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omg we're all going to die,
October 2, 2002 7:27 PM   Subscribe

omg we're all going to die, which means the hurricanes, the war against terrorism, high school free speech... it's all a big nothing!
posted by jcterminal (46 comments total)

 
<looks at the calendar>

Well, I guess I was right...
posted by Danelope at 7:31 PM on October 2, 2002


"[The sun]...will blow apart like an out-of-control nuclear reactor within six years," predicts Dr. Van der Meer.

Wow. Any more stories on this? Is it a joke?
posted by SpaceCadet at 7:31 PM on October 2, 2002


ah crap! and me still a virgin.
posted by quonsar at 7:35 PM on October 2, 2002


Wow. Any more stories on this?

You're really living up to your moniker, aren't ya SpaceCadet? :)
posted by gwong at 7:35 PM on October 2, 2002


SpaceCadet:

You're joking, right? I can never tell on MetaFilter. Of course it's a joke. In addition to all the internal evidence, it's the frigging Weekly World News for Pete's sake. Their motto? "Not really news, or is it?"
posted by quarantine at 7:36 PM on October 2, 2002


Yes, SpaceCadet. Not only is the sun in imminent danger, but the Earth's core has stopped rotating as well. And without a rotating core, the planet is completely unprotected from cosmic radiation.
posted by Danelope at 7:37 PM on October 2, 2002


I'd like to take a moment at this time to pimp existentialism and point out that we ARE all going to die, just in 60 years, not 6, and that the hurricanes, war, and high school free speech are STILL big nothings.

Just a friendly reminder from the group of people never invited to parties by anyone, anywhere, under any circumstances whatsoever!
posted by Ryvar at 7:40 PM on October 2, 2002


"Dr. Van der Meer, leader of a team of Amsterdam-based space scientists who've been tracking the changes in the Sun"

It's good to see they've moved on from simply studying the dark side of the moon.
posted by SimStupid at 7:40 PM on October 2, 2002


OK, so I am gullible, but the "solar eruption, more than 30 times the length of Earth's diameter" did happen. If this is "entertainment" passed as a joke, it's very misleading, regardless of how unbelievable it might be.
posted by SpaceCadet at 7:43 PM on October 2, 2002


from annie hall:

Alvy's mother: He's been depressed. All of a sudden, he can't do anything.
Doctor: Why are you depressed Alvy?
Alvy's mother: Tell Dr. Flicker. (To the doctor) It's something he read.
Doctor: Something he read, huh?
Alvy: The universe is expanding...Well, the universe is everything, and if it's expanding, some day it will break apart and that will be the end of everything.
Alvy's mother: What is that your business? (To the doctor) He stopped doing his homework.
Alvy: What's the point?
Alvy's mother: What has the universe got to do with it? You're here in Brooklyn. Brooklyn is not expanding.
Doctor: It won't be expanding for billions of years, yet Alvy. And we've got to try to enjoy ourselves while we're here, huh, huh? Ha, ha, ha. (He laughs before taking another drag on his cigarette)
posted by tarbox at 7:44 PM on October 2, 2002


Just a friendly reminder from the group of people never invited to parties by anyone, anywhere, under any circumstances whatsoever!

Damn, that explains so much. I guess we could throw our own existentialist parties, but, eh, what's the point?
posted by Ufez Jones at 7:45 PM on October 2, 2002


NASA refuses to confirm the Euro-pean scientists' assertions and a White House source said, "We don't need anyone spreading more panic now."

Foolish hu-mans have ignored the warning signs for years! Even now, they refuse to listen to these "Euro-peans". WHARG WHARG WHARG!! <wriggles his tentacles>
posted by Danelope at 7:46 PM on October 2, 2002


I feel like kind of a creep for pointing this out, but it's from the Weekly World News, possibly my favorite supermarket grocery reading.
posted by readymade at 7:47 PM on October 2, 2002


If God had wanted that solar flare to hit the Earth, he would have miracled its ass over here.
posted by crunchburger at 7:48 PM on October 2, 2002


Come on you guys, ease up. The thing was on Yahoo, and we all know everything good goes through Yahoo. Yahooooo-hoo!

