This Would Be a Really, REALLY Bad Beat
I try not to write about my bad beats because, of course, no one wants to hear about them. All players suffer through them, everybody hurts, and so who cares about yours? And too many people complain about bad beats that really aren't so bad. You had top pair, and the other guy ONLY had a straight draw and a flush draw and two overcards and...you know where this is heading, right? He hits his flush! UNBELIEVABLE.
So no bad beat stories. And after reading this no one should be posting bad beat stories. Reading around the web today came across this
item, linked from Glenn Reynolds' blog InstaPundit
. Seems that NASA has identified an asteroid called 2004 MN4 that, well, might hit the Earth on April 13, 2029. Hmm...maybe now would be a good time to reserve a suite at Bellagio for that weekend...be a helluva party.
Now, "might" is of course the operative word when it comes to this asteroid strike. On the Torino
scale, which is used to measure the likelihood of a impact, this asteroid rates a "4", which doesn't sound too bad until you realize that no asteroid has ever rated higher than a 1 before.
No need to immediately freak, even though NASA at first rated the chances of impact as around 1 in 233, then 1 in 66, and now 1 in 42. With increased observation and calculation they may learn that 2004 MN4 is going to miss us easily. And, anyway, the impact would only be around the equivalent of a 1-megaton blast, nothing too (literally) earth-shaking. Oh, it might kill a few million people and affect climate a bit, it won't be a civilization-zapper like the one that snuffed the dinos way back when. Tho, when you look at that new Fox show "I Think You May Be My Daddy" they promoted so much during football yesterday, perhaps saving our civilization is a bit overrated.
A 1 in 42 chance...that's about the same odds as someone hitting a 1-outer against you on the river. How often has that happened to you? Not too often, I'll wager. But it happens, it happens. But I hope that, in the future, if you do get skunked by that lone card you'll think of it as less a sign that the Universe is conspiring against you and more a deposit in the Global Karmic Bank, swallowing a tiny morsel of bad luck to help the whole of Humanity get through this particular roll of the cosmic dice.
I can only wish I'd thought of this before yesterday's earthquake and the catastropic tsunamis that rolled across the Indian Ocean. I don't know if there's any video out there of the waves hitting land, but reading some of the accounts on CNN...it beggars belief. This is odd, but when we went to the beach as kids I remember my dad telling me that, if I ever saw the water on shore rush out to sea, leaving like a hundred yards of exposed beach, to run as fast as I could for high ground, because that meant a tidal wave was coming. I don't think he was concerned about a tsunami hitting Ocean City, MD, but it was an interesting scientific tidbit that stuck in my mind. And then I read this account
, where the survivor was walking along the beach and suddenly saw the tide suddenly recede nearly 200 meters off the beach, and puzzled at what it meant. A surreal moment indeed--you're standing on the beach, ready to take a dip, blue skies, nothing wrong in the world...and the water suddenly rushes away and leaves you with a quarter-mile of exposed sand. Like the biggest magic trick in the world. And a few seconds later, your little slice of the world is destroyed with an almost Biblical cataclysm. It boggles the mind.
Well, I'm sure this post helped chase away the post-holiday blues. Hopefully the next thing I write won't be so...apocalyptic.