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Despite This We Stay for March 27, 2014

Solar blast

Here we have been all riled up about the polar vortex, and there’s something else we could have been obsessing over – a SOLAR BLAST. The news was utterly buzzing with this topic last week, and it had me absolutely frantic. When a solar blast, aka magnetic solar burst, hits a planet with complex life forms and electric juicers and computers – aka. us – it wipes out all the electronics, and civilization is thrust backward to the days when you had to roll up your car windows by hand and only had mud to smear on your lips for makeup. [Incidentally, I think the same thing happened back in 1975 when the 8-track tape player in my robin-egg-blue Vega just up and quit working.] Anyway, I was in a real dither about the SOLAR BLAST. But as I continued reading, I realized that this isn’t something that they say is

gonna happen. This is something they say ALMOST happened. TWO YEARS AGO. Ok, I definitely qualify as a complex life form. I’ve got a kid just about to get her driver’s license. Plus, every day I have to decide between fried and broiled, regular potato or sweet potato, sea salt or Himalayan pink salt, medium salsa or hot salsa, crispy or original, bleached flour or unbleached. In addition, I’m preoccupied with that ultra-modern practice of recycling, so now it takes me five minutes to throw away a piece of trash. I have to worry that my hair spray may be eating away the last millimeter of the ozone layer and that I personally will be responsible for, at that very moment, everything that isn’t nailed down on earth being sucked out into space, where, as we know from a recent movie, it will orbit as space junk until it crashes to earth, most likely in Huerfano County. As you can see, I have enough stuff to think about without having someone warn me about disasters that ALMOST HAPPENED TWO YEARS AGO. Heck, two million of us almost won the Powerball two years ago. In other words, we DIDN’T. Case closed. Because I am thorough (and apparently a huge glutton for punishment), I did a little research on the solar blast that wasn’t. Here’s what we missed out on: Satellites would be fried (oh, gee, no more watching Honey Boo Boo eat ham sandwiches). GPS would be disabled (“Recalculating”). The electrical grid would be hammered when electrical transformers burst into flame. ATMs would crash. Credit card machines would no longer work (so EVERYONE in the grocery store checkout line would be writing checks). And your refrigerator would start launching food at you every time you walked past. The gist of one news article was that we need to understand solar superstorms. That’s so we can . . . uhh . . . what? Move the earth out of the way next time? I suppose that’s conceivable, IF every single person and large mammal on the face of the earth would jump up and down at the same moment. And yes, I’m aware that somewhere out there, right now, some computer geek is figuring out if that really WOULD make the earth move. So, rather than worry about solar blasts, I think we should all take a break from all the stuff we have to think about every day and celebrate. I mean, look at all the bad things that DIDN’T happen to us TWO YEARS AGO. I’m feeling way better already.