(I looked at it twice too, SpaceCadet. Then all I could think was, thank my lucky stars - or star in this case - I wouldn't have to pay off my grad school credit card debt.)
posted by mirla at 7:52 PM on October 2, 2002


Well, screw my car payments then.
posted by jonmc at 7:54 PM on October 2, 2002


OK, so I am gullible, but the "solar eruption, more than 30 times the length of Earth's diameter" did happen.

Not to be a spoilsport, but the proper answer is "So what?" 30 earth diameters is approximately two-tenths of 1% of the distance to the earth to the sun. Or in more familiar terms, if the sun is Los Angeles and the earth is New York, the flare is less than six miles long. Sure, it causes some static, but the earth is in no danger.
posted by quarantine at 7:55 PM on October 2, 2002


Err, "from the earth to the sun".
posted by quarantine at 7:56 PM on October 2, 2002


As a subject in a study I did in Statistics for the Behavioral Sciences comparing people's tendencies to believe information presented to them on newsprint, pamphlet, or computer screen back in 1995 said ...

How could it be false? If it wasn't true, the computer would have rejected it.
posted by dmd at 7:56 PM on October 2, 2002


There is a better explanation (with less drama) from NASA about this particular prominence.
posted by brism at 8:02 PM on October 2, 2002


Well, now that we can be certain we will die, the only choice is how.

So, I'm going to take my life early.

I'm going to go to the zoo and get a lion, then put a remote-control bomb up its butt. Then I'm going to let the lion out of it's cage, and it will attack me. Then, I'm going to push the button on the bomb, and the lion and I will die as one.
posted by nyxxxx at 8:02 PM on October 2, 2002


One of the coolest books I've ever read is called The Forge of God. End of the world scenario, set up very subtly by alien Von Neuman machines, really wonderfully written by Greg Bear. Interesting science of planetary scale destruction/catastrophe, interesting premise of how individual people and society in general copes with the news.

Semi-happy ending too. Not all of humanity dies.
posted by namespan at 8:10 PM on October 2, 2002


"I'd like to take a moment at this time to pimp existentialism and point out that we ARE all going to die, just in 60 years, not 6 (....)"

I guess that little snippet of information instantly cheered up all the 40+ Metafilter users!
posted by lucien at 8:26 PM on October 2, 2002


It's the apocalypse...
posted by Jubey at 8:41 PM on October 2, 2002


Just a friendly reminder from the group of people never invited to parties by anyone, anywhere, under any circumstances whatsoever!

Crimany, they are having a little party over at 20472 right now! and I never got my invitation-- I had to crash. (Silly me for thinking they were discussing some comic.)
posted by Secret Life of Gravy at 9:25 PM on October 2, 2002


I might sound a little innocent, but isn't it just plain wrong for Yahoo to allow out-and-out lies to be on their pages? What's the point of it? Is it just for messageboards to make jokes about it?

It reads like a Viz magazine "article" without the irony, just told deadpan. And the point is....???
posted by SpaceCadet at 9:37 PM on October 2, 2002


Did anyone Google this guy, the "Dutch astrophysicist Dr. Piers Van der Meer"? He's got two, repeat two, hits. One of them is the Yahoo news page in the first post, the other one leads here, with a link to this page, where the story probably originated. I guess he doesn't even exist. What a pity, this was such a good story to start your day with.

 Now for something more interesting: namespan, what is a Von Neuman machine?
posted by Termite at 10:49 PM on October 2, 2002


namespan: ...alien Von Neuman machines..

what, do they separate program and data store? [snort][snort][wheeze]

[crickets]
posted by eddydamascene at 10:54 PM on October 2, 2002


So what is this? Disinformation?? You can't be telling me that this is entertainment??!
posted by SpaceCadet at 10:59 PM on October 2, 2002


Ohoh, you're telling me there was a recent MeFi thread about high school free speech? And I missed it? That's like, been my pet issue since I was a high school editor... Oh. It's just a story about a Satanist Club. Isn't that mostly freedom of assembly and/or religion?
posted by Skwirl at 11:19 PM on October 2, 2002


You can't be telling me that this is entertainment??!

