamed experts were not quite as good as the first group, the ones who compared it to a school bus. We’ve all seen a school bus. None of us have seen an atomic bomb blast. Chances are, the “scientists” being named in news reports have not seen one, either. Bomb. Not bus.
We get the idea, though. And even if we don’t, there were wonderful Siberians who were willing to walk outside, into their brisk last morning on Earth, the day when the bombs fell, to record the event with their smart phones. The big space rock hit the lake at about 9:30 in the morning, just in time to assure everyone in Chelyabinsk that nothing whatsoever would be accomplished that day.
“I’ve got an appointment to have my tires rotated.”
“Sorry. Meteor. I’m drinking. Want some?”
One thousand people were injured by debris, mostly shattered window glass. Nearly one hundred were hospitalized. And, because no one really knew what the heck was going on, everybody was traumatized for at least the rest of the day, or until Siberia’s Action News Team showed cell video of two kids fighting in a middle school rest room.
The good news is that no one was killed. The great news is that, for many of us who grew up reading comic books and sci-fi, this could be the start of something really, really significant. This school bus sized, 20 atomic bomb meteor, sent screaming to Earth, exploding in the sky, splashing into a lake, could be the arrival of Superman.
Or, it could be the beginning of War of the Worlds.
One thing’s for certain: Al Gore will somehow tie it to global warming.