Science Fiction Novel – Demeter

Aloha – A reminder that chapters 1-14 are available in the blog archives.  Chapter 15 puts the rubber to the road so to speak.  Ryder has been learning to use gamification to module solutions to problems.  Now he has a big one, Cynthia, Becky and his sister Debbie have disappeared, and its up to him and his friends to find them.  Has he learned enough to decipher the clues?  And can you imagine his sister Debbie waiting around for him to rescue her?  Hardly.  Meanwhile here is chapter 15, Snatched.






“Who disappeared?” Ryder asked, knowing the answer before he even asked. He had a sudden flash of a promise to his parents. He knew he should have gone to Kuu’Aali falls with the little brat.

“They were supposed to be back two hours ago to join us for dinner. I thought Debbie was just taking them on some elaborate detour, but they’re not answering.” Athena’s voice quivered.

This was not like Athena. There has to be more to it than being two hours late, Ryder thought.

Randy jumped in next. “She’s right. Randy and I both tried calling all three of them. There is no place inside Demeter the bugs don’t work.”

“Maybe they left them behind,” Aster posited.

“I can imagine Debbie forgetting hers,” Ryder said, his hopes rising, but then immediately crashing. “But I’ve never known Cynthia or Becky to forget theirs.” Ryder tried contacting Cynthia though his bug, but to no avail. He began pacing.

“They should never have let that crazy girl fly.” Steerman had a strange look on his face.

Athena tore into Steerman, hitting and kicking him, and yelling incoherently. Steerman put up both arms, but did not hit back. Finally, Randy and Joel pulled her away. Aside from a few scrapes, Steerman looked unscathed, but his face looked haunted. “I didn’t mean…I didn’t think,” he muttered.

Joel put his arm around Athena. “Everything’s gonna be all right. We’ll find them,” he comforted.

“Let us caucus back in the scenario room,” Lieutenant Pinoke said, seemingly oblivious to Athena’s outburst.

“No, I have to find them,” Ryder argued.

“And what better way to find them?” Lieutenant Pinoke said, turning toward the entry.

Aster concurred. “She has a point.”

Ryder and Duncan both vouched for Athena, Randy, and Joel to get them through DDF security. Shortly thereafter, four Terrans, two Cryellians, and one Slick officer were conferring over various computer screens.

“Ryder, why don’t you lead this scenario?” Lieutenant Pinoke said.

“I think you’re better suited. I’m not sure I can think straight on this one,” Ryder replied.

“But you understand the assets better than I do,” Pinoke responded.

“They’re not assets! They’re my sister and my friends.” Ryder glared angrily.

“Step back,” Lieutenant Pinoke advised. “This is what you do well—better than any Terran I’ve met. Remove yourself from the emotions, and you will lead us to success if there is to be success.”

Ryder fumed, but followed Pinoke’s reasoning. If he could pull back from the emotions, if he could think logically, he could find them. “Okay. I’ll try, but you’ve got to help.”

“Of course,” Lieutenant Pinoke confirmed. “This is not a competition, but a search for resolution.”

“Let’s start with what we know then.” Ryder began pacing. “We know that Debbie had talked Captain White into letting her take a hopper. We know she knows how to fly it well, and had two sound minds with her to offset her reckless nature. We know that they were going to the Kuu’Aali Falls at the far end of Demeter.” As he turned to pace back toward the screens he had been using, he continued, “Athena states that they were due back here two and a half hours ago now. That in and of itself is not reason for panic. With Debbie, five hours wouldn’t be a surprise. But, we cannot reach any of them by bug, which makes no sense if they are still alive”—he swallowed—“or if they are still in Demeter. Do we know anything else?” Turning toward Athena, he asked sharply, “Do you know anything else?”

Athena jumped. “You know that they were meeting Miss Li there, didn’t you?”

“No, I didn’t.” Ryder wondered, Was there a reason he should have known that? Was it important? Could Miss Li be responsible for the disappearance? She had kidnapped us all once before. He tabled that thought and started pacing again. “Okay, what else? Have you checked to see if there were any reported crashes? I wouldn’t put it past Debbie to do something really stupid and crash a hopper, but those things are supposed to be safe enough for crash dummies to fly.”

