Saturday, September 24, 2011

Falling satellites, statistics (yawn) and Shrek – what?

Bonkers cat
Did anyone find an old satellite in their garden this morning? No, me neither, but I was interested in the BBC story about how a NASA six tonne satellite was dropping to Earth and going to land… somewhere, sometime yesterday, probably, we think. The news site also said that the chances of being hit by one of the pieces of this thing were one in 3,200 so that’s ok.

Or is it? The seating capacity of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane is 2,188 and not far away you have the Cambridge Theatre which seats 1,253, both owned by the Really Useful Group Ltd. (I just happen to know these things.) So, last night, if you were leaving a performance of Shrek, The Musical or Matilda, The Musical, happily whistling the scenery and reflecting on how your intellect had been so challenged, the chances are you might have been slapped on the head by a piece of hurtling debris. But it’s ok, because NASA said that they could tell where the things were going to fall a couple of minutes before they impacted. Very helpful. And the US Space Agency said that “Potentially, you could get out of the way. But if you're going to spend all the time looking up then you're at greater risk of an accident bumping into something than something coming down on you.” How many years at MIT?

Anyway, fascinating though statistics are (yawn), we on Symi were not hit by falling satellites, scenery, or even box office receipts. (Matilda the musical? What’s going on over there?) But we have been hit with warmer temperatures and clearer skies, so that’s all well and good. We will be able to go about the day safely, looking up to a clear sky while avoiding bumping in to anything, and see a piece of H34sk-07D battery pack hurting down towards us as we answer the phone to a NASA official desperately yelling ‘get out of the w…’

Enough Saturday morning silliness. I have washing to do and a book to write.