The Quadrantid meteor shower peaked on the 3rd of January. It’s the redheaded stepchild of astronomy, overshadowed by its siblings the Geminids and Perseids. 2014’s shitty weather, and a fat moon, drowned out their show. Then again, meteor showers rarely match the expectations of mainstream news where breathless puppetheads declare this time it’s going to be spectacular. Sometimes they’ll interview Neil deGrasse Tyson to lend an air of legitimacy while reading the latest wire dispatches.
When showers disappoint, a few aerolite iconoclasts raise a ruckus as they blaze through our skies with booms echoing over the Earth.
On January 11th, Japan bore witness to a remarkable fireball.
Two days later, something rattled the windows in upstate New York. Some lucky ducks saw a bright flash as an object1 entered our atmosphere. Astronomers are saying this event sounds a lot like a meteor.
Meanwhile in Europe, there are numerous reports of a bright green fireball seen over Belgium, the Netherlands, and the UK on 18th of January. Heck, it was captured on video too!
Since Chelyabinsk was blindsided last year, there’s an expectation the Big One™ is due any time now.
It’s almost as if humanity has a death wish, and that’s a bad thing.
Take the findings of Dr. Masaru Emoto, gaining notoriety in 2004’s What The Bleep Do We Know? with inquiry into the concept of mind-over-matter. Emoto’s focus was on positive thinking, allegedly demonstrating thoughts and intentions can affect the physical world. Take his controversial rice experiment where two containers of cooked rice were labelled with “ありがとう” (Arigato, or thank you) and “ばかやろう” (Baka yaro, or you fool/fuck you). Students who participated in the experiment said the phrases every day as they passed the samples, and the disparity between them is striking.
Another study, featured in CSICOP’s Skeptical Inquirer, revealed a decade-long study showing people make their own luck in the world2. Just look at the irrepressible optimism of Ronald Wilson Reagan3, from his declaration of “It’s morning in America”, to his credo “Nothing is impossible”. Consider Arnold Schwarzenegger, latter day will-worker, declaring he would be Hollywood’s number one star, explaining his methodology. “It’s the same process I used in bodybuilding,” he explained. “What you do is create a vision of who you want to be, and then live into that picture as if it were already true.4 ”
If people want something, consciously or subconsciously, they can make it happen. Whether it’s putting faith in magical love philters, rohypnol, or just taking a shower then asking a chick to stargaze with you on a warm spring night, a person’s will can have considerable effect on the material world. For example, graphs related to Princeton Engineering Anomalies Research’s Global Consciousness Project hint the human mind has agency with inanimate objects.
To accelerate a 500 ton asteroid 20 meters a second over 20 days, requires the exertion of five newtons. That’s equal to the force exerted by a human finger briskly typing an article. Imagine seven billion humans suffering from asteroid anxiety, thanks to constant media bombardment about the end of the world as we know it. A contribution of 7.14×10^-10 newtons by each earthlings’s consciousness, unimaginably tiny and (to the best of my knowledge) not easily measurable, could alter the future of our species.
I’m not advocating sticking our heads in the sand, nor would I expect anyone to seriously consider eschewing conventional approaches to preventing extinction-level impacts. Just it’s time to turn off the news, cancel your Google alerts, and head outside to enjoy yourself since life’s just too short.
Maybe shorter than you think.