Randy stepped forward. “First thing I checked. There are no reported crashes or accidents.”

“Okay, what about flight plans?” Ryder paused. “I’m not sure how much that will help. Debbie is notorious for not following them.”

No one responded. “Joel, do you have anything else you can think of?” Ryder asked.

Joel shook his head.

“Joel, keep thinking, but get on that computer”—Ryder pointed—“and check out her flight plan, and track the flight as best you can. Look for system camera scans along the flight plan, and try to verify the last confirmed sighting.”

“Got it.” Joel immediately moved to the computer console.

“So far I can see two possible scenarios. They crashed in a remote area, or they were taken. The easier to verify is if they crashed. We should be able to narrow that with sightings.” Turning to Aster, Ryder asked bluntly, “Do you know or does Steerman know any personnel that were in the Kuu’Aali Falls area today?”

Neither Aster nor Ensign Steerman knew of anyone at the falls.

“I actually have several friends who were going to be at the Kuu’Aali Falls today,” Lieutenant Pinoke volunteered. “I’ll contact them now.” She stepped out of the room. Ryder was a bit surprised that Lieutenant Pinoke even had friends, but he put that thought aside.

“Logic suggests the simplest answer is the most likely,” Ryder continued. “I cannot imagine why, but the most probable scenario is that they have been taken, kidnapped, or murdered. Assuming this scenario, who would have had reason to do this? Who would have had the opportunity?”

Aster responded. “Most likely either a random act of violence or a carefully planned event. If it was planned, then someone you know was likely involved in the event.”

“What would be their motive?” Ryder responded. “That one stymies me. We don’t have money. We don’t have political influence.”

“That’s not totally accurate,” Steerman said, stammering.

“What do you mean?” Randy asked.

“Have any of you done a search on your names here?” Aster asked.

There was a pause, then Ryder hesitantly responded. “I did. I ran into security blocks. I assumed it was because we were designated as outsiders to the system.  I couldn’t find a way around it and couldn’t get Mr. Small or Lieutenant Pinoke to assist.  I’m afraid my hacking skills aren’t that good yet.”

“It’s probably time you got some clarification on that.” Aster spread his portable computer to large screen mode. “You’re not blocked as outsiders, you’re blocked as individuals. I’m not blocked. Let’s look up your names. Why don’t we start with Athena’s family name.” Under the header “Swenson,” given names of Leonard, Jennifer, and Athena came up immediately.

“I had an uncle Len that died about sixteen years ago.” Athena perked up.

Aster took on a didactic voice. “Look at the top right corner on Leonard Swenson. The information identifies his immigration date. You’ll notice that he immigrated permanently to Demeter seventeen years ago. I suspect if you double check, you’ll find that your uncle died seventeen years ago. The information below that shows that he made biannual visits here during the previous ten years. You’ll also notice that Jennifer was his father’s sister.”

They next looked at the name Porter. They found Randy and Joel’s great uncle. The Flores name was associated with five generations of mid-level administrators at Demeter, and also the Director-General’s name from six generations before that. Creer only showed up with Rebecca’s name. However, when they pulled up Rebecca’s file, it showed a link to a Mr. Roundy, a pilot in the DDF from forty-five years earlier and former associate director in the DDF. He was apparently Becky’s grandmother’s brother.

Ryder showed sixteen hits. Ryder was only moderately surprised to see the names of both of his parents and his grandparents on his father’s side. Aster clicked on Ryder’s grandfather’s name, Stephen. The name registered as immigrating permanently to Demeter six years earlier, the same year that he died on Earth. He was also the current Director-General of Demeter.

“As you can see, there are political implications tied to the disappearance of the granddaughter of the Director-General and two other well-connected individuals tied to Demeter’s Directorate.”

Ryder froze as the grave realities of the situation settled over him, and silence ruled the room as his friends stared at him. Finally, he came to himself. “So the most likely reason for a kidnapping would be politically motivated. What groups or individuals would instigate such an action?”

