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When NASA scientists watch Michael Bay films, comedy ensues.
June 11, 2001 1:15 PM   Subscribe

When NASA scientists watch Michael Bay films, comedy ensues. 'The technology is not at all far-fetched,' said Dr Greg Laughlin, of the Nasa Ames Research Center in California. 'It involves the same techniques that people now suggest could be used to deflect asteroids or comets heading towards Earth. We don't need raw power to move Earth, we just require delicacy of planning and manoeuvring.' Oh yeah, nothing could possibly go wrong with this plan. I'm not being a Luddite here...I realize the scientists involved aren't going to be doing this any time soon, if ever. It still spooks me, though.
posted by Ezrael (14 comments total)

 
This is what happens when physicists try to be biologists.
posted by bison at 1:24 PM on June 11, 2001


And suddenly the demand for cardboard boxes increases by an order of magnitude. Lucky for me, I kept most of mine.
posted by john at 1:31 PM on June 11, 2001


From the article: "Any alien astronomers observing our solar system would know that something odd had occurred, and would realise an intelligent lifeform was responsible."

More likely they would wonder why any supposedly intelligent lifeform would hurl comets at themselves on purpose and sterilize their own biosphere.
posted by MrBaliHai at 1:33 PM on June 11, 2001


Any alien astronomers observing our solar system would know that something odd had occurred, and would realise an intelligent lifeform was responsible.
So much wishful thinking in one article. I love it.
posted by john at 1:34 PM on June 11, 2001


Why do I get the sense that the Bush administration is behind this? "Controlling greenhouse emissions may be a sign of personal virtue, but moving the planet is the only sound, comprehensive solution to global warming."
posted by jpoulos at 1:50 PM on June 11, 2001


It's not exactly a new idea.

"Give me a lever and a place to stand and I will move the earth."

Archimedes of Syracuse, 287BC - 212BC.
posted by jfuller at 1:56 PM on June 11, 2001


I love this bit of scientifically accurate yet still sensationalistic writing: "Our world will then be sent spinning into a safer, colder part of the solar system."
posted by ericost at 2:00 PM on June 11, 2001


Yes, if they sent our world not spinning into a safer &c. we'd be in big trouble!
posted by nicwolff at 2:14 PM on June 11, 2001


If you read the rest of the article, the scientists explain that this is meant as a solution to the sun's warmup, which will happen with or without human influence. Since the warmup is a billion years down the road, I'd imagine that we're dealing with brainstorming scientists and overeager reporters.
posted by skyline at 2:31 PM on June 11, 2001


See? This is what happens when you give scientists a Playstation, a copy of Final Fantasy VII and a lot of time. They start thinking they can manipulate the entire planet.
posted by Cavatica at 2:37 PM on June 11, 2001


I think a better plan would be for everybody on the side of the planet facing the sun to suddenly jump as high as they can. When all those people push against the earth and toward the sun, the earth with react by moving away from the sun, into a higher and cooler orbit. This is basic stuff, Newton's third law. I think this would be a much safer and more feasible method than hitting the earth with comets. I'm going to write my idea up and submit it for peer review tomorrow. No fair trying to steal it, it's my idea!
posted by RylandDotNet at 2:53 PM on June 11, 2001


In the short term, the plan provides an ideal solution to global warming, although the team was actually concerned with a more drastic danger. The sun is destined to heat up in about a billion years and so 'seriously compromise' our biosphere - by frying us.

The scientists are thinking long term, but the reporters are marketing this as a Greenhouse solution, and that's the problem in my opinion. The last thing we need is for the people who think SDI is a good idea to get their heads wrapped around this idea.

And I love the idea of hemisphere hurdling.
posted by Ezrael at 3:13 PM on June 11, 2001


And when the galaxy itself starts to get too warm, all we have to do is collect our planets into a rosetta and accelerate them to lightspeed on our way to the Magellanic Clouds.
posted by dhartung at 4:51 PM on June 11, 2001


As for coordinated jumping, I think Cecil demonstrated that we don't weigh enough to make a difference.
posted by norm at 5:09 PM on June 11, 2001


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