It's better than this.
posted by Bearman at 11:21 PM on October 2, 2002


Termite: Now for something more interesting: namespan, what is a Von Neuman machine?

Correct me if I am wrong, but it is my understanding that a Von Neuman device is a self replicating machine, i.e. one von Neuman robot should be able to build an army of them

....and take over the world.

ok, the last part is not crucial to the definition.
posted by jono at 12:56 AM on October 3, 2002


If NASA (or you for that matter) discovered that the sun was going to go supernova in 6 years, would you tell anyone?
If you found out, for certain that the sun would go supernova in 6 years, what would you do?
Would the earth descend into chaos? Would be have a temporary hedonistic paradise?
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 4:46 AM on October 3, 2002


Hey, thanks for the spoiler namespan. I started The Forge of God last night. Now I'll just move on to the sequel!
posted by kittyloop at 5:39 AM on October 3, 2002


The headline:The Sun Will Explode In Less Than Six Years!

If a headline has an exclamation point, it's not a reputable story. The source is immaterial. I have spoken.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 5:46 AM on October 3, 2002


More people dealing with the Earth's last days: Nevil Shute's On the Beach.
Brilliant book about Australians dealing with their last days after a nuclear holocaust in the Northern hemisphere. Thoughtful, but rather light reading.
posted by whatzit at 6:46 AM on October 3, 2002


The strange behavior of the sun proves that we must stop CFC emissions now. It's really, really, really gotten bad.
posted by soyjoy at 8:05 AM on October 3, 2002 [1 favorite]


If a headline has an exclamation point, it's not a reputable story. The source is immaterial. I have spoken.

I guess WWII never ended because the headline that day was "IT'S OVER!" in the New York Times.
posted by rich at 8:16 AM on October 3, 2002


I'm surprised they didn't report that Satan's face was also clearly visible in the flare. The WWN likes that bit of p-shopping a lot.
posted by briank at 8:41 AM on October 3, 2002


If a headline has an exclamation point, it's not a reputable story. The source is immaterial. I have spoken.

I guess WWII never ended because the headline that day was "IT'S OVER!" in the New York Times.
posted by rich at 8:16 AM PST on October 3


Why am I holding my ass? Oh I remember: Rich just handed it to me.

Still, a headline is no place for an exclamation point, IMHO. Just adds an edge of hysteria.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 8:44 AM on October 3, 2002


If a headline has an exclamation point, it's not a reputable story.

Oh no. Does that mean this is all a big hoax too?
posted by soyjoy at 9:03 AM on October 3, 2002


"You know, Quasimodo predicted all of this."
posted by uftheory at 10:23 AM on October 3, 2002


Perhaps the fact that the story is in the Entertainment Gossip section might clue some people in... or not.
posted by blue_beetle at 10:34 AM on October 3, 2002


jono et all: a Von Neuman machine is indeed a self-replicating device.

And in said book, it not only takes over the world, it actually blows up the earth and sends the crust into orbit (interesting mechanism, too -- plasma encoated dense antimatter "pellet" meets dense plasma encoated matter "pellet" inside the earth. Hilarity -- no, wait, I mean energy ensues. People die, national parks are destroyed, and the earth becomes a fresh liquid primordial ball of magma and refuse.

y eddydamascene: you made me laugh. : )
posted by namespan at 4:15 PM on October 3, 2002


More people dealing with the Earth's last days: Nevil Shute's On the Beach.

Freaked my sister when she was younger; I've never seen/read it.

Like the song, though.
posted by baylink at 9:33 PM on October 3, 2002


I remember eating a bowl of oatmeal that made me feel that way.
posted by Spaz_X at 1:15 PM on October 5, 2002


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