Just then, Lieutenant Pinoke poked her head back into the room. “My associates remember seeing your friends arrive. Apparently, the hopper landed with great fanfare, scaring a number of locals. Your sister apparently buzzed the Kuu’Aali Falls before landing. They do not recall seeing any of them leave. Likewise, they did not notice anything peculiar in relation to other individuals around your party. However, they admit they were not paying close attention.”

“Joel, I should have thought of this sooner. You should be able to get a reading on the hopper. I’m guessing it’s still at Kuu’Aali Falls.”

It took Joel less than two minutes to confirm that the hopper was still at the falls, parked.

“Aster, can we use your craft to get there? I know it can travel faster than a hopper,” Ryder said.

“You got it.” Aster stood.

“Lieutenant Pinoke, will you join us?” Ryder turned to the Slick officer.

“No. I’ll patch our simulation information to your computer. The system here is more powerful and provides more variables. I believe you would be more useful here, working with me as the rest of your team feeds information to us,” Pinoke advised.

“That might be,” Ryder affirmed, “but I’m going.”

“Remember, keep emotion out of your analysis, and you will work better.” Heliotrope actually closed her palm on his shoulder. “I restate you would be more useful here.”

“Thank you, Heliotrope.” Ryder turned toward the exit. “I’ll do my best to keep my feelings in check, but I need to be there.” He walked out the door of the simulation room. The rest of the group followed.

Again, the first 14 chapters are available in the Blog archives.  You can also borrow the book for free or buy it on Amazon kindle at*Version*=1&*entries*=0*Version*=1&*entries*=0

Aloha – Just got back from eight days in sunny Puerto Vallarta, Mexico.  I returned in a very good mood and decided to put up a free day of the first volume of the Orion’s Spur series, Demeter.  Why?  I took a Robert Heinlein book to Mexico with me and finished it the second day.  By day seven I was going stir crazy when I was idle.  The last day I realized I had my own copy of the series and spent several pleasant hours reading.  Time to share :o) Doc

End of the world option 3 Nuclear War

Aloha – Before politicians tried to scare us (valid or otherwise) about the end of the world being caused by global warming, it was all about the end of the world coming through nuclear war.  This was a pretty reasonable option and both the U.S. and the USSR had enough nuclear weapons aimed at each other to pretty much do the trick.

The doomsday clock used to focus on the risk of a nuclear war.  Granted it has shifted focus to be more inclusive of other opportunities to annihilate ourselves, but it has been at 10 minutes to midnight or closer for decades.  Although the U.S. and USSR did have the capability to wipe out civilization, they also had at least a few rational people who kept itching fingers off the triggers (most of the time).  Now we get to add in nut cases like North Korean leadership and potential jihadists in such countries as Iran.

Of course nuclear weapons could also have an interesting discounting effect on other end of the world options.  Most Asteroid movies count on nuclear weapons to blow up or redirect or split asteroids on their way to Earth… saving the day.  Even global warming has an intriguing nuclear weapons solution.  Sufficient volcanic eruptions could result in a mini-ice age.  Consider how selective detonation of nuclear weapons could in effect reduce temperatures around the globe.

The challenge with utilizing nuclear weapons for good rather than evil, is that good will be a matter of relative choice.  cooling off North America might wind up creating a massive radiation emission that affects Argentina or perhaps Greenland, that is warming up winds up taking another 6 degree slip and gets the radiation to boot.




Chapter 14 – Jumping

Aloha – In chapter 14 Ryder has to make a decision between hanging out with his friends, or in this case seeing how far off a love gravity asteroid they can jump, or hanging with his girl friend.  He decides its time for some male bonding that may turn out to be a very bad decision.  Remember chapters 1-13 are available in the blog archives.  The book in its entirety is available on Amazon Kindle readers  Doc


14   Jumping

It was a difficult decision. Randy and Joel had invited Ryder to go jumping with them. Ryder had never been on the surface of Demeter in the seven months that they had been there, and the activity sounded like a blast. On the other hand, going to the Kuu’Aali Falls with Cynthia was a definite draw. The deciding factor was that Debbie was not only going to the Kuu’Aali Falls, but she was driving. She and Becky had both passed their solo exams, and Debbie had convinced Captain White that he should lend her a hopper for the day. Ryder had no desire to put his life in Debbie’s hands, so he decided to join in with the boys and try out one of the robotic units.

