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Tuesday, March 2, 2010


If there's an arm of the United States government for which I have nearly complete admiration, it's the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA. These people really are rocket scientists, and they do really, really cool stuff.

That's why I freaked out today when I read that Richard Gross, a researcher at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena said that the earthquake that hit Chile over the weekend may have shortened the earth's day. The 8.8 quake, among the ten strongest in recorded history, could potentially have shifted the earth's axis and thus shortened the day itself.

Now the total amout the day shortened was by 1.26 milliseconds, not anything to write home about. But I cannot help ruminating as to what could be the cumulative effects of these events, which appear to be coming faster and harder in the last few months.

As of this moment, this is what the earth looks like.
People who live nearer to the North Pole walk with their heads pointing up as they should. Those in the vicinity of the Equator point sideways and those down south, well, were it not for gravity they would have really bad hair days constantly.

And if that's not enough to make your head spin, think of what could potentially happen if this recent spate of earthquakes continues onward.

NOTE: There is no joke to the mayhem and death that these cataclysms have caused: witness Haiti and Chile and my heart goes out to these people.

But what if they kept coming and coming? Could the length of the days continue to shorten and shorten? And could it be possible that at some point the earth would tilt on its axis (like a lot of folks believe is going to happen in 2012) and the globe will end up looking like this?

So now your typical afternoon nap might last about three instead of 20 minutes, weekends might shrink to just one day and it's unclear to me what would ensue during leap years.

Never mind that Australians would end up walking upward and the Europeans would be upside down and everybody in the Equator would pretty be much the same except probably all the locals would be incredibly dizzy.

As I am at this point thinking about all of this foolishness.

Amen, and pass the mustard.

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