Near miss

Observer (my butler reads it): Meteorite 'could have devastated northern UK'
The meteorite that caused devastation in the Urals on Friday could have struck Britain if it had entered the atmosphere at only a slightly different time of day, astronomers revealed yesterday.

The region around Chelyabinsk hit by the meteorite impact is 55 degrees north, the same latitude as northern England. Had the meteorite's timing been only few hours different, it could have caused widespread damage in the British Isles, astronomers at the University of Hawaii said yesterday.

Phew! On the other hand, had the trajectory of the lump of space-rock that became the meteorite been only a fraction of a degree different, it might, long, long ago, have collided with the much bigger lump of space-rock/comet that took out the dinosaurs before it actually took out the dinosaurs, thereby altering its course by an even smaller fraction of a degree, so that it didn't, in fact, actually take out the dinosaurs. In which case, none of us would be here. Thanks, lump of space-rock!

Meanwhile, in related news, had Frederick Miller not lost an eye in a freak golfing accident back in 1885, I might be Prime Minister right now. And wouldn't the world be a much nicer place?

Unless you're a cat, obviously.

Want one!

(via Greg Laden's blog)