For some reason Athena was staying in. Athena had been edgy for the last month, even withdrawing from Randy and Joel. She still seemed to be enjoying the meteorology assignment, but tended to spend most of the rest of the time in her room. Cynthia thought that Athena was just homesick, but was also getting more concerned by Athena’s escalating withdrawal.

Aster and Ensign Steerman arrived before Cynthia and company left. Steerman still seemed moody, and Ryder wondered if he wouldn’t partner up better with Athena. The young ensign greeted Debbie by saying, “Well, I never thought I’d see grubs that could fly.”

“This grub will be flying the fighters before long. I’d think hoppers would be better suited to grasshoppers like you,” Debbie responded in kind.

Ryder thought he could see steam coming out of Steerman’s ears as he turned deathly silent. In fact, Ryder noticed that Steerman didn’t say another word during the two-hour flight to the locks, nor during the time they spent exiting to the surface of Demeter.

Once on the exterior of the asteroid, Aster shifted the flyer to a V-shape that allowed the window panels to reappear. There wasn’t much to see. The stars were thick and visible, and there were three stars in view about twice the brightness of Venus or Mars on a clear summer night from Earth. Other than that, the surface was heavily pockmarked with ancient collisions of meteors and small asteroids. At one point, Ryder perked up as he thought he saw something metallic on an otherwise dull landscape.

Ryder yelled out, “What’s that?”

“That would be the wreckage of SL124. Good catch, Ryder. We actually use that as our line of sight confirmation that we’re on course,” Aster replied, veering the craft so they could get a better look. The scene was of a violent collision. The wreckage had many scorch marks.

Suddenly the landscape looked different to Ryder. He now envisioned the cratered surface more as a desolate battleground than the result of forces of nature. He suspected that the truth was somewhere in between. He did not spot any more obvious signs of wreckage, but did notice one misshapen crater that was oblong rather than round.

They reached their destination, identified simply as Station 59, about fifteen minutes after they passed the wreckage. There were eighty observation stations around the exterior of Demeter, and each housed a staff of ten technicians. Some of the stations also housed squadrons of DDF fighters, but not this one. The observation posts were the responsibility of the Cryellians, and Ryder didn’t know a lot about them. He knew they were primarily monitoring stations to triangulate activities that might affect traffic within a light year of Demeter. He knew from simulations that they had defensive and offensive capabilities. He suspected that they had an underground network tied to the caverns, but had not seen any blueprints or other evidence to support that theory.

Station 59 showed as a very small bubble as they approached. It looked like a sunny-side up egg. It had a central, yellowish dome about twenty-five feet across, and then an off-white, circular landing area that could accommodate perhaps four small ships.

As if reading Ryder’s thoughts, Aster announced that they were shifting back into compact mode so they could land on the small landing pad. The windows quickly disappeared.

Station 59 wasn’t much. The entry was by a connecting accordion tunnel. The small base smelled of human sweat and metallic oils. Ryder thought that this was what a submarine might be like, except that the ceilings were unusually tall for such a small space. They descended to a broad common room that ran off in several directions via narrow passageways. It was clear that any of the corridors could be sealed off in an emergency.

They were greeted by a Cryellian lieutenant, whom Aster knew. Ryder wasn’t sure if the lieutenant’s name or job was Gatekeeper, but that’s how Aster addressed him. Aster only chatted with the lieutenant for a moment as he led them all down an underground passageway that seemed to go on forever. They exited the hallway into a fairly small antechamber that housed six of the robotic units that Randy and Joel had been raving about for weeks.

“Wow!” Joel exclaimed. “These are a lot better than the ones we’ve been training in.”

Even Randy’s eyes lit up. “Is this the new K17 model?” he asked.

“Nope, K16s. You are training in the old K14s, aren’t you?” Aster asked as he released the restraints on one of the units.

Steerman snorted. “Those junkers?” It was actually the first thing Steerman had said since his run-in with Debbie earlier in the day.

“Be that as it may,” Aster stated in a matter-of-fact tone, “we’ll be jumping in the K16s today, so we better run through the systems checks before we put them on.”

Ryder felt lost as the Cryellian lieutenant kept using jargon and acronyms he really wasn’t that familiar with. Things went slowly, as Aster was checking both Ryder and his own systems at the same time. Ryder imagined that a clipboard with a long list of items to review would be appropriate for the systems checks, but everyone seemed to be doing it all from memory. “Aren’t you afraid you’ll forget something without an actual list?”

Steerman grinned malevolently. “We can see the checklist. Haven’t you activated your sub-computer?”

Ryder had forgotten that there was a subsystem computer that could be put in the eye like a contact lens. “Ah, no, I don’t use that system. Can’t stand putting things in my eye.”

“Well, you’ll never be combat ready without it. We can see in full screen mode and sub-vocalize checklists. You grubs are useless,” Steerman mocked.

“Ryder’s not here for combat. He’s her for jumping. We’re here for combat, if you want to go that route,” Randy erupted.

Aster stepped between Randy and Steerman. “We’re all here for jumping today, and let’s keep it that way.”

They stopped for lunch after the system check was completed. After eating some dried fruit and cheese with crackers, they started putting on the suits. Aster let the others go first, and told them to go on ahead. He then helped Ryder with the suit, and once again told him the basics he would need for the day. “This system takes weeks, even months to master, but for what we’re doing, once more through should do it. You really only have to remember these two controls. I’ve preset the communications system for you.”

“Thanks,” Ryder said. “I probably shouldn’t have come today. I really don’t know what I’m doing.”

“Forget Steerman. I have a solution to neutralize him when we get back to Europe. I’ll set it up for you.” Aster smiled genially as he sealed Ryder’s helmet.

With that they finished latching up the systems. The K16 was a human/computer system that allowed for work in hostile environments and could be loaded with weapons as needed. Randy and Joel were constantly talking about it. Joel had gone so far as to state that he could take out a company of army rangers with the ancient K14 unit.

Randy rolled his eyes and circled his hand around his head, suggesting that Joel was crazy. That had led to a wrestling match between the two boys.

Today was neither work nor war. Jumping was a popular activity for the Cryellians. They had discovered that they could in effect launch themselves off Demeter’s low gravitational pull with just the system controls of the more advanced robotic suits.

When Ryder and Aster emerged to the surface, Randy and Joel were both descending from a jump. They appeared to Ryder as dots. He turned on the magnification in the helmet’s display so that he could make them out. Unfortunately, Ryder over-magnified and kept twisting his head to find them. He would see their helmets momentarily, then a foot. He spent several minutes trying to get the magnification back to normal. By the time he figured it out, they were on the ground.

Steerman launched shortly thereafter and quickly flew out of sight.

“How high can we go with this thing?” Ryder was feeling more and more wary, remembering the sensation he had going over the falls on the Ashiijin River.

“About two miles. The gravity will bring us back down, and the system will automatically brake the fall. It’s kind of like parachuting on Earth without the plane, and in a box instead of a parachute,” Joel explained.

Ryder was not comforted. However, when his turn came, the liftoff was exhilarating, and the descent was actually quite pleasant. He had gone through the cycle three times before Steerman voiced another of his familiar challenges. “Want to try something exciting?”

“I don’t know. What is it?” Ryder asked suspiciously.

“Catapults,” Steerman said in a cavalier tone.

Randy and Joel immediately perked up. “You have catapults?” they asked in unison. “We’re in!”

Ryder decided to pass on the activity, as did Aster. Buried into the ground about sixty feet deep were some spring-loaded catapults. Aster explained that they were contraband, and not sanctioned by the DDF. They had been constructed by bored technicians over the past couple of decades. The idea was to brace yourself into the highly compressed catapult, fire via computer, and shoot yourself into space. It provided enough energy to launch a suit into orbit without a rocket.

“You’ve got to be kidding,” Ryder commented incredulously.

Three suits launched simultaneously. They exited the pits like bullets. “Does it crush their heads with g-force?” Ryder asked Aster with morbid curiosity.

“There are some that claim it causes brain damage,” Aster replied, “but I think that the damage is pre-existing.”

Ryder and Aster both chuckled. They listened to the chatter as the three bullets continued outward.

“What’s the record?” Joel’s asked with strained voice.

“It’s 23.4 miles,” Steerman said.

“I think I can go further than that,” Joel said with a puff.

“It’s not getting that far out that’s the problem. It’s getting back,” Steerman oozed with criticism.

In the end, they topped out at twenty miles and actually listened when Steerman told them to head back.

As the K16 units descended, Aster emitted a soft, “Uh-oh.”

“What? Are they going to crash?” Ryder asked apprehensively.

“Nope, Gatekeeper just informed me that stations 58 and 60 have both spotted three unidentified objects entering the no fly zone. Gatekeeper talked them out of firing. But, there will be a report. We better get going as soon as they get down.” Shifting to a more formal tone, Aster then switched to broadcast mode, looking skyward. “Steerman, you hear that? I’m taking Ryder in now. Gather the chicks and follow as soon as you get down.”

“Gotcha,” Steerman returned.

Four hours later they were back in Europe. Steerman kept moving nervously, as if he was ready to leave, but Aster convinced the ensign to join them for dinner. Randy and Joel begged out, as they had promised to eat with Athena. After dinner, Aster casually suggested that Steerman give Ryder a lesson in SPC scenario play. Steerman’s face turned upward in a sharklike grin. “Sure, I have a couple of minutes.”

Aster winked at Ryder.

When they arrived at the SPC scenario room, Lieutenant Pinoke was working on a scenario, which she shut down as they came in. When she heard the plan for a one-on-one scenario between Steerman and Ryder, she indicated that she wanted to watch. “I’ve never seen a Terran and a Cryellian perform a scenario.”

That was the closest Ryder had ever seen her come to showing any emotion at all. They decided to let Lieutenant Pinoke select a mid-level scenario. She picked a combined Terran/Cryellian defense of Demeter, with three Slick heavy cruisers and a battleship against an invasion of nine Perv heavy cruisers and a juggernaut.

Forty-five minutes later, Ryder completed his solution. Steerman ran up to the one-hour limit, but smiled confidently as he hit the final submit directive. “Give up?” Steerman smirked.

The results showed that Ryder’s solution was thirty percent more efficient, with forty percent fewer losses. “I guess so.” Ryder smiled contentedly.

Steerman stomped out of the room. Aster shook his head. “That didn’t go quite like I expected. I thought you’d beat him, but not crush him. That may not have been as good an idea as I thought.”

Lieutenant Pinoke maintained her neutral demeanor. “I am not sure of the problem. Both solutions were adequate. Apprentice Ryder’s solution demonstrated the outstanding skills he continues to develop.”

Ryder was floored. Was that a compliment? He wasn’t sure, but it felt good regardless.

“Thank you, Heliotrope.”

Lieutenant Pinoke stood deathly silent, her face turned a bluish shade, and Ryder was trying to remember if he knew how to do the Heimlich maneuver. Gradually the blue tone of her skin turned back to pink. She stared at Ryder with her head shifting back and forth at a sharp angle. Finally, she responded, “You are welcome…William.” Then her lips actually curled up into a rather strange looking smile.

Before the conversation could continue, Steerman rushed back into the room, and Ryder braced to be struck or kicked. “We’ve got a problem. You need to come back up to the observation platform!” Steerman turned and raced back out the door.

Aster immediately followed, with Ryder and Lieutenant Pinoke in close pursuit. Just outside the “Authorized Personnel Only” door were Randy, Joel, and Athena. Athena was in tears. “They’ve disappeared,” she blurted out between sobs.*Version*=1&*entries*=0



You Me and Armageddon

Aloha – There is a new show out on NBC that drew my curiosity, “You, Me and Armageddon”.  What is that all about?  I wondered.  During the first 10 or 15 minutes I was a bit lost.  A secondary character from the British TV comedy, “Spy” has the lead.  He is a banker but is dwelling on his lost love, who disappeared on their return from their honeymoon.  Things go from bad to worse for him, along with a wrongly imprisoned librarian in the U.S., and a sarcastic Devil’s Advocate (played by Rob Lowe) at the Vatican and his new assistant, a nun who basically distains people, and then comes the big announcement, Earth will be destroyed by an asteroid in 34 days.

As the show begins to get its footing I finally recognized the scenario or at least the demeanor of the show… Douglas Adams would be proud.  The central character and his friend are resonant of Arthur Dent and Ford Prefect from the Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy.  If your mind can work in the weird sort of way then this show may be for you.

The starting point is the bomb shelter where 15 people are watching the final minute countdown until the asteroid ends life on Earth.  They will be the survivors, but from what it shows (not all characters are revealed in the first two episodes) it is a group of misfits that just happened into the right place at the right time… still unclear.  The show has a pattern to follow as it becomes a one day episode countdown from Earth destroyed minus 34 days.  Episode 1 is day -34, and Episode 2 is day -33.  I assume it will continue to follow that countdown.

Will it make it on network TV?  It may be too eccentric for the network audience and advertisers.  The closest thing to it in the past couple of years is Gallavant, which has a solid, weird fanbase.  They may like this too.  I like it better.




End of the World – Option 2 Yellowstone

Aloha – Okay Option 1 was an Asteroid Armageddon, next let’s take a look at extinction through volcanic activity.  Within human-kind’s history we’ve already had a couple of unsettling events.  Volcanic activity resulted in a mini-ice age in Europe just a few centuries ago.  Yellowstone has the potential of reeking havoc with all of North America, and probably generating a more substantial ice age for other parts of the world.  It has a major eruption approximately every 600,000 years, and we are overdue.  Still in perspective, the odds of one occurring in any given hundred hear period is around 6,000:1.  That is pretty high if you compare it to the 11 million:1 odds of being killed in a plane crash.  Still the odds are such that you are more likely to die in a car crash sometime in an average life span 470:1.  So a geyser view cabin in Yellowstone is still a better bet than driving to work every day.




End of the World – Option 1

Aloha – It has been a while since I had fund with the End of the World terrorists and decided to have a little fun with the constant doomsayers that range from failed politicians trying to keep their name in front of people, to serious scientists looking for grant funding.  Let’s not forget the misinformed celebrities that get drawn into trying to sound like they know what they’re talking about.  So let’s take a look at the top 10 ways for a mass extinction event over the next few weeks:

Number 1 on the End of the World parade is of course being hit by an Asteroid that causes global winter and is an extinction worthy event.  We’ve had a couple of these over the eons and will almost certainly have another one.  Could it happen tomorrow?  Unlikely.  We get regular surprises of unidentified asteroids that could do the job.  Most recently 2013 TV135 brought our attention back to this potential disaster.  It actually has a 1:63,000 chance of hitting the Earth in 2032 (to celebrate my 80th birthday).  Of course the doomsayers would discount the inverse of that… there is a 99.998% chance that it will miss the Earth and just be another interesting week in the news.

By the way, the odds that we can get Bruce Willis and Robert Duvall to blow up the asteroid before it hits Earth by 2032 is 1:45, so we may survive yet.

Although we have periodically experienced Earth shattering asteroid impacts even in the last couple of hundred years, the type of deep impact event that would lead to the extinction, or serious inconvenience of human-kind has been void for approximately 66 million years.  We have certainly had other such impacts over the eons, but the odds appear to be greater than 100 million to 1.

Take into consideration that the likelihood of your dying of old age in the next 120 years is pretty close to 1:1 and these odds don’t look so bad.  Let’s put the odds of a deep impact event in your lifetime at about the same as the population of Southern California being wiped out by hornet stings… just saying.